Selling Houses Australia

Is a Heritage House Right for You?

Heritage properties can be a double-edged sword, so is it the right choice for you if you're looking to buy? Andrew Winter shares his expert advice. 

Heritage properties have great kerb appeal and are often found in high demand areas. However, the same planning controls that maintain the beautiful façades also restrict development potential. 

And what happens when the whole suburb is a heritage conservation area?

Take Haberfield in Sydney’s inner west. It's made up countless federation homes - single story, detached beauties on leafy tree lined streets.

And if you’re a bit like me and drawn to character then the right house in the right location is a dream come true.

But not everyone is willing to take on the inconvenience of heritage.

If you want a second story in Haberfield the answer from the local planning committee is likely to be a resounding no!

It’s vital you do your research. Heritage listing can affect an individual building or whole suburbs amd this can be a big turn off for certain buyers – especially those looking to develop.

Tight planning laws can limit and define the changes and alterations you can make to properties in heritage conservations areas. They affect anything from exterior paint colour to major extensions.

This could prove costly and put off buyers wanting to make significant changes. 

When it comes time to sell it could mean you’ll have a longer wait for the right buyer. Check with the local council or heritage association before you buy and think about your long-term requirements.

Some lenders are so convinced a heritage listed property is harder to sell they even go so far as insisting on a bigger deposit – sometimes up to 30 percent of the value.

The very fact there’s a limited supply of heritage properties means if you have the right house in the right spot it could be a goldmine.


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