When it comes to home design and architecture, buyers can get pretty good opinions. For some, the charming features of an old home far outweigh any quirks (like thin window panes), while others would pull out all the stops for a brand new property with state of the art features.
Fortunately for buyers who have strong feelings one way or another, a recent study published by Homes.com breaks down where to find listings for the oldest and newest homes in the United States
For this study, Homes.com filtered entries in major US cities by year to search for homes built before 1940 (“pre-war homes”), homes built before 2000 (“older homes”), homes, that were built between 2000 and 2016 (“newer houses”) and houses built between 2016 and 2020 (“modern houses”).
Homes.com determined its categories for “older” and “newer” homes based on the typical roof life of a home, which is typically between 20 and 30 years. As soon as a house reaches the point of needing a new roof, the online real estate portal has determined that the name of an older house is well deserved.
If fireplaces, high ceilings, and ornate moldings are a traffic jam for homeowners, they have the best chance of finding these pre-war architectural features on the east coast. Since it was in this area of the country that the European colonial rulers first came to the United States, it is not surprising that cities along the Atlantic coast are the most common in old houses.
Providence, Rhode Island is home to most of the country’s pre-war homes, with nearly half of all the city’s listings having construction dates prior to 1940. A hurricane that raged through Providence in 1954 caused the city $ 41 million in damage, but in contrast to some other major metropolitan areas such as New York and Chicago, Providence never suffered a major fire that significantly damaged the pre-war homes in those cities.
While Providence comes out on top in a number of prewar homes, New York, Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Boston, and Baltimore also have a significant number of prewar listings that, in turn, can be traced back to some of their roots first cities that were founded in the colonies.
But if a buyer is looking for a home that is still mature, but maybe not quite as cracked and creaky, the country’s capital is the place to go to find older homes. Nearly 70 percent of the district’s records were created between 1940 and 2000, and many of the other cities that are in the top 10 cities with these listing types overlap with cities that are common in pre-war listings.
In fact, Indianapolis, Virginia Beach, Dallas, San Diego, San Jose, Sacramento, and Phoenix are the only cities with a high percentage of older home listings that weren’t included in the top 20 pre-war cities.
When it comes to newer homes, cities that started around the turn of the century lead the way in the number of listings made between 2000 and 2016. That means cities like Raleigh, Austin, and San Diego, all of which were booming in industries like booming technology and post-2000 manufacturing, built large numbers of homes during that time as more people moved there for work and high quality of life.
However, New Orleans, which tops the charts for the number of newer homes with nearly 41 percent of the listings, is likely an exception to the general new-build trend in the 2000s. After the city was massively destroyed as a result of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, it was faced with the daunting task of rebuilding, as 80 percent of the city was flooded.
For brand new homes with cutting edge design and technical features, buyers want to look south. In general, listings with construction dates between 2016 and 2020 are fewer in number than homes built before those dates, but most of them are spread across the southern United States. New Orleans, Nashville, Richmond, Boston, and Raleigh all top the list of the 20 cities with the most modern homes, with each city managing at least 15 percent of the listings created during that period.
There are different types of homes for everyone – and it turns out that buyers can base their architectural preferences on geographic regions.
Email Lillian Dickerson