A Guide to Living in a Historic Building 

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Historic Building

So, you’re about to become a homeowner for the first time – congratulations! Buying a home is a huge accomplishment. But if your new home happens to be within a historic building, there are a few extra things you need to take into consideration – including the fact that you need to look for specialist insurance for historic buildings.

From maintenance costs to obtaining the necessary permits for renovations, here’s everything you need to know about living in a historic building. 

Maintenance Costs

If you’re buying a historic home that’s already been restored, congratulations, you’ve lucked out! However, if you’re planning on restoring a historic home yourself, be prepared for some hefty maintenance costs. Between repairing and maintaining original features like woodwork and plaster walls to ensuring that your home meets modern building codes, the cost of restoring and maintaining a historic home can quickly add up. Luckily, there are tax incentives available for homeowners who are willing to take on the challenge of restoring a historic property.

Obtaining Necessary Permits 

When it comes to renovating a historic property, obtaining the necessary permits can be somewhat of a nightmare. Depending on the scope and location of your planned renovations, you may need to obtain multiple permits from different agencies. Navigating the permit process can be frustrating, but luckily there are plenty of resources available online to help guide you through it. 

Dealing with Local Historic Commissions

If your historic home is located in an area with a local historic commission, get ready for some extra paperwork – and potentially some extra hassle. Local historic commissions are responsible for overseeing preservation efforts in their jurisdictions, which means they need to approve any and all changes made to properties within their boundaries.

In some cases, this approval process can be relatively quick and painless, but in other cases, dealing with a local historic commission can be slow and tedious – not to mention costly if you need to hire an attorney or consultant to help guide you through the process. 

Insurance Costs 

Because they are often considered high-risk properties, homes that are listed on Australia’s National Heritage List often come with higher insurance premiums. In addition to raising your monthly homeowner’s insurance payments, insuring a historic property can also make it more difficult (and sometimes even impossible) to obtain certain types of insurance coverage, such as flood insurance or windstorm insurance.

Owning a Historic Building: The Pros and Cons

So there you have it: a quick run-down of the need-to-knows about owning a historic building. Of course, every situation is different, so it’s important to do your own research and consult with experts before making any decisions about purchasing or renovating a historic property.

However, if you’re up for the challenge, the rewards of owning a piece of history can be well worth the effort! Just remember, when it comes down to it, owning any kind of property is going to come with its fair share of challenges. At the end of the day though, there’s nothing quite like having a place to call your own. Congrats, and good luck!

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