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  • Writer's pictureTouring the Past

Why Heritage Pre-purchase Advice is necessary

Updated: Jan 21, 2020

Heritage controls will become an issue if left untreated

Pre-purchase heritage advice
Buildings subject to heritage controls can be changed however, there are parameters and processes of which you should be aware. (Source: author)

Of late, several sharp buyers—with an eye to a heritage-listed property—have engaged Touring the Past to provide pre-purchase heritage advice. The adjective ‘sharp’ is stressed here because time and time again we have come across scenarios in which the unknown (or misunderstood) nature of changing a heritage-listed place has led to seemingly nightmarish, even Kafkaesque, situations for new owners and developers. It is not hard to empathise with those crestfallen at the unexpected news of having to develop designs and different uses in a heritage context. However, it simply doesn’t have to be the case. Heritage controls are not out to get you or force you to live in a museum. They do, however, require you to understand the specifics of a heritage asset in light of its contemporary state, best-practice conservation and the expectations of consent bodies (granted: not always easy to detect for the unbloodied).

Heritage properties have been identified as significant and worthy of conservation on the basis of (one hopes) robust reasoning. To buy with confidence, particularly if redevelopment is planned or just for the sake of future-proofing, you should be cognisant of why your property was listed and understand the practical ramifications of that listing.

This is where organising for heritage pre-purchase advice—a.k.a. heritage due-diligence—comes into play.

Pre-purchase heritage advice
Open that gate with confidence and cross the threshold confidently with heritage pre-purchase advice in-hand. (Source: author)

Get informed

Touring the Past is well equipped to turn our in-depth knowledge of how NSW heritage management works to your advantage. We can assist you to grasp the likely ramifications of a property's heritage status. With Sydney real estate prices in mind, the return on such advice is self-evident. Our counsel on this front is frank and forensic. Importantly, we also take into account matters at play beyond the local heritage controls, such as best-practice conservation and precedent.

We also focus on highlighting opportunities—be it design, the justification for non-compliance or possible funding—as much as laying bare constraints.

Heritage pre-purchase advice
Commercial heritage items pose different conundrums—pre-purchase advice can avoid traps for the unwary. (Source: author)

It's never too late

The property market is fluid. Touring the Past understands that situations can emerge where advice is needed pronto. That’s fine. We thrive with deadlines.

If you are going to invest in a heritage property, you need to understand what heritage means and how conservation could affect your plans. That obligation is on you before you commit. It doesn’t have to be a burden. Getting a heritage practitioner involved at the front end is a strategic manoeuvre that will prevent headaches down the track.

Whatever the nature of the potential place, if the site is heritage listed or heritage affected, pre-purchase advice is a must.


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