Should You Buy A Historic Home?

historic homesHistoric homes offer an element of grandeur and sophistication that many new home may seem to lack. But it’s important to consider many aspects before purchasing an old home. Though beautiful, older houses require maintenance and work to keep their elegant look.

First, it’s important to do your research on the home. Although many aren’t aware, not all old homes are created equally. Be sure to check whether the home has a historical designation. If not, getting one can be a tricky process, varying from state to state. Also make sure you know what tax credits and incentives are in place in your state for owners of historic homes. This could end up being a factor in your final purchase decision.

Research also includes a thorough inspection of the property. Don’t just rely on your own judgment for this- employ a team of experts to evaluate the house. Many homes require expensive renovations to bring them up to code. Important things to look into are the wiring, possible asbestos infestation, dampness, lead based paint, leaky or weak roofs, or any other signs of neglect. Factor any necessary renovations into the price before you commit to a house.

Inspecting the house also means inspecting if it’s right for you. Few historic homes will be complete with modern heating and cooling systems, so be sure that you can live without or that you have the funds and are able to install them. Many historic homes are also small, and not well-suited to anyone above average height. The home may be beautiful, but is it worth banging your head on doorframes every day? As with any home, think about the surrounding area and neighborhood and make sure it’s somewhere you’d like to live.

Overall, the most important thing is to find not only a house you love, but a house you can live in. If contracting estimates for renovations seem outlandish, walk away. The emotional attachment you feel to a beautiful home will soon be outweighed by the headaches of maintaining it. Keep searching until you find the perfect balance between elegance and functionality.

Owning a historic home isn’t for everyone. But for those who wish to write their own chapter of history within the context of the past, there is no experience more satisfying.

This post was provided by the folks over at Presidents’ Quarters Inn, a historic bed & breakfast in Savannah, Georgia.

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