When Was My House Built? 7 Ways to Find Out

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when was my house built

When was my house built? That's a common question for younger home buyers. If you own an older home between 50 and 100 years old, you may wonder when contractors actually broke ground and laid the foundation.

Outside of curiosity, knowing your home's approximate age is one of the best ways to know what issues you may be dealing with while you own it. Essential home items like HVAC, plumbing, electrical work, and the roof almost require knowing your home's age so you can maintain it.

Older homes typically used then-contemporary materials, such as knob and tube wiring, cast iron pipes, and plaster, as part of the building process.

What Year Was My House Built? How Old is My Home?

But if you never asked your real estate agent about your home's age, you're probably left wondering, "When was my house built?" It's not something that's advertised often because it can make buyers think about incoming maintenance that will need to be done.

With that said, we've devised several ways you can answer the question "how old is my house?" using the tips below. Let's get started walking through how to find out when a house was built.

Check Your Ownership Documents

if you ask yourself what year was my house built? you can check your ownership documents

How old is my home? You can find your home's age in the ownership documents you received when you first purchased your home. This method is the easiest one, considering your home's documentation is likely sitting in a desk or closet, depending on how long ago you purchased the home.

Among this documentation is likely deed history, which will tell you not only how many people owned the home before you, but when it was likely constructed.

Even your home's inspection report can often tell you the age of the house, especially if contractors built your home in the last 30 to 40 years. Experienced inspectors likely lived in the area for decades and can tell you when builders made your home.

But what if you've lost your ownership documents? No sweat! There are still several options to help you on this journey.

Contact Your County Clerk or Tax Assessor's Office

you can contact to a country clerk or tax assessor's office to learn the answer for how old is my house

Lost documentation on your home purchase can be something other than the barrier to discovering your home's age. Luckily, the local government can step in here and help you find an answer to "when was my house built?"

State and local agencies have enough paperwork and documentation to help you answer nearly any question about your home – value, property lines, and age.

Depending on where you live, this information may be available online, or you may have to contact the office directly. You can use it to prove your residency without bills, too.

When contacting your local government office, you'll need the address, lot number, and other relevant information about your home. Many offices will also ask for verification that you are the homeowner. In addition, the office should be able to provide you with the age of your home and any other pertinent information.

It's important to remember that the age of your home may not be an exact number. In some cases, government officials may estimate the age of your home, or the records may need completion. Therefore, you may need to look into the property's history to seek a more precise answer.

Speaking of history, the answers you seek may lurk in your home's walls or exterior.

Check Your Home for Clues

if you wonder how old is your home you can check it for clues

If you pause to inspect your home, you might come up with its age by looking at its contents.

Your home has clues that could give you an idea of how old it is by researching popular home-building trends and seeing if it has any of them. For example, does your home have wrought iron guardrails? You may live in a house built in the 1940s when that handrail style was popular.

What if your home still has pocket doors? You may be living in a house built in the 1800s or 1950s. It's likely time to adjust those pocket doors, too.

Does your home have original hardware on doors or entryways? Check when those pieces of hardware got created, and you'll have another clue on your hands.

Even your home's flooring can be an illuminating clue to your home's age. Of course, hardwoods are eternally a wise design choice, but they can still offer up plenty of details depending on the type of wood used.

Another big giveaway is the electrical wiring, if you can see it, especially in an unfinished basement ceiling. If you see this telltale sign, you should put knob and tube wiring replacement on your to-do list, because it can pose some potentially serious problems when you least expect it.

If you're not the best type of interior design detective, consider taking another route and finding someone who can look at your home for clues.

Hire a Home Inspector

If there is anything close to a detective for homes, your friendly neighborhood home inspector is the person you're seeking. Experienced home inspectors can take a holistic view of your home, from pipes to joints, and likely discover when the first homeowner built the home.

An inspector will inspect the structure and interior of the house, taking note of any features or components indicative of the home's age. They'll also be able to provide you with an estimate of the age of the home based on any evidence they find.

The benefit of hiring a home inspector is two-fold in this case. First, not only are you hiring someone to help you check out the age of the home, but the inspector will likely find a few issues that need repair. Make sure you ask them early on specifically "when was my house built?" because they can look for clues as they do their work.

That can include water damage, foundation, plumbing, and electrical problems. They can also ensure that the home meets all current building codes, so you can rest assured that it is safe and up to date.

The inspector may have yet to come up with an exact year, but they can ballpark it enough to make you feel comfortable and give you a real solid idea.

Research the Architecture

how to find out when a house was built? a simple research on the architecture can you give the answer

Whatever the decade, home builders were very much creatures of their period. Like the current obsession with shiplap, homes always feature trends and designs that were popular when the house got designed and built.

One of the first steps in researching architecture to find out the age of your home is to look for clues on the exterior. Look for architectural elements like brickwork, window frames, and porch columns that can provide insight into the home's age.

You can also research the age of your home by looking at old photographs. If you live in an older neighborhood, chances are there are old photographs of the surrounding area. These photos can help you identify your home's age and architectural style.

Even if you come up empty-handed with your research, there is another avenue for you. The only issue is that we hope you enjoy talking to your neighbors.

Research Your Neighborhood

If you strike out on everything above, then going deeper by researching your neighborhood is another wise way to come up with an approximate age of your home.

Depending on the age of your neighborhood, there may be historical groups that can provide you with insight and documents. These options help you determine your home's age and give a historical perspective on who may have lived there when it was built.

In addition to providing you with records, a local historical society can also provide you with photos of your home as it appeared in the past. That can be a great way to gain a deeper understanding of the history of your home and the area.

A jaunt to the local library can also yield results. For example, main library branches often store historical documents pertinent to your city's founding or the creation of your neighborhood. These documents often provide context clues and dates to help you pinpoint your home's age.

Ask Your Eldest Neighbors

how old is my home? if you wonder when was my built, you can ask your eldest neighbors

Older neighborhoods also have aging populations that may have been among the first people to buy homes in the area. So Ethel, who lives on Main Street and has known everyone since her deceased husband bought her home in 1952, is likely someone who can tell you everything you want to know.

Flat out ask her "what year was my house built?" and she can probably figure it out in her head, but you'll have to listen to her stories! It's worth becoming friends as she may need your help one day and can offer you endless help of your own.

That will allow you to get to know your older neighbors better. Becoming friendly with them will help you dodge noise complaints and other issues, too. In addition, institutional knowledge passed down from generation to generation is something to consider.

When Was My House Built? Seek & You Shall Know!

Even without documentation, discovering the age of your home is obtainable. For those who enjoy research, getting to the bottom of your home's age is a fascinating journey and can tell you so much more about your home than any home inspection report or government document.

Learning more about your home is also a fantastic way to learn more about your neighborhood and the people who live in it. When was my house built? Knowing your home's age will also give you a deeper understanding of historical trends and design fads and an appreciation for how things once got built. They don't build them like they used to.

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