What Local Historic District DOES NOT do: · Does not regulate paint colors · Does not require repairs or renovations to be made · Does not increase taxes beyond normal increases for the City or County · Does not prevent additions · Does not prevent non-contributing homes from being demolished · Does not require use of historic materials or historic building methods · Does not require that you open you home to the public · Does not restrict routine maintenance of properties
What Local Historic District DOES do: · Recognizes that Oakhurst has a distinctive historic character important to the overall character of the City of Decatur · Encourages creative and compatible development with historic areas · Requires that a Certificate of Appropriateness be obtained for exterior changes to contributing properties, demolition of buildings, and new construction. · Applies only to major renovations to the exterior of your home. Interior renovations are not restricted.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Buying a Home in a Historic District

Buying a Home in a Historic District

www.bobvila.com/HowTo_Library/Buying_a_Home_in_an_Historic_District-Home_Buying-A1541.html

A National Register citation confirms a home's historic significance, but the real worth may be realized in the stability and strength of the property's value. A 2000 study of South Carolina home sales shows that homes in Columbia's historic districts sold 26 percent faster than the overall market; while historic Beauport owners saw a whopping 21 percent greater sale price. In Rome, Georgia, properties in designated historic neighborhoods increased in value 10 percent more than similar properties without historic designation between 1980 and 1996. Studies in Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania corroborate the positive effect an historic district designation has on property values, with overall increases between 5 percent and 20 percent. The stability of property value appears to extend to owner tenure as well: There is a reportedly lower owner turnover within historic districts than in neighborhoods lacking that distinction.

26 comments:

ante gamisou said...

Our property values have already made their big jump over the last 5-10 years. Our neighborhood's homes will never be worth more than those in Inman or Candler or dare I say Druid Hills. We're already approaching these values. Our neighborhood will never have been designed by Olmstead like Druid Hills was and therefore we'll never have that kind of historic clout. Every neighborhood between here and Atlanta was on the same trolley line and has the same bungalows in the same dreadful shape. If we are that special then why not Kirkwood, Edgewood, Reynoldstown, etc. Our neighborhood is very special for so many reasons, but trying to claim some special significance regarding history is a huge stretch of the imagination. We are special because of the festivals we host, the walkable neighborhood, the retail village as a nucleus, the diversity of people and incomes, the diversity of structures from a Spanish tiled Scottish Rite campus, to the castle, to the pink mirrored fence, and of course our beautiful bungalows. That's what makes us special not some history we're trying to craft for ourselves.

lhd is wrong for Oakhurst said...

Everyone needs to do their own research because there are studies showing both increases AND decreases of homes in local historic districts. You need to be certain that apples to apples are being compared instead of apples to grapefruits. Our neighborhood has many smaller homes, which may actually decline in value if Oakhurst becomes a local historic district. Two bedroom with one bath homes that have no ability to add a second story will likely decline in value or sit on the market for a very long time if Oakhurst becomes a historic district - just talk to realtors in historic districts with similar homes. However, homes that are larger that will provide enough space are very likely to increase in value. One size does not fit all when looking at this issue.

ante gamisou said...

Good point! Not only are they already too small, but the property values are very high making the economics of improving them more difficult which is compounded by the fact that the majority of what is and will soon be available are not the prized bungalows, but the vacation cottages that were never intended for full time habitation, like mine. These are just as plentiful as craftsman inspired bungalows.

None of us want to see a perfectly good bungalow torn down. None of us like bad Mr. Potato Head architecture. Stick a tapered column in the nose hole and a gingerbread decoration in the ear hole and there you go! A disgusting misinterpretation of traditionalism.

Ironically, the bungalow marked a wonderful time in history when anyone could afford a well designed plan book home. This was the in-fill housing of it's time, but in a good way. This is why you find them everywhere. Like all wonderful things, brain dead people later take these good intentions and turn them into the crap we see today. Why do we leave the suburbs with the Walmart, Mall, and Applebees? Because it's hideous! American architecture and culture is suffering!

We come to the in-town neighborhood because it reminds us of a time when people cared what buildings look like, not just individually, but collectively. A time when the people hired Architects to design and not the builder. We live in a time when a karaoke contestant can win multiple Grammies. Creative integrity has gone out the widow in this country as sales and left brained professions are the only things valued$$$. After nearly 2 decades of removing art & music from the classroom, we have an entire generation of citizens with little to no creative training. We have a natural urge to create and make things. Many of us are very creative, but haven't been given the chance to cultivate that talent as our society puts no importance on creativity. I think it's more than obvious that the non-professional designers and builders have had their chance and blew it big time. Let the professionals do their job as they can assist you in making your vision all it can be.

samantha said...

