Treat yourself: Tricks to buying and restoring an old home / by Jenny Yarborough

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Building a new home from the ground up is certainly the easiest way to buy your dream home but you can't build history. While there are plenty of ways to fabricate a rustic look, if you're settled on a piece of property in which a home already exists or if you're into the idea of working with an existing home, treat yourself to our tricks to restoring an old home.

  1. Trash or Treasure? That is the question. Take out a pen and paper or whip out the Notes app on your iPhone and walk through the old home you've purchased making careful considerations and taking notes about every piece of the property you'd like to keep and on those you'd rather restore or trash. Maybe you love the original hardwoods and just want to refinish them or perhaps there's an exposed brick wall you love or a chandelier in the hall that just has to stay but may need rewiring. Jot it all down so that when the builder comes to take a look, you'll have every detail already noted.
  2. Make or break? Would you rather make your own rules even if that means you'll be sacrificing potential tax breaks and a piece of history? The choice is up to you! If you're into the historical preservation and you're interested in receiving a plaque that designates your house as such, your home needs to be at least 75 years old within the city of Wilmington in order to be eligible for a Historic Wilmington Foundation plaque. Your home only needs to be 50 years or older within Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach or Kure Beach to be eligible for a plaque. If you're okay with following strict procedure in order to preserve your home according to city, state and federal standards, there are federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives which may cover up to 20% of your restoration efforts. There are also property tax incentives that go along with your home preservation as well but when you are receiving tax dollars or tax cuts, this means you'll have to abide by strict standards of procedure which may mean you won't be able to revamp your home into one with as many modern luxuries. So take a look at the protocol and discuss the details with your builder. 
  3. Top to bottom. While it's easy to overlook the foundational elements of the home at first and get fixated on what goes where, the color of paint you want in the master suite, the type of backsplash you're imagining in the kitchen, it's most important to look at the structural end of things first. What kind of shape is the roof in? What does the foundation look like? Any mold under the house? Are the windows leaking or letting in a lot of heat? How about the appliances? Are they fully functional? Is the home even grounded? These are things you'll want to look for yourself but also check in with an inspector on to be sure that the house is sound before any other work is done. Let your builder swing by for a second assessment to be sure every piece of the home was thoroughly inspected so that based on your budget for restoration, he can come up with a separate budget for your ascetics. 

Ready to make plans to renovate your home? Or are you ready to build a brand new custom home? Give us a call today at 910.620.1835 or fill out our brief Custom Renovations form here. We'll be in touch!