Historic Homes in Chicago: A Buyer's Guide

Jan 05, 2024

Chicago is a city known for its rich history and stunning architecture. If you're in the market for a new home and have an appreciation for history, you might want to consider purchasing a historic home in Chicago. These homes offer a unique charm and character that can't be replicated in newer constructions.

Why Choose a Historic Home?

Historic homes have a certain allure that modern homes often lack. They tell a story of a bygone era and offer a glimpse into the past. From the intricate detailing to the craftsmanship, every aspect of a historic home is a testament to the skills and artistry of the time.

Living in a historic home also means being a custodian of history. By purchasing and maintaining a historic home, you are contributing to the preservation of Chicago's architectural heritage. It's a way of honoring the past and ensuring that future generations can appreciate the city's unique architectural legacy.

Considerations Before Buying

1. Preservation Laws and Restrictions

When buying a historic home, it's important to be aware of any preservation laws and restrictions that may apply. These laws are in place to protect the historical integrity of the property and may dictate what changes can be made to the home's exterior and interior.

Historic brick buildings in Back Bay, Boston, Massachusetts.

2. Maintenance and Repairs

Historic homes often require more maintenance and repairs compared to newer homes. It's essential to budget for these additional costs and find a reputable contractor who specializes in historic home renovations. Regular upkeep will help preserve the home's unique features and prevent further deterioration.

3. Financing Options

Financing a historic home may be different from financing a newer home. Some lenders offer specialized loan programs for historic properties, which can help cover the costs of renovations and repairs. It's advisable to research and consult with lenders who have experience with historic home financing.

Benefits of Owning a Historic Home

Owning a historic home comes with several benefits that make it a worthwhile investment:

  1. Unique Architectural Features: Historic homes often boast unique architectural features such as ornate moldings, stained glass windows, and grand staircases, adding a touch of elegance and charm to your living space.
  2. Prime Locations: Many historic homes are situated in prime locations, close to amenities, parks, and cultural attractions. Living in a historic neighborhood often means being part of a vibrant community with a strong sense of history.
  3. Potential for Appreciation: Historic homes have the potential for appreciation over time. As the demand for these properties increases, so does their value. Investing in a historic home can be a smart financial decision.
historic homes chicago

Working with a Realtor

When buying a historic home, it's essential to work with a realtor who specializes in historic properties. They will have the knowledge and expertise to guide you through the process, including navigating any preservation laws, identifying potential issues, and connecting you with resources for renovations and repairs.


Buying a historic home in Chicago is not just a purchase; it's an opportunity to own a piece of the city's history. From the architectural beauty to the sense of community, living in a historic home offers a unique and rewarding experience. So, if you're ready to embark on a journey back in time, consider exploring the many historic homes that Chicago has to offer.