Buying A Historic Home? What You Need To Know

buying a historic home

The Adirondacks are filled with historic homes, providing ample opportunity for investors or home purchasers to consider buying a historic home with a notable past. Some Adirondack historic homes are even on the National Register of Historical Places.

Purchasing a historic home can be a thrilling experience as a home owner. Knowing that you now own a piece of history is very satisfying to some home owners. However, potential purchasers should do some research to get familiar with the care and maintenance a historic home can require before making the buy.

There are many positives and negatives to buying a historical home. Our expert ADKPP team knows Adirondack communities and their fascinating histories, and we’ve helped many clients dive into historic home ownership. Read our expert advice below to guide you along in your decision-making process.

Benefits of Buying A Historic Home

You Own A Piece Of History

Communities inside the Adirondack Park are located in a very special place, so who wouldn’t love to own a piece of the rich history inside the Blue Line? Whether a home has a storied past or historic construction, buying a historic home can allow you to own a unique and interesting property with deep ties to the past.

Knowing the history of your region of interest can help in identifying types of properties you may be interested in. Some homebuyers seek homes with specific pasts or stories that can be common to a region, like the Tuberculosis Cure Cottages found in the Saranac Lake region. When buying a historic home, you can tie your search directly to your interests.

You Join A Community That Supports Historic Homes

Purchasing a piece of history also brings you into a special community that supports historic homes. If the home is not already listed, the homeowner can submit to the National Register of Historical Places. Locally, there may also be organizations that you can join. Organizations like Adirondack Architectural Heritage (AARCH) build community and offer resources to support restoration of historic homes.

Financial Assistance For Renovations

Joining the National Register of Historical Places can also open up opportunities for financial assistance when renovating a historic home. One of these opportunities is a tax credit for the rehabilitation of the home known as History Tax Credit (HTC). Additionally, homeowners may wish to consider historic preservation easements if rehabilitation plans for the property will maintain historic integrity of the property. These easements are generally put in place to preserve the historical character of the home.

Possible Higher Return On Investment

Depending on the how much you plan to invest on renovations of the home, as well as when you completed buying a historic home, you could receive a higher return on your investment when selling the property in favorable market conditions. A well maintained historic home, priced accordingly and in a desirable neighborhood, could give you the return that you are looking for on your real estate investment.

Negatives of Buying A Historic Home

Stricter Regulations

While joining the National Register of Historical Places provides a wonderful community, registering can also provide more regulation and compliance obligation for your property. Many rehab processes and renovations may require close review by a third party to ensure architectural and historical compatibility. These regulations can be even more stringent if there is a homeowner’s association involved.

Complicated Repairs

With increased regulation often comes more complicated repairs. Repairs may require the homeowners to seek out historically authentic materials that are costly to purchase and difficult to source. While the National Register of Historic Places does not require any renovations and upkeep on a property, many local or state districts will. If you are not knowledgeable about local or state historical building standards, you may need to hire a professional to help with repairs.

Cost of Maintenance Can Add Up

Older homes generally require more repairs and may have more extensive maintenance needs. This can become very costly when buying a historic home. If your state or local municipality requires you to find historically authentic materials, maintenance costs can really start to add up. Additionally, finding someone with the skills to complete historically compliant renovations can add to the cost. Any potential homeowner should take these additional costs into consideration when looking into buying a historic home.

Possible Lower Return On Investment

Depending on when you purchase the home, you could actually have a lower return on your investment. If you purchased the historic home during a hot market with high prices, high maintenance costs down the road could lead you to a lower return. While there is a strong and active community committed to preserving and purchasing historical homes, the real estate market can ebb and flow. On a downturn, a historic home could end up having a lower resale value.

With this in mind, it may be easier to purchase a home without the historical basis. Saving money on potentially high repair and renovation costs and being able to remodel a home without regulations to follow may be more desirable to some buyers.

As you can see there are many potential benefits and drawbacks to owning a historic home. From tax breaks to complicated repairs, it really comes down to the home buyer to determine whether owning a piece of history is worth it. As with most large purchases, we always suggest doing your research before moving forward.

For assistance in buying or selling historic properties, contact a forever agent at Adirondack Premier Properties today!

Reset password

Enter your email address and we will send you a link to change your password.

Get started with your account

to save your favourite homes and more

Sign up with email

Get started with your account

to save your favourite homes and more

By clicking the «SIGN UP» button you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy