Historic Designation: What It Means for Your Home
If you’re looking to gain Historic Designation status, listen up: It’s tough. It can be a lengthy process. It can be restrictive. But with a solid foundation of how it works, it might be the greatest thing you could do for your home.
How Can My Home Qualify For Historic Designation?
Does your home have a story that dates back to a specific time in history? Historic Designation officially recognizes homes as historic and protects them under historical preservation laws to benefit the education of future generations. You can apply for your home to be denoted an individual landmark or a contributing landmark to a greater historic district, such as a downtown area. In order for a home to qualify, it generally must be more than 50 years old and meet one of the following criteria to be claimed as historically significant:
- Built with a unique architectural style from a specific era;
- Associated with a famous person or group of people; or
- Has ties to an important historical event.
If you believe you can answer “yes” to any of these questions, you can then begin to research and collect proof required to register your home as historic. You may need to hire an archaeologist or preservation expert to help in this process, but it is possible to conduct this research on your own. While the initial research takes up a good chunk of your time, your home could obtain Historic Designation in just a couple of weeks.
What Are the Types of Historic Designations?
There are three Historic Designation registrars in the United States: National, State, and Local. The National registrar may be more lenient on requirements than would the Local registrar. Regardless of the level, registrars require irrefutable evidence that identifies your home as historically significant in some fashion. They often look for three things: the property’s age, the integrity and authenticity of the home’s original features, and the historical significance associated with the home. How old is your home? Does your home still look historically accurate? What historical design movement, person, or event relates to your home? If you can nail all three answers, your home can qualify for Historic Designation.
Are There Benefits To Historic Designation?
The benefits of Historic Designation are considerable. This registration helps preserve the quality and character of your home in your community. As the property owner, you become a steward of history for future generations. You may also be eligible for tax benefits and other incentives such as federal grants. Your home value may also increase with a certificate of Historic Designation. When you plan to sell or refinance your home, make sure the appraiser is up-to-date on historic housing market values, so that you get a true estimate of your home’s worth.
However, there are restrictions, rules and regulations associated with historic home designation. If you’re considering a renovation or remodel of your historic home, familiarize yourself with the national, state, and local preservation laws before any work is done. There usually are guidelines about what changes are acceptable, and what materials can be used when renovating. We always suggest working with a certified and licensed general contractor who has experience working with Historic Designation homes.
Historic Home Remodeling & Renovation in Central Maryland & Southern Pennsylvania
Finding a licensed construction company that has hands-on experience in working on authentic historic home renovations, restorations, and additions can be tough. Fortunately, we have over 35 years of experience working on older structures throughout central Maryland and southern Pennsylvania. Contact the historic home professionals at Irvine Construction Company for an initial consultation.