Waypoint Real Estate Group knows a good deal about houses with “historic charm”. An old house can often have a certain character that modern craftsmanship no longer recreates. There are however many challenges that come with older construction, such as outdated plumbing, electric and structural systems. In the end, purchasing an old house is often a decision that requires a balancing act between charm and obligation to additional maintenance tasks. With that in mind, how many people do you think are up for the challenge?
A 1995 housing survey conducted by the U.S. Census reveals some interesting statistics. In 1995 27.5% of people reported living in a home built in 1949 or earlier. Of that group, 8.9% reported owning a house built before 1919. In 2009 a more recent census indicated that the average age of an American home was 36 years old. 22.9% of the households surveyed in 2009 reported living in construction from the 1950s and 1960s during the housing boom.
What draws someone to an old house? Well for many the choice is simply a matter of location. As a result of our country’s history, older homes are found in higher numbers in cities established earlier in American history. A survey of New York City for example reveals that 792,800 homes in the area were built before 1919. Other cities with a large number of older buildings include Boston, Philadelphia and Chicago.
So how old is old? The oldest reported timber frame house in America, The Fairbanks House, is settled just outside of Boston, MA. Built from 1637-1641 the structure has seen many generations of Fairbanks family members and remains in the original family’s name. While additions have been added onto the house, it has never been completely refurbished, maintaining the historical integrity of the original construction. This old house has been converted into a museum in recent years and now showcases furniture and artifacts from the family’s past.
If we are going to get technical though, The Fairbanks House is not the oldest home in the country. According to historical record the oldest dwelling in the US that remains intact is the Barrio Analco in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Built by the Tlaxcalans, some archaeologists date the original construction back to 1200 AD. No one can be positive exactly when the structure was built because no records of its history exist.
While we may hear a year like 1200 AD and step back in astonished amazement, our friends across the pond have us beat by far. The oldest reported home in Scotland, Knap of Howar, on the island of Papa Westrey, is thought to have been built in 3500 BC. Yes, that says, BC.
Historical homes come with hassles, but they also come with charm, wonder and a feeling you can only get with rich history in the walls. If you are the type who is into “an oldie, but a goodie” and looking for an old house to love and call your own, get in touch with Waypoint Real Estate Group today and let us know what time period suits your fancy. We can help you find a place to call your own, in the decade you feel you were born to belong too.