As people around the country continue to buy properties for commercial or residential purposes, one question always lingers. How old is the building? Knowing the age of the house can be the deciding factor on whether to buy it or not.
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How Old Is Your House? Here’s How To Find Out
Having access to this crucial piece of information helps you avoid costly repairs that may be needed. Data indicates that the average house in the US is 46 years old, with New York having the oldest median age of 63. Here are some tips to help you determine how old your home is.
Identify the architectural style of your house
Throughout the years, every era has influenced architectural styles. For example, in the 18th century, history indicates that neoclassical themes heavily influenced US architecture. This is also known as the English-Georgian style. The placement of windows, roofs and other parts often give away these English-Georgian architectural styles. Typical examples are the White House and Independence Hall.
Therefore, for someone who may be trying to determine the age of your house, it would be helpful to educate yourself on the architectural styles that existed in different eras. You can find such information in books like ‘A Field Guide to American Houses’ or on the internet. Admittedly, some house styles borrow from different eras and may have a mix of design influences.
Focus on the physical evidence of the house
Throughout the years, building materials have played significant roles in determining the age of any architecture. Every century, construction methods and building materials change. This is how building experts determine the century in which a building was developed. As a homeowner, knowing the physical signs is a good idea.
For example, flaking or crumbling bricks on the side of the building may be caused by water damage and indicates that the house is not that old. On the other hand, the dislodgement of individual bricks or an entire row is usually a sign that the building is pretty old. Also, the roofing is another area that may give away some signs about the age of the house. Signs of sagging, leakages and natural light streaming through the roof boards are things to look for. Usually, after 50 years, even the most durable roofing material succumbs to the weather’s vagaries. In this case, you need roofing contractors for any repair work or to change an aging roof.
Visit the local registry of deeds
The local registry of deeds may be the last point to check for the age of your building. You can ask to see the tract index specific to your house. This unique code holds relevant information on all previous transactions made on the house. With these records, you can back-date when the first transaction was made and be able to tell the exact period the house may have been built.
Indeed, it is not easy to pinpoint the exact age of a building. However, when you do, it provides vital information that helps you make decisions on repairs and maintenance.
This is a contributed post.
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