Buying an Historical Home in Laguna

laguna beach california historical homes

Date: November 23, 2016

posted by Jaleesa / Comments: No Comments / Tags: ,

Laguna Beach is famous for its historical cottages dating from the early 1900’s. Are you thinking of buying a historical home? Here is what you should know!

 If you are looking for a cute Laguna Beach cottage or a grand Historic estate, Laguna Beach has a little bit of something for everyone.

Laguna Beach Historic Homes can be found in the each of the different areas of Laguna Beach, California. A lot of the original historic homes were built in the Laguna Village area and South Laguna, but you will also find beautiful examples in historic communities like Three Arch Bay and Emerald Bay.  Laguna Beach truly is a gem for those who love different architectural styles of homes. Here you will find historic Spanish, Mediterranean and Traditional, Cottage and Vintage style homes.

If you are looking to buy or lease a historic home in Laguna Beach we can help by showing you historical homes both on and off the market. Since homes come in a large variety of different architectural styles, prices, sizes, there is a home for everyone!

Historical Preservation
Since the 1920’s, citizens and local government have tried to safeguard the heritage and village-feel of Laguna Beach by providing for the protection of historic resources, and enhancing the visual character of the City by encouraging preservation of unique buildings. The City therefore performed a historic Survey in the 1980’s, identifying over 850 homes and structures within the City with historical or architectural significance which must be preserved.

The purpose of the Laguna Beach Historical Preservation Committee is to provide for the identification, protection and enhancements of buildings that reflect special elements of the city’s history (whether architectural, historical, artistic, cultural, etc.).

Laguna is known for its lovely variety of beach cottages and early 20th century architecture. The Historical Preservation Committee aims to safeguard the heritage of the city by enhancing the visual character of the city and encouraging the preservation of those buildings which make a significant contribution to the older neighborhoods.

Note that the goal of the city is to protect historical homes in Laguna, but that doesn’t automatically mean that you are unable to make any alterations to the home as the city really wants for you to keep your home up!

Different Historical Ratings
(E) Exceptional: Buildings with this classification are outstanding historic architectural examples. Most have been recommended eligible for the National Register. Buildings in this category are usually in excellent architectural condition and are typically unique or excellent historical and/or historical architectural examples. May qualify for Mill’s Act.

(K) Key: Buildings with this classification are very good historical architectural examples which strongly retain their original integrity. These buildings have significant architectural, historical, and/or aesthetic value and are fine period examples. May qualify for Mill’s Act.

(C) Contributive: Buildings with this classification are those which contribute to the overall character and history of the neighborhood, though they are not unique in and of themselves. The great preponderance of these buildings contribute greatly to the historic and visual fabric of Laguna Beach and are important in a more general historical architectural context. The many beach bungalows built in Laguna during the 1920’s are examples of buildings in this category.

Remodeling a Laguna Beach Historical Home
We can write a lot about remodeling a historical home in Laguna, but here is the most important thing you need to know.

Your remodel will most likely require Design Review Approval. The City Ordinance states that building officials shall not issue a permit for construction, exterior alteration or enlargement of a building or structure listed on the city’s historic register without receiving design review approval during a public hearing. Interior modifications and minor exterior alterations shall be exempt. The heritage committee, as established by city council, will serve an advisory role on matters pertaining to historic preservation including evaluation of alterations to historic structures.

Structures listed on the city’s historic register are eligible to apply for preservation benefits, including:
(A) More lenient parking requirements. Historic single-family dwellings that are nonconforming due to substandard parking shall not always be required to provide parking when additions are proposed.

(B) Possible Refunds for Building Permits and Planning Application Fees. All building permit and planning application fees historical structures will be refunded for those projects if, prior to the finalization of the building permit, the heritage committee finds the changes are consistent with approved plans and preserve the historic character of the subject building.

(C) Building Code Deviations. The city may allow deviations when findings if the historic building is in conformance with the state of California Historical Building Code.

(D) Setback Flexibility. Additions to historic structures shall be allowed to maintain setbacks up to the line of existing encroachments; provided, that all setbacks as required by the Uniform Building Code are maintained for new construction.

(E) Financial Incentives. Owners of properties rated “K” or “E” on the historic register are eligible to apply for a Mill’s Act Contract.

(F) Structures listed on the historic register may be allowed to add more than fifty percent of the original structure without bringing existing nonconformities into compliance if it is determined that such an addition will not diminish or detract from the historic significance of the original structure, and if such addition is found to be compatible in scale and character with the surrounding neighborhood.
For more information, click here.

Mill’s Act Financial Benefits
The Mills Act was adopted in 1976 by State Legislature as an economic incentive to encourage preservation of historic properties by reducing property taxes. Cities are allowed to enter into a completely voluntary contract with owners of “qualified” historic structures. Property owners will receive tax benefits which they can then use to maintain and/or rehabilitate the historic structure in accordance with specific preservation standards.
The Mills Act is in effect for a minimum of 10 years, automatically renewed every year and automatically transferred to new property owners when the property is sold or exchanged. For more information, click here!

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About Jaleesa Peluso, Orange County Realtor & Certified International Property Specialist
Jaleesa specializes in Laguna Beach real estate and Historical homes. Thinking of making a buying or selling your historical home? Call us now at (949)395-0960!

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