Heritage Properties: Preserving Value While Modernising

Blog Template_Heritage Properties Preserving Value While Modernising

Heritage properties hold a distinct allure and history – so when it comes to your heritage home, use that charm to your advantage! 

These properties require a unique approach to highlight their value. It’s all about preserving that historic charm while making some modern updates to suit today’s contemporary lifestyle. 

Depending on whether your home is heritage-listed or not, your home may have varying requirements for upgrades. Heritage-listed properties often require formal council approval to preserve their historical integrity, while older homes (though still important to maintain their history), offer more flexibility for alterations.

Here are some tips for holding home value when updating a heritage property.

1. Preserve original features

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One of the key challenges in selling a heritage property is preserving its historical features while making necessary modern updates. 

Pay attention to the home’s unique characteristics. This may involve preserving original architectural features such as ornate woodwork, stained glass windows, or intricate moldings.

As long as the upgrades don’t detract from or damage the original appeal of the home, you can preserve these historical features. 

Another quick and easy way to modernise the exterior of a heritage home is with fresh paint. Target key areas like trellises, window panes, and the roof for maximum impact. By refreshing these features, you can enhance the home's appearance while preserving its historical charm.

Another hurdle in modernising a heritage home is the preservation requirements set by your local or national heritage organisation. Therefore, it's imperative to obtain their approval before undertaking any alterations, enhancements, or maintenance work.

2. Upgrade fittings and fixtures

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Installing new light fittings and fixtures such as door handles and window fittings is a great way to modernise an older home without compromising its historic charm.

When choosing new light fittings, consider contemporary designs that complement the architectural style of the home while providing improved lighting quality and energy efficiency. Whether it's replacing old sconces with sleek LED wall lights or updating pendant fixtures in the entryway, selecting fixtures that seamlessly blend with the home's overall design aesthetic can create a cohesive and updated look.

Similarly, choose handles and fittings that strike a balance, ensuring they harmonise with the existing architectural elements. Whether opting for sleek brushed nickel finishes or classic brass hardware, these details can modernise a room without overpowering it.

You can also replace gutters for a quick modern upgrade, while rotten windows can be replaced with windows from the same era.

3. Modernise interior

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Updating heritage properties with modern comforts and amenities can significantly increase their appeal to buyers. Whether it’s putting in a contemporary kitchen or bathroom, installing a splashback, updating old tiles, upgrading benchtops, or modernising the interior colour palette – dressing your home interior will make it look more inviting, while simultaneously enhancing comfort and appeal for prospective buyers.

Some other ways to bolster heritage value in an older home include:

    • Upgrading kitchen appliances: Replace old appliances with sleek, energy-efficient models to give the kitchen a modern look and improve functionality.
    • Replacing cabinetry: Installing new cabinet hardware can make a big impact with minimal effort. Choose modern handles or knobs to update the kitchen or bathroom cabinets.
    • Installing new flooring: If the existing flooring is outdated or worn, consider replacing it with modern options such as hardwood, laminate, or floating floorboards.
    • Opening-up spaces: Knock down non-load-bearing walls to create open-concept living areas, which are popular in modern home design and enhance the flow of natural light.
    • Incorporating minimalist furniture: Choose furniture and decor with clean lines and a streamlined appearance. 
  • Updating curtains/draperies: Heavy curtains can make an older home appear more dated inside. Instead, opt for modern shutters, blinds, or sheer curtains to maintain privacy while maximising light in your home.


4. Integrate sustainability

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The modern homebuyer is increasingly interested in buying an eco-friendly house. Retrofitting heritage properties with eco-friendly upgrades such as solar panels, energy-efficient appliances, and insulation can not only increase their value but also reduce environmental impact and operating costs. Highlighting these sustainable features can attract environmentally-conscious buyers and further enhance the property's appeal.

5. Make minor repairs

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Small issues like peeling walls, broken doorknobs, leaky faucets, and dirty roof tiles can distract buyers from the unique characteristics of your house. Making these minor upgrades and repairs can make your home more turn-key ready, therefore encouraging a quicker sale

A heritage home provides a link to the past. Therefore, be mindful of preserving the unique quirks and flaws of the property. For example, the front patio with its distinct dip or the time-worn wooden beams that tell stories of the past. 

6. Landscaping

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Landscaping can increase your property’s value while preserving its historical curb appeal. One effective approach is to highlight the property's charm by accentuating its architectural details with well-placed foliage and native plants. Try to choose plants and landscaping features that were popular during the period of the property’s construction.

Additionally, incorporating outdoor living areas such as patios or decks can provide additional living space while maintaining the property's character. Think about decorative pots and planters, fountains, and outdoor seating to create inviting spots for relaxation and entertainment.

Searching for a heritage property

When looking for heritage properties, it's essential to look to their unique history, architectural features, and cultural significance. Professional photography showcasing the property's charm and craftsmanship can capture the imagination of potential buyers, or help sellers appeal to prospective vendors. Utilising virtual staging or tours and interactive experiences can allow people to explore the property's heritage from the comfort of their own homes.

Additionally, highlight positive attributes such as a larger yard or greater floor space compared to neighbouring new constructions. If your home has a unique history or is listed on the Heritage Registry, make a mention of this on your listing. 

For expert assistance in marketing your heritage property to attract the right buyers, speak with an LJ Hooker agent today, or if you’re looking for selling options, request a free appraisal here and our team will be in touch.


DISCLAIMER - The information provided is for guidance and informational purposes only and does not replace independent business, legal and financial advice which we strongly recommend. Whilst the information is considered true and correct at the date of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact the accuracy of the information provided. LJ Hooker will not accept responsibility or liability for any reliance on the blog information, including but not limited to, the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or links.

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