Five Questions To Ask Before You Purchase A Historic Home

Father help Daughter seach for Historic Home online

 What is the condition of the home?

A lot can go wrong with historic homes. They have been around longer, so we require a careful inspection for any home you plan to purchase. 

You don’t have to buy the house if something is wrong with it, but your inspection period is limited. Download this brief guide to understand the types of home inspections that are available and which ones are most commonly used.

We hope to find you a home that has been well cared for. But if there are issues, it’s important that you know what it will take to remedy them.

Does the property have a special story?

Vallejo is an old town, and it was the first capital of California. There are many buildings where famous people lived or where historic events took place. 

Who built the home? What is the style? Did it have another use? These are a few of the fascinating questions historic home owners get to ask. You usually only get partial answers, but it’s still worth trying. 

We can access old maps and directories. Neighbors often know the stories of nearby homes. 

Sometimes part of a home is older, or (wild as it may seem) the home was in a different location. It was common to move homes around Historic Vallejo to make room for additional houses.

It’s not critical to know the history of your home. But it’s a lot of fun, and looks good on Instagram. 

To learn more about the history of Vallejo, we recommend our Architectural Guide to Historic Vallejo.

 Does the home have a special legal situation?

Most historic homes in Vallejo don’t have “historic” status. If you are interested in knowing how historic status works please read our disclosure. If you are interested in purchasing a historic home you should find out if it has a legal status. 

Historic homes might be listed on National, State or local registries. In Vallejo, there are two local historic districts. Here is a map of the Vallejo historic districts

Some historic homes also have contractual obligations.

For example, the Mills Act makes it possible to receive tax benefits for renovating your historic home through a contract with the city. If you want to know about the Mills Act, we interviewed a local expert in this video.

There are many benefits to owning a historic home. As the local historic home experts, we are here to help you understand the legal conditions that may transfer with a home. 

If you have questions about the benefits of purchasing a historic home please reach out

How has the original structure been changed?

Sometimes a fire or other damage caused a property to be rebuilt. Many historic homes in Vallejo were split into multi units to provide housing for the Navy. 

Changes happen over the years. Many historic homes have additions.

An inspection may reveal two or more foundation systems, a sign that the home may have been added to or rebuilt. 

We use old insurance maps to get a sense of how the size and shape of your home changed over the years and we are happy to show you how to do it as well. 

The original moldings and trim have been damaged or removed from many historic homes, obscuring the original architectural style. 

It is fun to ask questions and look for answers. As you understand certain issues with the property, you may uncover benefits that work to your advantage.

Could renovation make this home more valuable?

If you want to purchase a home and make it worth more as you live there, a historic home could be well suited for this. 

It’s possible to add a tremendous amount of value, both perceived and actual, and “trade up” to a nicer home after a few years.

For example, many historic homes have one-color paint jobs on the inside and outside. Simply painting in a way that accentuates the moldings and trim could make a huge difference in the resale price.

Restoring wood floors, and adding historic flair to kitchens and especially bathrooms are also ways to do this. If you want more information about historic renovation in Vallejo, check out My Old House 

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the next steps.

This step-by-step infographic takes you through the process of finding a home, financing, and making an offer.

Start with “Just Looking” and follow the roadmap to the seller accepting your offer.

Print out this infographic to see exactly what to do and when to do it at a single glance.

 

Are you ready to look at some historic homes in person? Schedule a day to look at homes. We would love to show you around.

How To Find The Right Home

Shot of a family of four viewing their new home together

How are you going to find your dream home? 

Historic Vallejo is a segmented market. There are homes of many sizes and shapes and even multi-unit properties. 

Even first-time buyers can purchase 2, 3, or 4 unit buildings. Ask us how

 

With all those choices, it is easy to feel anxious

A part of our job is to help take away the anxiety. How do we do it? It is simple. It’s a two-step process. 

The first step is to discover what you need and want in a home by comparing the homes you like. Download this simple organizer to view the pros and cons of each home in one place.

After you look at a few homes, you’ll get new ideas and probably start noticing that some of your pros and cons are more important than others.

This is why the second step is to use a Targeting Worksheet to help you understand what you need and want in more detail.

Once you know what you are searching for, it is easier to find. 

The way to narrow your target

Your target will include many searchable elements: neighborhood, size, price, or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms.

It will also include your specific needs, like a home office, a nice view, or a big yard for your kids.

Another critical part of targeting is to make sure you’re only looking at homes within your price range.

You can search for a home with confidence once you’ve estimated how much money you will need up front to buy a home. Download this simple worksheet to understand your three biggest expenses.

It’s also necessary to know how much you can borrow, and how much you will have to pay per month. You can get an accurate and reliable number by getting pre-approved. Click here to start the process. This number will give you exceptional clarity about your target. 

Beyond targeting

Targeting helps you look at the right homes. However, finding your dream home comes down to finding a feeling. Here are 4 Ways to know you’ve found your dream home. 

We are looking for a place where you feel good. Where you feel at home. We are looking for a place where you belong. 

Download the Road Map

We have created a Buyer Road Map Infographic to help you get a sense of the next steps.

This step-by-step infographic takes you through the process of finding a home, financing, and making an offer.

Start with “Just Looking” and follow the roadmap to the seller accepting your offer.

Print out this infographic to see exactly what to do and when to do it at a single glance.

 

Action Steps 

Compare the pros and cons of each home. Download this simple organizer.

To create your target, Use our Targeting Worksheet.

How much money you will need up front? Download this worksheet.

Pre-approval is essential. Click here to start the process.

It helps to look at a few homes when you start. Schedule a day to look at homes