Prospective buyers choose properties for any number of reasons: right location, right price, charm, character. These same choices apply to heritage-listed properties, with some clear distinctions. There are many prospective buyers who are prepared to pay a premium for a heritage-listed property, and others who relish the challenge of renovating an old building for new uses. Of course, some buyers avoid heritage-listed properties because of the unknown.
Regardless of whether a heritage property is listed or not, its heritage values and fabric are important. The unique features of a house help to set it apart. This difference can add value to the property and present it as your unique home.
This brochure provides answers to the most common questions about buying and owning a heritage-listed property.
Ask questions. Many prospective buyers seek advice on whether or not a place is listed and if it is, what changes they can make. Heritage Tasmania provides these services free of charge. It gives you confidence that your vision for the property can be realised. If you require more formal advice, you can request a formal certificate stating whether or not a place is listed. This can be completed as part of normal conveyancing work for a nominal fee.
Renovate for your style. Many people would like to change something about a property they are considering buying. With a heritage-listed property, it means that the impact of any works to the heritage values of the property will be considered when you lodge a building or development application with your local council. Your local council forwards the information on to the Tasmanian Heritage Council, who makes a decision.
The Heritage Council approves 97 per cent of works applications it receives. There are also cases where a full works assessment is not required. For example, in most cases wallpapering, repainting, even updating an outdated bathroom, may be excluded from the process. It's best to check with Heritage Tasmania before you start work or early in the planning process. Heritage Tasmania's advisors can provide you with free and expert architectural or conservation advice, including on-site consultations. It may save you time, money and possibly the need to go through a full works application process.
Accentuate the positive. Heritage properties have a natural appeal, whether it's the history, the beauty, the charm or the character of the building. Highlighting these features retains a distinctive character that many buyers are looking for.
Balance the old and the new. Heritage buildings are best cared for when they are lived in and loved. This means they must be useable. Outdated bathrooms and kitchens or the desire or need to extend are a common point of concern for prospective buyers. The Heritage Council has approved many innovative and creative solutions to blending the old with the new, including creating new living and amenity areas to the rear of heritage-listed properties. The retention of original features married with exciting modern spaces is a great selling point that often increases property values.
Think innovatively. Want to turn a church into a residence, or a former bank into a café? The Tasmanian Heritage Council has approved many such changes. Again, it's about ensuring the building is used and the heritage values protected. Creative and sympathetic solutions, with quality workmanship, provide the greatest return on your investment.
Grow your investment. Research shows that the impact of heritage listing on property prices can be positive. Like any property, its value will be affected by a range of factors including size, location, trends in the real estate market cycle and the quality and maintenance of the property.
Insure for protection. Normal insurance cover is usually sufficient for heritage-listed properties, but the true value of the property must be carefully considered. Consult an insurance broker and look for a package that best suits your needs.