And how to plan for them from the outset.

By Brittany Anas | February 12, 2021

If your dream home has original doors and windows that go with ornate moldings and Victorian radiators, don’t forget to ask for rough utility costs, says Kate Ziegler, a realtor with Arborview Realty in Boston. While these historic details are gorgeous, they can translate to higher-than-expected utility costs.

“Without storm windows or weather stripping in places, drafts are common and heating costs can be high,” she says.

Also, older technologies like fuses instead of circuit breakers, or brass drum traps instead of P-traps in drains, can point to hidden upgrades that might be due, Ziegler says. Check to see how old the boiler is when you tour the basement—does it need to be replaced?

“Rely on your local home inspector to point out what is a necessary versus nice-to-have upgrade,” she says.

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