Purchasing your own historic home or structure is so much more than just owning a gorgeous part of history. It’s a tough job that requires lots of work and isn’t for everyone. There are plenty of historic homes that dot our country from coast to coast, yet there are other structures that might be the perfect candidate for a historic home renovation that you’d previously not considered. Consider the following five tips when buying a historic house.
Finding a Historic Home
Getting down and dirty with plenty of well-planned research is probably one of the most important steps when purchasing a historic home. The National Registry of Historic Places is a good place to go to find historic structures, districts and neighborhoods in your area that may be up for sale. Your local historic registry office can also help point you in the right direction for tax incentives and other monetary gains for purchasing a historic home.
Registering a Historic Home
There are lots of older historic homes that might not be on the registered list, yet may be the perfect candidate for the registry. Because each local has a different meaning when it comes to a historic home, it’s a good idea to see if the structure is listed as “historic” under the Historic Home preservation Act. You can take a look at the National Registry of Historic Places Registration page and find out if your structure qualifies for a historic home status.
After all of the research and you’ve decided on a historic structure to renovate, the next step is to have it inspected by a professional home inspection service. An older home is often filled with hidden problems, undiscovered troubles and invisible dilemmas that only a trained professional can detect. If your inspector finds any serious troubles, you may want to lower the asking price or ask for repairs to be made prior to purchase.
Make your Offer
After you’ve found all of the bugs and other troubles that might come with buying a historic structure, it’s time to finalize the asking price. You’ll want to be sure that any repair costs or renovations that the previous homeowner agrees to are all in black and white in the buyer’s agreement. All repairs should also be performed by a licensed professional and repairs should not interfere with the homes original architecture.
Repairs and Renovation
No matter how big or small your plans are for renovating an older home, it’s very important to hire a professional who specializes in historic home renovation. It’s a wide idea to get plenty of references from past customers to determine if they have what it takes to renovate a historic building. You may want to check with local historic district partners to find out exactly what can be renovated and what cannot. In some cases, removing dated architecture like windows or doors can destroy the historic integrity of the structure and ruin the value of the home for good.