Pursuing a Historic Designation for Your Home

You knew the moment you walked through the perfectly preserved arch-topped doors that this was one very special house. As your real estate agent guided you from room to room, all you could think was that there had to be a catch to this house. Something had to be really wrong for such a gem to even be available in your price range. The history, the craftsmanship, the neighborhood! It was all too much.

So you bought that fabulous house. And now you’re thinking about applying for a historic designation, since it is such a lovely, special structure.

Types of Historic Designations

Before you jump in with both feet, it’s a good idea to get a feel for what type of designation would be most appropriate for your home. There are three main designation levels and multiple registers that you could pursue. The historic designation levels are:

Note: Your home can easily qualify for all three designation levels, so research your history carefully in order to build the best case possible for the historic designations you’re seeking.

Pros and Cons of Owning a Historic Home

Buying that potentially historic home may have been one of your best decisions ever, even if you don’t end up getting a historic designation. Older homes have so much about them to love, along with a lot of things you’ll quickly learn are (potentially unlovable) quirks unique to that property. Turning your older home into an officially historic property is an involved process, but for many homeowners it’s worth the effort. Let’s look at the pros and cons of it.



After all of the paperwork and red tape, finally receiving your historic designation can be a huge relief. Except there’s one thing no one apparently mentioned…. when you sell that property, the new owners don’t have to maintain the house or even keep up its historical appearance unless there are other rules in play, like being located in a tightly-regulated historic district.

Still, if you want a historic designation, you may find the benefits are well worth everything. You might as well go for it as not. Get that historic designation for yourself, not because you want to protect your home from future owners and for generations to come.

Ready to Buy That Historic House? You Need a Few Pros at Hand…

Buying an older house means understanding the many issues that they can have. Start off right by having a home inspector look it over during your inspection period, before your mortgage closes. Follow up with a friendly neighborhood electrician, HVAC pro and a plumber, bare minimum. The old systems aren’t just annoying, they can be dangerous if they’ve not aged well or been updated at all since they were installed.

But where can you find a collection of home pros you can trust? Check out the HomeKeepr community! Every pro in it was recommended by a real estate agent due to their excellent service and high quality workmanship. Cut out the guessing and get right to the pros that can help you maintain and even refresh your older home.