FOR HISTORIC HOME OWNERS
Step 1: Determine if your home is indeed historic.
Not every old home is historic, that's a good place to begin. And, as you would suppose, since money in the form of tax credits could be on the table for the rehabilitation of an historic home, you can bet that the government is involved, and for good reason. Some agency has to decide whether a home is historic, or not, and in the case at hand, it is the National Park Service. They consider the merits of an older home and make the call as to whether the property is historic, or not.
Thankfully, it takes just a minute or two to determine if your home, or other property for that matter, is currently listed on the National Register. South Carolina Archives and History is the agency that manages the National Register program for our state.
If your home is already listed on the National Register and has not be significantly altered since the time of the listing, we have great news: You own an historic home.
Step 2: Document your home's history.
There are many documents that can help you trace the history of your house. One promising place to start might be the county courthouse, often the keeper of such things as wills, tax records and other deeds related to your property. And be careful to look for the unusual, such as a sudden jump in the tax appraisal of the property. If such is found, it might indicate that a major addition to the home had taken place. From a practical standpoint, perhaps the new addition was needed, such as a garage or bedroom addition. But if the addition was not consistent with the home's historic authenticity, then it is possible that the home could be delisted from the National Register and therefore ineligible for rehabilitation tax credits.
Sanborn Fire Insurance maps might also be helpful in determining the longer history of your home.
Another rich source of information can be found on Home Advisor's website.
Step 3: Keep copies of all records.
If your home is not listed on the National Register, and you wish to have it so listed, then it is important to document, document, and document.
Trace the physical changes and architectural style of your house from the way it originally looked and functioned to the way it looks today.
Trace the ownership and occupancy of your house.
Analyze the information gathered to learn more about the people and stories connected to your house.
Step 4: We can help.
We will be glad to answer any questions that you might have or direct you to the proper resource, as needed.