4 Tips For Buying A Historic Home

Historic homes and historic districts have long been popular with buyers who love the charm and unique architectural details present in historic houses that are hard to find in newer homes. Buying a historic house can be a great investment if you can find the perfect home for sale, but it is important to be diligent before making a purchase. If you plan to focus your home search on historic homes for sale, use the following tips to help ensure that you choose the right house:

Get a Comprehensive Inspection

Due to their age, historic homes can have more problems than newer homes if they were not meticulously maintained over the years. If you fall in love with a historic home, make sure to order a comprehensive home inspection, Ideally, you should have the home inspection done by a home inspector who specializes in inspecting historic homes. Depending on the what kind of shape the home is in, you may also want to hire a structural engineer to do an inspection to determine if the home is completely stable.

Order Tests to Ensure that the Home Meets Safety Standards

Since historic homes were built during a time before more recent building regulations were put in place, you will need to order several tests to determine if the historic home you want to buy is safe to occupy. The most common tests done on historic homes are lead paint and asbestos testing. You will also want to have the pipes in the home checked-- some historic homes may have original lead pipes which can be dangerous and cause health problems for you and your family.

Get Quotes from a Contractor

If you find a historic home for sale that has not been recently updated at all and needs a lot of work, contact a contractor for a price quote on how much your remodeling projects will cost. It is in your best interest to contact a contractor who is experienced in working on historic homes and knows how to remodel without disturbing any of the beautiful historic details of the house. Knowing how much it will cost to remodel a historic home can help you determine if it is still in your budget.

Know When to Walk Away

No matter how much you love a particular historic home, you need to know when to walk away. Major structural problems are a big red flag-- a historic home with structural problems can quickly become a money pit and cause a lot of headaches. Likewise, if the cost to remodel greatly exceeds your budget, you are probably better off looking for a different historic home that does not need as much work.