I love driving through historic neighborhoods! Grand old homes with detailed architecture, beautiful peaks, and peaceful porches are breathtaking. Beauty also comes with additional financial benefits. Because historical houses are typically in an established neighborhood or district, projected prices of the homes appreciate quicker than in other areas. In addition, when a house is classified as a historic home and not merely an old house, owners may be able to take advantage of tax breaks that newer homes might not qualify for.
Stunning historic homes fill numerous Prescott neighborhoods. Did you know that the oldest house in Prescott dates to 1864? It is the Fort Misery log cabin at Sharlot Hall Museum. The Fort Misery log cabin was built in 1864 and later moved to the property of the Sharlot Hall Museum in 1943.
But, as we have seen on popular HGTV shows, historic homes can come with problems. That doesn’t mean you must turn your back on antique hardwood floors or old stained-glass windows. Still, it is wise to pause and consider the pros and cons of owning, maintaining, or renovating a historic home.
Things to consider before buying a historic home
Be aware of lead, asbestos, and other things hiding behind the walls. Pipes and paint can be lead culprits, while asbestos in basements, attics, and walls may lurk. Also, it’s not uncommon for abandoned septic tanks, cesspools, wells, or even heating oil reservoirs to be buried somewhere on the property.
Depending on preservation guidelines, a truly historic home may be ineligible for particular renovations. Check out the preservation guidelines beforehand if you have plans for improvements.
Wiring and plumbing.
If the electrical system in the house is original, you might face problems. Adding appliances or other significant power loads to the system can cause issues. Older plumbing found in historic homes can also change simple plumbing repairs into complicated projects.
Authenticity is expensive.
The materials you’ll need to repair or restore the house’s original fixtures, windows, or other aesthetic components can add up quickly.
Now I realize that the list above makes me sound like a “Debbie Downer,” but I promise I love Historical Homes. I aim to prepare you for the challenges of purchasing a historic home. Click here for 10 tips for “Inspecting Historic Houses Before You Buy”, from the National Trust for Historic Preservation. If you’re exploring historic homes, ask the current owners about these issues to see if they’ve dealt with them.