Buying a home in a designated historic district in Maryland
So, you would really like to be king or Queen Of Your Own Castle but - let's face it - those are not exactly readily available in Maryland! Buying a home in a historic district may just be the perfect compromise. There is something to be said about the look and feel of a historic home. The charm is one of a kind and the mystery about its past intriguing.
There are several historic areas throughout central Maryland, from the well-known Mainstreet in Ellicott City, downtown Annapolis and Frederick or the several neighborhoods-spanning Historic District of Takoma Park in Montgomery County, MD to the smaller, quaint, tucked-away communities like Lawyer's Hill in Elkridge, Fieldstone in Randallstown or Brookeville, MD.
A historic district is defined as a specific geographic area with sites
and structures therein that have historic or architectural significance and its
preservation is deemed to be of high value to the town/city/county/state
and its inhabitants.
On a local level, historic districts are designated by the County Council.
If you are considering buying a historic home in a designated district in Maryland then there are some special considerations you should pay attention to:
- A special disclosure notice is required when selling a historic home - there should never be a mystery whether or not it is part of it or a "but-I-didn't-know-it-was"-moment after the purchase
- Owners of a historic home are expected to preserve the historic character of the house and the community.
- All exterior improvements or modifications require prior approval by the Landmarks commission and respective community board, except replacement-in-kind
- Interior improvements/modifications do not
- You should hire a home inspector specializing in historic homes
Tax credits are available to home-owners to restore a historic home and/or make energy-efficient improvements, e.g. replacing a roof, renovating a bathroom and even painting. They are available on the State and Federal level. Take note that applications will not be accepted after the fact. They must be received and approved before you start any project in order to be eligible. The Maryland Historical Trust also administers loan programs to assist with your preservation efforts.
What are the advantages of buying a home in a designated historic district in Maryland?
a district can control the appearance of any new
development within the community, it ensures
a uniform character and appeal of the neighborhood
- they contribute to environmental sustainability by reusing and extending the life of existing resources
- they stabilize older communities
- they spark interest in local history
- they foster community feel & pride
- and thus have a positive effect on property values
I invite you to take a trip to the beautiful historic districts throughout Maryland, stroll down Mainstreet - enjoy, admire and get inspired.
If you are thinking about purchasing a home in Montgomery, Anne Arundel or Howard County, Maryland, I would welcome the opportunity to help you find it!