There are all types of buyers out there, from people who want brand-new, super-modern homes to those who are interested in nothing but historic homes. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices we can find both of these folks buy an incredible home but we also work to ensure they know what they are getting into. That’s why we have created this handy guide to buy a historic home.
Do we recommend that our clients steer clear of historic home? No! But we do want to make sure that if you are going to make this investment, you know about the challenges that will come with it. All homes can potentially challenge their owners and it is our job to ensure that our clients have a great idea of the homes available to them and the long-term commitment they are making.
There May Be Restrictions if the Entire Neighborhood is Historic
If you are considering a move not only into an historic home but into an historic neighborhood, make sure that you are aware of any restrictions within said neighborhood. Restrictions may have been set by zoning and planning commissions that affect how you can renovate or alter the home – especially its façade. Any repairs or changes may require the need to be approved from a local organization.
In some landmark districts, the city has a lot of control. This can make renovations take longer, cost more, and best less personal. If you are moving into a move-in-ready, recently restored home this may be fine. If you are planning on doing moderate to significant rehab then you should be sure you know what your options are before you buy the home.
Finding Replacement Parts Can Be Expensive and Impossible
Depending on how old the home in question is, and what style it is, you may have a very difficult time if you need to replace wainscoting, crown molding, picture rails, etc. In some cases, this may not be possible at all. Even if you do find them with a salvage company, the price can be very high.
You Could Need to Make Significant Repairs
If you fall in love with a historic home and you want to take on the expense and time of making repairs and turning it into your home then this could be a very satisfying project. At the same time, you should know how extensive those repairs may be. For example, if you think you can simply update the plumbing in the bathroom to install a stand alone tub, you may be surprised to learn what other tasks are required.
We strongly recommend that you get a thorough inspection of any home you are going to buy – especially an historic home. At Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices we are standing by to help you find the exact home that will make your dreams come true.