Purchasing a historic home is an exciting opportunity to preserve history, restore charm and character to an older home, extend a legacy and experience history all in one. If you are anything like me you have a deep-rooted love for historic homes. I am in awe of the artchitecture and the craftsmanship of these romantic, antiquated homes and the vibes that run through the veins of the homes when I place my hand on a railing or bannister are overwhelming. For me, it is an experience that I seek out as often as possible.
While the dreamy visions of restoring an old treasure may intrigue you - you must first evaluate the consequences (and the benefits) of underatking such a, at times, Herculean effort.
First and foremost we must define what a historic home is. A historic property by North Carolina definition is:
The quality of significance in American history, architecture, archaeology, and culture is present in districts, sites, buildings, structures, and objects that possess integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association, and:
A. that are associated with events that have made significant contribution to the broad patterns of our history; or
B. that are associated with the lives of persons significant in our past; or
C. that embody the distinctive characteristics of a type, period, or method of construction, or that represent the work of a master, or that possess high artistic values, or that represent a significant and distinguishable entity whose components may lack individual distinction; or
D. that have yielded, or may be likely to yield, information important in prehistory or history.
** It is important to note that there are federal, state and local agencies that all have subtle differences. It is important to check in your local area for specifics.
Now that we know how a home qualifies - where are they?
There are many places to search for historic homes. I would be remiss at this point if I did not mention the best way to seek out these homes are to enlist the help of a Realtor® that is well-versed if the niche of historic properties. An educated Realtor® will be able to assist you in your search, your homework and the paperwork involved. A few places that you can surf on your own while contemplating the big leap are:
While each of the sites mentioned have a broad variety of historic homes for sale they do not represent a complete list of what is possibly available in your area.
Once you have found your potential gem in the rough it is very important to sit down prior to a signed contract and assess your financials. You must take into account all of the work (and money) that will be required to bring the home "up to code". It is highly advisable to have a home inspection done PRIOR to making an offer so that you will have clear vision of the work that lay ahead.
There are many financial assistant programs available to individuals involved in restoration projects......
I do hope that you join me for Part II in a few day - I will highlight some of the grant programs available to the purchaser of a historic home.