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Are you dreaming of owning a historic home? Whether you’re looking for a rustic antique with plenty of character or a grand old mansion, there are certain things to keep in mind when purchasing a home before committing to the purchase. From checking permits and surveying the property to understanding your local market, this article’s essential checklist will help you make the right decision when it comes to buying a unique piece of history.


When buying a historic home, there are a few extra things you need to take into account. Here is your essential checklist for making the right choice:

  1. Do your research. This is especially important if you’re not familiar with the area’s history. Talk to a local historian or visit the local historical society to learn more about the area and the home you’re interested in.
  2. Get a professional home inspection in Orlando, FL. An inspector will be able to tell you if the home is in good condition and identify any potential problems. There are things not included in a general home inspection that you should be aware of.
  3. Get an estimate of repairs. Once you know what needs to be fixed, get estimates from contractors so you can budget for the repairs.
  4. Consider the costs of upkeep. Historic homes often require more maintenance than newer homes, so be sure to factor that into your budget.
  5. Know your financing options. You may need to get a special loan to finance a historic home purchase, so it’s important to talk to your lender about your options ahead of time.

What to Look For When Buying a Historic Home

When buying a historic home, there are a few key things to look for:

The condition of the property: Make sure to inspect the property thoroughly and get a professional opinion on any necessary repairs or renovations that may need to be made.

The location of the property: Is the home in a desirable location? Is it situated in a good neighborhood?

The price of the property: Historic homes can be pricier than non-historic homes, so make sure you are comfortable with the price tag before making an offer.

The zoning of the property: Check to see if the property is zoned for commercial or residential use. If you are planning on using the home for business purposes, you will need to make sure it is zoned appropriately.

The history of the property: When buying a historic home, you are also buying a piece of history. Do some research on the home and find out as much as you can about its past.

Understanding Historical Preservation Requirements

Historic preservation is the act of protecting and maintaining a property’s historic character. This can be done through various means, including but not limited to the following:

  • Restricting or prohibiting certain types of development or land use around the property
  • Implementing design guidelines that must be followed when altering the property
  • Creating easements or covenants that restrict how the property can be used or altered in the future
  • Providing financial incentives for owners who maintain the historic character of their property

If you’re considering purchasing a historic home, it’s important to understand the requirements that come with owning a piece of history. These requirements vary from state to state and even from county to county, so it’s important to do your research before making any final decisions.

Assessing the Necessary Repairs and Maintenance

If you’re considering purchasing a historic home, it’s important to be aware of the potential repairs and maintenance that may need to be carried out. Here is a checklist a home inspector in Orlando, Florida looks for when assessing the necessary repairs and maintenance:

  • Check for any obvious signs of damage or wear and tear, both inside and outside the property.
  • Make sure that all electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems are in good working order.
  • Inquire about the condition of the roof and foundation.
  • Look for any evidence of termites or other pests.
  • Have a professional assess the overall condition of the property and provide an estimate of necessary repairs and maintenance.

Structural Considerations, Roofs, and Foundation Issues

When it comes to historic homes, there are a few key structural considerations that you need to keep in mind. First and foremost, you need to ensure that the roof is in good condition. Historic homes often have roofs made of materials that are no longer used in modern construction, so it is important to have a professional inspect the roof and make sure that it is in good repair.

Another important consideration is the foundation. Many historic homes have foundations made of stone or brick, which can be susceptible to damage from weather and other elements over time. It is important to have a professional assess the condition of the foundation and make sure that it is structurally sound.

Finally, you need to be aware of any potential issues with the electrical and plumbing systems in a historic home. These systems may not meet modern codes and standards, so it is important to have them inspected by a professional before making an offer on a home.

Exterior and Interior Considerations

When buying a historic home, there are many things to consider, both on the exterior and interior of the property. It is important to research and have a clear understanding of what you are getting into before making any decisions.

On the exterior of the home, it is important to inspect the condition of the siding, windows, roof, and foundation. You will also want to make sure that there are no serious problems with the property that would need to be immediately addressed. It is also important to take into account any landscaping or other features that may need to be maintained.

The interior of the home should also be inspected thoroughly. Pay close attention to the condition of the floors, walls, ceilings, and any other features that could potentially need repair or replacement. If there are any major issues with the interior of the home, it is important to factor this into your decision-making process.

Heating and Cooling Systems

When you’re considering purchasing a historic home, it’s important to keep in mind that the HVAC system may be outdated and in need of replacement or repair. Here are some things to note when assessing the heating and cooling system of a historic home:

  1. Check the condition of the furnace and air conditioner. If they’re old, they may not be energy-efficient and could end up costing you a lot in utility bills.
  2. Ask about the last time the furnace and air conditioner were serviced. If it’s been a while, you may want to budget for a professional inspection and possible repairs.
  3. Find out what type of fuel is used for heating. Some historic homes use coal or oil-fired furnaces, which can be expensive to operate.
  4. Determine whether there is insulation in the walls and attic. If not, you’ll need to factor the cost of installing insulation into your budget.
  5. Ask about the age of the windows. Older windows may not be as energy-efficient as newer ones, so you’ll want to factor replacement costs into your budget if necessary.

Costs and Benefits of Owning a Historic Home

Historic homes are often more expensive to purchase and maintain than newer homes, but they also offer many unique benefits. For example, historic homes are usually located in desirable neighborhoods with higher property values. They also tend to have more character and charm than newer homes. Additionally, owning a historic home can be an excellent way to connect with your community and learn about your local history.

It’s no secret that buying a historic home is an exciting but complex process. Whether you’re looking for a move-in-ready property or one that requires some elbow grease, it’s important to do your due diligence and carefully consider all aspects of the purchase by hiring a certified home inspector in Orlando, Florida. By following our essential checklist, we hope you will be able to make the right choice and avoid costly mistakes when it comes to finding and purchasing the perfect historic home for you!

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