A recent continuing education seminar put on by the Preservation Alliance of Minnesota and Portland OR addressed how best to market old houses. It was reported on recently on the Finance & Commerce website.
“Owning and selling a historic property can be a gratifying – and lucrative – experience for property owners. But the process of determining a property’s historic status and then properly marketing it to reflect that status can make the difference between a big sale and an ordinary one.”
A key factor is that of simple economics of supply and demand. There is an ever-expanding supply of new home construction for that larger share of the market that appreciates new construction.
For that smaller but growing market for quality old houses with character in stable and improving neighborhoods in convenient proximity to community amenities, that supply is diminishing in many areas but growing to meet demand in others as property owners renovate and restore their homes.
What are best practices for selling old houses in historic districts?
- Doing your homework on the house. “All of that allows you to create a story around the property.”
Personally, I love stories. And old houses and neighborhoods have stories that simply don’t exist in suburban and new construction. Knowing the story of the house and effectively telling it adds real value to your home.
- “Some key selling points for a historic property, she said, are associated tax incentives…”
If your home is already within a historic district up to 25% of approved work can be recouped. This is significant. If though your home is outside the historic district your home may be individually registered or eligible. Marketing that your home as within a historic district communicates there are higher standards. There are some safeguards that help protect the home and neighborhood from some things that can diminish property values.
There are a number of additional points the presenters tough on. Interesting to note they emphasize how originally intact is the home.
“…be sure to highlight the property’s original elements, Davis said. Is the home’s character still intact? Are the moldings and fixtures original? Has the building been restored, as opposed to remodeled?”
Too often we see a short-sighted rip-n-replace mindset when home maintenance comes into play. This is particularly prevalent among flippers and some residents who don’t fully realize they’re actually degrading their own property. If a potential buyer is interested in an old or historic property in the first place it’s most likely they also have an appreciation for the original fabric of the house. Even if shabby and in need of repair, as long as it still exists restoration is still an option. Once removed though its often cost prohibitive to replace again with the grade of materials that have been removed…. if it’s even available at any price.
Given the current housing situation if you live in an old house the linked article on how to sell old houses is likely good information to have. Wanting to maximize your return on your home though is not unique to a slow housing market and will remain true later when things improve.
At 524 Bluff Street, Beloit WI 53511, the Lathrop Munn home in the Bluff Street Historic District was built in 1848. It’s not only the oldest home in Beloit, it holds a significant place in Beloit’s history. It’s river stone construction in the Greek Revival style is distinctive and increasingly rare in the region. Additionally the home has benefited by single-family, owner occupied loving care and maintenance for the last thirty years by its former residents.
For a community that once boasted the single largest concentration of river stone constructed homes and commercial buildings in the region totaling over thirty, Beloit is now down to just four. (The Racey house another river stone house) We’d love to see this wonderful historic home continue as an owner-occupied family home in the hands of an appreciative owner.
For Sale By Owner – Historic Beloit WI Home.
- Bedrooms: five (5)
- Full Baths: two (2 – one main floor, one upper)
- Half Baths: none (0)
- Estimated Age: Built in 1848
- Total Assess: $75,600
- Net Taxes: $1,669.90
- Living Room: 13′ x 13′
- Dining Room: 14′ x 13′
- Kitchen: 22′ x 9′
- Family/Rec: 13′ x 13′
- Mstr BedRm: 15′ x 13′
- 2nd BedRm: 16′ x 13′
- 3rd BedRm: 14′ x 10′
- 4th BedRm: 15′ x 13′
- 5th BedRm: 11′ x 9′
School District: Beloit
High: Beloit Memorial
Fireplace: Wood burning/ living room
Garage: 2+ car, detached
Fuel: Natural Gas
Heating: Hot Water
Water/Waste: Municipal water, Municipal sewer
Barrier-Free: Open floor plan, 1st floor BedRm
Notes: Historic 5 bedroom home located on Beloit’s Westside. Beautiful wooden staircase welcomes you ot the warmth and character this home has to offer. Large kitchen with second staircase to upstairs adds charm. Many original features take you back in time. This is a must see property!
To make an appointment to view this home call 608-290-0108
Or email the owners at: jbzamorris(at)aol.com
Additionally, as this home is within the historic district the home owner will be eligible for the Wis State Historic Home Owners 25% Tax Credit on approved upgrades and maintenance. You’re within walking distance of the increasingly vibrant riverfront and downtown.
“The Wisconsin Historical Society’s Division of Historic Preservation (DHP) administers a program of 25-percent state income tax credits for repair and rehabilitation of historic homes in Wisconsin.”
If you’re interested in pursuing the tax credit we’ll (the Beloit NPA) even give you a hand with the application. It’s really not so difficult.
Beloit’s Historic Rasey House
& River Stone Construction
Rasey House: 517 Prospect St. Beloit WI 53511
It’s likely most folks know about Beloit’s historic Rasey House and have visited at one time or another. We finally stopped in for the first time during the Beloit Heritage Days just passed and had a wonderful time talking with the volunteers. It’s an amazing house and and a very special and integral piece of Beloit history. It seems so many of these historic home’s residents and the historic structures themselves factor into the stories of other’s lives and events.
I love good stories. Rasey House has lots.
Its a fascinating piece of local history not simply from the standpoint of historic architecture but also the lives of the figures who made Rasey their home and the intertwining of these stories with other lives and events.
The stories around this relatively unique building construction are very interesting. As you likely know historic river stone constructed buildings are increasing rare as more are being demolished passively due to neglect or intentionally as they’re considered to be in the way of the current purpose.
Rasey house itself on more then one occasion had been threatened with demolition. It’s sad to think if those efforts had been successful. The home, for years now has been lovingly maintained by the Beloit Chapter of the Daughter’s of the American Revolution.
I think Beloit is a better place because Rasey House has survived and the DAR’s stewardship. It is a significant part of what makes Beloit distinctive, anchored and, well… non-generic. It’s part of Beloit’s identity.
The expression is “death by a thousand cuts” meaning that a major single blow did not fell the victim but rather it was little bit by little bit. The single impact of any one or even several events did not cause the demise however, over time, the cumulative result is none the less the same. I understand that at one time Beloit was distinct in the region for the number of river stone building in town. Over thirty as I recall. We are now down to three. It’s too bad.
Beloit’s Rasey Home came to mind as a friend of mine from another historic community, Elgin IL just posted some wonderful pictures of a river stone constructed home in their community. It’s very cool. You can see it here. Love the original rough hewn timber framing and while not original to the house it sports a very early radiator that’s kinda cool.
As long as we’re at it. I understand there are efforts to try and save another Beloit river stone home over on St. Lawrence. Not sure of current status.
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I’ve a number of favorite homes in Beloit and this is definitely on the short list. Perhaps you’ve never even heard of Lustron homes. The sound of the name alone conjures visions of Flash Gordon, avocado green, Popular Mechanics flying cars of the future and vintage airstream camper trailers. Perhaps you have noticed them but not known what they were or the intriguing story around them. I first noticed them when I was in high school, thought they were very cool and have always taken note of them ever since. Upon moving to Beloit I saw we had one too and thought that was very cool.