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Choosing a Realtor with a Niche Specialty — Historic Properties

Do you dream of owning a historic home? How about owning an 18th-century farmhouse or an intricately designed Victorian? There's something magical about the unique architecture and style of these homes and it's hard to replicate those details today. Historic houses are not only charming but have so much history attached to them that it's almost impossible to resist the urge to learn more about them. If only walls could talk!

finding a realtor for buying a historic home

If your goal is to locate the perfect historic home to call your own, it's important that you enlist the help of a Real Estate Agent who is familiar with historic properties. There are very specific nuances when it comes to historic homes and not all Agents know how to handle this type of purchase. Look for a Real Estate Agent with the following four traits!

4 Traits to Look For

1. A deep appreciation and interest in historic homes

Does the Agent seem to show a genuine love for older homes? Do they understand historic districts and how they can affect your ability to make renovations or changes to a home? Do they understand any available tax breaks the home may qualify for? They should be able to express both their knowledge of historic homes along with helpful information that they've learned over time in their dealings with historic home purchases and sales.

2. Knowledgeable about the pros and cons of purchasing historic homes

While there are so many fun aspects of making a historic home your forever home, it's important to note that there are risks involved as well. While any home purchase comes with some uncertainties, there are specifics to keep an eye out for when it comes to historic homes.

The presence of lead paint or asbestos in historic homes are very common and must be addressed. In addition, many older homes can also have structural problems that could require hiring a preservationist. Some older homes have knob and tube electrical wiring or older heating systems that are worth being evaluated by a qualified home inspector first.

These issues are just a sampling of the many special considerations to watch out for in historic homes. A great Agent who specializes in historic homes will be able to guide you and provide you with assurance in making the right decisions along the way.

finding a realtor for buying a historic home

3. Relationships with experts in the field

The Agent should have a good relationship with all of the individuals necessary to evaluate and purchase a historic home. These could include preservationists, appraisers, inspectors and loan officers all experienced in historic homes. The Agent's knowledge and relationships (or lack thereof) with experts will give insight into just how experienced they are in historic homes.

4. They know the rules on the block

There are many more rules and restrictions when it comes to what can and cannot be done to historic homes. Each locality will have its own set of rules. Your Agent should be very aware of all legal restrictions in the locality specific to where you are searching.

These restrictions can include anything from what color you repaint the home to whether you're permitted to add an addition to the home. You should heavily rely on the knowledge of your Agent to confirm that any necessary or cosmetic changes that you hope to make will be allowed before making an offer on the home. And it never hurts for you to do your own research and contact your city's offices. Then you can compare notes with your Agent to uncover any unforeseen issues upfront.

Bottom line... it's really important when buying any home to make sure that you have a rock star Agent on your side who will represent your interests. However, it becomes even more important when you're buying a niche home — such as a historic property. By taking the time to fully vet an Agent you will be setting yourself up for success. So here's to new relationships and old homes!

Want more advice about all things home — including homebuying or selling advice? Nestiny is a great place for homebuyer education and to help you gauge how ready you are to buy a home. Journey Homeward allows you to enter all your wants and needs while the True Affordability Tool will break down your budget, showing what you can comfortably afford. You will also receive a Ready Report that will give you a vital head start in the home buying journey, saving you valuable time and money.

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