What You Need to Know About Buying a Heritage Home

Posted by Krista Fracke on Friday, May 19th, 2017 at 10:39am.

Last week we spoke about the best neighborhoods to buy a historic home and for buyers who want a home with character, Jacksonville is definitely the spot to do it. But, there are some considerations that buyers need to take into account when buying an older home in Jacksonville.

1.       You need to get an inspection

No ifs, ands or buts about it – get the inspection. Older homes are notorious for having hidden issues and you don’t want to have that burden placed on you after you take possession. By doing an inspection, you’ll know exactly what sort of work needs to be done on the home and what the cost will be. While an inspection can’t tell you everything, you’ll get a good idea of what sort of work you’ll need to do and what can wait until later.

2.       Older homes have older technology

Home building technology has definitely come a long way since the late 1800s, so you need to expect that your Jacksonville historic home will have older ways of doing things. But, this isn’t always a bad thing. Older homes were built to last (and they do), because builders took the time to do it right, which is not always the procedure with new builds. On the flipside, your plumbing, wiring, heating, windows, insulation and roof will be built using these older technologies, which may cause you issues, costly repairs or the cost of upgrades.

3.       Older neighborhoods can’t be replicated

Sure, a custom builder can give you wide-plank floors, brick feature walls and a wrap-around porch, but they can’t give you hundred-year-old trees. They often also can’t give you the large yards often associated with older homes. These features are worth their weight in gold.


4.       Older homes often have small, cut-off spaces

Open concept did not really exist 100 years ago. Heritage homes often have small rooms for specific purposes and with today’s lifestyle this may not always work. You may need to do some remodeling of your space in order to live with that open and spacious feeling. Be aware though, that load-bearing walls may prevent you from opening up spaces in an easy way. But, maybe open concept isn’t the best way to go…

5.       Your home insurance costs may be higher

Because your older home has more risks, your insurance may be higher than on a new home. These risks can include:

·         Fire due to older wiring

·         Water issues due to plumbing

·         Flood and structural issues due to the older foundation

Contact your insurance company before putting in an offer on a heritage home if this is going to be an issue for you.

6.       You may need permission to remodel

Many heritage homes need to keep their heritage look and heritage societies may require you to get permission for any remodel you may do. In order to preserve and protect the home’s character, certain renovations may not be allowed. You are best to contact the right people before putting in your offer to ensure your plans can go through as you intend them to.

If you are looking for a heritage home in Jacksonville, I can help!

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