5 Tips on Inspecting Historic Homes

  • Bonnie Spindler
  • 09/20/15
Buying a home can be one of the most exciting times in your life! There are so many times where I come across a client that gets swept up in the excitement, that they forget the basics of looking into the home’s details. Buying a home involves more than just falling in love and then signing papers. Especially Historic homes. Because these charming homes have great history, it is important that you take a deeper look inside.
 
Before hitting the pavement to physically check out the latest Victorian homes on the market, here are 5 tips to consider.
 

1. Prepare A List

Before you take a look at the home for sale, make a list of things you want to take a closer look at. Bring out your notebook and jot down details like roofing, windows, doors, foundation, fireplaces, basements, garage etc. These are common elements that every homebuyer should be looking into, especially in historic homes. Often, older homes have smaller garages or steep driveways. Does your car fit? Is the foundation brick, rubble, or form poured concrete?
 
By having this list in your hand as you physically walk through the home, you will hold yourself accountable by taking a look into the finer details, rather than getting swept up in the gorgeous original details like crown molding and antique mantles.
 

2. Bring a Camera

As you walk around, take photos. The majority of the time, by the time we see 15-20 houses, details of many homes start to blend together. By taking a camera with you on your tours, you will be able to clearly document little details that stand out to you. I suggest shots of details you liked, damage you want to ask about, or items you want included in the sale.
 

3. Start Outside

Before even entering the home, take a look at its exterior. How does the roof look? Are there any sort of obstructions? Visible signs of rotting? By taking into account the outside of the home, before even entering, will help give you a better idea of its condition. If the home’s exterior is in pretty bad shape, it may be an indicator of the standard of care before the stager got ahold of the inside.
 

4. Take Your Time

Many home buyers that I have worked with feel odd or voyeuristic about looking at someone else’s home. . Some feel that they are intruding, Take in every room with patience. Look up, look down, and look up again. Take in every detail of your potential new home. The more you can identify before you buy, the more you can save.
 

5. Walk Around a Bit

This can go hand in hand with really observing the inside. Walk around in the neighborhood. Do a drive by at night. Visit during the day. Are weekends different than weekdays?
 
As we have said before, buying a home should be one of the most exciting times in your life. Victorian homes are incredibly adaptable and the rich history makes owning them more interesting and fun. You feel like a steward getting the home to the next century and feel the role that your ownership has on it. You become part of the history of your home.


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