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  • Writer's pictureJenna King


There is something special about a home built a long time ago, it’s rooms filled with charm and history. But is a historic home the right one for you?

Historic Designated Home

Before you purchase, you need to determine if you want to own a home that has been designated as historic or if you want a home that is older or perhaps in a Historic District. In the historic districts in Boise, homes are categorized as contributing or non-contributing.

For a home to be officially designated as historic, it usually must meet three requirements:

  1. Be a certain age

  2. In very similar form to how it was when it became historically important

  3. Be associated with a historical event or person, or the building itself is important due to architectural significance

There are benefits to owning a home with a historical designation. For example, local and state governments may offer tax incentives or lower interest rates to encourage homebuyers to purchase and preserve or restore the home. Homes that have been designated as historic are also usually a boon for the neighborhood, resulting in an increase in home prices. There is also the excitement of living in a unique home that is a part of history and truly one of a kind.

There are also disadvantages to consider before you purchase a home with a historical designation. These include:

  • Restoration costs

  • Structural issues

  • Possible issues associated with older homes, such as lead paint, dated plumbing/electrical or asbestos

  • The hiring of experts and preservationists for home upkeep and restoration

  • Adherence to guidelines, rules, or restrictions in historic districts

  • Approval of a local historical committee if changes or modifications are wanted to be made

Boise Historic Districts

Even if you decide that you would rather skip the historically designated houses and focus only on homes older in age, there are still considerations to take into account.

In Boise, a large majority of older homes are located in the Historic North End neighborhood. This is one of the most desirable and esteemed neighborhoods in the city.

Not only are the houses gorgeous and one of a kind, but the North End Neighborhood Association (NENA) ensures consistent property values thanks to its focus on preserving the neighborhood’s character. This could be considered a negative by some homebuyers because NENA does have certain rules and regulations concerning the homes within the area, including additions and exterior renovations. View a full list of Boise’s 10 Historic Districts.

No matter what kind of home you determine you want to buy, you want to partner with a knowledgeable Realtor who can help you navigate the nuisances of purchasing a historic home. This includes hiring an experienced home inspector who can examine the house thoroughly and a contractor who can provide estimates for any needed repairs or restorations. A Realtor can also find historic homes that aren’t listed by the National Register of Historic Places.

If you ever have any questions about the ever-changing marketplace or know someone looking to buy or sell, please do not hesitate to reach out!

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