Tax Credit Lessons for Homeowners

Bringing the lessons of Historic Tax Credit Rehab to homeowners… My day job as a preservation consultant is largely focused on working with developers undertaking historic tax credit (HTC) rehab projects. This short video shows one of those projects which has won a Maine Preservation 2020 Honor Award. Check it out! https://www.mainepreservation.org/2020-honor-awards/2020/11/6/erskine-hall-maine-industrial-school-for-girls-hallowell

Federal and most state historic tax credits are only available for projects involving income-producing buildings, so homeowners are generally not eligible. Homes being rehabbed for use as a bed and breakfast or other income-producing use would be exceptions.

All of these projects have to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and are reviewed by state historic preservation offices and the National Park Service for compliance with the standards. The goal of the standards is to preserve the essential character-defining features of the building while making the changes necessary for a new use in the 21st century. At the end of the project, the building must retain sufficient historic integrity to still be eligible for listing on the National Register.

Although rarely applied to the rehabilitation/restoration of private homes, these standards and the approaches taken to meet them for HTC projects can provide valuable lessons for homeowners undertaking their own projects. Your project likely does not have to meet the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards, but there is no reason you can’t use them if you want to improve your project.

I was able to draw on the experience gained from working on more than 75 HTC projects when writing “Restoring Your Historic House, The Comprehensive Guide for Homeowners” – giving homeowners access to design solutions, materials, techniques, and other information used for these projects.

The 720 page award-winning and best-selling hardcover book is available in bookstores and from online retailers.

Signed copies are available directly from the author in the shop on this page, click here: https://yourhistorichouse.com/shop/.

Bookstores can order copies from W.W. Norton.

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