Have you ever wondered when your property was built? Knowing the age of your home is a fun fact for some, but for many others it gives them more transparency over their property, whether it’s for renovations or insurance. Here, we explore all the different ways you can find out when your property was built.
Why it matters when my house was built
Knowing your home’s age isn’t just fun trivia. Age can significantly impact your property’s market value, for better or worse. So, it’s not just about the year it was built, as it can affect the pounds in your pocket.
Older properties, especially those with historical significance, can command higher prices but may also come with the added burden of increased maintenance costs. Structural integrity is another concern, with older homes often requiring more frequent repairs or even significant structural updates.
The age of your property can also dictate what kind of renovations are possible or advisable, as older homes may have limitations due to their construction methods or materials. Furthermore, insurance companies often consider the age of a property when calculating premiums. Essentially, knowing your property’s age can help you make smarter decisions about many things, including maintenance, renovation, and even your financial planning.
How to check when your home was built
So, how do you find out how old your home is and when it was built? Here’s some of the key methods for getting the lowdown on your property’s age.
Check the title deeds
The property’s age is typically listed on the title deeds or the title register, which should be in the possession of the property owner. If you or your family own the home, these documents should be readily accessible. Alternatively, you can obtain a copy of the title deeds from the HM Land Registry.
Look at the home survey
When you purchased the property or secured a mortgage, a survey would have likely been conducted. This survey should also include information about the property’s construction date.
Review your mortgage offer
If you’re currently navigating the mortgage process, the documents related to your mortgage offer can act as a valuable resource. These papers often include various property details, including its age.
Get in touch with the local authority
Local government offices frequently maintain records, including when planning permission was initially granted for your property. So it might be worth checking with the local authority as they could have details about when your home was built.
Contact HM Land Registry
While HM Land Registry primarily focuses on land ownership rather than the structures built on it, their records can still offer clues about your home’s age. For instance, they can show when the land was first owned or leased by the property developer, helping you estimate the age of your residence.
Other ways that may help
- Ask your neighbours
- Look at the Seller’s Property Information Form if you’re buying or have recently bought
What if my property is really old?
Knowing the exact construction date of very old properties can be a bit more challenging, but there are several avenues to explore.
One option is to consult the 1862 Land Registry Act, which has a digital archive of 2,000 properties registered since 1862 and is freely accessible. Local archives such as parish records, county record offices and your local library can also provide valuable insights.
If there’s a local history society, they may have the information you’re looking for. Additionally, historical Ordnance Survey maps can indicate when your property first appeared.
Then there are Census returns, conducted every decade between 1841 and 1911. These may also help narrow down the age of your property by revealing the first mention of your address. Lastly, if your home is particularly ancient, it might be listed in Historic England’s National Heritage List for England or Cadw’s National Historic Assets of Wales.
I can’t find out when my house was built. What next?
If you’ve exhausted your options and still can’t pinpoint the construction date of your property, you could make an educated guess based on its architectural style and features. Different eras have distinct architectural hallmarks that can offer clues.
For instance, Victorian homes often feature bay windows and are predominantly built using red brick. On the other hand, Jacobean properties are characterised by flat facades, spacious living rooms, and expansive fireplaces.Georgian properties typically feature symmetrical facades, sash windows and often have a panelled front door topped with a rectangular fanlight.
Looking at these features may not pinpoint the exact date the home was built, but it should give you some indication into the era of the property. This can be helpful if you want a ballpark number for when your home was built.
Can I see what my house looked like years ago?
If you’ve found out when your house was built, you may want to see what it used to look like. This is especially true if it’s an older property that has been through significant change over time. In the UK, local historical organisations and societies can offer valuable insights into how your property appeared in the past.
Areas with a rich cultural and historical background usually maintain extensive archives, including written records and photographs. When it comes to very ancient homes, however, a bit of fortune is often needed in your research journey. You’ll have to delve into these resources yourself to uncover your home’s historical secrets.
How does the age of my property affect me?
Understanding the age of your home can help in several ways and may even impact the insurance premiums you pay, as well as how much the property is worth.
Home insurance premiums
Insurance companies are keen to know your property’s age to gauge the likelihood of future claims and the potential cost of settling them. Older properties often come with higher insurance premiums, as they’re expected to need more frequent repairs.
Features like thatched roofs or original fireplaces and floorboards can also drive up repair costs due to the specialised materials and expertise required. If your residence is a historic or listed building, you might need to opt for specialist home insurance to adequately cover your needs.
A property’s value is often determined by its location and size, regardless of when it was built. But that’s not to say that certain homes can be more valuable than others due to their age. Period properties are generally quite sought after, and it’s not uncommon for these homes to be valued higher than similar properties in size.
If you’d like to know how much your home is worth and are thinking of a quick sale, get in touch with Property Rescue. Opting to sell with us provides a swift cash transaction.
The sale often wraps up in a matter of weeks or even days – a pace that’s invaluable if you’re keen on selling your home fast. It also spares you the lengthy, cumbersome process of a traditional open-market sale.
Summary: how old is your home?
There are plenty of ways to check when your home was built, and having this information to hand can be beneficial for a number of reasons. From being able to make checks on potential age-related problems to getting a better understanding of its true age, knowing when the house was built provides clarity. At worst, it gives you a fun fact to share when discussing 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.