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Monday, August 08, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - Does historic designation affect property values?

Sunday's Fort Wayne Journal Gazette included this long story by Rosa Salter Rodriguez. Some quotes:

When Fort Wayne Realtor Joe Leksich bought a side-by-side duplex in Fort Wayne’s historic West Central neighborhood, the two homes needed a lot of work. But he was willing to invest the time and money because he knew there would be a payoff.

The homes sold quickly for about $200,000 each. Buyers purchased the homes, Leksich said, because they wanted to live in a house with a history.

“I think it adds value to a house,” Leksich said of homes having a historic designation. “In my opinion, I get a premium for the ­houses I’ve worked on because they’re historic.”

So, when the owner of Fort Wayne’s only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home said he wanted the house’s local historic designation removed during recent appearances before the city’s Historic Preservation Commission, preservationists were puzzled.

Richard Herber, owner of the home at 3901 N. Washington Road, said he wanted the distinction pulled because he wanted to sell the house for the best price.

Getting the property off the historic list was the only way to “cast a wider net to the widest number of people,” he said. * * *

Herber told the historic commission July 25 he had not listed his house because real estate agents “uniformly” told him it would be difficult to sell with its historic designation.

His request to remove it was denied by the commission, but that decision could be voted on this month by City Council, which has 45 days to act from receipt of that decision.

The denial was the second this year, and Herber said he would continue to refile until the commission voted differently.

Realtor Lynn Reecer of Reecer Properties, Fort Wayne, said selling historic homes does have challenges.

One is determining an historic home’s value, she said. Appraisers usually base the price of a house on recent sales of comparable homes, she said, but often that can’t be done.

She pointed to two homes her company recently sold – the McCray Mansion in Kendallville, built in 1928 by the founder of an early 20th-century refrigeration company, and the sprawling Vermilyea House, one of Allen County’s oldest residences, with portions dating to 1839.

“They’re one of a kind. There isn’t another house like them,” she said.

Historic homes may take longer to sell, but sales have been greatly aided by the popularity of specialized websites, Reecer said. They allow for photos, videos and vivid descriptions and reach regional, national and international audiences.

The story also includes discussion of the specialized websites, including "a specialty website geared to those who want to buy or sell a Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home."

Historic designation issues have been covered before by the ILB. (The ILB is located in a histroic district.)

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Posted to Indiana Government