Should You Buy a Historic Home?

Posted by Kris Lindahl on Friday, February 6th, 2015 at 11:36am.

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Historic homes are all over the country and they are often very beautiful. A historic home may include beautiful gingerbread trim, an elaborate fireplace or even leaded glass windows. However, they are not right for everybody. Here are some things to consider before you buy a historic home.

Restrictions in Neighborhoods

Since many historic districts have to put an emphasis on preservation, they will impose restrictions. You may have fewer options when it comes to renovating or altering the home. Usually the facade is protected and you will need to sift through bureaucracy to even try to get permission to change it.

Some of the landmark districts will not even let you renovate. If the home is 100 years old or more, you may not be able to do much to alter it at all.

Expensive Remodeling

If you do get permission to remodel, re-creating architecture from a past time isn't exactly cheap. It's also very challenging. For example, Victorian homes were built in the mid to late 20th century and the materials used are not even available today.

Buying a historic home in less than perfect condition can make it hard to remodel. Finding the right ornate features, picture rails, wainscoting and other materials can take time and come at a high cost.

Might Need Extensive Repairs

Unlike a newer home, a historic home may require a number of repairs. It may not be move-in ready and you may be taking on a large renovation project.

If you plan to buy a home that is 50 years old or older, you need to have a maintenance plan in place. After handling the first round of repairs, there will certainly be more. The cost can add up quickly and it can be quite a bit of work to repair a historic home.

Even though historic homes are quite beautiful and provide plenty of charm, they may not be right for you. Unless you can afford the repairs and you don't mind restrictions on remodeling, you may want to stick with a newer home.

Kris Lindahl
Kris Lindahl Real Estate

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