What to Know Before Buying a Historic Property

What to Know Before Buying a Historic Property

Historic properties are everywhere across the United States, leaving a permanent mark on society. Considering how old America is as a whole, it’s no wonder that a large part of the northeastern section is almost completely historical.

For example, one in five properties in Washington D.C. is actually protected by historical designation laws; this is probably one of the largest areas of historical properties to exist in the nation. When purchasing historic properties to renovate and utilize, there’s a multitude of factors to consider, such as historic designation and insurance.

It’s not just about fixing up any basic place; it’s important to think about the materials you’re going to need. Historic properties simply require more care than a regular commercial building. Once you’re in charge of a historic property, there’s really no turning back. This is what buyers should be aware of before purchasing a historic property.

Pros of Purchasing a Historic Property

Historic properties are definitely in their own category. They have their own sense of charm and character. Fixing up a historic property can be like taking a step back in time. The details that go into a historic property are filled with bouts of history that are simply irreplaceable, like the architecture and the many stories behind every wall.

By holding onto a piece of history for future generations, a historic property owner can also get some tax incentives.

However, while having a historic property can be very exciting, it’s also a lot of work. There are many things that a potential buyer should know before they commit to owning a historic building.

Cons of Purchasing a Historic Property

With pros, come cons. And historic properties do have some cons; with one of the biggest being that since it’s old, you’re going to have problems finding materials needed for rebuilding or renovation purposes. In all honesty, having to replace something is going to be commonplace. Old homes equal old problems, and the longer a building has been standing, the more likely it is to have weathered some serious wear and tear.

To top it off, the old material your commercial building is composed of could also be potentially hazardous to human health (for example, asbestos is toxic, but a common building material in old properties, along with lead paint). If your building is in a designated historic district, it might be restricted to certain exterior colors and outer décor which could limit your options for renovating.

You’re also going to deal with historic preservation easements which can be used later as a federal tax deduction, but again limit your options for renovation initially. This is just the beginning of dealing with monetary values. Owning a commercial property can be expensive. Maintaining your building is definitely going to cost money for the long-term.

If you’re in the process of purchasing a property, you might have noticed that getting financial assistance and historic insurance might be a tad more difficult than the norm. That’s why going to a historic insurance specialist is key.