Old or historic homes tend to have a wonderful charm to them that cannot be explained. Whether its the old-world wood finish or the quirky floor plans, if you're thinking about buying one there is much to consider. Owning a historical home often comes with its own set of pros and cons and luckily we tackle some of both in today's article!
Why you should consider a historic home.
Historical homes offer a ton of character and charm. When you walk into such a home it gives you the nostalgia of walking back into the past. Whether it's the antique door knockers or the vintage fireplace, to the intricate crown moldings or ornate built-ins, there is so much to like about these homes. The charm of the home is one thing, but most historical homes have a history of their own. Chances are, these homes have had dozens of owners and each one had their own unique story. What's wonderful is the fact that when you purchase a home you are keeping history alive. You may have to make repairs or do updates to the home over time and that's okay. The renovations only add your flavor to the mix of flavors the home has gone through. When you make your home yours you're also preserving it at the same time.
Historical homes come in all shapes and sizes. Many have amazing architectural styles and may be a preference of yours over cookie cutter style homes. Some styles include Mid-Century, Georgian, Colonial, Victorian, Spanish and Federal. Some towns or cities may even offer you tax incentives or lower your interest rate of your loan if you're will to take on the task of restoring the home and keep it preserved. Depending on the historical district, they may have you keep the home looking a certain way. Typically, there is a greater chance the neighborhood's property value wont drop if its maintained.
Why you may not want to consider a historic home.
There is no doubt about it - if you decide to purchase such a home, you may be required to put in a lot of work. Most historic homes are over 50 years old and the kind of work involved may include water or electrical damage, structural damage and maybe termite damage. If a historical home is not kept up it will fall into disrepair and rather quickly. Be sure you are financially capable of taking on the work or you may regret making the decision in the first place.
If the historic home is within a designated historical district then you may be stuck with some strict rules. The biggest issue homeowners have come across is managing the home within the guidelines of the district which tend to be laid out by local laws. You won't be able to add that addition or make changes to the home until you ask permission from the city and there is a chance they may not grant you that ability at all. Contact your local city development office to see what you are able to do. I would probably reach out to them first before finalizing the purchase of the home.
Remember this, depending on how old the home is may depend on how much you'll need to renovate it. There is a good chance that many families have lived in the home over the course of the 50 to 100+ years and one can only imagine how many changes the home has gone through. Whether they redid the kitchen or made additions to the home, chances are the updates may not match. Especially if those repairs were made over several different decades. No one wants to live in a home with 1940's bathroom, a 1960's kitchen and a living room made out of the 1980's; yikes!
Truth be known... insurance is going to be expensive. In fact, most personal insurance companies do not offer the type of coverage you'll need in order to insure your historic home. Some insurance companies do offer historical home coverage but the cost is well above the typical payment you can see for home insurance. What else to consider is if you do need to make changes to a home, for example - replacing a roof, there is a high probability your insurance will go up; so make sure you do your homework.
So how does one know if your home is historic?
You can check out the National Registry of Historic Places which is managed by the National Park Service. It’s an official list that differentiates an old home from a historic home. Historic homes are officially registered and designated as “historic” due to their age, architectural style and their overall significance. When you're house hunting make sure to ask your 5 Star Realtor whether or not you’re looking in a designated historic neighborhood. Don't forget, though, these districts often come with certain rules as to what you can and cannot do to the outside of a house in such neighborhoods. While this helps maintain the neighborhood’s overall look and appeal, many homeowners find the rules to be restrictive.
Are you ready to buy a historic home?
So you think you are ready to decide, eh? Just be sure to weigh the pros and cons we mentioned above. If the joys of owning a historic home filled with its own history, charm and character outweighs the pain of possible repairs, high insurance rates and strict rules – then you have your answer! While historic homes are often considered “high maintenance,” owners will tell you that they are well-worth the extra time and effort required.
If you have any questions, don't forget to ask the fine realtors here at 5 Star Realty. They are highly knowledgeable and will take care of you. Good luck and happy house hunting!