Things to Consider When Buying a Historic Home

Posted by Tarvin Realtors on Friday, February 10th, 2017 at 12:00pm.

Owning a one-of-a-kind property is certainly alluring in the face of the current popular cookie cutter homes on the market. These charming historic homes offer numerous benefits and features that many homebuyers will fall in love with right away. However, there are a few things you should consider before purchasing a historic home. Here are some of the most significant things to think about:

Does it Need Any Repairs?

Unlike modern properties or new build homes, historic homes often require some work before they are truly livable. Whether it’s roofing, repiping, or any other major renovation or construction project, you will want to consider these costs before sealing the deal. Get a quote from a contractor on how much it will cost for the repairs and factor that into your decision of buying a historic home.

If the home requires significant structural rehabilitation, we recommend walking away from the deal immediately. The trouble and cost to repair structural damage often outweigh the benefits of owning the home.

Are there Any Restrictions?

Many historic properties have restrictions placed on them to preserve the historic value of the home. Before committing to a historic property, find out what local preservation laws are in effect that may hinder your future renovation plans. For instance, some areas will not allow exterior changes such as installing new windows, creating an addition, or even changing the roof. Even if you are in love with the house as it currently is, you may want to change some of these things a few years down the road, so it’s important to know what to expect.

Find Out What the Average Utility Bills Look Like

Unlike modern homes that are designed to be efficient and cost-effective, a historic home may result in higher heating and energy bills. Before purchasing a historic home, find out the cost of heating and operating the home. It may make a huge difference in your decision to buy or not.

Explore the Tax Options

Many communities offer tax breaks for homeowners who live in historic buildings. However, the average tax rate, to begin with, may be significantly larger in a historical neighborhood, essentially negating the tax discount. Find out what tax rates or discounts apply to your new home before signing on the dotted line.

What are the Benefits?

While there is certainly a long list of factors to consider before buying a historic home, there are many benefits that make these properties ideal for homebuyers. Buyers who are looking for a unique architectural design will notice the beautiful lines and features of a historic property. Additionally, you get peace of mind knowing the structure is sound and its walls have lasted the test of time. In addition to the beautiful aesthetic of a historic home, many lenders offer reduced rates and tax incentives for purchasing a historic home, meaning you may be able to get a better deal.

For help finding your historic dream home in Ridgewood, NJ, contact Tarvin Realtors today at (201) 444-0690.

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