Heritage Buildings: Are They Worth It?

Most home buyers cringe when they hear the word ‘heritage’ in association with a house for sale. What is the problem with homes which are heritage listed or located in a conservation area? The time has come to debunk people’s perceptions of heritage listed properties and reveal the truths. Myth 1: Heritage listed houses are sold cheaper than other houses Answer: Find a real estate agent who will guarantee this presumption.

I doubt you will. The purchaser of a heritage listed home are usually aware that it is heritage listed, so they are prepared to take on the responsibility of preserving it. Myth 2: If my house is heritage listed or in a conservation area, I can’t do any renovations Answer: Even though the house has heritage value, it is possible to undertake suitably designed renovations. There could be scope to add another storey.

I recommend you liaise with your local Council for more guidance. See my tips below for more on this topic. Under the SEPP Housing Code, even if you are proposing to repaint a house which is heritage listed or located in a conservation area, you will need Council approval. Since the introduction of this policy in February 2009, I have yet to see an application for just repainting a heritage building in the Council where I work. 5 Tips for home owners and home buyers If someone owns or is considering purchasing a house which is heritage listed or in a heritage conservation area, I usually respond to them with the following advice.

Council will assess any future proposed renovations based on planning controls, plus its heritage value. Heritage does not rule out any renovations, it mainly limits you to doing what you want. Always check the 149 Zoning Certificate which forms part of the contract of sale to check the heritage status of the house. Note that most Councils will not provide advice on whether a property is heritage listed over the phone. Zoning information is also information not usually provided over the phone. This is just in case Council gets it wrong. Some Councils have zoning and heritage maps available on their websites.

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