Myth: Owning an historic house is a ‘Go it alone’ Proposition.

Okay, I admit that this myth is not a myth, it’s ‘sort of’’ a sad fact.     But it doesn’t have to be that way.


That is why the Newburyport Preservation Trust. Newburyport Historical Commission and Historic New England and in a much lesser role, Mass Historic are so very important.     


On your own, dealing with an historic home is a painful trial and error process and you can make some costly mistakes that you will have to live with for a long time.      Heck, even going it alone on new buildings can be a stupid thing to do.    I assure you, having been in the construction industry for many years, there are a great host of thieves and pirates ready to harvest the ‘innocents’ in New England.      The Commonwealth has tried to crack down on them but all it has resulted in are more sophisticated thieves and pirates.


In contrast, if you own property in Newburyport; you have a much better chance of doing the job right because of these four great organizations.     Suburbia has only the DIY/HGTV Channels and classes at Home Depot and Lowes!


For example, dealing with an historic home, you get to rub shoulders at the ‘Trust’ with other homeowners and with craftsman who would bend over backward to tell you how to do something right.      Suburbia has to ‘pay’ someone to pry open their mouth and the speaker usually likes to keep the most important information close to their vest.


The Historical Commission having close acquaintance with the Building Department, the Planning Office and other boards such as the planning and zoning; are VERY eager to guide a developer and/or homeowner.   They will actually come out to your house and give suggestions and tips.        Suburbia, just start doling out the cash!


There are a lot of complicated programs that will save you money.      Who’s going to guide you?    These groups!    Tax credits through easements, tax credits from the state and the feds for commercial properties, free to low-cost programs to make your historic home energy efficient, safe and a joy to live in.        Who’s going to tell you?     These groups!


Of course, a lot of these great offerings won’t even get off the ground unless your home is in a National Register.    Guess What?     The Newburyport Historic District and the visionary workers who labored to outline it in the 80’s did a great favor to well over 2,700 homes.


There is a host of great people available to accompany you through the experience of renovating and restoring an historic home.    


My advice?    Don’t be a fool and go it alone.     


-P. Preservationist


About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
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