Tips for Restoring Your Old Historic House for Sale


If you’re lucky enough to own a historic home, then you have a unique opportunity. While it may be difficult to find the right buyer for such an old property, there’s no doubt that restoring an old house can be rewarding not only in terms of saving the past but also in improving your investment and fixing up your home. Here are some tips on how to restore and sell your historic house:

Involve your real estate agent

If you’re working to restore an old historic house, it’s important to involve your real estate agent in the process. Real estate agents have a lot of experience with selling homes like houses for sale in Mount Pleasant, and they can provide valuable insight on what buyers are looking for and how to make sure your home stands out from the crowd.

If you’re trying to sell your home, it’s important that you don’t focus too much on making it look brand-new again, this is not what buyers are looking for. Instead, focus on restoring it to its original condition as much as possible. While most buyers want newer homes, there is a market for vintage houses that have been lovingly restored over time.

To ensure that your house sells quickly and for top dollar, be sure that all of your personal belongings are removed from the property before listing it with an agent. You’ll also want to make sure that the house is well maintained before showing it off; even small issues will be noticed by buyers who are looking closely at every detail.

Get tested for asbestos

While asbestos is a mineral that was used for insulation and other building materials, it’s not safe to have around if you’re living in the house. It can cause serious health problems, like asbestosis and mesothelioma. If you do find asbestos in your home, hire a professional who knows how to do asbestos removal safely. The removal process must be done correctly because if not, the asbestos can get into your lungs when you breathe or even touch it.

Before removing any asbestos from your old historic house for sale, make sure that there isn’t anything else in danger of being exposed, and especially any children! Make sure all family members are out of harm’s way before starting on any projects involving removal.

Consult an expert on heritage building

A reputable heritage building restoration expert will have references and previous work to show you. Before you hire them, ask for examples of their past work. This is a good way to get an idea of their style and skill level as well as how closely they stick to the guidelines for restoration.

  • Ask about their experience in your area or province, since some parts of Canada have strict criteria for restoring heritage buildings while others are laxer.
  • Ask about their previous experience with similar types of buildings (for example, an old farmhouse versus a large Victorian mansion).
  • Find out how long they’ve been working on these projects, a seasoned expert will likely be able to give you better advice than someone who just started out doing it last month.

Make sure you have a substantial budget

  • If your house is a historic one and you are planning to sell it, one of the first things that you need to do is make sure that you have a substantial budget for restoration. This doesn’t mean just spending some money here or there—it means being prepared to spend an enormous amount of money on restoring your old historic home.
  • Many factors can affect how much it costs to restore your old historic house. The main factor is the condition of the house when you begin restoration work; if it’s in poor shape then obviously this will mean more work will be needed than if it was in good condition before beginning restoration.
  • Even with these considerations taken into account though, there’s no denying that restoring an old historic home comes with high costs—even small projects can easily cost upwards of 1 million dollars!

Consult with an architect

Once you’ve selected a project, it’s time to find a qualified professional architect. This should be someone with expertise in historic preservation and restoration projects. An architect can help you plan the restoration project and make sure the finished product will meet your needs (and not violate any local regulations). They can also recommend contractors who specialize in historic preservation or even do some of the work themselves.

Architects are usually happy to help with budgeting as well—they’ll be able to tell you how much each part of implementing your plan will cost so that you know what kind of budget you need to have before starting construction.

Match the style of your home’s era

The first step in restoring your old house for sale is to determine what style it was built with. In some cases, it’s easy: the home may have been designed by a famous architect or builder and the style will be obvious from looking at photos of it. Other houses might be more difficult to pinpoint. However, many historic homes share certain features that are common among different styles of building over time.

In general, there are two primary types of architecture: traditional and modern. Traditional architecture refers to buildings that typically use materials such as stone and wood instead of steel girders or concrete blocks. Modern architecture tends to use these materials but also includes other elements like steel frames inside walls or roof decks above exterior walls that aren’t part of their original design (this can make restoration efforts more challenging).

Get to know your local landmarks commission

A local landmarks commission is the group that helps to determine what is historic and what isn’t. If you are planning on selling your house, it’s important to know how your local landmarking process works.

The first thing you’ll want to do is figure out if your home has any historical significance. You can start by looking through old photos of the house or doing research online at places like or Wikipedia (which has an extensive list of historic sites). The next step will be contacting the commission directly to ask them about their standards for determining whether or not something should be designated historically significant (or “landmarked”). After this initial meeting, they may decide that they need more information before making a decision—in which case they might ask you to provide things like architectural plans and building permits from past renovations or rebuilds. Once all of these steps have been completed successfully, they may officially designate your house as historically significant! This designation comes with its benefits: tax credits for renovations; protection against demolition without good cause; restrictions on exterior changes like paint color and roofing material choice; etcetera…

Do you need to make updates to your home or will it sell as-is?

If you are planning to make updates to your old historic house for sale, it’s important to do them right.

There are many reasons why a buyer might not want to buy a home that needs work—and the most obvious is that they feel it will be too much work for them to tackle.

Therefore, when deciding whether or not you should update your historic house before putting it on the market, consider:

  • Is this investment worth the time and money necessary? How much can you afford in terms of time and/or money invested? (Do yourself a favor and hire experts!)
  • If you don’t need to make any major improvements but just want to bring the place back up-to-date with modern amenities such as new appliances or finishes (like carpeting) etc., do so sparingly so as not to lose its character.


Hope these tips have inspired you to start your historic house restoration project. Remember that it’s not just about the result; it’s also about the journey along the way! And if you need more help or advice, you can always contact us at any time.

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