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Love Historic Homes? What You Need to Know Before Buying a Historic Home

Love Historic Homes? What You Need to Know Before Buying a Historic Home

While all of the new construction homes in the area tend to get the most notice, there are a number of beautiful older homes around the Grand Strand that have history and charm that no new build can beat.  CENTURY 21 Broadhurst recently sold the Caretaker’s home of the old Ocean Forest Hotel.  This beautiful, Myrtle Beach area historic home in Pine Lakes had been on the market for three years.

Here are some important and interesting things you should know before you finalize a sale on a historic home:

The Appeal of Historic Homes

Historic homes often have unique character and charm. Many are very well-constructed and have survived decades and decades (or more) of major hurricanes and storms. To know whether a home is truly historic or simply just old, you can check the National Register of Historic Places or the local historic society for more information. Even if the individual home isn’t listed, if it is included in a designated historic district, then it falls under the category of “historic” in most cases.

Do Your History Homework Before You Buy

Older homes (including historic homes) could have major structural issues or other problems that might not be noticed until later, such as significant termite damage, outdated electrical wiring and cracked or corroded plumbing. Here is a handy checklist to help you prepare for a historic home purchase:

1. Have a full home inspection with a qualified inspector experienced with historic homes. If such an inspector isn’t available, you can check with a structural engineer as well.

2. Make sure the home passes basic safety checks for issues such as asbestos and lead paint. These are expensive issues to remedy so you want to know what you’re dealing with before you finalize a purchase.

3. Make a list of necessary repair work from the inspection report and get estimates from local contractors. You’ll want to check to make sure any contractors you work with understand the restrictions and regulations for repairs in a historic home.

4. You should also carefully review the Standards of Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings. This will help you understand how repairs need to be undertaken to preserve and protect the home’s original construction and architectural details. This will also help you ensure that any restoration or future renovation plans you have for the home are allowed.

5. In most cases, repairs and renovations for historic homes require special permits. Such permits are intended to help ensure any work done in a historic home follows the regulations of preserving and restoring the home to original condition so that unique architectural details are not lost and the home’s original construction is maintained.

6. Historic homes are often less energy-efficient than newly constructed homes, thus are more costly to heat or cool. It’s a good idea to review the last year or two of utility bills (if available) to get a sense of what the utilities cost will likely be.

Owning and restoring a historic home can be a fascinating experience. However, it’s important to check out the issues listed above to ensure the historic home you’re interested in is structurally sound and worth the time and effort.  Your CENTURY 21 Broadhurst agent can help you navigate the buying and selling process.

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