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Old 02-23-2012, 11:56 AM
zut zut is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Detroit, MI
Posts: 3,724
Originally Posted by obbn View Post
The house is marked is a historical home in the city and I do realize that there are certain restrictions that come with purchasing a home that has this designation. Can someone give me an example of what the restrictions might be? I am assuming most have to do with the exterior of the home, colors, siding and such.

I would think that the majority of any changes inside would be up to our discretion. The house is beautiful inside with real wood floors and even wood ceilings. We would never think of compromising the look of the interior with modern upgrades, sans the kitchen where of course modern appliances would be put.

As I mentioned, I will be contacting the county to find out all the important things we should know, but would like to get some idea of what we are getting into.
As I think you realize, the people that set the rules, and the people you'll have to deal with in getting approval, are the folks at the local Historic Preservation Office. That means the most important information is what Mr Downtown uoted:
Originally Posted by Mr Downtown View Post
The SHPO is irrelevant. Unless you're using federal money, National Register listing has no effect on what you can do with your property, including demolition.

Mt. Dora has an ordinance regarding exterior changes:

Certificates of Appropriateness are required for any proposed exterior alterations or renovations to any buildings (residential or non-residential) more than fifty years old that lies within the defined historic district. The streets included in the historic district are Helen Street, McDonald Street, Alexander Street, and Donnelly Street lying south of 11th Avenue; Baker Street, Tremain Street, Grandview Street, Clayton Street, and Highland Street lying between 11th Avenue and 1st Avenue; and, First Avenue through Tenth Avenue, inclusive, lying west of Highland Street. Here's a map of the affected area.
However, I would be surprised if historic renovation guidelines are not essentialy the same across most localities. I live in a historic district, and our local Historic District Commission has guildelines that sound essentially the same as what's quoted above.

Basically, any renovations you do to the interior of the house that don't affect the exterior appearance don't need any kind of approval. External changes need approval, and how much of a hassle that is is probably a function of how much you want to change the appearance. We had our house re-roofed with similar shingles to what existed before, and approval was routine. Re-roofing with a different material probably would have been a bigger headache, but there was no reason to do so.

If your house has a slate roof, make sure you take a hard look at it. Slate roofs are pretty durable, but a 90+ year old roof may be getting up to the end of its useful life, and fixing a slate roof will be far more expensive than fixing asphalt shingles. The chances of the local historic board allowing you to replace a slate roof with asphalt is pretty slim. Likewise, windows can be a problem spot: replacing wooden windows can be quite expensive, and you're unlikely to be allowed to replace them with vinyl windows.

All in all, for us, dealing with the historic board was no more onerous than having to pull a construction permit anyway. It's only if you want to make major external changes that it's an issue.