Owning a Home in a Historic District

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Downtown Frederick Historic District

Downtown Frederick Historic District

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You’ve been told living in a Historic District is a pain in the butt. Without the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) and its dedication to preserving our historic fabric, Frederick’s downtown would not be the charming, vibrant destination that people love to explore. If you ignore the hysterics and look at the facts, Frederick’s Downtown Historic Preservation District (HPD) can be a wonderful place to buy a home!

Let’s separate fact from fiction:
1. FICTION: It’s more expensive to live in the FHD (Frederick Town Historic District).
FACT: General maintenance in the FHD may be more, but you more than make up for that in property values. Property values in Historic Districts hold their value better even during times of economic downtown. In some cases, there are tax benefits to living in a Preservation Overlay.
2. FICTION: Simple maintenance in the FHD is frustrating and time consuming.
FACT: Most simple maintenance doesn’t even have to be approved. You can paint, repair, replace in kind, etc. just as easily in the FHD as anywhere else. If your work is slightly more complicated, HP Staff can often approve it quickly. When the work is extensive enough to need HPC approval, staff is happy to help throughout the process. Staff and Commission members go out of their way to help property owners in the Historic District.
3. FICTION: You can’t expand a home/business in the FHD.
FACT: Many homes and businesses downtown have been expanded over many years.
4. FICTION: New construction in the FHD must look like it was built centuries ago.
FACT: The Historic District Guidelines specifically state that new construction should NOT mimic old construction. Interesting new architecture next to old buildings is part of the charm of downtown Frederick.

The fact is more people are interested in living in places with character, style, and charm. Both aging populations and millennials are moving to town centers in record numbers. After all, why not live, work and play without having to jump in the car every time you want to go somewhere?

FUN FACT: Did you know the Union Manufacturing Company became the first company in the world to manufacture nylon stockings? DuPont Company officials secretly brought the yet-unpatented nylon material to see how if it could replace silk in making stockings. The Union Manufacturing Company is now known as Union Mills, and is in process of being rehabbed. A Historic Preservation Overlay (HPO) can protect this important reminder of our past by placing HPC review over the property.

Want to know more about living in a historic area? Contact me!

Donna Kuzemchak
Mackintosh Realtors, Inc.
donnak@machomes.com
301-964-9988 (direct line)
301-662-0155 (Mackintosh Office)

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