Buying a Historically Significant Home
From the Victorian-Edwardian "Painted Ladies" of San Francisco, CA, to the Colonial homes of Alexandria, VA, to the Gilded Age homes of Swiss Avenue in Dallas, TX, historically designated homes are beautiful and charming, but you should consider a few things before you buy one.
Historically designated homes are overseen by city preservation associations and/or homeowner’s associations. Each entity has its own rules for exterior remodeling, repainting and repairs in order to protect the character, architectural integrity and value of individual historic homes or all homes within a designated district. Keep in mind that creating, matching or complementing authentic details such as crown moldings, ironwork, tile and more can be expensive and may require the help of historic home specialists to accomplish. You could also run into environmental problems like lead paint or mold or structural problems such as a failing foundation.
But you may feel these are small prices to live in such a rarefied setting. Your home is a unique snapshot of a bygone era with features that can’t be duplicated with the same craftsmanship or materials available today. Your town and its history are something you’ll be able to share with your new neighbors. According to Porch.com, you may be able to obtain tax incentives or lower interest rates on purchase loans and remodeling loans from your state or local government.
As a homebuyer, your challenge will be compromising between what improvements you will be allowed to make vs. what you prefer to do to the home.