Buying a historic home can be a great experience if you love history, find classic architecture appealing or just want a house that doesn’t look like every single other one out there.
When you buy an older house, though, there are some unique things you’ll need to keep in mind. Here are four things you need to know when you’re looking to buy a historic house.
Find an Experienced Home Inspector
Old homes can have specific challenges that don’t come up in newer construction. To make sure you know what you’re getting into, it’s a good idea to find a home inspector who has experience with historic houses.
This shouldn’t be too difficult, but be sure to ask any potential inspector whether he or she has done inspection of historic houses in the past before deciding on who you should hire.
Don’t Jump at the First House You See
The supply of historic homes on the market is sometimes limited, so it can be tempting to buy the first lovely Victorian or Gothic Revival house that you come across.
Like any other type of home buying, though, you should shop around in order to find the best property at the best rate.
A good tip for doing this is to work with multiple real estate agents and ask them to send you any listings of historic properties they receive.
If Renovations Are Involved, Get Estimates before Buying
For some historic property buyers, the chance to bring a distressed older home back to life is one of the best parts of the process.
If you do plan to renovate a property that has fallen on hard times, though, be sure to get complete estimates from a good general contractor before you make the purchase.
Restoring an old house is a process that can quickly become more expensive than originally planned, so it’s critical to know how much you’re likely to spend before you start.
Check Legal Status
In addition to unique maintenance challenges, some historic homes can come with certain legal issues. If the home you plan to purchase is in a local historic district, there may be additional regulations regarding what you can and can’t do while restoring it.
This is especially true if your home is on the National Register of Historic Places.
By following these four tips, you can find the right historic home and get a clearer idea of what you’re jumping into before you buy it. Always be sure to research the house you’re looking at thoroughly, as every historic property is unique.
Addy Reeds is a freelance writer at Eugene, Oregon. She studied language arts at the University of Oregon. She is well versed on a variety of subjects and loves to write about nearly anything. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook: @addyreeds1; https://www.facebook.com/addy.reeds
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