A property site or structure deemed historic at the local, State or National level will come with restrictions in regards to remodeling, demolition or development. But, it could also come with some tax benefits for the owner.

If you’re looking to buy an older building or an older home that is of significant age there is a chance that it might have some type of historical significance. So, the Texas Historical Commission will designate certain properties that have historical significance. This has taken place quite a bit in east Austin, just east of I-35. Some of those homes have historical significance and I’ve heard of horror stories of investors or families buying these homes or buildings with the intent to knock them down because they look dilapidated only to find out later that they have some type of historical significance and you absolutely cannot knock them down without approval from the Texas Historical Commission.

So, in order for a building or a home to be designated as a historical building through the THC, the Texas Historical Commission, it has to meet three attributes.

Firstly, it has to be of significant age. The general rule of thumb is 50 years or older, but that doesn’t always apply, for example, if a home or a building was 45 years old and it had a famous author or a famous actor that lived in it. Right? It could still get the designation.

Secondly, it has to be able to maintain its physical integrity, meaning it hasn’t fallen down, it still needs to be able to stand upright and show some of the attributes that made it historical.

And, thirdly, it has to be deemed historic either at the local, state, or national level, due to, again, if a famous person was there or if a famous event, for example, took place.

So, there are different landmarks or registries you can get a property registered with: a national registration or the Texas Historic Landmark and there’s also an Antiquities designation, some of these designations might have tax benefits so, it could be beneficial to you.

Now, once you get that Texas Historical Commission stamp of approval, it could be very difficult to remove that. I don’t know for sure if you can get that removed, so it’s something that you would need to do your research on. And, anyone who is restoring a historic building or a historic home, I’ve never personally done it, but I’ve heard stories horror stories for lack of a better phrase that it always takes about twice as long and twice the budget that you plan on. So, it can it can be very challenging to restore these buildings or these homes. But, obviously we want to maintain these buildings that have historical significance. So, do your homework. There are a lot of online resources. The best place to start is the THC website, Texas historical commission website. And, you can see if there are any buildings or homes in your area or what the process would be to get that stamp of approval. Again, some of the designations do have tax benefits, so it can be very beneficial to you.

Feel free to reach out to us with questions or other topics you’d like to see covered.

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