Advice for Buying a Historic Home

Posted by Mike Brown Group on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 3:16pm.

Advice for Buying a Historic Home

Have you always gravitated toward the classic and the historic more than the modern? If you have, then there’s a chance that you might prefer buying and living in a historic home rather than buying a brand new property. If you are thinking about buying one of these properties that have some type of historic value, then you need to realize that there is quite a bit of a difference. Here are some tips that will ensure you make the best decisions when you are buying the property.

Do Your Research

First, you always need to research the home before you buy. This is a smart move with all properties, and it really is essential with historic homes. You can often find quite a bit of information on these homes in places such as the National Registry of Historic Places, as well as through local records. Chances are there is quite a bit of information on the property available locally, possibly right through the local library. States have preservation offices that can offer information as well, including the rules on maintaining and owning one of these properties.

When researching, you will be able to determine what makes a home historic in your area. This varies from state to state. For example, in the West, where even the old homes are newer than many on the east coast, a younger property might still be considered historic.

Get a Home Inspection

When buying a historic property, chances are that there might be some issues with the structure or other elements of the home simply due to the age. Many issues will not be visible to the naked eye, and you do need to have a home inspection, just as you would have with any home that you buy. They may need to have expensive repairs that will bring them up to code, and this is something you certainly need to know before you buy the property. The last thing you need is a historic money pit.

Once you know what repairs the property might entail, then you can make an offer on the property. Look at the asking price and compare that with other historic properties, but realize that in this case, comparables really aren’t much of a help. The actual history behind the house can be a selling point, and that’s something that you just can’t replicate in any other property. For example, a home that played a role in a battle in the Civil War could have a higher value than a home of the same age that never actually had anything historically significant happen.

Should You Renovate the Place?

You have to be very careful if you plan to renovate a historic property. The reason you bought a historic property in the first place was likely that you wanted a property with history and charm. A poor renovation could destroy that. Always choose a contractor who has experience working with historic homes so you can get the best possible results.


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