Long Beach has some of the most historical districts in any Southern Californian city. Homes in these districts are easy to fall in love with because of their unique charm and fascinating history. Before anyone does buy a historical home, there are a few restrictions and expenses they should know. There may be a few unexpected complications while being a proud owner of a, literally, one of a kind home. For example, there may be problems lying behind the surface and in some areas, owners must follow strict rehabilitation guidelines. In order to help you protect your future investment, here is some vital information about buying a historical home.
So what actually constitutes a historical home? A historical home is one that is deemed so by being “architecturally significant” by the National Register of Historical Places or a local historical board such as the Historical Society of Long Beach. Homes that capture the essence of a given time period, associated with famous people of the past, or is located in a historic district are also considered historical homes.
Now there are many benefits to buying a historical home, one being that they are aesthetically appealing and have shown to stand the test of time. Besides being aesthetically pleasing, historical homes provide additional benefits. Many state and local governments actually offer tax incentives in the form of tax credits or lower interest rates. While they tax benefits won’t make you rich, they are benefits you might otherwise not receive.
Now that you have found your vintage home, there a few things you should do before you sign on the dotted line. You should have a formal home inspection done by a professional inspector who specializes in older homes or a structural engineer. Also, look into getting estimates for necessary repairs. Make sure the home meets all the safety and health standards, including paint with lead. If the home turns out to have too many structural problems, walk away, the emotional attachment is not worth the headache and money. Make sure you carefully study the standards for rehabilitation of historic buildings before you begin planning too many renovations.
In order to protect the true nature of the home, certain restrictions have been placed on renovations and owners must obtain special permits if they wish to renovate. Here are a few of the typical restrictions on historic homes:
- Additions – It is very rare that owners are allowed to add square footage to the home.
- Windows, shutters, and roofs – Since these features embody the original architecture, they typically are preserved or can only be replaced with similar designs.
- Utility bill – Before you seal the deal, check out the home’s energy usage. It may cost more to heat and cool a vintage home than a traditional one.
Owning a historical home is a unique and fun experience. If you do your research and weigh the pros and cons, you should be able to know if buying a historical home is right for you.