How Can I Tell the Age of My House?


To determine the age of a house, check property appraisal and tax records, look at the chain of the title, or inspect the electric meter or toilet. For very old houses, looking at how the house was built provides valuable clues to its age.

Property tax rolls typically include the date a house was built. If a house has undergone extensive remodeling, however, the date recorded may be the remodeling date. For very old houses, the date listed may just show when the house was first placed on the property tax rolls.

The home's title also provides some information regarding the house's history. Contact its previous owners; they may provide historical or anecdotal information not on any official documents.

If the house has its original electric meter, it normally shows the date of installation, which is likely to be very close to the house's date of construction. Checking inside the toilet tank may also provide some information as toilet manufacturers usually stamp the date of manufacture inside the tank.

If the house is very old, look at its architectural features to get its approximate age. Houses with solid walls usually pre-date 1939. Sliding sash windows usually indicate the house was built earlier than 1919. The presence of picture windows or a flat roof often means the house was built in the 1960s or 1970s.

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