There are many reasons why people purchase heritage buildings. They present a unique range of advantages, some of which are listed below.
Heritage listing provides certainty, which is important when people are looking for a particular environment within which to live and work. This explains why certain suburbs, towns, villages and rural properties are sought after.
Protection of a heritage building also requires the local council to consider the effect of any proposed development in the area surrounding the heritage item in order to ensure an appropriate context for the building.
Heritage status is a source of pride for many people and is a great selling point!
The process of listing a heritage item involves research that often unearths new information on the history and style of the item.
Owners of heritage items can request councils to agree to land use changes, site coverage and car parking bonuses that are unavailable to owners of non-heritage properties.
Owners of heritage items gain access to free heritage advisory services as well as heritage grants and loans provided by many councils and private sources of funding.
Listing provides potential savings through special heritage valuations and concessions. This can reduce your land tax, stamp duty and local rates.
The Truth About Heritage Listing
Listing places no legal restriction on the sale or leasing of properties.
Heritage buildings are best cared for when they are lived in and loved. This means they must be useable. Houses may need new bathrooms and kitchens; commercial buildings may need new services and fire protection.
Having a building heritage listed does not exclude changes or additions or new buildings on the site provided that these do not detract from the heritage significance of the place. Real estate agents will agree that well looked after heritage properties are the easiest to sell and bring the highest prices.
Heritage items are still able to be adapted for another use. For example, the conversion of a warehouse to residential use or the adaptation of a house to offices. This may actually ensure that the heritage item is used appropriately.
Other than normal maintenance it is not expected that owners take any special care of a heritage property. Only in situations where an owner is deliberately allowing a property to deteriorate would prosecution action be pursued.
Maintenance of heritage items and gardens does not require formal approval.
Some owners open their heritage properties to the public usually with an entry fee. However, as with all private property, heritage listing does not mean that the general public can visit your property without your express permission.
Altering Heritage Listed Properties
Heritage listing is a way of ensuring that any proposed changes to a heritage place respect and retain those qualities and characteristics that make it special.
Listing doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t make changes to your property. It does mean that for certain kinds of work you need to get approval from the pertinent Government authority.
Works such as routine maintenance, repairs and upgrading of services do not normally require approval.
References:Website of the Office of Environemnt & Heritage NSW