Welcome to another installment of Ask a Pro! Today we are talking to Karlton Utter, Director of Learning at Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate, about how to determine the price of older or historic homes.

Ask a Pro: How to determine the price of old houses

Q: We are looking to buy a property built in 1925 that needs extensive work it’s in an area of newer homes how can I get a price comparable so we don’t put in more than we could get out if having to sell later on? It’s a cute Florida cottage on a lake with some history but it is a not like anything surrounding it.

-Kimberly D.


A: I would highly recommend hiring a licensed appraiser to do a pre purchase appraisal.  If there is a lack of comps available based on location, age, and style the appraiser will be able  to make adjustments from current and relevant comps to develop a suggested value.  If you are trying to come up with a price based off of available comps through your real estate professional, I would look at only comparable homes within a 1-2 mile radius and only homes that are under contract or have sold in the past 6 months.  If there are no comps available, then it honestly becomes a judgment call. Please keep in mind that a home is worth what a buyer is willing to pay for it so although there may be comps and an appraisal, it is still up to you to determine its value.

-Karlton U.