You can find historic homes in most states through the National Registry of Historic Places. Each state's historical preservation office can provide you with useful information on the history of individual properties, as well as the pertinent rules and regulations governing ownership, renovation and tax incentives. For Connecticut properties, you can find information at the Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation.
Getting a home officially sanctioned as historic can be a difficult process. A property must first meet specific criteria and be approved by the state preservation office. The definition of ‘historic' even varies from state to state: a 100-year-old house in a ‘young' state like Nevada may qualify, whereas a 150-year-old house in Massachusetts (a significantly ‘older' state) may not. A property that qualifies may be eligible for financial incentives and/or tax breaks.
It's wise to make your initial offer contingent on two things: That you can secure adequate financing and that the house passes a thorough inspection. Many old houses contain structural defects invisible to the untrained eye, which, once discovered, can drastically reduce their purchase price.
This is arguably the most important step in buying a historic home as these homes may require extensive repairs and improvements to bring them up to modern-day building codes. This is especially true if they haven't been used as day-to-day residences for many years.
Consult with the seller about any concerns your inspection may have turned up and adjust your offer accordingly. If the seller agrees to make any repairs or improvements, make certain that these are included in the purchase agreement, along with a stipulation that any renovations be done in a manner that won't hurt the home's historical designation.
Answer: Any exterior changes or demolition must be approved by the Board of Architectural Review.
A. Request a Certificate of Appropriateness Application Form from the Historic Preservation Staff (859) 258-3265 or print a copy from the website at www.lexington.gov/index.aspx?page=496. Submit the completed form with detailed plans to the staff for review.