Purchasing a historic property can be very exciting. it can also be fraught with hidden complications. Whether you are just starting your property search or you are narrowing down the selection, asking these questions can help you find the right one to make your home.
1. Are There Historic Easements in Place?
Historic easements are legally binding documents that restrict what can be done to a historic property. They are generally held by a preservation organization. The National Park Service offers information about the benefits to property owners and the public when such easements are put into place. If you are considering a property with an existing easement, you will want to talk to the group that holds it to determine if any changes you want to make are allowed.
2. Is the House Structurally Sound?
Older homes were generally built to last, but a lot can happen to a house over a hundred years or more. Have a qualified inspector check for damage before you fall in love with a particular property. Foundation repairs on any home can be a major project, but that scale is compounded on a historic property.
3. What Updates Have Been Made?
Take a look throughout the entire house and outbuildings for changes that have impacted their overall structure. Do the changes add to or take away from the property? Are they in keeping with the time period of construction, and, if not, are they reversible? These are just a couple of examples of the type of questions you will need to ask when renovations have been done over the years.
4. Are There Local Resources for Work That Needs To Be Done?
It takes special craftsmen to work on historic properties. Take some time to find out if those resources are available locally. If not, decide upfront if you are willing and able to bring experts in from other areas to preserve the historical integrity of the property.
By knowing what to look for and what questions to ask, you can find a historic house to call your own.