What to Look for When Purchasing a Period Home

  • Posted 07 Sep

What to Look for When Purchasing a Period Home

Investing in a period home or apartment can present challenges, but there are also many advantages. Older homes are often more durable and built on studier foundations, and they may be better insulated than modern properties. More important for period home lovers, older homes have aesthetic details you just can’t find in modern homes. Think pressed metal ceilings, graceful leaded glass sash windows, and large porches.

Buyers interested in property investing are drawn to period homes because of their higher resale value. Obviously a home’s location and condition are always important no matter the age of the house, but in a comparison of similar sized properties in the same location, an older home with period features will fetch a higher selling price.

So what are buyers looking for in older properties? Here are some of the major things you should look for when deciding on a period home:

Window detailing

Historic windows with art deco details or stained glass accents add a lot of character to an older home. When period homes are renovated these windows are often replaced by modern glass with higher thermal insulation values. Replacing windows can be an expensive prospect, so if a past owner installed modern windows make sure that they have a similar character to the original construction. Cheap aluminium panes on a graceful old home look bad and detract from the home’s value.

Original floors and ceilings

If the original floors look really worn or are covered under old carpeting, don’t despair. Baltic pine and certain other hardwoods are very durable, and having the floor sanded and refinished may make it look as good as new. A professional inspector can help you determine if the original flooring can be salvaged and can point out areas where rot, insect damage, or other wear will necessitate replacement.

Many older homes had high ceilings to encourage better air circulation before electric fans and air conditioning. So you’ll have a feeling of openness and space in an older home that you won’t necessarily get from a modern apartment. Some period homes have pressed tin ceilings or decorative Victorian cornices and moulds for added visual interest.

Outdoor space

Another feature in old homes is the abundance of outdoor space in the form of verandas, upper story sleeping porches, and screened in patios. In an era without modern cooling, sometimes the best way to endure the heat was to sit outside and hope for a breeze. Large porches make a period home look inviting and enhance curb appeal.

Heritage protection

Planning schemes such as Victoria’s Heritage Overlay (HO) protect areas of state or local significance by making changes to properties more difficult. Purchasing a historic home in a protected area means that your neighbour can’t demolish his home and build a modern boxy unit or paint her Victorian row house bright purple. The goal is to keep the designated historic area true to its original look and feel, keeping its appeal and property values intact.

Australian Credit and Finance has helped thousands of satisfied customers find mortgages to meet their home buying needs. Contact us today to see how our home loan experts can help.

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