We all want to own a slice of history and the easiest way to do that is to buy a historic house. There’s plenty of such homes in Las Vegas and if you’re interested, consider the pros and cons of buying a historic home first before signing on the dotted line.
What’s a Historic Home?
Generally, a property has to be over 50 years old and satisfy one of these four criteria to be considered historic.
- Significant to a historical event
- Connected to the life of a historical figure
- Distinctive construction
- Provides insights to the period it was built
Pros and Cons of Buying a Historic Home: PROS
Prestigious, beautiful home
Historic homes boast gorgeous, intricate woodwork that is sure to turn heads. Slate roof, stained glass, wooden floors—they hold a timeless charm you wouldn’t find in modern housing. Plus, everyone knows that owning a historic home is not cheap; you’ve got to have real money to buy and keep one.
Renovating a historic property can be quite expensive, but once it has been certified to meet the Secretary’s Standards for Rehabilitation, you receive a 20% tax credit on all your restoration efforts.
Most historic homes are located in an established neighborhood, so if you live in one, chances are you’ll get to enjoy reduced noise, less traffic, and mature landscaping everywhere you look.
Potential return on investment
If your historic home is in an area that has also been declared historic, you can potentially get a significant investment return should you sell it in the future. Housing in historic districts generally has increased property value than other real estates.
Pros and Cons of Buying a Historic Home: CONS
Restrictions on renovations
The goal of selling historic properties is rehabilitation and preservation, which means there are strict rules on what you can and cannot do. For example, stripping the wooden decorations or adding a modern deck to a lovely Victorian mansion won’t be allowed as both drastically change the house’s exterior.
Some dangerous materials weren’t considered dangerous back then, so they were used in a variety of applications, including construction. Ask your broker about asbestos in the basement walls or lead in the plumbing pipes. These unsafe materials can be replaced but it’s best to know about them right from the start.
Outdated or absent electrical and plumbing systems
Most old homes weren’t equipped to handle the increased wattage that comes with modern appliances and a lot of them didn’t have good plumbing. If you can install these systems without removing the old ones or simply repair what the previous owner had, then good for you. However, if a major overhaul is needed, better set aside some funds since such overhauls can be costly.
Expensive renovation costs
Old homes often come as fixer-upper homes, so refurbishing one is an expensive project. The materials you’ll need often cost more and hiring a professional to help you bring back the property to its former glory might become necessary at some point.
There’s a lot to consider when you’re looking to purchase a historic home, so you might want to get an expert broker to assist you. Feel free to call or visit us here at LVRE if you need help in buying your next home or if you have questions on any real estate matter in Las Vegas.