If you have an affinity for old houses, then you probably understand the charm of creaky porches, original flooring, and stained glass windows. Even the pungent smell of mothballs can become mildly appealing when the prospect of exploring an old attic presents itself. There’s something about living in an old house that makes it feel as though time stands still.
For those with a fondness for catching a glimpse into the past, buying a historic home can be a dream come true. Choosing a place to live, however, isn’t just about selecting the perfect house – it’s also about finding the neighborhood that’s right for you. Luckily, we did a lot of the heavy lifting and came up with a list of six historic neighborhoods from coast to coast that offer the best in architecture, culture, and more.
Beaufort (South Carolina)
This coastal city’s historic downtown district paints the perfect picture of southern charm, gaining it recognition as a “Small Town We Love” by Southern Living Magazine, Stunning architecture, live oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, and one-of-a-kind shops and restaurants all complement Beaufort’s collection of historic homes. Buyers will find a variety of properties to choose from, including Queen Anne and Victorian style abodes as well as large plantation-style estates along the Beaufort River.
French Quarter (New Orleans)
When it comes to architecture, music, culture and food, New Orleans pretty much takes the cake. The French Quarter, or the “Quarter” to locals, is the city’s oldest neighborhood and cultural hub. Home-seekers will find a mix of Spanish, French, Creole, and American style dwellings adorned with cast iron railings on balconies, stoops, and porches. Landing one of these properties can be tricky, though; they don’t come on the market very often.
St. John’s (Portland)
You don’t have to be super hip to hang in Portland. St. John’s, located in North Portland, feels detached from the city and exudes a small town feel. This historic community boasts all styles of architecture from ranches and cape cods to the occasional Victorian home, and those who live near the downtown strip can grab breakfast, run to the post office, and catch an afternoon movie without having to hop in the car.
Elfreth’s Alley (Philadelphia)
If you’re in search of a historic neighborhood bursting with storybook charm, look no further. Located in the heart of Philadelphia’s Old City, Elfreth’s Alley is America’s oldest continuously inhabited residential street, and it features 32 houses built between the 1720s – 1830s. Swooning? You’re in luck. Those in the market to buy can currently score a three-bedroom, two-bathroom home for $579K. [view here]
Beacon Hill (Boston)
This historic Boston neighborhood is known for its handsome Federal-style row houses, gas-lit streets, and brick sidewalks. Sounds like a dream, right? You’re not the only one who thinks so. Beacon Hill is regarded as one of the most desirable neighborhoods in the city. The Flat of the Hill and the South Slope tend to attract families while inhabitants of the North Slope include Suffolk University students and professors.
Historic East Side (Santa Fe)
Santa Fe is the oldest U.S. capital, dating all the way back to 1610, and the Historic East Side is the oldest area of Santa Fe. This neighborhood offers everything from modest homes to sprawling estates with beautiful gardens. Its convenient location near the Plaza and all of the cultural amenities downtown make it a highly desirable area for hopeful homeowners.