Should I purchase a period home?

Melburnians have always held a great affinity and affection for the beautiful period style architecture that borders the streets of our innermost suburbs. From the classic Victorian terraces of the late 1800’s, the gorgeous Californians of the 1910’s all the way to the eclectic art deco homes of the 1930’s, you would be hard pressed to find someone that hasn’t at least coddled with the dream of owning one of these sought after properties.

Melbourne has always been renowned as the cultural and historic hub of Australia, for this reason I believe that we are a lot more inclined to preserve our beautiful street scapes. Rather than knocking down the original Californian bungalow and replacing it with a modern home, that rarely ages as gracefully. Many homeowners are opting to bring them back to their former glory. Though there are a few things that should be considered before you decide to purchase a slice of Melbourne’s architectural history.

Maintenance and repairs:

Since many period homes were built over 100 years ago, there are hidden pieces that may not have stood the test of time. The costs involved in fixing these issues could become an overwhelming financial burden, especially if you have not budgeted for them.

One of the first things to check is the state of the wiring and plumbing in the home. In most cases this would have been modernised in the not too distant past, though there are some cases where you might be dealing with the original work from when the property was first built. These issues should not only be viewed as a potential financial risk but also as a risk to the safety of the occupants of the property especially when dealing with anything electrical.

The next thing you should look out for is if the house has had the original lead paint stripped off and replaced. It is usually the case that it has, but you should always make sure to check for yourself. It is quite uncommon, but there have been cases where the owner has had it painted over rather than replaced.

The final thing to take into consideration is any structural issues that may not be visible and any unwanted guest that could be hiding within the roof and walls of the home. When purchasing any property, I always strongly suggest to my clients that they organise an extensive building and pest inspection from a licensed professional. Of all of the potential issues, a major structural problem could render the house worthless, so in this case the age old saying of ‘you’d rather be safe than sorry’ has never been more fitting.

After taking all of the above points into consideration we can start looking into the many positive aspects that come with owning a beautify period home.

Capital Growth:

The way I like to analogise this is by comparing them to a desirable classic car. Just like the 1960’s Jaguar E-Type, once called “the most beautiful car ever made” by Enzo Ferrari the value of a beautiful period façade increases in value over time. Commonly when a new homeowner decides that they are going to build their dream home from scratch, the value of the new structure depreciates, as the value of the block that it sits on appreciates, unlike a Victorian terrace, which grows in value in unison with its block.

Whether you are looking at this from an investment standpoint or as your principal place of residence, this type of growth has the potential of putting you into a great financial position. Furthermore, these homes are most commonly situated in blue-chip inner-city suburbs and have a greater propensity in experiencing strong capital growth.


Unlike its Jaguar compatriot, who’s value decreases the further it gets away from its original interior. Modernising your single fronted Victorian terrace will most likely increase its market value. As long as its face has kept its original classic features, a modern extension can turn what was originally a quite pokey floor plan into the open indoor-outdoor plan that many Australians desire.

When purchasing such a home with a view for future renovations, the closer the property can be purchased to its original condition, the better the chance of you making the most out of your money. As long as you have taken the points I made earlier into consideration and the bones of the property are in good condition, organising your own renovations can save you on the premium price that you would need to pay to purchase one that has already undergone its facelift. Plus, it will put you in complete control of turning this beautiful façade into your dream home.

My verdict:

When I get asked this question, I try my best not to bring my personal bias into the equation, as hard as that may be. If you have read this far, you can probably guess through the tone of this blog that I believe that it can be a great investment. Whether its to add to your current portfolio or to turn into your dream family home, finding the right period style property can become one of the best investments you will make during your property journey. I want to again emphasise the point that there are a few risks involved in going down this path and all due diligence should be made before deciding on the right option.

Period Home

At Alfy we pride ourselves in helping our clients source this style of property. If you would like to talk to us about how we could potentially help you to secure your dream home or investment, please feel free to get in contact.

Stay tuned over the next few weeks as I will be delving a bit deeper into the different styles that have been mentioned this week’s blog.

Signing off