July 5, 2019

If you love old, historic buildings and properties that have their own special bit of history, you may find yourself considering purchasing a historic home to live in. From quirky features that set it apart from a normal home to the unique charm and character that comes with it, there are many appealing benefits that come with buying a historic home.

Not only is purchasing a historic property a great investment, but owning a piece of history is very exciting. Before you make the big purchase, however, it is important that you weigh up both the pros and cons of doing so. Buying a historic home comes with an array of benefits and challenges, as well as some crucial responsibilities that you should be aware of beforehand. Below, we take a closer look at the pros and cons of buying a house with history.

Pros of purchasing a historic home

Character, beauty and charm

Stepping inside an old building can truly take you back in time, transporting you right to a certain era or period through its architecture and construction. From stunning ornate fireplaces that grace the living room and dramatic arched doorways to wide-plank wooden floors and charming antique door knockers, historic properties have character that you simply cannot buy in a new building. Plus, while you can attempt to recreate these features, they will never have the important history attached to them.

Unlike contemporary homes, houses with history exude a beauty and charm that goes back years, representing a whole other period. There are so many intricate and unique details that feature in a historic home, and it could even be months or years before you notice them all. Historic homes are often constructed in beautiful architectural styles that reflect the time they were built.

Historic homes are bursting with history

In addition to offering unique charm and character, historic buildings also have their own unique and interesting history. Within these walls have lived many different people, and lifetimes of memories will have been made there. In fact, when you move into a house that has history, you’ll likely learn a lot – from finding out all about the people who used to live in the property to when it was originally built and how it was designed.

Old houses play a very important part in the history of a town or city, and it is important that these houses are protected. When you buy a historic property, you are actually protecting your community’s history and ensuring that other people can continue to love it for years to come.

Owning a historical property can increase its value

If a building has a particular history behind it that contributes to or plays an important role in the history of an area, the value of the property may increase with time, making it a great investment. While it’s common knowledge that buying and potentially renovating a historic property can be costly, there are options available to help you with the expenses. Historic Scotland, for example, offer assistance, guidance and even grants for repairs or alterations that need to be carried out.

Cons of purchasing a historic home

Repairs and renovations can be costly

Renovating, repairing and maintaining a historic property can be expensive and costly. When you buy them, they often require a fair bit of work and, even once the work is completed, you’ll likely need to spend money on ensuring that it is regularly maintained. If you are considering purchasing a historic property, it’s important that you have the finances required to ensure that the building gets the work it needs.

Issues such as water damage, structural problems, termite damage and electrical issues are all very common in older properties and will need to be sorted and repaired. Plus, you may have to fork out on repairs for the roof or install new plumbing. In addition, you may run into some other unwelcome surprises, such as asbestos or mould. You should always expect some surprises along the way and prepare yourself for some unexpected costs.

It’s important to remember, however, that once the work is done, you can enjoy living in a beautiful historical building that is a part of your town’s history!

Older properties often require a lot of work

With the above in mind, you need to consider that an old property will also require a lot of work. Finding the right contractors to carry out work on the property can be difficult, particularly as you’ll want to choose a company that you can trust to make the right repairs on your historic property. It’s always a good idea to choose a company that specialises in historic restorations to ensure that they have experience in dealing with buildings like yours and are capable of carrying out the necessary work.

Remember, doing up an older building is a long process and will take a lot of time.

You have limited design choices

As previously discussed, when you own an old property that has history, there will be a constant need to repair and maintain the building. When renovating an old building, certain guidelines and rules must be followed, meaning that certain renovations or alterations may not be able to be carried out as you wish. Common restrictions include replacing the windows, roofs or shutters using materials that differ from the original architectural design, landscaping that does not reflect the property’s character and adding extra stories to the building.

These restrictions are put in place to help preserve the property and its original construction – something that is designed to protect important pieces of our history as well as the character of an individual property. Many people choose not to live in a historic property simply because they do not have the freedom to complete the renovations that they want to – for example, a big, modern and fully-equipped kitchen, new flooring or painting the property the colour that they desire.

McDougall McQueen: your go-to home estate agents for property sales

Whether you’re a first time buyer looking for your dream modern property or you’re a family looking to move into a suitable home, the team of professionals at McDougall McQueen are on hand to help. We understand that searching for the perfect property can be a stressful and challenging experience, which is why we work hard to ensure that we deliver the best results for you wherever you are on the property ladder.

We have one of the largest property teams in Edinburgh and the Lothians, with seven high street offices, so you can rest assured that we have the perfect property for everyone. At McDougall McQueen, we can help you with a free, no-obligation pre-sale property valuation, a dedicated legal advisor throughout the process, professional, effective marketing and advertising and more. With our expert knowledge of the Edinburgh and Lothians market, you needn’t look further than us.

In addition to property sales, we also specialise in family law, wills and executries and commercial law. Whether you’re looking for new homes for sale or you are in the process of making a will, the experts at McDougall McQueen are on hand to assist you.

For more information, visit our website or get in touch with us today.