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How to Find Out How Old Your House Is

How to Find Out How Old Your House Is

Ever wondered about the stories behind the walls of your home? Unearthing the age of your house isn't just a journey into history; it's a vital step for any homeowner. Whether it's for insurance, renovation, or pure curiosity, knowing when your house was built can unlock a treasure trove of insights. From Victorian elegance to modern marvels, each era has its charm. But how do you start this historical detective work? It's simpler than you think. In this guide, we'll walk you through the key methods - some well-trodden, some surprisingly innovative - to pinpoint the age of your property.

Why Knowing Your House's Age Matters

Understanding the age of your house is more than a nod to the past. It's a crucial aspect of homeownership. Here's why:

  • Insurance and Value: Older homes can be more expensive to insure. Their historical value might increase their worth, but their aging structures can pose risks. Knowing the age helps in getting accurate insurance coverage.
  • Renovation Rules: Planning to renovate? The age of your house can determine what you can and can't do. For historic properties, there are often strict guidelines to preserve their character.
  • Personal Connection: There's something special about knowing the history of your home. It creates a deeper connection and appreciation for your living space.
  • Community Heritage: Your house's history contributes to the broader narrative of your community's development. It's a piece of the local heritage.

Each of these factors underscores the importance of knowing your house's age. It's not just about the bricks and mortar; it's about understanding and preserving a piece of history.

How do I find out when a house was built?

Figuring out how old your house is can be like solving a mystery. Here are some common methods to uncover its past and determine when your house was built:

  • HM Land Registry: Start with the HM Land Registry. It holds records of most property sales in England and Wales. These documents can give clues about your house’s age.
  • Checking Your Mortgage Offer: Your mortgage offer might have information about the age of your house. Lenders often require a valuation survey, which includes age estimation.
  • Title Deeds and Surveys: Your house’s title deeds and old surveys can be a goldmine of information. They often contain dates of construction or previous sales
  • Architectural Style: The design of your house holds secrets to its era. Different architectural styles correspond to specific periods in history. Researching these can narrow down the age range.
  • Local Records: Local councils and historical societies are valuable resources. They often have records that can’t be found anywhere else.
  • Neighbours and Community: Sometimes, the best source is right next door. Long-term residents or local historians might have insights into your house's past.

Each of these methods can bring you closer to uncovering the history of your home. It's a mix of detective work and research, but the journey is part of the fun.

What if my property is really old?

For those with really old homes, determining a properties history can be a bit more challenging, however, there is still a number places you can look to help you:

  • 1862 Act Register: Delve into records of over 2,000 properties listed in the 1862 Act register.
  • Census Records: Examine census returns from 1841 to 1911. These can reveal the first mention of your address.
  • National Heritage Lists: Check if your home is on Historic England's National Heritage List or Cadw's National Historic Assets of Wales.
  • Ordnance Survey Maps: Historical editions of Ordnance Survey maps can show when your house first appeared in the area.
  • Amateur Historians: Sometimes, a conversation with a local history enthusiast can provide unexpected insights.

I can’t find out when my house was built?

If you’re struggling to find any information about when your property was built, you could estimate the age of your house based on architectural style.  Consider the following key characteristics:

  • Tudor (1485 – 1603): Look for small windows, timber and brick structures, and upper floors protruding over the ground floor.
  • Jacobean (1604 – 1713): Features include flat-fronted, bare brick exteriors, gothic-style windows, steep gabled roofs, and large living rooms with wide fireplaces.
  • Georgian (1714 – 1820): Identifiable by tall, rectangular sash windows, a central front door, and large fireplaces.
  • Victorian (1837 – 1901): Characteristics include bay windows, high ceilings, sloping roofs, and red or coloured brickwork.
  • Edwardian (1901 – 1914): These houses often have a broader build, wide hallways, dual-aspect rooms, and hipped roofs with dormer windows.
  • Post-World War One (1918 – 1939): Simple design, large bay windows, bare brick or pebble-dashed exteriors, often semi-detached.

