Older Homes:

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Victoria is replete with older homes.  It’s a big part of what gives this city its charm.  Taking on an older home purchase can be a daunting task if you don’t know what you’re looking for, so today we’re going to talk about some things to consider when you go house hunting.

Underground Oil Tanks are probably the first thing you want to consider. 

If the home was built before 1970 you’re going to want to have the property scanned for an underground oil tank.  Old buried tanks that haven’t been removed can pose serious environmental risks for your property, and for the properties surrounding and/or downhill from you.  There have been many lawsuits concerning these, including the improper removal and disposal of these tanks, and the judgements can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  It’s always prudent to have a professional company do a search, and if they find one, remove and dispose of the tank and contents.  Besides doing a scan for them, there are tell tale signs to look out for such as a vent pipe, fill pipe, and a pipe leading to the inside of the home.

Underground Oil Tank

Asbestos is another big ticket item.

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fibre that’s found in rock.  The 2 main types are Chrysotile (white) and Amphibole (brown).  It was originally known as the “miracle mineral” due to it being cheap, durable and flexible, and for its natural insulating and fireproofing properties.  It took many years before it was found to be dangerous to our health, and is no longer used in Canada for residential homes. 

In older homes, asbestos can be found in everything from roof shingles to insulation to duct lining to electrical outlets.  While it’s generally looked upon that if you don’t disturb asbestos, it won’t harm you, it’s always good to know what you’re going to be dealing with if you plan on doing renovations in the future.


Windows.  Not only are they great for letting in the light, older windows are great for letting your heat out too!  Upgrading your older single pane windows to new vinyl windows will drastically improve your bank balance with the money you’ll save in heating costs.  Getting Low-E glass windows and having Argon gas sealed between the 2 panes gives you a big boost in savings.


These are a few of the big ticket items you’ll want to consider if you plan on picking up one of Victoria’s beautiful character homes.  There are obviously many other things to factor in. Speak to a REALTOR at Capital City Group so we can help make sure that you’re well versed in what it will take to restore that lovely heritage home into something that will last for another hundred years.