If you are an avid HGTV watcher, you often hear buzz words like “charm,” “character,” and “history” when it comes to someone searching for their dream home. People want their home to have had a previous life, a place where they can be a part of its own memories. They are looking to freshen up the history and keep it alive. However, often times buying a historic home can hold tremendous value, but with its own set of drawbacks. To help guide you through this decision, keep these three tips in mind:

1. Historic homes and districts are restrictive. If you’re thinking this home is going to be your next fixer upper, you may need to shelve those shiplap and white-washed brick fairy tales. Historic commissions will often discourage homeowners to change the exterior or build any add-ons. Always check with your local agency before you pick up the sledgehammer and go full-time Chip Gaines Demo Day.

2. Costs add up quickly. Maintaining the home’s integrity alone can be quite expensive, especially if it has not been well kept. Additionally, insuring an older or historic home can be pricey. Insurance companies understand they are much more likely to incur damage than new builds. However, some state historic preservation offices offer grants or tax programs because of its overall benefit to the community.

3. Get a home inspection. Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you have the home inspected. You don’t want to be caught off guard by unexpected repair or replacement costs, but understand that there is a high likelihood of that happening down the road. Old homes come with old problems. You want to ensure the house meets modern health and safety standards, including testing for asbestos and lead paint.

Historic homes add great value to our community and remind us of the foundations that have brought us to where we are now. Buying a historic home can be costly and require a lot of work and patience, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. You are keeping history alive and ensuring its overall value. If you’d like more advice on steps to consider when looking at purchasing a historic home, please contact an MGR representative.