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Atlanta Historic Homes – Know EVERYTHING involved when diving in

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There is a certain luster to renovating a home in a historic district.  There are all these ‘extras’ that have to be adhered to to ensure you are able to meet your goals however you must also meet the goals of the community in which it is in.  These can be relatively straightforward or in many cases, a bit more complex.

For example, here in Atlanta, the Urban Design Commission or UDC for short is a key component when renovating in a historic district near downtown Atlanta.  It is a volunteer group that meets periodically to assess the varying properties that have been selected for renovation in areas it has labeled as Historic.  As a result, any renovations in these areas must follow additional rules to ensure that they are renovated in a way consistent with the goals of the community from a visual and construction aspect.

What many investors and home owners for that matter fail to realize, whether wholesaling or buying to renovate or rent is that these rules are a) strictly enforced and b) can add considerable time to a project.  An example would be in a significant remodel, an architect may be involved to draw out the renovation creating plans for a contractor to do the work.  These plans would have to be ‘stamped’, meaning approved by the UDC prior to permitting.  Being that the UDC does not meet every day, timing becomes critical to ensure timelines are met and keep things from getting behind.

Furthermore, if the UDC does not agree or asks for more detail on a set of plans, that can also create delays.  All the time spent is adding to the length of the project, adding up in holding costs if they are involved.  Accuracy as a result is incredibly important for the one handling the renovation.  And all this must happen prior to permitting which is known for having delays, sometimes lengthy ones since they are looking at an entire city and not just historic areas.

While we are barely scathing the surface on this all too important topic of working with Historic Homes, please be aware that preparation and asking LOTS of questions of the Atlanta’s Planning and Community Development Team will help steer you in the right direction if you want to learn dive in.  Take the time to educate yourself before diving into that renovation project and you can be rewarded with a smooth process despite its potential lengthiness.  Ignore it and you will get caught in a time laden headache that no one really wants.

Map out all your costs involved with these processes early so you have a solid feel of the numbers of a project and the big picture on timing.  As a result, you will have success and enjoy the project you passionately went out to make happen and make your impact known.

To learn more about the Urban Design Commission of Atlanta, Click Here.

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