I am a real estate agent and the home at 205 3rd Avenue is now under contract at nearly the asking price of $345M. This is a 2 bedroom 2 bath house of with 1,541 square feet on a lot with only 5,000 square feet. It sold in less than 10 days being on the market. The lot is 40% smaller than the lot containing the new house down the street. Lot size dictates how much floor area (size of any addition) and impervious surface coverage. Price per square foot for this house is greater than the asking price for the new house even without consideration of the garage for the new house. That is pretty close to an apples to apples comparison.

Anonymous said...

ante gamisou failed to point out that Kirkwood is pursuing a historic district designation and that housing prices comparing Edgewood and Reynoldstown to their direct LHD neighbors also supports that LHD improves property values.

lhd is right for Oakhurst said...

When ONE was asked to provide empirical evidence of housing price decline for LHD they were only able to produce one report presented in 1980s that was later refuted by another empirical study. They also provided another report that was really just an editorial.

However, as the nominators have said repeatedly there are many things that go into the economics of housing prices and what happens in Oakhurst is unknown whether it is or is not a LHD. It is possible that housing prices right now represent a bubble that could bust. Who knows.

ante gamisou also failed to point to the many studies that indicate that larger massed homes have a tendancy to retard the value of the smaller homes surrounding them. This was shown through a study conducted in the City of Atlanta as of 2 years ago. That means that those residents that can not afford to renovate by adding square footage will slowly lose value in their homes as more demolitions occur.

LHD is currently the only way to preserve the unique historic character of the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

However, the LHD is oppposed by more than half the residents.

It is unfortunate that the two sides can't come together to create a more democratic process that works to satisfy the majority of the problems.

Several posts on this blog paint the neighborhood zoning overlay as bad. Why? It can be drafted to address anything the neighborhood majority wants it to. Hopefully it won't allow neighbors or zealous historians to dictate design and style, but it can certainly be restrictive enough to control demolition and prevent huge infill houses. If this issue justifies the efforts invested to date, certainly it is important enough to find a way that works.

Anonymous said...

"However, the LHD is oppposed by more than half the residents."

Really? Did you take a vote monitored by the Carter center?

Anonymous said...

"Vote", of the written sort, yes. No Carter Center. Interesting "response" to a suggestion that we all work together. Why so much anger when someone suggests alternatives to a restrictive overlay like a LHD?

ante gamisou said...

I didn't point out ANY studies because they apply to different places in different times with different circumstances. Numbers are often skewed by general inflation and escalation that would have occurred anyway. This is all speculation as property values have nothing to do with historic designation, only sales data. Houses here that sold for $80K 10 years ago are going for $300K now. I have yet to see this kind of escalation due to historic designation in any article. Real estate transactions have already unethically been dissolved based on telling the buyer this will be an historic district. Is running off all the builders going to magically make this community better? Our community only exists in it's current state because of the development. Without it this would still be a very dangerous, impoverished neighborhood with small dilapidated houses. Renovations have been going on for a decade and most of the good candidates have already been renovated. It's a natural cycle. It's unbelievable that people with such little understanding of how the building industry works could have the audacity to not only assume they are so right and have all the answers, but to make decisions for a whole community without asking! That's mostly what this friction is about. The entire application process was shady, passive aggressive, and secretive. Many people in the neighborhood still have no idea of what most of this is about and that is absolutely appalling. There was no intention of including the neighborhood, but to slip the legislation by as quickly as possible. The City Commissioners know this and realize this lack of process needs to be fixed. They also recognize that the HPC has gone too far and needs to be reigned in. The animosity and polarization of an entire neighborhood created by these 3 musketeers may be beyond repair at this point. It's not so much about the district as much as it is about the audacity of excluding the neighborhood from major decisions about our own properties! Obviously the community is NOT on the same page and you can speculate the numbers of Us vs Them all you want. The fact is that there is a definite split. Why can't we try to solve this together with out adding (or overlaying if you will) more rules to the rules already creating the problems? It is up to the 3 that started this mess to repair it and I have little confidence that they will ever see it that way, as they are not into working together but immediately separating themselves as if they only know what's best. Why do we have a majority and minority in-fill report? Why can't we ever work together? It is up to the 3 to reconcile and repair the ties between those of us with different ideas and concerns. It is up to YOU to fix what you've broken. I challenge you 3 to work with people like me that have been in the trenches for 10 years and understand the realities and economics of construction. The fact that we may disagree on points is what makes a collective idea work as it doesn't come from a single perspective. You must stop ignoring those that you disagree with, because you may find that we agree on more than you realize.

Anonymous said...

