What to Look for When Buying a Historic Home

What to Look for When Buying a Historic Home


Are you considering buying a historic home? Owning a piece of history can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it also comes with its own set of challenges. Before you make your purchase, it’s important to know what to look for when buying a historic home. In this blog post, we’ll discuss some key points to consider to ensure you make a well-informed decision.

Things to Consider

1. Historical Significance

One of the first things to look for when buying a historic home is its historical significance. Research the property’s history to understand its role in the community or any notable events that took place there. You may want to consult local historians or visit the local historical society for additional information. A well-documented history adds to the value and charm of a historic home.

2. Structural Integrity

Structural integrity is crucial when buying a historic home. Inspect the foundation, walls, and roof for any signs of damage or decay. Pay close attention to the electrical and plumbing systems, which may be outdated and need to be updated to meet modern standards. Investing in a thorough home inspection is essential to identify potential issues and estimate repair costs.

3. Preservation Guidelines

Due to their historical significance, many historic homes are subject to preservation guidelines and restrictions. Check with the local preservation board or zoning department to determine what restrictions may apply to the property you’re considering. These regulations dictate what modifications can be made to the home and may have an impact on your renovation plans.

4. Maintenance and Upkeep

Historic homes often require specialized maintenance and ongoing upkeep. Traditional building materials and unique architectural features may need extra care and attention. Consider the cost and availability of materials for repairs or replacements, as well as the availability of skilled craftsmen who specialize in historic restoration.

5. Energy Efficiency

Historic homes are notorious for their lack of energy efficiency. Consider the potential costs of updating insulation, windows, and HVAC systems to improve the home’s efficiency. While these upgrades may come with a price tag, they can greatly contribute to the comfort and sustainability of the property.


Q: Are historic homes more expensive than modern homes?

Yes, historic homes often come with a higher price tag due to their unique charm, historical significance, and potential for restoration. However, the actual cost depends on various factors, including the location, condition, and desirability of the property.

Q: Are there any financial incentives for buying a historic home?

Yes, some state and local governments offer tax incentives and grants to encourage the preservation and restoration of historic homes. It’s worth exploring these incentives as they can offset some of the costs associated with buying and maintaining a historic property.

Q: Can I make modifications to a historic home?

While modifications can usually be made to a historic home, they often need to comply with preservation guidelines and restrictions. Consult with the local preservation board or zoning department to understand what modifications are allowed and if there are any specific requirements you need to meet.


Buying a historic home can be a unique and fulfilling experience, but it’s important to approach it with caution and knowledge. By considering the historical significance, structural integrity, preservation guidelines, maintenance needs, and energy efficiency of the property, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision. Remember, thorough research, inspections, and consultations with experts can help ensure that your historic home purchase is one that you’ll cherish for years to come.

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