3 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Historic Home
While at first glance, there may not seem to be much of a difference between buying an old house and buying historic residential real estate, the contrast between the two is actually a little shocking. First and foremost, a historic house has typically been placed on the National Register of Historic Places, operated by the federal government's National Parks Service. This designation offers a sense of pride for the home's owner, provides a tax break or two, and protects the home for future generations. The honor, however, comes with a few restrictions that potential buyers of historic residential real estate need to be aware of.
While the National Register does not dictate the paint you choose, the local historic society typically oversees exterior paint options for historic houses in their area. The goal is to keep the color palette historically accurate. Craftsman homes, for example, were typically painted in somber, nature-inspired colors, like dark greens and browns. Painted ladies, on the other hand, are Victorian homes that fully embrace three or more vivid colors for their exterior paint. While your neighbors may not love the idea of any old house painted pink, it is not only acceptable but encouraged to paint a Victorian home in multiple shades, each highlighting an architectural feature.
The footprint of a house, or the area of ground that it covers, is also another aspect of your home that may be controlled by a local historical society. Not only do they not want a big, overbearing addition ruining the original lines of your home, but they also do not want you to remove a historically accurate front porch. If you plan to renovate to make the house liveable for your family, you need to discuss your ideas with your real estate agent first. They may be able to shed some light on what you can and cannot do.
Even something as simple as changing the shutters can be vetoed by local officials if they do not match the period or style of the home. Believe it or not, shutters design changes based on the period of your home. The style, color, and application of your shutters should match the period of your historic residential real estate in order to be approved by your local historic residential real estate society.
While earning the designation of a historic home on the National Registry is an honor, potential home buyers need to be aware of the constraints that come along with it. For more information regarding historic residential real estate, contact a real estate company.