The age of a home is a fascinating subject when we want to buy or sell a property for insurance cover or to satisfy our curiosity. To determine the age of a house, there are methods and clues you can use.
Is it even essential to research the year of construction?
Age affects the home value and can have a desirability impact on potential buyers. An older home may have outdated features or design, but it can be of significant size, with a good neighbourhood and better quality construction. Put aside the desirability factors.
How can you determine the age and what tools can you use?
A guide to finding the age of a house
Pay attention to the architectural style and design used. It is the eye skill observation, which includes the overall shape of the building, decorative details, interior design, materials used, and perhaps the location/neighbourhood of the building. These styles changed over time; depending on the model used, it could place your house in a specific range of years.
Ask the property agent to obtain the information; this is the easiest way considering that most people have busy schedules and may not have enough time to do the investigations.
At the time of selling a property, the law requires sellers to fill a ‘seller’s property information form,’ and it may contain the age details of the building.
If you own the property and you have had the mortgage survey carried out, the survey could be a helpful tool.
When setting up a building, local authorities require the developers to file plans and get approvals before setting up the house. Consider checking with the local authorities; they could have records depending on the time of construction.
Check the property title. If you already own the house, the title may contain the details of the recent previous owner. You could locate them to help you solve your puzzle.
Ask around from neighbours with similar structures. Such people may know something about the property and could help trace vital information or relate memories that could help to place the house in time.
Look beneath the sink or tab or garage. Most of these items, including water tanks, have time stamps on them. Be careful when using this method because it could mislead if it is a recent replacement, therefore check more items for verification.
If you have an ancient house, the above methods could be time-consuming and costly. When all other strategies fail, try the following:
The HM registry keeps an extensive report on land ownership. You can search for free the history of a house older than 1862, which is recorded in the 1862 Act Register. If your home doesn’t fall under this category, you may have to pay a fee of about £7 to access the information.
Consult census returns, which runs back many years at intervals of ten years, to find out the first time your address appeared.
Check at community libraries. Most of them have sections dedicated to local history and may contain historical maps, buildings plans, and photographs.
Also, search on the website ‘old maps,’ it has a collection of maps recorded officially all over the UK, and it clearly shows when houses appeared.
You may also contact the local historians and inquire about the property. They are likely to know something about the area.
Why is age an important factor?
Age significantly affects the value of housing. Property charts show that old houses usually go at lower costs than ones with modern structures. This same issue has an impact on the insurer.
Age helps to determine the possibility of asbestos materials in a house.
An old house will require the new owner to remodel by replacing faulty heating, septic systems and modernizing the interior; this adds years of the usefulness of a home.
If you don’t know where to begin your search on property age or need to determine your current house value, you can always consult our property representative, and we will be happy to do all the research on your behalf. We will provide all the critical details to satisfy your curiosity.