Operation Facelift: Maryland Funding To Rehabilitate Your Historic Home

You love homes with character, personality, and a unique flair that you just can’t get in a modern suburban development. There’s no comparing a lovingly kept and sturdily constructed historic home to the cookie-cutter designs of contemporary homes. And best of all, choosing an older house is like rescuing a pet – you’re excited to give a loving home the care and attention it deserves, preserving it for generations to come.

So what’s the hold-up when it comes to choosing a home that fits into that “historic” moniker? Time, energy, and money. The challenges that go along with rehabilitating, renovating, and maintaining an older house are seldom trivial and rarely cheap. But if the only hesitation is based on the financial cost, it’s time to ease your worries – because in Maryland, historic preservation is highly prized and the proof is in the pudding.

Maryland Historic Tax Credits

If your residence is located in a National Register Historic District or is individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places, you might be eligible to receive tax credits that can help defray the costs of projects that contribute to the preservation of the property. These tax credits are valued at 20% of the total project cost for projects over $5000, with a 24-month maximum of $50,000.

So what’s the catch? Well, in addition to the eligibility requirements (including applications and fees), all projects seeking historic tax credit assistance are required to undergo a multi-stage review process by the Maryland Historical Trust that starts before work begins. That means that the details of your project – costs, materials, etc. – must be evaluated and approved by the Maryland Historical Trust.

Why the stringent process? Maryland Historic Tax Credits are, by nature, designed to support the preservation of historic properties. With that in mind, the Maryland Historical Trust is charged with reviewing projects receiving these credits to ensure they meet a certain guideline of rehabilitation practices, material usage, etc. In short, historic tax credits are intended to help defray the extra expense of maintaining a historic home the right way, alleviating some of the additional financial burden that comes along with the purchase of an older home.

So what are you waiting for? For application details and more information about historic tax credits in Maryland, visit the Maryland Historical Trust’s website.

Other Funding Sources

In addition to Maryland’s historic tax credits, other funding sources are often available to supplement the financial assistance available for eligible projects. Many municipalities offer tax abatement, tax credits, and/or façade improvement programs for properties that meet their guidelines.

Additionally, the federal government offers a historic rehabilitation tax credit program that is administered in partnership with State Historic Preservation Offices (SHPOs) – in this case, the Maryland Historical Trust. Your application to the Maryland Historical Trust can also be evaluated for eligibility under the federal guidelines, creating an additional opportunity to subsidize the cost of expensive rehabilitations without requiring an additional application and review process.

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