Buy History! event to help stoke interest in older houses

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 24, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — Historic homes can work for modern families, advocates say.
And they’d like potential home buyers to see for themselves this weekend, when historic neighborhood leaders and real estate agents team up to host the second annual Buy History! event.
Seventeen older homes for sale in five historic neighborhoods will open their doors from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.
“It’s a great idea,” said Realtor Greg Rapp, who will have three houses in the event. “It gives people an opportunity to compare and contrast different neighborhoods and houses, and gives them a good feel for how these houses ring true for everyday living.”
Older homes sometimes fall victim to misconception, Rapp said.
“People think older homes are not conducive to modern living,” he said.
While developers construct villages of new homes and shopping centers made to look historic, they are replicating what Salisbury already has — an authentic downtown and livable, walkable historic neighborhoods, Rapp said.
The homes featured during Sunday’s open house range from modest bungalows to gingerbread Victorians to stately mansions. Prices range from $73,900 for a 1,300 square-foot cottage at 516 S. Ellis St. to $438,000 for the iconic home and fountain at 402 S. Fulton St.
Some houses need work, while others are in pristine condition.
“If you want a project, we have that,” said Andrew Pitner, vice chairman for the Historic Neighborhoods Alliance. “If you want to move in tomorrow, we have that too.”
By organizing this event, the alliance aims to promote sales of historic homes, strengthen neighborhoods and raise awareness of the benefits of living in Salisbury’s historic districts, Pitner said. The alliance started Buy History! last year to connect people selling homes in historic districts with like-minded buyers, he said.
“People coming in may not have considered buying an older home before,” said Realtor Mary Arey, who also has three homes open Sunday. “But most of these older homes have been adapted very well for modern living.”
Buy History! will include homes in the Park Avenue, Fulton Heights, Ellis Street Graded School, Downtown, West Square and Brooklyn South Square neighborhoods.
“This kind of event opens up and introduces people to lesser known historic districts like Brooklyn South Square on East Bank Street,” Arey said. “Some folks just don’t know those neighborhoods are developing very nicely and can be very pleasant places to live, and possibly less expensive than if you had the same house in the West Square.”
The Historic Neighborhoods Alliance is a nonprofit organization comprised of representatives from each of Salisbury’s historic neighborhoods that encourages support of continuing revitalization of neighborhoods. The group serves as an open channel of communication among neighborhoods and identifies issues of common concern, working to facilitate resolutions.
To learn more, contact Pitner at or 704-754-2537. Visit .
The event will include information about potential tax credits for restoring historic homes.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.

Homes open from 1-4 p.m. Sunday for Buy History!
429 Park Ave.
414 Park Ave.
425 Maupin Ave.
601 Maupin Ave.
325 Mitchell Ave.
412 Wiley Ave.
205 Elm St.
324 N. Fulton St.
305 E. Innes St.
321 W. Horah #2A
402 S. Fulton St.
300 W. Horah St.
530 W. Monroe St.
516 S. Ellis St.
429 S. Church St.
317 S. Shaver St.
424 E. Bank St.