Maryland’s Historic Homes: A Complete Buyer’s and Restorer’s Guide

By klrw460 July 8, 2024

Owning a piece of history is an enticing prospect for many homeowners. In Maryland, with its rich historical tapestry, purchasing and restoring a historic home offers a unique blend of charm, character, and a tangible connection to the past. Historic homes in Maryland, dating back to colonial times, tell stories of bygone eras and provide a living link to the state’s vibrant history. These homes offer more than just aesthetic appeal; they can be wise investments and sources of immense personal satisfaction. This article will guide you through the benefits of owning a historic home in Maryland, how to find and evaluate such properties, financial incentives for restoration, the restoration process itself, and the relevant preservation laws and regulations.

Benefits of Owning a Historic Home in Maryland

Owning a historic home comes with numerous benefits. Firstly, these homes are often located in well-established neighborhoods with mature landscapes and unique architectural styles that stand out from modern developments. The craftsmanship in historic homes, with details like original woodwork, stained glass, and custom masonry, is typically of a higher quality than what is found in newer constructions.

Furthermore, owning a historic home can be a sound financial investment. These properties tend to appreciate in value, especially if they are well-maintained and restored appropriately. Historic homes also contribute to the cultural heritage of the area, providing a sense of pride and community for their owners. Additionally, there are numerous tax incentives and grants available to help offset the costs of restoration and maintenance.

How to Find and Evaluate Historic Properties

Finding a historic home in Maryland involves researching neighborhoods known for their historical significance. Cities like Annapolis, Frederick, and Baltimore have numerous historic districts with homes that date back centuries. Online resources, such as the National Register of Historic Places and Maryland Historical Trust, offer databases of historic properties for sale.

When evaluating a historic home, it’s crucial to conduct a thorough inspection. Look for structural integrity, the condition of original features, and any previous restoration work. Hiring a specialist in historic properties can provide valuable insights and help identify potential issues that might not be apparent to the untrained eye.

Financial Incentives and Grants for Restoring Historic Homes

Restoring a historic home can be costly, but several financial incentives are available to help. The Maryland Historical Trust offers grants and loans for preservation projects, while the Federal Historic Preservation Tax Incentives program provides a 20% tax credit for the certified rehabilitation of income-producing historic structures. Additionally, local municipalities may offer their own incentives, such as property tax credits for restoration work.

Steps Involved in the Restoration Process
Restoring a historic home is a meticulous process that involves several steps:
  1. Assessment: Begin with a detailed assessment of the property’s current condition, including structural elements, electrical systems, plumbing, and original features.
  2. Planning: Develop a comprehensive restoration plan that outlines the scope of work, timeline, and budget. This plan should prioritize preserving original materials and features.
  3. Permits and Approvals: Obtain necessary permits and approvals from local preservation commissions. This ensures that the restoration complies with all relevant laws and regulations.
  4. Restoration: Engage skilled craftsmen and contractors experienced in historic restoration. This phase involves repairing or replacing damaged elements while maintaining the home’s historical integrity.
  5. Final Inspection and Certification: After the restoration is complete, a final inspection ensures all work meets preservation standards. Certification may be required to qualify for certain financial incentives.
Preservation Laws and Regulations in Maryland

Preservation laws and regulations in Maryland aim to protect the historical and architectural integrity of historic properties. The Maryland Historical Trust oversees many of these regulations, ensuring that any alterations or restorations comply with established guidelines. Additionally, local preservation commissions often have their own sets of rules, which may include restrictions on changes to the exterior appearance of historic homes, requirements for maintaining historical features, and guidelines for new constructions within historic districts.


Owning and restoring a historic home in Maryland is a rewarding endeavor that combines preserving the past with creating a beautiful living space. From financial incentives to community pride, the benefits are numerous. By following the steps outlined above and adhering to preservation laws and regulations, you can successfully restore and enjoy a piece of Maryland’s rich history.

Call to Action

Ready to find your dream historic home in Maryland? Keller Williams Preferred Properties is here to assist you every step of the way. Our experienced team specializes in historic properties and can help you navigate the unique challenges and opportunities they present. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start your journey toward owning a piece of history.

Visit or call us at 240-737-5000 to learn more.