Need to find out when your house was built? You might just be curious, or you may need to know for insurance purposes or if you’re selling. Our quick guide shows you the simplest ways to find out the age of your property. Depending on what type of home you have, finding out its age could be a very quick and simple process.
How do I find out when a house was built?
The easiest way to find out when a house was built is to look at its ‘title register’. These are more commonly known as the ‘title deeds’. The title deeds are proof of ownership of the property, but they also tell you when the property was sold to the first owner by the property developer. If you are the current owner, your conveyancer should have sent you the title deeds after the sale was completed.
However, if you don’t own the property, or you can’t find the title deeds, HM Land Registry should be your first port of call. If you can’t find your answer there, we have a range of other avenues to suggest below.
What is HM Land Registry?
HM Land Registry is the national register of all owned land and property in England and Wales. It keeps records of ownership for assets valued at £8 trillion, covering 88% of England and Wales’ landmass. Anyone who wants to take on a mortgage, buy or sell property must register the change of ownership status with HM Land Registry.
How can you find out when a house was built through HM Land Registry?
To find out when your house was built, head over to the HM Land Registry site and follow the instructions. You only need to know the property address. If the property is registered, you can discover the approximate age of the property by checking the date of the first transfer or lease by the developer.
Remember, this service is only available for properties in England in Wales. Scotland and Northern Ireland have different land registries you can use, which are just as easy to navigate.
How much does it cost to use HM Land Registry to Search for property information?
It only costs £3 to download the title register of a property through HM Land Registry. You can pay online using a debit or credit card.
What else can you find out about a house through HM Land Registry?
It’s also possible to download the property’s title plan through HM Land Registry. This shows the general land boundaries of the property, and it also costs £3. Finally, you can see the property’s flood risk indicator, which costs £10.80.
How do I find previous owners of my house UK?
For most properties, it’s often possible to find previous owners using a historical title register. This is something you can ask via HM Land Registry. Searching their database should uncover who owned the property at a specific date or across multiple dates.
Why is it useful to find previous owners of my home?
It can be useful to find previous owners of your home so you can ask them questions about the property. For example, if you are experiencing a problem, such as mould, dust, vermin, etc, you can ask if they experienced similar issues. Finding out if a problem is ‘historic’ for the property can be useful when determining a solution.
Additionally, previous owners may be able to help put you in the right direction for discovering the accurate age of the property. If you are having trouble finding its age, past owners might know more, or could at least point you towards more information.
Are there other ways to find out when a house was built?
If the HM Land Registry doesn’t have the answer, you can find out when your house was built by checking your mortgage survey or asking your local authority. The survey may indicate the build date of the house, or your local authority might know its age in reference to planning permission grants.
If you live in a Grade II or Grade II* listed building, you might have more luck with the National Heritage List for England (NHLE). The NHLE is the official register of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites in England. If it is listed there, the NHLE will have a record of your property’s age.
Can I find out the exact year my house was built?
It may not always be possible to find out the ‘exact’ year your home was built, if it is particularly old. This is because construction records of specific historical periods are often patchy. It might be the case that the closest you can get is the date of the first time the property was sold.
For newer buildings (less than 50 years old), it should be possible to discover the exact year of construction, and which company/individual built it.
How can I see what my house looked like years ago?
In the UK, you can often see how your home looked years ago by researching the property through local historic institutions and societies. Villages, towns and city areas with rich histories and cultural capital often support these kinds of networks, and they have great stores of written records and photos. With very old homes though, there is always an element of luck involved – you’ll just have to investigate for yourself.
How can you find out when a house was built offline?
If you can’t discover the age of your house online, you might find the answer offline instead. Try asking people in the area who live in properties of a similar style and build. Alternatively, you could try the archives of your local library or county record offices.
Failing all of that, you could try and get in contact with a local historical society or architecture company. Anyone with good knowledge of the local area’s history might be able to point you in the right direction.
How old is an old house?
