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Buying a Historic Home in Lake Forest

Nicole and John Oertel

Buying a Historic Home in Lake Forest

The Oertel Group is committed to the long-lasting history of Lake Forest's architecture and grand homes. You might love the charm and antiquity of a historic home, but you may be wondering if a historic home is for you. We are going over the ins and outs of buying a historic home in Lake Forest, keep reading for more!

What You Should Know

First things first! There is one very important detail you should know before beginning the process of searching for the historic home of your dreams. If any home that you are looking at has been deemed historic, you will never be able to knock it down. It’s safe to say that most buyers searching for a historic piece of property aren’t exactly looking to knock it down, but it’s worth mentioning. Additionally, you may only be able to make specific changes to the exterior of the home if it is marked as historical by the city. But, it's a safeguard put in place to protect the home and the district it resides in. Another point worth mentioning when buying a historic home in Lake Forest is to work with us to check the deed for any restrictions!

Wondering what the buying process is for purchasing a historic home in Lake Forest? As far as paperwork and finances, it’s pretty much the same as purchasing a newer home. In all honesty, the major difference in searching for a historic home versus a newer home will be a more in-depth look at what the house has to tell you! If you are an architect aficionado, you may already know that you want to look at homes built around the early 1900s by David Adler. Or maybe Stanley Anderson or Howard Van Dorenshaw’s style of architecture is more your style and you want to explore what the area has to offer. 

Pro Tip: If you are just beginning to familiarize yourself with the famous architects who constructed Lake Forest’s earliest homes, we personally love the books "The Architecture of Stanley D. Anderson", and "The Country Houses of David Adler"!

**This home is not for sale. Sold in 2021 for $5,000,000. Built by Harry T Lindburg with a later addition by David Adler & Francis Elkins**

Why Buy a Historic Home in Lake Forest?

Buying and owning a historic home in Lake Forest comes with many benefits. Yes, the aesthetics of a historic home will never match the modernity of a new build. But you also won’t find the intricacies and workmanship of a historic home in a new build. A historic home is one that is filled with charm and an enchanting tale to tell.  Furthermore, owning a historic home connects you to part of Lake Forest’s rich history. You would preside over protecting that piece of history with your purchase. In a sense, you’d also be connecting yourself to its previous owners and the famous architects who designed the homes. 

Each and every historic home in Lake Forest has its own story. When it was built, why it was built, who it was built for, and who it was designed by. 

**This home is not for sale. Sold in 2021 for $5,000,000. Built by Harry T Lindburg with a later addition by David Adler & Francis Elkins**

The Lake Forest Preservation Foundation

The Lake Forest historic district runs east of Lake Forest from Lake Forest Cemetery on the north side to Rigwood Road on the south side and the Central Business District on the west to Lake Michigan on the east. Overseeing this stretch of land that has been standing since days long-past is The Lake Forest Preservation Foundation. They are a wonderful resource in our community that is “dedicated to the preservation of the historic visual character of Lake Forest”. Their primary focus is to keep the city’s beauty and historical character alive and vibrant for future generations to enjoy. They are also an amazing place to familiarize yourself with the history of the homes in the historic district through their virtual walking tours, and community awareness events. Additionally, their Instagram account is a great way to quickly get a taste of what Lake Forest has to offer. It's an endless scroll of beautiful opulence and grandeur!


Those were just a few of The Oertel Group's tips & insights on buying a historic home in Lake Forest.

For more information, or to begin your search, you can you can reach out to The Oertel Group here!

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