Heritage properties are unique, they have a lot of charm and character. This is especially true for Victorian homes that can easily be modernized to fit the 21st century and still emphasize their vintage characteristics.
However, as charming as they might be, heritage homes can come with some common issues. This is why it’s important to understand what it means to own a heritage property and what you should be paying attention to when buying one.
Here are five tips that will help you during the buying process.
Work with a Realtor
When buying a heritage property, a great idea would be to work with a realtor to help you find the perfect heritage home. Make sure you find a realtor that is experienced in selling heritage properties. The ideal realtor should have adequate knowledge and be able to offer you guidance during the process.
The realtor should also be able to answer any questions you might have about heritage homes. For example, you should ask about restrictions with renovations, costs of owning a heritage property, etc.
Inspect the Property
You need to be aware that heritage properties are old houses. This means that the wiring, plumbing or HVAC systems may need an upgrade.
So, before you decide on a certain heritage property you should, first, inspect it. The inspection will allow you to see if the home is in good condition.
Of course, you will need to hire a professional building inspector but when shopping around, you can do the basic inspection yourself to narrow down your choice.
Keep in mind that to make any renovations on a heritage property you might first need to get approval by a local heritage committee. The inspector you hire should know more about the restrictions for specific properties.
Know the Difference Between Listed and Designated Properties
Some people mistakenly think of listed and designated heritage as two different terms for the same type of property. In reality, there is a certain difference between the two. When looking for heritage homes, it’s important to know what kind of property you’re actually buying.
Properties that are designated as heritage have a legal status. This means that the City Council has legal authority to deny drastic renovation of the property.
On the other hand, properties that are listed as heritage don’t have the same legal status. However, the City Council can still decide to protect the property from demolition or drastic changes of its appearance, if it deems necessary.
Be Aware of All the Costs
Naturally, the first cost you will need to know is the price of the property itself. You can check property prices on websites with property listings to get an idea of what you can expect. Well-maintained heritage properties can be harder to find and for this reason, they might sell well over the listed prices.
Apart from the price of the property, there are other costs you will need to be aware of before buying a heritage home.
As mentioned before, heritage homes are old properties and some of them might need substantial renovation. You also might need to invest more in maintenance of your new home. The cost of insurance might also be a lot higher than for a regular house.
It’s important to know all of these costs upfront so you cut budget accordingly.
Think of the Resale Value
If you intend on selling your heritage home later on, you will need to think of its resale value. Houses that are well-maintained and keep their charm have a potential to grow in value. Also, the surrounding areas of these kind of properties are often protected and that can also add to the resale value.
When buying a heritage property there are certain things you should be aware of. Most importantly, you should thoroughly inspect the property and learn about the costs of potential renovation. During your search for the perfect heritage property, the above five tips will help you find your new home.
About the author:
Sienna Walker is an avid finance and career blogger, interested in helping people make smart financial decisions and multiplying their wealth. She is also a part of the team behind Brighter Finance, experts in the field of money management. Feel free to visit Sienna on @SiennaWalkerS.