November 15, 2014

National Register of Historic Places ~ Myths & Facts

There is so much misinformation floating around listing a property with the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP). This interesting article, posted to the Preserve West Virginia website on November 11, 2014, debunks some of the myths related to homes listed on the NRHP.  Many people are confused about what happens to the property once it is listed, and this post highlights the top three myths. 

What is the National Register of Historic Places?

The NRHP is an honorary listing recognizing our nation’s most historic places. According to the National Park Service’s website, the NRHP “is the official list of the Nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.” There are 90,540 listings in the NRHP.

Myth 1: Placing a building on the NRHP restricts use or sale of a property.

FACT: NRHP Listing does not place any property restrictions on the owner. Many NRHP properties, such as historic schools or commercial buildings, have changed ownership and maintained the historic listing.

Myth 2: NRHP listing requires the owner to give tours of the property or open it to the public.

FACT: Public property listed in the NRHP often is open to the public for tours and other educational initiatives, but there are no requirements to do this.  Many residences and commercial buildings are listed in the NRHP, and the owner can do what he/she wants with the property.

Myth 3: When a building is listed on the NRHP, the owner cannot change the look of the building or demolish it – or must follow certain guidelines for rehabilitation.

FACT: There are no special protections or government regulations to stop demolition or preserve NRHP-listed properties. A property owner can change the windows, paint the building any color, or demolish it. The property owner can also choose not to have the property listed in the NRHP.

However, if a property owner is awarded grant funds or historic rehabilitation tax credits to preserve her building, then she has to follow the Secretary of the Interior Standards for Rehabilitation.

There are several benefits to having a property listed in the NRHP. Listing opens up funding opportunities for historic preservation grant funds and historic rehabilitation tax credits. The listing also recognizes that you own a special place that had an impact on the development of our state and country. It’s a listing that invokes pride and should be valued not avoided. (National Register Myths Debunked, Preservation Alliance WV,

Salisbury Realtor® Greg Rapp is known for representing Rowan County's historic properties with the highest integrity.  He can show you historic properties that are in listed NRHP historic districts, or some that have the same history but lie outside the designated districts so that you can make up your own mind when purchasing a wonderful old home.

The City of Salisbury has 10 nationally registered historic districts, and 5 locally designated districts.  In some cases one may overlap the other.  The local districts may have differing protective restrictions for changes to properties.  Ask Greg Rapp ~ he will know.

One thing is for certain.  They don't make them like they used to!  Historic homes, whether registered with the NRHP or not, are built with quality materials, design, and workmanship that is rare to find in a newer home.  And Greg's historic home listings run the gamut from move-in perfect to those diamonds-in-the-rough that need a little TLC.  

Give Greg a call to debunk your myths about owning a historic home.  Call 704.213.6846 today! 

Greg Rapp 
Wallace Realty Co. 
704 213 6846 Mobile 
704 636 2021 Office 

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