Historic homes are full of character and charm. It’s easy to fall in love with them, but before you sign on the dotted line, there are a few things you’ll want to consider.
Many communities have specific planning and zoning commissions that are in place to preserve and protect historic homes and neighborhoods - they can also become a pain in the neck if you plan on making any renovations. Many historic homes require an extra layer of approval before you can start to renovate. Some historic districts retain an immense amount of control which can make renovations take longer and cost a lot more. And in some cases, you may not be able to renovate the home the way you want. When thinking about buying a historic home consult your local officials to determine how much control the town has over your renovations.
Blending the Old and New can be Difficult
Finding wainscoting, picture rails, crown moldings, and other period-specific architectural details to replace broken or missing pieces in the home can be not only difficult but expensive. In addition to matching style, it can be difficult to find the exact materials used originally. There are more and more architectural salvage companies popping up these days but be prepared to pay.
Repairs and Maintenance can be Expensive
All homes require periodic maintenance and repairs, historic homes usually require more TLC. You will want to establish a maintenance strategy and be prepared to address issues as they arise. Home inspections for all homes are critical, but you will especially want to have a thorough inspection by a reputable company before you buy so that you know exactly what you are getting into.
If you're a buyer that understands that buying a historic home comes with a commitment and not just character and charm, historic homes are the right fit. If you aren’t prepared for the costs and maintenance of historic homes, they aren’t the right fit for you.