Buying a historic home is the true mark of luxury—they don’t come cheap, but at the end of the day, they are worth the extra time, money and effort required to procure them. If you’re considering going this route, here’s what you should know.
Restrictions on renovations. Because historic homes are situated in historic districts, they’re often subject to their own set of local laws that protect the building from being changed in order to maintain its historic status. You will likely require the go-ahead from the city on any renovation project you plan to undertake. While this might sound frustrating, for the most part, these rules are set to protect the exteriors—so you can likely do all the upgrades you want inside as long as you leave the outside of the home alone.
The time investment required. Because of the renovation restrictions, there is a lot more red tape to get through when it comes to getting your new home into the shape you want it to be in. And because it’s historic by definition, everything about it is likely to be old and in rough shape, needing upgrades and repairs. It will require a lot more time and effort to fix up than building your own home from scratch, but at the end of the day you get to live in a piece of history.
Design clashes. Because it is so old, it has lived through many different design periods and therefore probably has a mishmash of design elements from these various time periods. This can make a home look incohesive and make things harder for your designer and renovation team, but with enough time, patience and effort, it’s not impossible to make it all come together.
Financial benefits. While buying this kind of property is expensive, the resale value on it can’t be denied. Because historic homes are in protected neighbourhoods where the owners have to abide by strict rules, there is little chance of property values ever going down. These homes are all well maintained, and some local governments even offer tax incentives hoping to entice buyers into restoring and maintaining the integrity of these special properties.