You can always try an old trick that real estate agents often use: Check your toilet. Extract all the  information in these documents and start completing our, Work backwards from what you know and discover your House HiSTORY, Join us on Twitter every Thursday at 7 -8pm, Professor of Design History, author & TV presenter on houses, interiors & products, Historian, Author, TV, speaker & consultant for BBC’s A House Through Time and for Phil Spencer's History of Britain in 100 Homes. Census data can be used to locate occupants who may have lived in the house prior to the invention of the telephone. New Home Construction Using Classic Designs, How to Get the Biggest Profit From Flipping Your House, How to Use Green for Your House's Exterior, Tips for Choosing Exterior Paint Colors for Your House, Before You Build Your New Home: 5 Preparation Steps. This document will list each person who owned your property, and the value of the property. Public libraries feature several resources for finding out the history of a house based on its address. Create your own unique website with customizable templates. You can always try an old trick that real estate agents often use: Check your toilet. The address of a house can be used to look up its history in a variety of ways at public libraries, as well as city and county records offices. Detectives look at everything, every piece, before forming theories about how they fit together. How Old Is My House? People are apt to make changes to a house as soon as ownership is transferred, so knowing when your home changed hands might indicate when remodeling occurred.
In our age of information databases, physical space is at a premium. Is the Coronavirus Crisis Increasing America's Drug Overdoses? How to Be a Professional Building Designer. Unless you live in a very modern home there is usually something you can discover about the architecture and building as well as details of the people who lived there lives before you. You may not be able to resist scouting out nuggets of information buried in resources like these: Be an advocate for archiving or digitizing paper records. Over the years, the value usually climbs at a steady pace. Laboratories can analyze the age of these elements and pick apart layers of paint. In simple language, this means that you are asking to see a listing of transactions involving your property. And if your house is even older than that, at least you'll … Raymond Boyd/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images. The year your property became more valuable may, in fact, be the year your house was built on a previously empty lot. Genealogist and House Historian, Author & Tutor.

A quick understanding of the history of closets reveals that bedroom closets didn't even exist in modest homes until the 20th century—people used furniture to store clothes since they didn't own as much clothing as we do today. Historian, author, broadcaster, House historian, author & genealogist.

Research is addictive, however. Jackie Craven is an expert in architecture, design, and literature with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Fact Check: What Power Does the President Really Have Over State Governors?

During the early 1900s, molded concrete blocks were popularized by Harmon S. Palmer's patented invention of the hand-operated molding machine. Researching old phone books or city directories may also help an individual to establish prior home ownership. Or could it? Lift the lid of the tank and look for a date. There are however many more ways to find out more about the people who lived in your house. Your title deeds and any other documents that came with the purchase of your house might provide names of people who owned or lived in your house.

You could also look on which can give you a rough indicator or when your house might have been constructed, it is an archive of old maps and you may be able to see when your house first appears on this. A great place to find out how old your house is. Written records of construction and renovation are often confusing and conflicting—and people's memories are even worse than that. Should You Remodel or Rebuild Your House?

), The Secret Science of Solving Crossword Puzzles, Racist Phrases to Remove From Your Mental Lexicon. Also, examine the wall placement and perceived changes in the floor plan. If you do not have documents in your possession to provide the age of your house there are ways to discover more about it's origins. Brushing up on the history of architectural concrete blocks can provide a surprisingly effective tool for dating the construction date of a home since the foundations are one element that is very likely to be original. Their memories might be faint, but someone may have an old photograph, a bill, or written correspondence that will help place your house in time. A trained investigator can also date a house by studying its wood, plaster, mortar, and paint. If your house is very old, the title or property deed may not list all the previous owners. We provide links in Word format to help you follow the video. It may also be possible to view the original blueprints of a home, depending on the city or county's specific requirements for obtaining construction permits and the age of the house.

Can You Build on a Property or Utility Easement? Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board, U.S. Department of Interior's "Preservation Brief 17 about Architectural Character", Preservation Brief 35: "The Process of Architectural Investigation", Biographies of people who lived in your area.

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Look at the shape of the roof and the placement of the windows. Preservation Brief 35: "The Process of Architectural Investigation" from the U.S. Department of Interior was written as a primer for the pros, but it is also a handy guide for the curious homeowner or conscientious realtor. If you do not have documents in your possession to provide the age of your house there are ways to discover more about it's origins. And if your house is even older than that, at least you'll know when the bathroom was last remodeled. The first "private eye" skill to hone is your power of observation.

The tax roll for your home is located at your local city hall, town hall, county courthouse, or municipal building. Census records are helpful in discovering the death records of prior owners. Finding out the history and age of your house can be fascinating. Reading old advertisements can also give you a historical context for building processes of the past. The Spruce uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience.

Director of Learner and Discovery Services, Open University. Using those records, it is possible to track changes in lot size of the address, improvements or additions to the home and any liens or judgments that were ever placed against it. Lift the lid of the tank and look for a date. Abraham Lincoln's home in Springfield, Illinois is a more typical example of the American home—it started as a one-story Greek Revival style, and now it's a two-story home, missing its classical columns but now sporting corbels in the eaves of an overhanging roof. Talk to descendants of the previous owners, neighbors, senior citizens at lunch, local carpenters and plumbers, and anyone else who might know something about the house. There are many guides available in libraries, record offices and local history societies as well as on line. An abrupt increase often means that new construction occurred. These machines were sold through mail-order catalogs such as Sears, Roebuck & Co. and made on site. The U.S. Department of Interior's "Preservation Brief 17 about Architectural Character" shows you how to determine the distinctive character of an old building. Property that is taxed as land always has a parcel number attached to it—usually an odd-looking number with dots and dashes. But one look at the kitchen, and you know they're both wrong.

There are two main strands of research that relate to the history of a house.

Although this may be done primarily online, it may be necessary to also use the library's microfiche resources to view older news records, especially in smaller towns that may not have uploaded all of their older records to the Internet. Pinpointing a home's birthday may be difficult. City and county records offices house permits and previous deed information. Here are some ways you can do it. "Character-defining elements," says the brief, "include the overall shape of the building, its materials, craftsmanship, decorative details, interior spaces, and features, as well as the various aspects of its site and environment.". To make sense of it all and verify your instincts, you need to be an architecture sleuth. While you're downtown, stop into the registrar's office and ask to see the tract index or a grantor-grantee index for your house. You can find out about your home's architectural history, how it has changed over time and the part it has played in its surroundings, using old maps, plans and photographs. Where Can You Look up a House's History by Its Address. Why not read about other peoples house stories or visit some famous (or perhaps infamous) homes? Most old houses have been added to and changed over the years, and few houses retain all their original features.

Once the occupant information has been obtained using the address, the names of the former occupants can be used to look up news clippings that contain newsworthy information connected to the address. We have produced a short video showing you how to how to trace the history of your house or your ancestors home without leaving home. There are many guides available in libraries, record offices and local history societies as well as on line. Your architectural sleuthing skills will steadily improve as you practice your observation skills and learn how to pay attention to all the details. Will 5G Impact Our Cell Phone Plans (or Our Health?! However, it can provide the name of the most recent previous owner—and this information will help you locate people who can answer some of your questions.

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