Historic Homes:  What You Need to Know About Owning One.

Historic Homes: What You Need to Know About Owning One.

What You Need to Know About Historic Homes

Considering buying a historic home can be exciting and overwhelming at the same time. There are tons of stunning historic homes but choosing to own one comes with rules and regulations. Here in Spokane, history can be seen through the whole city with historic homes in multiple different neighborhoods. Before you decide whether a historic home is right for you, we have put together some things to know. 

Design Review 

This is the process that helps maintain the historical significance of these homes. Essentially, design review ensures that the building will be preserved and not adversely affected. Conducting a design review guarantees that any of your plans for the home are within the local guidelines and keeps historic neighborhoods consistent. 
Specifically, in Spokane, qualified properties are added to the Spokane Register of Historic Places and owners of these properties agree to follow standards outlined in their “Management Agreement.” Owners must receive a Certificate of Appropriateness (COA) as approval for any changes concerning use, exterior appearance, new construction, or demolition of the historic home. 

Common Historic Home Rules 

Although each home could have different rules depending on their location, here are a few things that are common for most historic homes.

Roofing Materials

As a part of the exterior of the home the roof materials need to be approved before being replaced. These permitted changes can be discussed in your design review.


Adding to a historic home can impact its historical value. If you are looking to add on a mudroom or similar, you may run into difficulty with getting approval. 

Windows and Shutters 

These exterior fixtures can help clean up the curb-appeal for a home. But many historic neighborhoods ask that you update them in the original fashion.

Home Insurance 

Since historic homes have original architecture and materials which are pricey, insurance for these properties can be more expensive compared to standard coverage. 


Historic homeowners are eligible for reduced taxes and other incentives. Of course, these bonuses vary from state to state, so be sure to ask for details on your specific property. 


Historic homes are a stunning reminder of architectural trends and local history, but before you jump right in remember that there are rules and regulations that come with it. Talk to your local historical home registry to find out exactly what those look like for the property you are considering. As always, you can consult a real estate agent you trust, they’ll likely have this information ready for you. And if you are here in Spokane, we’ve got you covered.

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