Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty: This old house – What you need to know when buying an historic home

1200 W. 55th St - one of Kansas City's many beautiful historic homes.

Imagine this scenario. You have been house hunting for ages and have finally found the home you have been dreaming of. It just so happens to be an historic home – which leaves you with some questions. Did you know Kansas City is home to around 332 of these properties? If this type of purchase is something you have been contemplating, there are some things you should know.

What is a True “Historic” Home?
First a little background. For a home to be a true “Historic Home”, it must be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This means that the home needs to be at least 50 years old (with a few exceptions) and meet one of the following criteria:

  • It’s associated with significant, historical events
  • It’s associated with the lives of significant, historic individuals
  • It embodies a particular master or historic style
  • It yields provided or is likely to yield important historical information

If you are purchasing a home that is on this list, not only will you likely be surrounded by extraordinary charm and character, but you will also join the ranks of a very particular type of homeowner! These individuals are fortunate to tell the story of their home through the decades with friends, family and the public if they so choose. It is a privilege to be able to take an active role in sharing a piece of history, and as an owner of a historic property you are afforded a rare opportunity to do so.

An Excellent Investment
A definite bonus to owning a historic home is the consistent increase in value year over year. Did you know that homes of this type have outpaced their newer counterparts in terms of value? Recent studies who that on average, a historic property’s value is about 26 percent higher than other homes in the same market and are not typically heavily affected by fluctuations in the market.

Maintaining an historic home
Some may consider the responsibility of maintaining a historic home as a negative. It is true that due to its age, these types of homes will require consistency when it comes to maintenance. Repairs can be costly and historic homes have regulations in place that dictate the type of improvements and repairs that can be done. The good news is there are resources that can be utilized through your local government or private organizations to assist in the cost of maintenance and preservation. There are also tax breaks for these types of homes. Your State Historic Preservation Office is a wealth of knowledge for any questions regarding repair, preservation and tax incentives.
State Historic Preservation Offices – National Register of Historic Places (U.S. National Park Service) (

If you have decided that finding the perfect historic property is part of your journey to unlock home, it is important to work with a realtor who is well-versed in these types of transactions. They can help you navigate an already complicated process of appraisals, renovations and regulations that come with owning this type of home.

Bash & Co. Sotheby’s International Realty is an innovative full-service residential real estate brokerage that leverages the latest technology to serve clients in emerging, established, and luxury neighborhoods across the Kansas City area. Follow them on Instagram here and on Facebook here.