Thursday, August 21, 2014

Buying a Historic Home: What You Must Know First

Buying a Historic Home: What You Must Know First

If you’re a home buyer, you may have fallen in love with a historic home or with a home in a historic district.
Although a historic home has an appeal and charm for many buyers, there are certain restrictions and expenses you must know before sealing the deal.
While being the proud owner of a literally one-of-a-kind home is alluring, you may run into unexpected complications when purchasing vintage houses.
Buying a Historic Home: What You Must Know First photoFor example, older properties may have serious structural problems you wouldn’t encounter in a new house, as well as hidden problems which will only surface later.
Owners of historic homes are also required to follow strict home rehabilitation guidelines—many of which allow you to repair, but not to rebuild or to replace.
To help protect your future home investment, here is some vital information and expert advice about buying a historic home.

What constitutes a historic home?

A home is deemed historic or “architecturally significant” by the National Register of Historic Places—or by the local historic board—if it exemplifies a signature architectural style, captures the essence of a given time period, or is associated with famous people from the past.
Also included in this category are homes located in neighborhoods designated as historic districts.

Benefits of buying a historic home

The aesthetic beauty of historic homes is a magnet for many home buyers, as is the often unmatched architecture that has withstood the test of time.
If you’re thinking about buying a historic home, you’ll be happy to learn additional benefits may come with the purchase of a historic property.
Many states and local governments offer tax incentives in the form of tax credits or lower interest loans for preserving and restoring historic structures. You have to qualify for these tax abatements, and while the amounts won’t make you rich, they’re still benefits you wouldn’t otherwise receive when buying a new house.

Advice for buying a historic home

Now that you have set your sights on a vintage home, it’s time to get down to the nuts and bolts of purchasing your coveted property.
Before you sign on the dotted line, here are some tips on buying an older house:
  • Have a formal home inspection conducted by a qualified home inspector who specializes in older homes and/or by a structural engineer.
  • Get price estimates from contractors regarding all necessary repair work.
  • Make sure the house meets safety and health standards, including passing asbestos and lead paint tests.
  • If your dream house suffers from major structural problems, walk away. The long-term headaches will far outweigh your emotional attachment.
  • Carefully study the Standards for Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings imposed by local/state laws on owners of historic structures. You may have remodeling/expansion plans that you will not be able to fulfill.

Historic home restrictions

Since the goal of historic home renovation is to preserve a home’s true nature and original construction, a home buyer wishing to renovate must obtain special permits and therefore is subject to restrictions aimed at protecting the character of the property or neighborhood.
Here are some of the typical restrictions and extra costs you need to know about before buying an historic home:
  • Additions: Rarely are homeowners permitted to add footage to historic homes, including extra stories.
  • Windows, shutters and roofs: Since house exteriors such as windows, shutters and roofs embody the original architecture or design style, they are to be preserved and can only be replaced in kind. If costly construction materials are involved, this may be an added expense you didn’t anticipate.
  • Taxes: Although you may qualify for tax benefits for investing in a home or in a district where preservation and restoration are priorities, tax levies for merely living in a historic neighborhood may be higher than other neighborhoods.
  • Utility bills: Before you seal the deal, study the previous year’s energy bills. It may cost you significantly more to heat and cool an older home than a new one.
If you’ve done your homework and the pros outweigh the cons for you, enjoy becoming the proud owner of a historic home.
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RE/MAX REALTY CENTER, Real Estate in Wisconsin

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Please feel free to contact us for any of your residential or commerical real estate needs including an online market if you are a seller, or finding a home if you are a buyer.

Our real estate focus in the  Waukesha County, Milwaukee County, Lake Country, Jefferson County, Dane County, Dodge County and Washington County areas. Several agents in the office also their IRES designation (International Real Estate Specialist) so they can assist you with all your real estate needs in Wisconsin, the USA or anywhere in the WORLD!

When you are seriously looking or just browsing at real estate in Wisconsin, RE/MAX REALTY CENTER, Real Estate in Wisconsin, is the BEST resource to help you with all your needs and questions, whether a first time home buyer, relocating to or from the beautiful LAKE COUNTRY area, looking to invest or explore foreclosure opportunities or just thinking ahead to the future. 

The agents at RE/MAX Realty Center, Real Estate in Wisconsin (262-567-2455) are experienced agents with many years of real estate under their belts.  If you are looking for top notch real estate agents in Waukesha County and the entire Milwaukee Metro area look no further! The agents in our office think "outside of the BOX", focus on you and YOUR needs. We offer what most of the other agencies in the area cannot. Creativity, Listing  Package Options and unsurpassed marketing exposure locally, throughout the entire United States and Internationally!  If you want creative options and exceptional marketing and service -- we are the answer.

The RE/MAX Realty Center Office, has experienced agents with expertise in luxury home marketing, lake property experts, foreclosure and short sale specialists, investment and property management brokers and commercial brokers. 

Our agents areas of service include, but are not limited to:
The prospering communities of Waukesha County including Delafield, Waukesha, Oconomowoc, Pewaukee, Waukesha, Sussex, Wales, New Berlin, Dousman, North Prairie, Mukwonago, Chenequa, Menomonee Falls, Brookfield, Elm Grove, Okauchee, Eagle, Muskego and Merton

Great municipalities in Milwaukee County including Milwaukee, South Milwaukee, Wauwatosa, Hales Corners, Greenfield, Glendale, Franklin, Bayside, Brown Deer, Cudahy, Fox Point, Greendale, Shorewood, Oak Creek, St. Francis, West Allis and Whitefish Bay. 

The hometown favorites of Washington County, Jefferson County and Dodge County including Watertown, Hartford, West Bend, Germantown, Jackson, Richfield, Ashippun, Lake Mills, Jefferson, Johnson Creek, Slinger and Erin.

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If lake living is what you desire then Lake Country is the place to be! If you are thinking about buying waterfront property in Wisconsin, a little time invested in learning about waterfront living will pay back sizeable dividends in matching your expectations to realities. 

 Lake Country Living on one of Waukesha Countys great lakes as a full timer or vacationer is a must and there are some great lakes to choose.  Nagawicka Lake, Pine Lake, Oconomowoc Lake, Beaver Lake, Okauchee Lake, Pewaukee Lake, Moose Lake, North Lake, Lake Keesus, Lac La Belle, Upper Nashotah, Lower Nashotah, Upper Genesee, Lowe Genesee, Middle Genesee, Upper Nemahbin, Lower Nemahbin, Fowler Lake, Golden Lake, Pretty Lake, Silver Lake, Waterville Lake, and Crooked Lake. Great lakes of the surrounding area also include Lake Michigan, Rock Lake, Big Cedar Lake, Little Cedar Lake, Pike Lake and Lake Ripley.

RE/MAX REALTY CENTER, Real Estate in Wisconsin, 262-567-2455 or 262-893-5555,  offer online markets, listing package and FOR SALE BY OWNER (FSBO) options, MLS search access, buyer agency and marketing that will exceed your expectations, all with outstanding service!  

Your home purchase or sale is likely your largest investment, be sure you have an good agent you can trust! Real Estate in Wisconsin is an excellent investment, prices are superb, selection is great and rates are outstanding!!!

Ask us about our preferred vendors -- from lenders to help you finance your new purchase to contractors to help maintain!

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