Buying a heritage listed home to renovate or conserve is a long-held dream for many Australian’s. The architecture, ambience and thought of bringing something old back to life can be intoxicating. However, to avoid what could become a money pit, buyers need to undertake due diligence prior to making a purchase. In this article TRACY KEAREY, the Director of Mortgage Advice Bureau, Brisbane, provides some guidance on what to consider when purchasing a heritage listed property. 

Seeped in cultural and historical significance, it’s understandable that there are restrictions when renovating a heritage listed home.

While that’s not to say that you can’t make any changes, a little more legwork and creativity – and often cost – could be required.

Understand what you’re doing

Working on a heritage listed property comes down to knowing the implications of your proposed plan.

Understanding the reasons why certain things cannot be altered will not only help you to obtain development approval, but will also highlight why the building’s character, architecture or landscape is worth preserving.

Determine its level of significance

Whether it lies in the external or internal features, determining where the heritage value lies will set you up for what you need for authority approval. It will also highlight where the restrictions will be imposed on your renovation works.

Bring in the experts

As things can get a little complicated, having a specialist team by your side will prove invaluable.

A heritage consultant, experienced architect or even a town planner can assist you throughout the whole process, from the design to dealing with the council.

Know the difference between restoration and conservation

The two are commonly confused, restoration is taking the property back to its traditional form, whereas conservation is maintaining the status quo.

Deciding what to do is a relatively large judgement call, they’re both worthwhile, it’s just a question of what you’d like to see at the end of the day.

Stay within the rules

While a new coat of paint shouldn’t affect the fabric or the long-term conservation or restoration possibilities for the project, other more structural changes are where you can come unstuck.

Making major changes, like changing the window size to be modern dimensions, then you may run into trouble as there’d be no record of what it was, and the heritage value is lost.

The final word

Although renovating a heritage listed property may be a more arduous task than the average home, it is your opportunity to contribute to the preservation of an area’s history, which for many makes the costs involved worthwhile.

If you need assistance with obtaining finance to buy or renovate a heritage listed property please give me a call on 0417 738 469.

Tracy Kearey is an award winning Finance and Mortgage Broker with 23 years’ experience. She has access to over 40+ lenders and offers her clients access to extensive range of loan products and services tailored to individual borrowing needs. If you need assistance with your lending needs you can send Tracy an email or give her a call on M: 0417 738 469. You might also like to connect with Tracy on Facebook

General Advice Warning: This blog is not designed to replace professional advice. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider the appropriateness of the advice, in light of your own objectives, financial situation or needs before making any decision as to what is appropriate for you.

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Finance TipsRenovating a Heritage Listed Home – What’s Involved?