The Buying Process
Finding a Home
Making an Offer
Finding a Loan
The Right Price
Getting to Settlement
Historic Real Estate
1st Time Homebuyers
Foreclosures & Short Sales
Historic Real Estate
By Mary Richeimer, Broker, The Buyer’s Best Realtors
Certified in Historic Maryland Properties; Frederick County Historic Preservation Commission, 1999-2009; Graduate of The National Trust for Historic Preservation Realtor Training
Have you yearned to restore an old train station, does your heart beats faster at the thought of owning a 1920s Sears bungalow, or is it your dream to sit and watch the world go by from the front porch of your own Queen Anne? If so, it is especially important to have a buyer agent on your side who loves and understands older homes, and can help you find and evaluate that one right older home. Historic houses need to be looked at in context — they usually won’t have the insulation, low-e windows, building code electric and plumbing that a newer home will have. They will often have lead paint. Inspections need to be done by an inspector familiar with old homes, and the results looked at in the perspective of the age of the home and the condition you’re looking for.
Finding the home that fits your needs requires patience, persistence and care, as well as the experience to help you decide whether to continue with a particular house or to keep looking. The first step in buying a historic home is matching your finances with the right loan program, and then finding the house that you love that fits that loan and finances. In addition to the mortgage, there are tax credits, local programs and other financial incentives you may be able to receive to offset some of the cost of renovations.
You may want to research the history of your older home and the area in which it is located. There are many sources of information, from the State Historic Preservation office to local and county Historic Districts, Historic Registers and Historical Societies to investigate. There are also specialists who will do the research for you and can prepare an application for a historic register.
Whether you just enjoy the character of an older home or are a purist who will accept nothing less than total adherence to the Secretary of the Interior Standards (the gold standard for restoration), I’d love to work with you in your search and purchase of your historic home. As the owner of an 1830s home myself, I know firsthand that owning an older home is both a very rewarding and at times a very challenging experience. This has led me to learn everything I could about these wonderful properties.
Please contact me if you want a knowledgeable friend along in your quest for an older home, if you have questions, or just want to talk old homes.