Yes, people do usually by homes that are on the market already, but the problem with that is they are all overpriced! In a market that has made everyone believe that their home has increased in value over the years it will nearly impossible to get an actual "fair price" for a home. I mean.... why pay more for an old home than you would pay for a new home? I'm a numbers man. Everything with me must add up, and buying an old home at the same price (or higher) than a new home does not add up. And renovating an old home is good, but what about the foundation? What about the in-ground plumbing? Did they change all the wiring? These things must be considered.
Allow me a second to explain something. The whole thing of "home appreciation" was based on the value of undeveloped land versus developed land. Of course once you take raw land and make it ready for use it is worth more after being developed than it was when you purchased it. However, the term has been misapplied to homes because of the business of credit which benefits no one except the lenders. And don't let that surprise you because politicians and business men "misapply" terms all the time when its to their benefit.
Anyway... a home is a "product". And like any other product it looses value with time, UNLESS someone is willing to pay more for it. You could make the claim that the value has increased but if no one is willing to pay the asking price, the price naturally must come down to a point in which someone is willing to pay. Therefore, it has no real value other than the "perceived value" of the buyer and/or seller. And this is the stalemate that you will find with older homes.... the buyers "believe" that the homes are worth more than they actually are. And the inflated appraisal rates and greedy agents, brokers, and lenders that depend on percentages for profits don't help this none.
I'm sorry, but it is just my belief, naive as it may seem, that at this time in our human mental evolution we should be aware that there are other options to nearly all things. And the ways that we were TOLD to do things may NOT have been correct or the most efficient, and in some cases, the things that we were told may have been deliberately misleading. Because if this were true, that the older a home is the more it is worth, then every home built in the 70's should be worth a fortune right now.
Just think about it.