Is Buying a Historic Home Charming or a Headache?

You may have instantly fallen in love with a historic home. These homes are either listed on the National Register of Historic Places, or they are recognized by a local historical commission as being significant for some reason. You may even qualify for tax abatements when you buy some of these homes, depending on their location. While many of these homes are incredibly charming and there is something instantly alluring about owning a one-of-a-kind home, there are some things you need to think through before putting your money on the line. 


Some historical homes may contain asbestos. You will have to pay to have it removed professionally. It may be tucked inside walls where it was used as insulation, around pipes, or under flooring. While a home inspector can suggest what he or she thinks may be asbestos, you will need to have it tested to make sure. 

Lead Paint

There are many reasons that you do not want to live in a home with lead paint, especially if you have young children. Depending on local laws, you may have to pay a lead abatement contractor to remove the paint. In any case, you must follow specific requirements to remove it and contain the paint fragments and any dust. 

Foundation Issues

You need to have a home inspection before buying a historical home because there may be foundation issues. Some minor problems are easily corrected, so you may not need to give up your dream of buying your charming historical home. Others may be unfixable or require lots of time and money to get them repaired. Keep in mind that you will need to follow laws in how the foundation is restored, so some alternatives that are available for other homes may not be available to you. 


Many historic homes were built with knob and tube wiring, and it is against the law now to use this wiring as it is a fire hazard. If the electricity in the home has not been upgraded to current codes, you can expect to have to pay technicians to do the work. Those technicians need to be an expert in historic preservation, so they understand what is possible. You may also struggle with not having enough outlets. 


You need to inspect the roof carefully before you buy a historic property. You may discover that there is damage to the roofing rafters that require the whole roof to be torn off and a new one installed. In most cases, you will be restricted in the types of roofing that you can use to preserve the historical accuracy of the home. You may also discover that water coming in through a damaged roof has gotten inside the walls and done even more damage. 

The decision to buy a historical home can be charming or a headache. Do your homework before starting so that you know what repair work needs to be done and you understand the laws in your area.


Posted by Website Programmer on
Email Send a link to post via Email

Leave A Comment

Please note that your email address is kept private upon posting.