A property is considered ‘old’ if it is more than 50 years old. This is something of an unwritten rule, but it helps categorise properties when it comes to buying and selling.
If your home is significantly older, it may be a ‘period home’. This means that it belongs to a specific architectural period of history.
How do I know if my house is a period home?
You can tell if your home is a period property by finding out its age. If it falls into a specific age bracket, then it can be considered a period home.
How do I know if my house is Victorian, Edwardian or Georgian?
Your house will belong to a specific historical and architectural ‘period’ if it falls within the following age brackets:
- Tudor – 1480-1603
- Stuart – 1603-1714
- Georgian – 1714-1830
- Victorian – 1830-1901
See the link below for our full article on period homes and their signature features.
Why is it useful to know how old my home is?
Firstly, it’s useful to know how old your home is because it will allow you to get more accurate home insurance cover. If you can tell your insurance provider the accurate age of the property, they can provide you with the most relevant coverage.
It’s also useful to know the age of your home because it can prompt you to make necessary checks on potential age-related problems. For example, if you know that your home is more than 50 years old and hasn’t had a roof check, you may want to arrange one.
Are older houses better built than newer homes?
Older homes are often built with stronger construction materials than modern ones, particularly in terms of wood and plaster. There is no guarantee that an older home will be better built than a newer one, but generally you can expect an older one to be built to last.
There is also the home’s character to consider. Older properties, particularly period homes, tend to offer more charm and style. If you’re looking to know more about listed buildings and period properties, our guide to Georgian, Edwardian and Victorian homes can help.
Are there any online resources for researching house ages?
This interactive online map provides age information for dwellings across England and Wales. You can search by postcode and get a great idea of the major housebuilding stages in the history of a town or area. The ages are presented in bands and clustered into postcode areas, so it’s not possible to determine the exact age of each property. However, the map still provides a useful overview of when the built environment was developed in any given area.
How do I find original plans for my house?
If you’re looking for the original plans for your home and it’s not a new build, the best place to start is your local council’s building and planning application website. New buildings generally require planning permission to be approved by the council, which reviews the original plans before doing so.
How can I find out how old my house is in Northern Ireland?
If you live in Northern Ireland, You can search for any Registry of Deeds records dated from 1 January 1990 with Land & Property Services (LPS). For properties built earlier than 1990, the Public Record Office of Northern Ireland (PRONI) is the best place to look.
How does my house’s age affect my home insurance?
The age of your home can have a significant effect on the cost of insuring it. On the plus side, older homes have “proven” infrastructure, and are often less prone to leaks and non-structural issues that new builds frequently suffer from. This means you may pay less for certain kinds of cover for smaller issues.
On the minus side, older homes cost much more to rebuild. So, if your home is completely destroyed or suffers massive structural damage (from fire, flood, etc) then your insurance policy may not cover the full amount to rebuild a similar size and style of home. Alternatively, you may need to pay a higher insurance premium to make sure that you are fully covered to match the true value of your home.
It’s worth remembering that different insurance providers specialise in different kinds of cover. It may be worth finding a provider that specialises period homes or other types of older properties.
If my home is old does that mean it’s listed?
Just because you have an old home, or even a period home, that does not automatically mean that it is a “listed building”. These are buildings of special architectural and historic interest, that need to be protected for future generations.
The National Heritage List for England (NHLE) is the only official, up to date, register of all nationally protected historic buildings and sites in England. If you want to check if your home is a listed building, this is the place to do it. However, a building’s “listed” status must be disclosed before it is sold, so you should already be aware if your home is listed or not.
Useful Site Links
- HM Land Registry
- HMLR Blog
- The National Archives
- The National Heritage List for England (NHLE)
- Gov.UK Property info guidance
- Gov.UK Local archives search tool
- Melanie Backe-Hansen – House Historian
- Property Checker
HomeViews provides verified resident reviews of the UK’s housing developments. We’re working with developers, landlords and the Government to recognise high performers and help to improve standards in the built environment.