Preserving the Past – How to Maintain a Historical Home
Often, the right label can add value to an item, such as calling an old piece of furniture a prized antique. The same also holds true for an old home. By obtaining a historic designation for your home, your property’s value is likely to increase. And, according to House Logic, you will also be entitled to receive certain tax breaks and other types of incentives if you strive to maintain the historical character of your property.
There are a number of ways to obtain a historic designation, for example, your home might be able to earn a local or state classification which is the most prestigious recognition given by the National Register of Historic Places. According to the National Park Service, which administers the National Register of Historic Places, there are several reasons why a home could be designated as historical. In most cases, a property must be at least 50 years of age. However, exceptions can be made for homes that have an association with an important person in history—such as being the birthplace of a president—or serve as the site of a major historical occurrence. In addition, houses that are representative of a particular architectural design or created by a well-known designer or architect may also qualify.
Protecting Your Historic Home
Once you earn a designation for your home, it is important that you properly maintain it and preserve its historical character. Below are a few of the issues that owners of historical homes commonly encounter:
- Pests: When left uncontrolled, pests can cause extensive damage to older homes. Rats or mice, for instance, can sneak into a historic home and chew through wiring, which can lead to an electrical fire. Or your home could get infested with termites, which can destroy a home silently from within. If you’re not sure what termites look like but have seen suspicious-looking flying insects in your home, it is imperative to do your homework. Compare pests you come across with the termite pictures at Orkin.com, and if they look like your pests, call a professional exterminator immediately.
- Electrical Problems: Unless, an older home’s electrical wiring has been extensively renovated, it will typically not be equipped to handle all of today’s multitude of electricity-eating appliances, technologies and electronics. Although, many homeowners try to get by with power strips and multiple extension cords, you could be overloading your old home’s wiring which could be a potential fire hazard. According to Consumer Reports, you should have the electrical wiring of your old home inspected by a professional electrician to determine whether if an upgrade is in order.
- Plumbing: Water can wreak thousands of dollars of damage quickly on a house, so it’s important that your historic property’s plumbing system is able to handle the needs of a modern family. In addition, according to the National Park Service, old water and sewer pipes may develop slow, undetected leaks that could lead to rotting floor boards or even cause serious structural damage. If you suspect your home’s plumbing system is failing, replace it or fix it before you have a major incident that could end up costing you thousands of dollars of damage.
Information on preserving the past – how to maintain a historical home is provided as a courtesy by your Warner Robins real estate expert, Anita Clark with Coldwell Banker SSK Realtors in Warner Robins GA.