Buying a Historic Home In Santa Cruz or Monterey County

Buying a Historic Home In Santa Cruz or Monterey CountyBoth Santa Cruz and Monterey counties have some amazing historic properties. The town of Carmel by the Sea is well known for its amazing historic properties. Historic homes offer something unique that you can't find anymore. Ornate little details that took time and thought that today's builders don't have outside of custom builds. A historic home seems to hold the magic and mystery of who once roamed the hallways and made the building a home. 

If you are searching for one of Santa Cruz or Monterey's amazing historic properties there are some things to be aware of that are different in your home-buying process from searching for a traditional home. The more you know about purchasing a historic home the better the buying process will go. It will also help you to determine if a historic home is truly the home you are dreaming of. 

Know the Maintenance, Remodeling, and Upgrade Guidelines for the Property

If a home has been officially recognized as historic there will be specific guidelines on making improvements and adjustments to the original integrity of the structure in the home. Historic homes that have been registered as such will not allow you to alter the exterior of the home in any way. If something is damaged and needs replaced this will require best efforts and using the original materials to the home to get them back to their original state. Some properties will not allow homeowners to add onto the home or make upgrades to the home that would cause it to lose its original historic charm and reason for being placed on the list of historic homes.

Additionally, if you owned a historic home in an area like Carmel the local government will be very particular about the upkeep and maintenance of the exterior of the home and even the landscaping. This is because, in areas like Carmel Village, there is a very distinct architectural integrity to the homes and the community as a whole that helps to tell the story of the town and is a major driving factor to the large tourism appeal to the area. It is very important to know how you're expected to keep the property and what restrictions are in place before purchasing a historic home with dreams of updating it to make it your dream mix of unique historic and modern convenience.

Check for validation of the historic claim

You want to make sure that the home is authentically historic and that any restrictions in place are valid for the property you are purchasing. A great place to check first is the National Register of Historic Places. This gives a list of every registered home as well as guidelines for listing a home if the owner believes the home is historical it needs to be on the list.

If a home is not actually registered as historical then any requirements cannot be held against a homeowner and any added value in the form of an increase in the list price is irrelevant. A home may look historic but it needs to actually go through the measures of being registered to truly be deemed as a historic property

Hire a very thorough home inspector

Buying a historic home in the Santa Cruz area you want to make sure that you are getting the most thorough property inspection possible. The older the home the higher the chance of finding major issues with the home. This is not because the homeowner neglected the property but more so just that materials wear down with age and the older a home is the more time it has had to wear down. You want to make sure that you are having a structural inspection done in addition to a traditional inspection and make sure that all systems are up to code and comply with safety standards. Depending upon when the home was last worked on there could be many older systems that have since been deemed unsafe like knob and tube wiring in the electrical system which has been shown to cause fires.

Study the utility costs as much as possible

Older homes are not always down for being the most energy efficient it is a very smart question to ask the current homeowners for any records relating to utility costs and maintenance. It is good to be aware that older homes often require more effort to heat. It is also good to know what professional help the homeowner has used to maintain the property to be aware of good local services that have experience with the historic home and keeping its integrity.

If you are searching for a historic home in Santa Cruz or Monterey County I can help. I am highly knowledgeable in all Santa Cruz and Monterey County real estate and make it my goal to keep the home-buying process as stress-free as possible. 

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