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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

Many towns and cities in North Carolina have long histories that you can relive to this day through their historic districts, buildings, and homes. Perhaps you’ve always dreamed of purchasing and restoring a historic home, and now you’re ready to make the investment. Before taking that big step, there are a few things you need to know about what to expect.

  • Historic homes hold their intrinsic values longer

    If the home is registered with the National Register of Historic Places, or even a local historic register or board, it means it is a prime example of a specific architectural style or it represents the spirit of an era. It could also be that a famous person once lived there. Because of their prestige and significance to the community, historic homes tend to hold their value better than other properties.

  • Upgrading and renovating historic homes may be challenging

    A historic designation typically comes with certain restrictions and may limit your options when making changes to the exterior of the home. This could include the paint color, windows, doors, shutters, and other exterior features.

    It’s a good idea to visit the planning and zoning office where the property is located to learn about these requirements and guidelines.

    The North Carolina State Historic Preservation Office carries out the state’s preservation programs and offers grants to qualified homeowners. In addition, most municipalities also have an appointed board or commission that regulates the preservation of historic homes in their community.

    In Charlotte, for example, property owners in designated Local Historic Districts must get permission from the city’s Historic District Commission before carrying out any home renovation project. This is to ensure that each home in the district remains consistent with the character of the neighborhood. Check out this page for the guidelines concerning the preservation of historic homes in the city.

  • There are contractors that specialize in historic homes

    At some point, you’ll most likely need to hire a contractor. There are plenty listed in the telephone book but it’s important to hire a contractor who specializes in historic homes because they’ll know what can be repaired and what should be removed and replaced. These contractors are familiar with the preservation codes in your area and will know what to do to ensure compliance with these codes. This website is a good place to start your search for the right contractor.

  • Renovations and repairs may cost more than in standard homes

    Be prepared for your renovation project to cost more and take longer than anticipated. This is principally because you don’t know what you’ll find behind the walls of an old house. There might be water damage, electrical problems, termites – just about anything. That’s why it’s important to have the home thoroughly inspected by a professional before buying it.

    Additionally, the suitable materials may take longer to find and may cost more. You also need to be aware that some “modern” features, such as a fully equipped gourmet kitchen or a master bath in the bedroom, may not be feasible.

    To help you with repair and renovation expenses, learn about grants and incentives offered to owners of historic homes in your area.

Despite the challenges you may encounter, the prestige and pride that come with owning a historic property are often worth all these. We at The Gallagher Group at Southern Homes can help you find the perfect historic home in Charlotte, Concord, and their surrounding communities, and guide you through the process of buying and owning one. Get in touch with us today here or call 704.960.0009.

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