BUFFALO, N.Y. — In the day and age we live in, we see development and revitalization through overhauls, but there's something to be said for keeping historic architecture and places intact.

"For every dollar that's given back through these tax programs, $4 is invested," said Preservation Buffalo Niagara's lead preservationist Brandon Kennedy.

When you look at any old building, street, whole neighborhood, the question hits some people — how do we afford to keep this?

"Historic tax credits are a major incentive. They leverage private investment," Kennedy added.

And with them, local economies are boosted.

They create and sustain jobs. According to the Campaign for Historic Trades, 165,000 jobs are created each year due to historic preservation across the country. So why don't we see more efforts to mark buildings, homes and neighborhoods as historic?

"You're getting into it at first, you see all these forms can be a little bit scary, a little bit daunting," Kennedy said. "It seems almost tedious in some ways, but it's really just a three-step process."

That's where people like Kennedy come in. He and Preservation Buffalo Niagara know the ins and outs of tax credits and how you use them.

"In New York state, you only need to spend over $5,000," he noted. "If anybody's renovating their kitchen or putting a new roof on their garage, these things, they're pretty pricey. And this is a way to really make those investments financially feasible for the everyday homeowner."

That's why PBN and Tom Yots' Preservation Studios are so passionate about what they do.

"When I mention to people that we're from Buffalo, of course, the first thing to say, hey, what do you think of those Buffalo Bills? And I always say in response to them, let me tell you about the Buffalo AKG. We've got this really great art gallery that just did a over $200 million rehab," said Yots.

For decades, Yots has seen the results from working with large scope a wider array of customers.

"We've done millions of dollars worth of tax credit projects across the state," he added. "With a heavy concentration in Buffalo and in the Capital District especially."

His forte has been working with local government to make the most of where your tax dollars go.

"Historic preservation is a development tool," he explained. "And if you if cities can see it that way, they can understand and it's not just the aspect of getting the the tax credit is, which is a big part of it, but it's also that it tends to bring in your neighborhood into your in your community."

Whether you're looking to buy a home and get some help in any work that needs done, or a developer who might save an old grain elevator, per se, and utilize the space with some modern twists. The golden rule of real estate still reigns and the more financial backing, the better.

"The return on investment is not as high here as it is in some other cities. So you spend, you know, $50 million on a project in New York City. You're going to get some pretty heavy rents coming back for that. Same thing for San Francisco, same thing for Chicago, not the same thing for Buffalo," said Yots. "Yet! You still have to spend a lot of money to do the rehab."

The biggest thing to know about historic tax credits is that anyone can use them.

"Start talking to your neighbors and have your neighbors get together and go to the city," Yots urged. "Go to the municipality you're in and say, 'we want to become a historic district.' I cannot tell you how important it is."

"That's when you're really going to preserve the elements that make the neighborhoods," Kennedy added.

For more information on how you can see if your property or even rental is eligible, you can check out Preservation Studio’s website or reach out to your local certified government and preservation organizations.