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Buying A Historic Home? Here's What You Need To Know

Buying A Historic Home? Here's What You Need To Know

From ornate fireplaces and crown mouldings to established, mature landscaping, there are many benefits to buying a historic house. However, there are also some disadvantages that you’ll definitely want to factor in when considering the purchase, as well. When buying a historic home, you’ll often need different insurance policies and even a special license.  

Expect Repairs

Depending on the work that has been done by the previous owners to preserve your historic house, there’s a good chance that repairs will be necessary right off the bat. The first repair you can usually expect to do on a historic home will be replacements of the roof and windows. As with all homes, roofs and windows can be expected to weather over time and will need regular repair to prevent damage from the elements. 

Other repairs you can expect to encounter may be water damage, structural damage, or even electrical issues. 

Hire An Inspector Experienced With Historic Homes

To get an accurate picture of what repairs or maintenance you can expect, you’ll want the help of a home inspector that has experience assessing historic homes. These homes were built differently than the homes being built today and an inspector who doesn’t know what to look for may miss some crucial indicators of costly repairs that may be needed.

Before hiring a home inspector, ask them about their experience working with historic homes

Maintenance Can Cost More Than Usual

The maintenance that will need to be done on a historic home will be much different from new homes today, which could require the assistance of specialized contractors.

These contractors should be familiar with using the different materials used in the home to help preserve the historic integrity, and may charge more for their knowledge, care, and experience. So what may seem like a simple fix could end up with a much more costly bill at the end.

Modern Upgrades May Not Always Be Possible

Depending on many factors, from structure to plumbing to electrical work, the modern upgrades you may be wanting to put into a historic home may not always work. If you are perfectly content with maintaining the historical integrity of the home, this may be fine for you. However, if you are wanting to buy a historic home with the intention of updating and modernizing, consider consulting with a contractor to see if it is even possible. 

Insurance May Be More Expensive

Insurance companies are no strangers to the costly repairs and maintenance that may be required on historic homes, and often the rates they will offer on home insurance will reflect that. New construction homes are usually built to code and come with warranties that help protect your investment for some time after purchase, whereas historic homes do not. Be sure to talk with your insurance provider before making the switch to get an accurate quote of what you can expect to be paying monthly to insure your home.

No matter if you’re buying a historic home simply for the aesthetic appeal or to become a part of the cultural narrative they provide, it can certainly be a truly gratifying experience for a homeowner. 


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