While some Americans dream of building a new home, it’s not always a reality. In fact, many may find themselves buying, living, and fixing older homes. Roofs, siding, and appliances all have expiration dates, and in older homes, these may come a lot faster than homeowners want them to… or expect.
We analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data to find the cities and states with the oldest homes across the country. We also surveyed Americans about their experiences living in older homes and found more than 1 in 5 regret it.
Home Sweet Home: Navigating Owning an Older Home
To learn more about Americans’ experiences with older homes, we surveyed homeowners across the country. More than half (55%) of current homeowners live in a home 30 years or older. Among them, 21% regret owning an older home. In fact, they’ve spent an average $10,700 on repairs for their aging home in the last 5 years.
Despite the challenges that may come with an aging home, 52% said they would choose to live in an older home instead of a new one. On the other hand, 48% would opt for a newer home if they could do it over. While some people are ready to take on these potential challenges themselves, 38% would not recommend buying an older home to others.
Many concerns may arise with owning a decades-old home, and among them are hazardous materials like lead and asbestos. More than 1 in 4 (27%) are concerned their older home may contain hazardous materials, and 1 in 5 have already dealt with these issues in their older home.
Top 10 States With the Oldest and Newest Homes in America
When it comes to the states with the oldest homes, Massachusetts takes the number one spot. The state is rich in history and 31.5% of its housing units were built in 1939 or earlier. Following closely is New York, where 31.4% of homes mirror a bygone era. Rhode Island, known for its picturesque landscapes, rounds out the top three with 31% built eight decades ago. Completing the top five are Vermont and Pennsylvania.
As for the states with the newest homes, Nevada tops the list with only 1.1% of housing units built in 1939 or earlier. Arizona follows suit with 1.4%, Alaska ranks 3rd with 1.6%, and Florida is 4th at 2.1%. Other states with the newest homes include Texas, Hawaii, South Carolina, and Georgia.
American Cities With the Oldest Homes Ranked
It’s no secret many of the older homes in the U.S. are located on the East Coast. In fact, Buffalo, NY takes the number one spot for the city with the oldest homes in the country. In Buffalo, 60.4% of the homes were built in 1939 or earlier. Following Buffalo is St. Louis with 58.2% of the homes built before 1939. Rounding out the top three is another Midwestern city, Cleveland, with 50% of the homes built at least eight decades ago.
Top 25 Cities With the Oldest Homes in the U.S.
While Buffalo, St. Louis, and Cleveland lead the country with the oldest homes, another city outpaces them based on the oldest median year structures were built. That title goes to the fourth-ranked city Pittsburgh, PA where the median year of structures were built is 1941. Rounding out the top five cities with the oldest homes is Boston.
It may come as a surprise that San Francisco ranks 6th since it was founded more than a century after places like Boston. But San Francisco has 46.2% of housing units built in 1939 or earlier and the median year of structures built is 1944. Following behind San Francisco is Minneapolis (7th), Baltimore (8th), Cincinnati (9th), and St. Paul (10th).
Other cities that have the most aging homes include Philadelphia, Chicago, New York City, and Oakland, California.
Out of the 90 cities analyzed, those with the newest homes include:
- Gilbert, Arizona
- North Las Vegas, Nevada
- Henderson, Nevada
For some, the charm of an aging home trumps the sometimes tricky challenges and necessary repairs, while others opt for updated properties. There’s no denying there are ups and downs when it comes to owning any home and All Star Home is there for your future needs.
The oldest homes by state and city were determined by analyzing data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
In August 2023, we surveyed 550 people who own homes 30+ years old. Respondents ranged in age from 20-90 years old with an average age of 46. They were 53% male, 46% female, and 1% nonbinary.
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