There are many advantages to buying a home in a designated historic district, including stability and resale values. Still, there’s much to learn before taking the plunge.
STYLE AND CHARACTER—Historic properties are full of the style and warmth that many of us grew up with. The neighborhoods seem almost familiar to us, evoking a feeling of having been there before or of belonging. Tree-lined streets make driving through the neighborhoods pleasant. The homes are diverse in architecture, style and size, as well as history.
LOCATION— Long Beach has many historic districts to choose from, offering homes from the entry-level price range to more than $1 million. Many of the historic districts are well-situated and are convenient to shops, restaurants, and some are close to the beach.
FINANCIAL BENEFITS—There are also some wonderful federal and state tax benefits available to the owners of historic properties. Check with your tax advisor for details and to confirm availability. Additionally, in some instances buildings listed as contributing resources on the National Register may be eligible for limited financial aid through grants or loans.
CONSTRUCTION— It’s not difficult to understand the differences in construction between homes built today and the properties built 50-100 years ago. Plaster walls, beautiful wood work and quality finish work are classic signs of historic homes.
VALUE AND APPRECIATION— The historic homes in Long Beach have held their own with regards to value, tending to perform better than homes in comparable non-historic areas. Studies throughout the country have shown that homes in historic districts tend to sell faster and for more money than similar properties in other areas. There also tends to be a lower turnover rate within historic districts than in neighborhoods lacking that distinction.
PLAYING BY THE CODE—Exterior modifications of a home within a historic district requires the homeowner to obtain a Certificate of Appropriateness. When replacing damaged materials, the homeowner will need to use materials or design features in keeping with the architectural character of the building. While it may be a minor hassle for you, it means that your neighbor’s property is less likely to be altered in a manner that will reduce your own property value.