2. Basements. Many of the antique homes on the Cape have what we affectionately refer to as a "Cape Cod" basement. It is a circular pit lined with stone or, more commonly, brick. At any given time it will fit your water heater, your boiler, your electrical panel, and if you don't weigh very much, you. There will be no man cave, no movie theater, no basement tavern.
|In this 1923 House Beautiful Kohler of Kohler Ad, the built in tub was a rare luxury!|
|Early 20th century modern kitchen|
|A 21st century kitchen in an 18th century home|
4. Financing. The condition of the home will be a consideration when choosing your financing options. Some forms of financing may not work if the home has chipping lead paint or knob and tube wiring. Never fear, there are financing options that work well for an antique home in need of some TLC (203k, HUD Title 1 Home improvement loan).
5. Location. Yes, you may still be able to find a lonely cottage down a long lane surrounded by the changing marsh. But more likely, that historic home is going to be on Main St. surrounded by historic homes of different vintages and walking distance to a cup of coffee and the morning paper. Also, ye old settlers shied away from building their homes on the ocean, though late 19th century homes appreciated the sea air. If you want an earlier home that is waterfront, you may want to look to the rivers.
6. Historic District approvals. This, for some reason, strikes the greatest of fear. What if I want to change the color of my door? What if I need to re-roof? Breathe, the process isn't as bad as it seems. Even new houses in a historic district may be subject to architectural review. But if you are an old house enthusiast, it is unlikely that you are going to want to change the exterior of your home to look like an airplane hanger. And the historic district doesn't have purview on the interior. The historic district protects the value of your home, preserves its setting, and is the reason that the Old King's Highway looks the way it does.
7. Are you feint of heart? The inspection for the purchase of your historic home is going to separate the sheep from the goats. Be prepared to have a long laundry list that includes non functioning GFCI outlets, evidence of a previous powder post beetle infestation, and not-up-to-code tree trunks in the basement supporting the floor joists. Don't panic, keep your eye on the prize. It will be worth it!