– Some buyers are specifically looking for homes with character and history
– The details and architecture of historic properties are often appreciated by buyers
– Historic homes can have interesting stories and origins that add to their appeal
– Historic homes can still be updated with modern conveniences while preserving their design
– Historic properties are often located in more central and convenient areas of a city
– Maintenance of historic homes is important to preserve their authenticity and craftsmanship
Join the exceptional and become a Sotheby’s International Realty agent.
For some buyers, purchasing a home isn’t only about finding a place to live. There’s a special subset of clients who are looking for homes that can tell a story, structures rich in character and quirks that many newly built properties lack.
“Preserving historic properties is part of a person’s character — it takes a certain type of person or family who wants to preserve a home,” says Jimmy Turek, Real Estate Professional, Bluegrass Sotheby’s International Realty.
Part of this character is a discerning nature, adds Lorraine First, Real Estate Professional, Kienlen Lattmann Sotheby’s International Realty. “Many buyers of historic homes are seeking a home that is different from the typical homes in the area,” she says.
So, what makes a property truly historic in the eyes of homebuyers? Let’s take a look at the most desired features of homes that continue to stand the test of time and taste.
1. In architecture lies authenticity
It’s the details that make historic properties so special, according to First. “Generally, buyers appreciate things like the intricate millwork, inlaid wood flooring, custom stained glass, and fireplaces with elaborate mantels.”
But just as each historic property is a unique artifact of a different time, each homebuyer has their own criteria that informs their search. “It really does depend on each buyer’s preference,” notes Turek. “It could be based on the style of historic architecture — for example, a mid-century modern with original terrazzo floors. Or, as is the case with my current listing, Romanesque features and large grand rooms.”
2. Originality stems from compelling origins
To illustrate an example of how properties acquire captivating stories, First shares a tale of her own. “Many wealthy residents of New York City would ‘summer’ in northern New Jersey to escape the heat of the city, and consequently, the social scene was very lively during the summer months in these towns.
“Many of these homes were designed to entertain and impress the guests. For example, Alfred Vail, the renowned American industrialist credited with inventing the telegraph and Morse Code, built a magnificent home that epitomizes the opulence of Morristown’s illustrious Gilded Age.”
Turek adds that once buyers have invested themselves in a property beyond the financial element — forming a deep connection with their residence — they’re more likely to hold on to the asset. “I’ve sold several homes that are over 100 years old that have only changed hands a couple of times.”
3. Classic in design, modern inconvenience
Just because a home is designated as “historical” doesn’t mean that it can’t feature the amenities boasted by newer properties.
“Many cities, counties, and municipalities are implementing historic overlays in historic districts and neighborhoods to protect the exterior integrity and historical significance of the homes,” notes Turek. “However, they still allow buyers to update the interiors to today’s standards.
“Because while buyers appreciate historic charm, they also want modern conveniences, updated kitchens, electrical and plumbing — essentially, the ability to blend these comforts together while preserving design.”
4. History in the heart of the city
Luxury properties are often situated in neighborhoods miles away from the city’s center, necessitating longer commutes, and less direct access to the vitality metropolitan living can provide. That’s usually not the case with historic properties, as First notes.
“Many buyers want to be closer to the center of town and sacrifice a larger lot and modern home for more convenience,” she says. “One result of the urbanization movement is the rehabilitation of older and historic homes because of their proximity to the urban center.”
A legacy worth preserving
First has observed reluctance from some clients when it comes to purchasing a historic home. “Many people anticipate a larger maintenance expense,” says First. “Authentic architectural design features are reflective of an original commitment to artistry and quality — and as with all homes, preventative maintenance is always easier and less expensive than repairs or restorations.”
Attentive upkeep to a historical property is a way to continually honor the care and craftsmanship that went into the original construction, and to ensure its story can be told for generations to come.
Property Chomp's Take:
Are you someone who appreciates the character and charm of historic homes? Do you have a discerning eye for architectural details and a passion for preserving the past? If so, then joining Sotheby's International Realty as an agent might be the perfect career move for you.
For many buyers, purchasing a home is not just about finding a place to live; it's about finding a home with a story. Historic properties offer a unique charm and authenticity that is often lacking in newly built homes. Buyers who are drawn to historic homes are looking for structures rich in character and quirks that can't be replicated.
Lorraine First, a Real Estate Professional at Kienlen Lattmann Sotheby's International Realty, explains that many buyers of historic homes are seeking something different from the typical homes in the area. They appreciate features such as intricate millwork, inlaid wood flooring, custom stained glass, and fireplaces with elaborate mantels. Each historic property has its own unique charm, and it depends on the buyer's preference and taste.
But what makes a property truly historic in the eyes of homebuyers? It's not just about the architectural details; it's also about the compelling origins and stories behind the homes. For example, Alfred Vail, the inventor of the telegraph and Morse Code, built a magnificent home that epitomizes the opulence of Morristown's illustrious Gilded Age. These captivating stories add to the allure of historic properties and make them even more desirable to buyers.
While historic homes may have a rich past, they can still offer modern conveniences. Many cities and municipalities have implemented historic overlays to protect the exterior integrity and historical significance of these homes. However, they also allow buyers to update the interiors to today's standards. Buyers appreciate the blend of historic charm and modern comforts, such as updated kitchens, electrical and plumbing systems.
One of the advantages of historic homes is their location. Luxury properties are often situated in neighborhoods closer to the city's center, offering more convenience and direct access to the vitality of metropolitan living. Many buyers are willing to sacrifice a larger lot and a modern home for the charm and proximity of a historic property.
Despite the appeal of historic homes, some buyers may be hesitant due to the perceived maintenance expenses. However, as with all homes, preventative maintenance is always easier and less expensive than repairs or restorations. Authentic architectural design features reflect an original commitment to artistry and quality, and preserving them is a way to honor the craftsmanship of the past.
If you have a passion for historic homes and a desire to preserve their stories, becoming a Sotheby's International Realty agent is a fantastic opportunity. Sotheby's is renowned for its expertise in luxury real estate and has a strong network of agents who share a passion for exceptional properties. Joining Sotheby's as an agent will allow you to connect with buyers who appreciate the charm and character of historic homes, and help them find their perfect property.
Don't miss out on the opportunity to join the exceptional and become a Sotheby's International Realty agent. Learn more about this exciting career path and start making a difference in preserving the history and character of homes for generations to come.