Wednesday 06 November 2013

How to determine the age of your property

How old is the home I live in? This will be a question posed by many owners of period properties, and for those who don’t have homes laden with giveaway features such as Georgian doors the answer may be difficult, though not, impossible to find.

As the planning system didn’t come into effect until 1947, for those living in homes that pre-date this year, determining the age of a property won’t be as simple as making a quick trip down to local authority planning office.

However, the good news is that Land Registry records date back to a more period property friendly date of 1862, meaning that service may be able to shed some light on the history of properties constructed in the late Victorian (1837 – 1901) and Edwardian (1901 – 1910) periods.

If your home falls outside of the above periods, here are some top tips that will help to you get a better handle on the age of your property.

Refer to the census

The national census has been taken every ten years since 1801, and looking at past census records may be able to give you a window into your property’s past. Homeowners can view census records dating between 1841 and 1911 at the National Archives website.

Review details completed as part of your property purchase

If you had a survey of your home completed at the time of purchase this should contain details of the age of your property. The ‘Seller’s property information form’, which will have been completed by the sellers of your current home, may also detail the property’s age.

Take cues from your home’s architecture

Does your home have wooden casement windows or box sash windows? These and other features such as cornicing, may help to give a good indication of the period your property dates back to. The Valuation Office Agency has a series of handy that will help you estimate the age of your property.

View our architecture timeline for further information to help understand how architecture changed over time.

Scour local records

Local records can be a veritable treasure trove of information, so looking through local archives at your local library, county record offices, parish records and more may help reveal much-needed details about your property’s age.