Searching for the right home to buy is an exciting process that takes time and thought. When making a large investment in finding the perfect place to call home, you want to explore all your options before making your selection.
Deciding between a new home or a historic property is a big decision that isn’t made lightly.
Purchasing a historic home can be a wonderful experience and a sense of pride knowing that you have taken on the responsibility of preserving a piece of history.
Historic homes will usually come with a lot of work and maintenance needs that a newer house doesn’t. Restoring a historic property can be rewarding, but there are several factors to keep in mind when taking on such a project. Those that are ready to purchase a historic home have the added benefit of knowing it will retain its home value and surpass appreciation rates of nearby homes that aren’t historic.
What exactly is a historic home?
A historic home or property is one that is 50 years old or older. It can also be a church or commercial building, or another type of real estate. Along with being at least 50 years old, the property must be the site of a historical event, have distinctive architecture that needs to be preserved, or a person relevant to history must have lived. If a home falls under these categories but is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you can submit to get it designated at the local or federal level.
Should I buy in a historic district?
A historic district is a region in a city where the majority of buildings, including homes, are deemed historic for the reasons mentioned above. But it doesn’t mean every property in a historic district is historic. You could buy a house in a historic district that doesn’t meet the qualifications, yet to some degree, it is protected by the same regulations and benefits as a historic property.
Focus on finding the historic property that is your dream home in a neighborhood you love, whether it is in a historic district or not. Both a historic property on its own or in a historic district will retain its value even when markets take a dip.
Benefits of owning a historic home
Many don’t realize it, but there are tax advantages or tax credits you may receive for putting the time and money into restoring historic property. Of course, consult an accountant or CPA to make sure you are aware of all the tax deductions you can take in your specific situation.
And lastly, you have the enjoyment of owning a historic home and being part of a community that treasures the preservation of such properties, such as with the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
Obtaining financing and insurance
With the assistance of your realtor, contact the local agencies that regulate historic properties to inquire if there are any grants or loans to assist in the cost of renovating the home and can offset your own expenses.
A home that requires extensive work to get to safe living conditions may be harder to get insured with your typical insurance companies. Luckily there are insurance companies that focus on insuring historic properties, so start with these companies first to avoid wasting time.
Find an experienced appraiser
Strict rules on renovations
The last thing you want to do is do it yourself without the right permits and lose the status of a historic home. And realize that with ownership of a historic property comes more frequent maintenance work with higher costs than a newer home.
If you are ready to take on the exciting challenge of owning a historic home, work with a realtor such as Bonnie Spindler, who has expertise with Victorian homes for sale in San Francisco. Or, if you are in search of newer luxury San Francisco homes or condos, Bonnie can assist you from start to finish in finding your dream home.