Published 7/11/24

Smart Strategies for Renovating Historic Properties for Profit

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Renovating historic properties presents a unique and rewarding opportunity for investors. These projects can be highly profitable, but they require careful planning, respect for the property’s historical significance, and a strategic approach to modern upgrades. Here are some smart strategies for renovating historic properties for profit.


Understanding the Historical Significance

Before beginning any renovation project on a historic property, it’s crucial to understand its historical significance. This involves researching the property’s history, architecture, and any notable events or people associated with it. Knowing the historical context not only informs your renovation plans but also adds value to the property by preserving its unique story. This understanding will guide your decisions, ensuring that you maintain the integrity of the property while making necessary updates.


Navigating Legal and Regulatory Requirements

Historic properties are often subject to strict legal and regulatory requirements. These can include local, state, or national preservation laws that dictate what changes can and cannot be made. It’s essential to consult with local preservation boards or historical societies early in the planning process to understand the guidelines you must follow. Navigating these regulations can be complex, but compliance is non-negotiable. Failure to adhere to these rules can result in fines, legal action, or the loss of historic designation, which can significantly reduce the property’s value.


Financial Planning and Budgeting

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Renovating a historic property can be more expensive than a typical renovation due to the need for specialized materials and craftsmanship. Creating a detailed budget is essential. Start by obtaining multiple estimates for the work and build in a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. It’s also wise to explore financial incentives such as grants, tax credits, or low-interest loans specifically designed for historic preservation projects.


For example, if you are dealing with layers of old paint that must be removed to reveal original woodwork, investing in a high-quality paint stripper can be crucial. While this might seem like a minor detail, using the right products can save time and money in the long run and ensure the preservation of historical features.


Preserving and Enhancing Historical Features

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One of the main appeals of historic properties is their unique architectural features. Preserving these elements is key to maintaining the property’s value and appeal. Original features such as wood shake roofs, ornate moldings, and period-appropriate fixtures should be retained and restored whenever possible.


For instance, a wood shake roof is not only historically accurate but also adds character and authenticity to the property. When restoring such features, work with contractors who have experience in historic preservation to ensure the work is done correctly and in a manner that respects the property’s historical significance.


Incorporating Modern Design Elements

Don’t be afraid to add detail for visual appeal. One of the best ways to do this is by using things like cove crown molding, which pulls eyes up and gives them details to settle on without cluttering the space. You can find details like this that will spruce up any home’s style.


Another modern detail many have started adding to historical homes is smart cameras, smart lighting, and a smart thermostat. These simple comforts can pull a home into the 21st century without ruining its aesthetics.


Marketing a Renovated Historical Property

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Once the renovation is complete, effective marketing is essential to attract buyers who appreciate the value of a historic property. Highlight the unique historical features, the quality of the restoration work, and any modern upgrades that enhance livability. Professional photography, virtual tours, and detailed descriptions of the property’s history can make your listing stand out.


Networking with real estate agents who specialize in historic properties can also be beneficial. They often have a network of potential buyers who are specifically looking for properties with historical significance.

Leveraging Technology

Technology can play a significant role in both the renovation and marketing of historic properties. During the renovation, tools like 3D scanning and modeling can help you visualize changes and ensure that updates are in line with the property’s historical character. These tools can also help in creating detailed plans that comply with regulatory requirements.

In terms of marketing, leveraging social media, virtual tours, and real estate websites can reach a broader audience. Potential buyers from different parts of the world can explore the property online, increasing the chances of finding the right buyer.


Long-Term Profit Strategies

Renovating a home can allow you to sell for far more, especially when it’s a historic property, but it’s vital that you don’t underestimate the struggle. Landmark homes require far more maintenance and preservation work, so buyers can be shy of leaping for them.


Instead, invest in DIY-ing as much as you can, making a good working relationship with contractors so you can keep prices low, and avoiding major renovations in the kitchens or bathrooms.  

Historic Properties Should Be Given A Fresh Start

There’s a lot of value in renovating historic properties! When you’re ready to make that next step, consider checking out Franklin Investment Realty for more ideas and to find your next project property!


Author Bio:

Sam Willis is a freelance writer that loves sharing his knowledge and expertise in residential and commercial real estate, as well as engineering and construction. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia where he enjoys spending time with his wife and researching real estate trends in his free time. Sam’s work as a freelance writer can be found on Building Product Advisor, a construction industry resource site.


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