This whole process has been unpleasant for everyone and neither side should be chest-beating their win at this point. The problems that started this are still facing us and we need to find a way to address them. Together we can do it - we are a formidable political force. Seperately we are simply bickering neighbors. It's time to heal and both sides need to be responsible for that.

Anonymous said...

Where does the current nomination by the creators' of this blog stand and the nomination by HPC? Is this all dead now or what?

Anonymous said...

The first step towards healing would be for the nominators to formally withdraw their nomination.

Then we can get to the business of actually solving some problems.

Anonymous said...

What is the status with your original nomination? Is it still on the table or has it been replaced with a new nomination?

Anonymous said...

No one really knows and, of course, that is all part of the problem with this whole mess.

Anonymous said...

Are we to assume that the original nominators/blog facilitators are no longer running this blog?

Anonymous said...

This nomination has been the only chance for some real solutions. If this nomination had not happend we wouldn't be talking about the problems. Only developers would be showing up to In-fill task force meetings and zoning regulations would continue to get looser and looser.
I say continue with this nomination or submit new nominations until the problems have been solved either with LHD and/or some other solution.

Anonymous said...

What one person considers audacity, another person considers courage.

Anonymous said...

No nomination = No discussion.

Anonymous said...

No discussion = No solution

Anonymous said...

Anon Said:
"This nomination has been the only chance for some real solutions."

Hopefully you are not running for "good neighbor of the year". Even lab rats learn to change directions if they hit a brick wall. If the neighborhood will not work together to create new solutions, nothing will every solve these problems.

Anonymous said...

Anon Said:
"What one person considers audacity, another person considers courage."

And yet another considers irresponsible.

Anonymous said...

"Hopefully you are not running for "good neighbor of the year"."

I have no problems with my neighbors. I still talk to all of them and am very friendly. Their opinion about this issue has not changed my opinion on them. I'm sorry if this is not the case for you.

This has not hit a brick wall. What has is a local historic district with the HPC proposed boarders. I don't have to have one this size as long as it includes my street.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the original nomination was declared legally indefensible by the HPC - effectively a legal brick wall. They expanded the boundaries to include all of Oakhurst. That was the brick wall.

Are you suggesting that a third Oakhurst nomination be submitted? That sounds a bit quixotic at this point. Wouldn't it make more sense to join forces and hammer out a more effective method to deal with the problems? That would likely gain the support of the vast majority of Oakhurst residents.

Anonymous said...

One of the HPC members made a statement in error that the boarders were indefensible and the rest of the HPC members quickly corrected him in that he ment the Old Oakhurst city limits were more defensible than the original boarders. They never stated the the original boarders were indefensible. They actually stated that you could make a case for any boarders in Oakhurst including single streets.

ante gamisou said...

The nominators deceitfully portrayed support at 90% to the HPC when filing the nomination. The commissioners put the brakes on because the majority of the community was obviously not on the same page as claimed and the resulting anger was not healthy for anyone. The nominators actions and almighty attitude has created this animosity and they refuse to see it. It is THEIR job to repair this problem in the neighborhood that THEY created! This secretive/ passive aggressive behavior IS audacity and not courage. Courage is when you face the problem directly and deal with all the realities directly rather than ignoring what you don't like and recreating the rules of behavior to get what you want. Sometimes you need the courage within yourself to realize you're wrong. The audacity within themselves will only continue to generate more unnecessary anger and stress for everyone.

It is sad that the City sent such a clear message that is falling on deaf ears. The nominators are completely unwilling to compromise or include the community in THEIR vision of THEIR utopia. Over 1000 residents live here and they will have to get full community support to do anything now that they grossly crossed the line. They must let go of this mentality of being holier than thou. They may want this in the most stubborn way, but at least half of us don't! They have to realize this! Move to Druid Hills if you need the pretentiousness of a LHD! Oakhurst is too diverse culturally and architecturally for such homogenization. The more they resist working together, the more they will alienate themselves. Being divided will guarantee no solutions. Most of us want to reconcile and move on together as one community with no hard feelings. We want the anger to go away and get the neighborhood back to normal as most of us removed our signs to indicate this.

Learn to play well with others or don't play at all...most of learned this concept as children. Why do they think there are no other solutions than the one that is obviously not favored by everyone? Why won't they even try to get along and for once generate solutions with everyone? I do appreciate that the LHD threat has awakened the community to a common problem that we all agree on, so why can't we find a solution that we all agree on?

By the way, there are way too many anonymousesesss. Have the courage to at least make a clever ID so we know which one is which! I know I've been a bit sharp tongued, but everyone of you knows exactly who I am...that's courage. Slinging insults behind your hipponoymous ID is audacity! Can't we just get along?