Ask Adam: Does Age Of Home Lower Its Value?

Ask Adam Real Living header

This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos, Arlington-based real estate broker, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. I’m looking to purchase my next property and am debating about the age of the property and its value. Aside from standard replacement of regular items (roof, appliances, HVAC), how does the year built affect the value of a townhouse or condo? If I buy a townhouse built in the 1980s, it’s fine right now, but when I go to sell it in 30 years, will it be ready to be demolished and rebuilt?

Most of the condos in Arlington are built with cement and steel. I don’t expect them to be ready for demolition in 30 years. The only residential building in Arlington that concerns me is River Place. It has a land lease and is sitting in one of the most prime locations in Arlington. I’m just not sure it has a very long future ahead of it.

There are two things that tend to negatively affect the value of older condos.

  1. The maintenance costs on older buildings is often higher and can push condo fees way above average. If the building has a good long term plan for keeping condo fees low, that is a very good thing.
  2. When finishes of buildings are not kept up-to-date they tend to become less attractive to a large pool of homebuyers. We have all walked into dank smelling condo buildings with gold trim and worn-out carpet. It certainly doesn’t make you want to pay top dollar.

With townhomes you are not subject to all of the shared maintenance costs that go along with condos. It is your responsibility to keep the home in good condition and up-to-date. If you take good care of it, your home should last much longer than 30 years.

D.C. is a great example of an area with plenty of older homes that continue to attract strong interest from home buyers.

As always, you should pay close attention to location. If it is a desirable location for reasons that will last (i.e. walkability or metro), then I expect it will continue to be a desirable home well into the future.

Thank you for this week’s question. Please keep them coming to [email protected]. This is also a great place to reach me for anyone looking to buy or sell a home in the Arlington area.

Recent Stories

Everyone has flat screen TVs already so how about a more interesting Black Friday special? The ARLnow Press Club for free, to try out the daily Early Morning Notes email…

There’s not a whole lot going on in Arlington today, save for activity at local shopping centers, so we’re going to fast forward right to the top story countdown. Here…

Statues of Liberty gives thanks this holiday season and grateful for a few things this year.

Happy Thanksgiving, Arlington!

It’s turkey time. Thanksgiving Eve is upon us and extra revelry can be expected at some local bars tonight, ahead of the holiday. Please be careful on the roads and…

The Optimist Club of Arlington is holding its 76th annual Christmas tree sale!

This year, the tree sale will be held at the Knights of Columbus (5115 Little Falls Road). The lot opens for sales on November 25th. The Optimist Club is selling small and large trees ranging from tabletop size to huge 14 foot tall trees! Wreaths, garlands, tree stands, and White House Christmas ornaments will also be for sale.

100% of all proceeds go towards helping Arlington County youth.

For more information, please visit the Arlington Optimists website at

Submit your own Announcement here.

Art House 7 is a small art studio in Arlington – offering instruction in painting, ceramics, sewing and more. We are looking for kind, dedicated people who love both creating and teaching.

Ceramic Teachers are needed to teach wheel-throwing to adults and 6-12th graders and to teach hand building to elementary grades. Classes have 3-8 students.

Drawing teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. For kids, we offer cartooning, manga or traditional drawing. For adults, we only offer traditional drawing.

Painting teachers are needed to teach either kids or adults. We offer oil, acrylic or watercolor for adults or teens. All elementary classes use acrylic and tempera.

Read More

Submit your own Announcement here.

National Chamber Ensemble – Holiday Cheer!

NCE’s Holiday Concert will bring the finest classical masterpieces and holiday favorites together for the whole family. The festivities begin with Leroy Anderson’s classic “Sleigh Ride” and “Chanukkah Festival”, music from the Nutcracker and by J.S. Bach.

Outstanding Young Artist

Tony Woods Live – Standup Comedy Showcase

Live Standup Comedy Starring the Legendary Tony Woods!
Arlington, VA
Friday, November 25

8:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. (Doors at 7pm)
Crystal City Sports Pub (3rd floor lounge)
529 23rd Street South, Arlington, VA
$15 – General admission
$20 –


Subscribe to our mailing list