To find out your home’s age, you can ask your realtor, get information from city officials, check your local library archives, or look at your home ownership documents.
While some homeowners might find it more interesting than others, understanding your home’s history, including when it was originally built, can be extremely helpful when it comes to properly maintaining it—and it can even inform you of potential health or safety hazards.
But if you don’t know how old your house is, how are you supposed to find out? Fear not, because
Jerry, the home and
car insurance comparison app, is here with a guide to how you can track down how old your house is—and why finding the age of your house matters.
Compare insurance quotes from 50+ carriers with Jerry in under 45 seconds
How can I find how old my house is?
There are a number of routes you can take to figure out how old your house is. For instance, you could try the following:
Ask your realtor or the home’s sellers
In theory, the seller of a home you’re interested in may have already done the work of finding out how old the house in question is.
A good real estate agent will know your city’s buildings and neighborhoods well and ideally will have done their research on the home you’re looking at, or they’ll know where to look to find out the answer.
Ask your city’s building inspector
Your local building inspector will be able to look up any applications for building permits connected to your property. While these could include remodeling projects in addition to
new construction, you’ll ideally have a handful of dates to work with that can help you when searching for other sources.
Check the title and deed
One of the surest ways to find out the age of your house is to look at your ownership documents. A home’s title will list your home’s past ownership going back to the earliest date.
If you’ve had your home
appraised, the appraiser should have also noted the year your home was built in their report.
Check property tax records
Your home’s property tax history should list past assessed values of your house, which can be helpful in determining its age.
If you notice an unusually significant uptick in the value of your property between one year and another, that could signal that a new home was built on the lot that year, or perhaps a remodel.
Even if the results aren’t conclusive, noting significant years when your property’s assessed value changed can still point you in the right direction in combination with other sources.
Check with your county clerk’s office
At your county clerk’s office, you’ll be able to request documents of sales connected to your property, like a tract or grantor-grantee index.
Take a closer look at your home’s details
Some homes get extensive changes and remodels over the years, but if your house still has a good share of its original features, these can help you narrow down what era your home may have been built during.
Things to consider are building materials used, the styles of decorative details on staircases or crown moldings, the styles of tilework, and the exterior architectural style.
Research at local library archives or genealogical societies
Many libraries and genealogical societies keep local archives that could contain information about your home’s origins. Those could include old maps, photos, or old real estate listings in newspapers that could help you narrow down a timeframe.
Why should I care how old my house is?
Is finding out how old your home is really that necessary?
Well, for one thing, knowing when your home was built can be extremely helpful when it comes to knowing what to do to properly maintain it, and it can even inform you of potential health or
safety hazards that might be associated with your house.
You can make more informed maintenance decisions
Knowing how old your house is can give you an idea of how it was constructed, and therefore, how its different components should be maintained.
If your home was built twenty years ago and most of the components are still original, for example, you’ll know to keep things like potential roof or water heater replacements on your radar.
You’ll know what health and safety hazards to look out for
Finding the age of your house can also inform you what potential safety hazards to be mindful of.
For example, depending on when your home was built, you’d want to know if your walls could contain asbestos or lead-based paint before breaking into them for a room remodel. Or, if you live in an older home which has never had its electrical system updated, you’d want to know that, too, because it could be a potential fire hazard waiting to happen.
You can make more historically-accurate updates
If you live in an older, more historic home that’s undergone plenty of changes over the years, and you’re looking to restore it to its former, period-accurate glory, knowing what year your house was built is essential.
How to find a great deal on home insurance
Sometimes, figuring out how old your house is can yield a ton of interesting discoveries about your home’s history—but it can also be pretty time-consuming. If you’re looking for a quick and easy win, the
Jerry app can help you find one! With Jerry, shopping for deals on home and
car insurance has never been easier.
Never used Jerry before? All you have to do is answer a few brief questions, and in an instant, you can start reviewing competitive quotes from top insurance providers, all in one spot.
From there you can choose the right insurance policy for you at the right rate, and Jerry can even help you with setting up your new policy and canceling your old one.
What kind of savings could you find? To find out, getting started takes less than a minute!
Jerry was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up my homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
This app is great, but the customer service is even better! Not to mention convenient! My husband and I got the lowest rate (much lower than the rates I was finding online through my own searches), quickly, and pretty much all through text message! Thank you so much for a hassle free experience👍