Looking for an antique home is an adventure through time. There’s just something about the charm and character of a historic home that fills you with a sense of homey comfort. Visions of homemade bread and cookies dance around the kitchen and large family meals with steaming bowls of awesomeness in the dining room. The front porch has seen many first kisses, glasses of wine and the occasional tear. So many memories, it’s just too hard to resist the allure. So, what do you need to know to keep your purchase on track and prevent owning a money pit?
1. Find an agent that specializes in vintage homes and neighborhoods. Let’s qualify that a bit more. Anyone can say they specialize. Ask how many homes they’ve sold and where they sell the most. This is crucially important. You want an agent seasoned in solving inspection issues.
2. Work with a lender that services multiple realtors that specialize in historic homes and neighborhoods. This insures that your purchase will go as smoothly as possible. A lender well versed in the possible problems an older home can bring is a lender prepared to make those problems go away. Always ask if they have an approved appraiser list. This reduces the possibility of an out of town appraiser being assigned.
3. Hire a home inspector that has a history of inspecting older homes. Not all home inspectors are created equally. A home inspector that inspects mostly new construction can potentially make mountains out of molehills or literally structural issues out of termite galleys. Your home inspections are to tell you everything that is wrong with the home so that you can make an educated and informed decision.
4. Is the home located in a historic district, overlay or national historic district? You may have visions of adding a screened lanai and get the shocking news that it is not permitted. The districts protect the footprint of the property, making it necessary to get permission to make any additions including decks, fences and expansions.
5. Talk to your neighbors, friends and realtor to create a good vendor list for things that you cannot do yourself. Working on a historic home is much different than new construction and just like your realtor, lender and inspector, you want repairmen that have experience working on antique homes.
With over 18 years’ experience selling in the historic neighborhoods of Tampa Bay, I would love to talk to you about how the MHT Team can make your HOME DREAM come true.
Brenda Christian, Team Leader
The MHT Team
Neighborhood Specialist since 2001
Graduate Real Estate Consultant®, CNE®
At Home with Diversity™