What's Classified as an Old House?

When we talk about 'old houses', what exactly do we mean? Generally, in the UK property market, a house is considered 'old' if it was built more than 50 years ago. This age classification is significant because it often reflects a distinct architectural style and construction method, different from modern homes. Additionally, houses over a certain age may qualify as 'historic' or 'listed' properties, which come with specific preservation guidelines and restrictions. Understanding whether your home falls into this category is crucial for planning renovations and understanding its historical significance.

In your journey to discover the age of your house, keep in mind that 'old' doesn't just mean years. It reflects a rich history and a connection to the past that modern homes may not have

What's Classified as a New House?

In the UK property context, 'new houses' typically refer to properties built within the last 10 to 20 years. These homes often feature modern construction materials and techniques, energy efficiency, and contemporary design elements. Newer homes are built to meet current building regulations and standards, which can include considerations for environmental sustainability and accessibility.

Understanding the classification of your home as 'new' can be crucial for various reasons, including insurance, property value, and understanding the maintenance requirements. Newer properties often offer the benefits of modern conveniences and technologies, which can be a significant factor for many homeowners.

Does My House's Age Impact Its Value?

The age of your house can significantly impact its value, but this relationship isn't straightforward. Older homes, especially those with historical significance or unique architectural features, can have higher values due to their rarity and character. They may appeal to a niche market of buyers who value historical authenticity and charm.

On the other hand, newer homes often attract buyers looking for modern amenities, energy efficiency, and less need for immediate repairs or renovations. These factors can make newer homes more appealing to a broader market, potentially increasing their value.

However, the value also depends on other factors like location, condition, and market trends. Whether old or new, the unique characteristics of your house play a crucial role in determining its market value.

Does My House's Age Impact Insurance Cost?

Yes, the age of your house can affect your insurance costs. Older homes often come with higher insurance premiums. This is due to factors like outdated electrical systems, plumbing, and overall structural integrity, which might pose higher risks. Insurance companies also consider the cost of replacing unique architectural features typical in older homes.

Newer houses, built to current safety standards, generally attract lower insurance premiums. They are often equipped with modern safety features and materials that reduce the risk of damage and the need for repairs.

It's essential to consider these insurance aspects when evaluating the overall costs of owning a home, whether it's a charming antique or a modern build.

Maintaining and Preserving Older Homes

Owning an older home is both a privilege and a responsibility. Maintenance and preservation are key to keeping its historical charm alive. Here's what you need to know:

  1. Regular Maintenance: Older homes require regular check-ups. This includes inspecting roofs, foundations, and plumbing. Early detection of issues can prevent costly repairs.
  2. Preserving Historical Features: It's important to preserve the unique architectural elements that give your home its character. This might involve using specific materials or restoration techniques.
  3. Seeking Expert Advice: When in doubt, consult experts. Professionals in historical preservation can provide guidance on maintaining the integrity of your home while adhering to any local regulations.
  4. Energy Efficiency: Improving energy efficiency in older homes can be challenging but worthwhile. Look for ways to enhance insulation and upgrade systems without compromising historical integrity.

Remember, preserving an older home not only maintains its aesthetic and historical value but also contributes to the heritage of your community.


Embarking on the journey to uncover your house's history is not just about dates and styles; it's about connecting with a piece of living history. From Tudor to modern-day, each house tells a unique story, reflecting the era it was built in. Understanding your home's age impacts everything from insurance to its market value, and caring for it, especially if it's an older property, is a blend of responsibility and pride.

In a world constantly moving towards the new, taking the time to appreciate the past and preserve it for future generations is a valuable endeavor. Whether you're a homeowner, a history enthusiast, or simply curious, the adventure of discovering the age and story of your house is a rewarding experience that deepens your connection to your home and your community.

Remember, every house, old or new, has its narrative. Uncovering it is not just a journey through time but also a discovery of the soul of your home.

If you’re looking to sell your home fast, regardless of the property’s age, get in touch with us and fill out our 30-second form for a fast, no obligation cash offer on your home.

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