Thoughts on purchasing a Historical Home???

3 Replies

Hi guys, I've found a property that is intriguing to me, but it's listed as a Historical Home.  For those of you that own, have bought, or dealt with a historical home, do you have any advice?  It looks like it's been broken up into 4 units, two of them are finished, 2 of them are unfinished (still waiting to find out why).  I've heard that that there can be a lot of headaches dealing with the appropriate agencies who control what can and can not be done on historical buildings, but from those of you with first hand knowledge, how bad is it? 

Thanks for the time!

@Brandon Cline Can you define "historic"...is it registered? I have serious doubts if its been converted into a multifamily...I recently saw 150-yr. old tavern that was attached to the largest grist mill in the country get denied registration...

Anyway, location is key...if you are in city limits, or have neighborhood (or deed) restrictions you may be facing a challenge...I know a guy that renovated 20-properties and discovered that the siding had to be replicated to the original...he had to pay a machine shop to create a cutter head so he could mill the siding to the original spec for any repairs. My partner and I own a 160-yr old hotel and we're outside zoning...its easy to do whatever is needed without oversight.

if you are in an unincorporated area or township or outside of zoning laws you may be fine.

@Brandon Sturgill Thanks for the response.  Yeah, I'm not sure if it's registered or the listing agent is just really nostalgic about the building in her small town.  I've heard horror stories about historical buildings when trying to make changes..like you can only replace the glass and not the entire window itself if there's an issue.  I'll look into it more, but again, thanks for the response.

Ah, Historic can be just an adjective used to sell the property then. It’s then really just an old house - likely with issues that come with it, but all likely manageable.

If it’s actually on a historic register requiring approvals from anyone... I would most likely not want to invest in it. Way too many horror stories and issues with getting approval for each thing - usually from people with much less oversight than the building/permitting departments.