5 Things to Know Before Buying a Historic Home in S.C.

Character and quality are two of the key reasons why people adore historic homes in S.C., though there are many other reasons.  Most importantly, older homes were built to last and crafted with pride.  With wrap-around covered porches overlooking shady tree-lined stress, historic homes convey a sense of longevity and stability.  But, these are just a few things that contribute to their charm.  

Are you considering buying an older home in South Carolina?  If so, it’s in your best interest to ask some specific questions before finalizing the deal.  The following are some things to keep in mind and ask about older homes.

How Does a Home Qualify as “Historic”

Historic Homes in S.C.A historic home is typically 50 years old or older and retains most of its original characteristics and architecture.  According to the National Register of Historic Places, the following criteria must be met:

  • The home is associated with significant people from the time period..
  • There must still be identifiable characteristics associated with the time period, construction method, artistic style, architect, and the particular type of home.
  • The home may provide or have provided information related to historical events.

Owners of historic homes are not required to list their property in the register.  However, doing so may make you eligible for tax incentives and grant opportunities.

Benefits of Owning Historic Homes in S.C.

Aside from the beauty and unique architecture, the benefits of owning historic homes in S.C. are numerous.  Here are a few ways you will benefit from owning an older home:

  1. Character and charm – When you step inside a historic home, you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time. The ornate door knockers, fireplaces, and crown molding are just a few of the details you love.  
  2. History – Each older home has sheltered dozens of families through the years.  The walls hold stories of these unique individuals and you may be able to trace some of their history.  
  3. Keeping history alive – When you buy a historic home in S.C., you’re keeping history alive.  By restoring the home you make it your own while also preserving the past.
  4. One of a kind architecture – If you don’t enjoy the cookie-cutter homes built today, a historic home is a good choice.  The homes are constructed with a distinct old-world style that is hard to duplicate.  You may find choices such as Colonia. Federal, Georgian, Victorian, Spanish, or Mid-century styles.
  5. Financial benefits – You may get state and local tax benefits and lower interest loans to purchase or restore the home.

Due to the strict guidelines required by historic districts, homes in these districts retain their value as well.  You also won’t have to worry about your neighbor building some absurd, unsightly addition to their home.

Downsides of Owning Historic Homes in S.C.

Although owning a historic home has many benefits, a few downsides are worth noting.  For example:

  1. Lots of hard work – Historic homes come with their share of problems such as water damage, structural problems, inefficient windows, lead paint, electrical issues, and termite damage.  If you can’t do the work yourself, it will be expensive to hire qualified contractors.
  2. Rules to follow – Historic districts often have strict guidelines for homeowners to follow.  For instance, you may not be allowed to change or add-on to the structure without permission from the city.  You can learn more about the rules by contacting your city’s development office.
  3. Mismatched updates – The house has been inhabited by numerous families, and each of them has made improvements to different places that don’t match those done by previous owners.
  4. Unwanted surprises – Many historic homes have not been properly cared for and preserved.  You may encounter mold, asbestos, termites, or other unpleasant surprises.
  5. Expensive insurance – An older home with structural issues may cause your insurance premium to be high.  A standard insurance policy may not offer adequate coverage, so you will need historic home insurance which can be expensive. 

Overall, buying a historic home is worth the investment and hard work.  The key is to know what to expect before signing the contract.  

Insurance for Historic Homes in S.C. at Sandifer Insurance Agency

Because of its unique architecture, your older home deserves the protection provided by insurance for historic homes.  When insuring your older home, you want to be sure you have guaranteed replacement cost coverage.  An HO-8 policy covers older homes and provides coverage that exceeds the home’s market value.  However, it only pays actual cash value.  

Sandifer Insurance Agency has over 40-years of experience in helping clients protect historic homes.  We are located near the historic district in Cheraw, SC and also proudly serve customers in surrounding areas.  Our agents understand the complexities of historic home insurance and are happy to assist you in any way.  

Contact Sandifer Insurance Agency to learn more about your historic home insurance options.  We work with many top insurers to provide you the affordable, reliable insurance you need.  



nps.gov/– National Register of Historic Places

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