You see it as you drive down the street – a gorgeous, towering home complete with a wrap-around porch and skyscraping gables. The mere sight of it causes you to brake and stare with awe, jaw agape. Whether you’re house hunting or simply curious, you might wonder what your life could look like as an owner of a historic home. While there’s plenty to love about the unique characteristics of these homes, there’s certainly much you need to consider before signing that dotted line. Here are the pros and cons of purchasing a historic home:
PRO: You Get to Be a Part of History
If you’re a history buff, you’ll love living in a historic home. Within those walls lived scores of families with unique pasts. When you purchase and upkeep a historic home, you are helping keep its story alive and are adding your own chapter as well!
PRO: They’re Packed with Plenty of Character and Charm
If living in a typical cookie-cutter home just isn’t appealing to you, try a historic home. Ornate stone fireplaces, intricately carved crown molding, and other antique features often adorn historical homes, and you’ll surely be noticing countless beautiful, minute details for years. They certainly hold more charm than you can find in your average, modern property!
PRO: There’s a Style for Everyone
Step back into time when you enter the doors of a distinct old-world historic home. From Victorian and romantic to Georgian and even mid-century modern, these homes come in a large variety of gorgeous architectural styles.
PRO: You Could Receive Financial Benefits
Here’s another perk to purchasing a historic home – you could see some financial benefits from it! Your state and local governments may offer you tax incentives or lower interest loans to help you restore, purchase, or preserve a historical home. Additionally, you more than likely won’t have to worry about your property value decreasing since the neighborhood has certain standards for each house’s appearance. Which leads us to our next point…
CON: You Might Have to Follow Some Strict Rules
Looking to add in a sprawling master bathroom, walk-in closet, or a fully equipped kitchen? It might be pretty challenging. Designated historic districts often restrict what you can and cannot do to your home, including exterior paint color and window type. Before purchasing a historic home, you’ll have to seriously evaluate what you want out of your home and what you can truly live without. Check with your city’s development office to learn about the specific rules.
CON: They Can Require a Lot of Work
Better grab your toolkit – historic homes often need a lot of TLC. While they tend to be structurally sound, many will still see issues such as water damage, structural issues, and even termite damage, particularly if previous owners neglected the building. While restoration will be worth it, you’ll want to make sure that your finances are in good order before you purchase a historic home.
CON: Getting Financing and Insurance Can Be Difficult
Unfortunately, many personal insurance companies don’t offer the type of coverage you’ll need for your home. Because of this, you’ll have to choose historic property insurance, which can be pricier. Aside from that, any structural issues you may encounter may cause your rates to climb as well.
CON: You Might Encounter Some Unwanted Surprises
Historic homes are often 50 years old or even older, which means they may not be up to code if they haven’t been preserved properly. There’s a chance you could find asbestos, mold, lead paint, and even termites in the property. Fortunately, a trained and knowledgeable inspector can help detect many if not all of those problems. You’ll definitely want to conduct a home inspection before you purchase the property.
The Bottom Line
If the idea of living in a history-rich home filled with stunning details and charm outweighs the costs of repairs and adhering to strict rules, then this type of home very well could be right up your alley! Carefully weigh the above pros and cons to find your answer, and of course, rely on an expert realtor to help see you through the process. Call The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Elite Properties at (618) 791-5024 or (618) 791-9298 to get started on your search!