Purchasing a Historical Home?

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mikeestates
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Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby mikeestates » Sun Jun 18, 2017 11:16 am

Hello,

I’m looking into purchasing a historic home that is advertised as needing “serious work”. What agency or department in my city do I go to in order to understand the rules, requirements and restrictions to maintaining and renovating a “historical” home?



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Mick_VT
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Re: Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby Mick_VT » Sun Jun 18, 2017 1:25 pm

Hi Mike, and welcome... I cannot answer your question but I moved the topic to the District Common, I think it fits a little better there and will likely get more attention
Mick...

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mjt
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Re: Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby mjt » Sun Jun 18, 2017 3:05 pm

I suppose you could start with the building inspection department and they might be able to point you in the right direction, though the the historic preservation commission can typically override building codes...

Just because a home for sale is advertised as "historic" doesn't mean it is. Nor does that mean that there are any restrictions on what you can do with/to it.

Our house is on the national register, but that doesn't come with any rules, requirements, or restrictions.

We are also in a "Historic Preservation District" and there are rules, requirements, and restrictions on all homes within the district's boundaries. What that means is that any exterior work, alterations, or hardscape must be submitted to the Heritage Preservation Commission for prior approval. You're free to do whatever you want with the interior. Here's the website for my city's HPC design review process for reference. Look for the "Hill Historic District" for guidelines for my neighborhood - the lower right sketch on page 14 is my house...

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Corsetière
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Re: Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby Corsetière » Sun Jun 18, 2017 7:08 pm

As Mjt says, often there are no restrictions. In Columbus, Ohio, you have to be in a designated "Historic District" for any restrictions to apply and even then (at least in my area), that only applies to the exterior of homes.

I'd start with getting in touch with your local preservation or historical society. City Code Enforcement might be a good resource to check with too.

1918ColonialRevival
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Re: Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby 1918ColonialRevival » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:31 pm

As others have said, if the house is in a designated historic district or if it's individually recognized as an historic landmark, it may be subject to certain restrictions on what can and cannot be done to it. However, even if it's not in such a district, the owner of such a house should still be a good steward of it and not make any modifications that are not period-appropriate or that cannot easily be undone if the next custodian so chooses.

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JacquieJet
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Re: Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby JacquieJet » Sun Jun 18, 2017 8:41 pm

Are you sure it's a historically designated home? They usually have plaques, and if you contact your city's municipal headquarters they should be able to confirm it. If it's not officially designated, then there are no restrictions (no more so than any other home).
Around here (Ontario, Canada), if a home is historically designated it means that you must seek approval from the town/city prior to making changes to the exterior of the home. You are free to do whatever you like to the interior.
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Re: Purchasing a Historical Home?

Postby Olson185 » Sun Jun 18, 2017 9:32 pm

mikeestates wrote:Hello,

I’m looking into purchasing a historic home that is advertised as needing “serious work”. What agency or department in my city do I go to in order to understand the rules, requirements and restrictions to maintaining and renovating a “historical” home?


Welcome. Do you mean to say "old home" or does the home have restrictive covenants in its deed due to some previous owner's efforts to preserve the structure on some historical basis? The *only* thing that matters are restrictive covenants in the deed. If there are no restrictive covenants, the owner may do as they please (in nearly all cases).

Many people mistakenly believe having their home listed, on some local, county, state, or Federal register, as an historic property does something to protect it. It doesn't. One must establish restrictive covenants in the deed.


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