When was my house built? And why it’s important to know

There are various reasons why you might want to find out the age of your property. Whether you’re curious or are planning to put it on the market – this guide will help you find out.

Some of the typical questions you might have include; How can you find out when my house was built? What tools can I use to determine the age of my home? Why is age an important factor where house prices are concerned? 

To help get to the bottom of some of these questions, our research team have looked into them to help you out.

Why is age important?

Few purchases in a person’s lifetime will be as big as buying a property. In fact, it represents more than just where you rest your head. It can account for the quality of your retirement or even help you adapt your lifestyle if you fall on hard times. 

In some cases, the age of your house can represent a depreciation in value. It’s a bit like when you buy a car. If you keep up with regular services and yearly MOTs, it’s values going to be the most it can be. 

But, when a car’s neglected its future value will be far lower. The same’s true with your house. Of course, older properties often have a certain appeal in themselves. Often, they’re full of character or have features new properties struggle to emulate. I’m thinking of high ceilings, exposed beams, rustic brickwork. These are great selling points. 

Some of the problem areas you’ll want to watch out for relating to your properties age include:

  • Structural issues, like a damaged roof
  • Old plumbing and electrics – this can make your energy costs sky-high
  • Hazardous materials – it was once common to use asbestos to insulate
  • Lack of modern energy features – again, this can make your home burn through energy

These are a few of the common issues that come with an old property. Although if the previous owners were smart, they will have made the improvements. 

How to find out the age of your house

Title Register

Luckily, there are various tools available which simplify the process. Among the most common ways is by using the title register. This tool allows you to get details about the development and initial ownership. It’s a government-run initiative and you can get a copy of any title plan for £3 online. 

Local council

In some cases, like property being sold by a third-party (who’s not the initial developer), this won’t be enough. In this case, you could get in touch with your local council, who hold planning records for all properties.

Census Information

Older properties, which date back further than 100 years are more complicated. But, there are various options for this. You could search-relevant census returns, which include records from 1841 to 1911. The 1862 Act Register might also be useful for you in your search. It contains local records from specific areas, and can also help you find out the age of your house. 

National Heritage List

Many properties built many years ago will appear on the National Heritage List. Because they’re significant. Otherwise, you could check your home for a builders mark. These are often found in the brickwork of the house themselves, or in some of the original features like a sink.

Contact a local history expert

If none of these suggestions has proven successful, it’s time to take things up a notch. You could reach out to a local historian, who’s likely to have studied the area in great detail. Or you could find a local historic society – they’ll be on hand with lots of information from all kinds of sources.

Architectural style

Another way of determining the age of a house could be through the architectural style. This will give you a vague idea of the period but can span over decades rather than a precise year.

We wish you well in your search, and if you’d like to read more moving guides, visit our homepage.

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