Poll: How old a house do you prefer?

How old a house do you prefer?

  • brand new construction (18%, 30 Votes)
  • Built 2000 or newer (22%, 37 Votes)
  • Built 1980 to 1999 (13%, 22 Votes)
  • Built 1960 to 1979 (6%, 10 Votes)
  • Built 1940 to 1959 (11%, 18 Votes)
  • Older than 1940 (31%, 52 Votes)

Total Voters: 168

This poll was active 05.27.2012 through 06.02.2012

0.00 avg. rating (0% score) - 0 votes

About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.


  1. 1

    My preference is just the opposite of the second choice–1999 or older.

  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    For Seattle 1957 was the Cadillac, or Chevy, of home building. We were expecting the World’s Fair, materials were plentiful, and labor was skilled, and reasonably priced.

  3. 3
    Everett_Tom says:

    I voted older the 1940 – but that’s got a lot more to do with the home style then anything else. If style was out of the picture, it’d be closer to what Kary answered.

  4. 4
    SG says:

    As an owner of a 1963 built home, looks like I will be a targeting a very niche segment when I consider selling it :)

  5. 5
    Peter Witting says:

    RE: Everett_Tom @ 3 – Like you, I prefer mid-century modern, and so that limits my options.

  6. 6
    StillRenting says:

    I prefer older than 1940, but there aren’t many choices in that category in the areas around here where we want to live. Given what is available in our price range in those areas, I agree with Kary’s preference (older than 1999). Of the open houses we have visited, the ones with the most interesting layout/architecture and lots/neighborhoods have been in the 1960-1979 category, so that’s the one I selected.

  7. 7

    I live in a house built in 1940. It’s comfortable, but lacks the style of houses built before or after that. To me, mid century moderns with the Northwest influence are the coolest. Lake Forest Park seems to have a disproportionate number of them. Lots of windows. Big wood beams, tall ceilings. New construction may be practical, but leaves me cold, a little too show offy.

  8. 8

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 7:

    New construction may be practical, but leaves me cold, a little too show offy.

    I just don’t see the appeal of new construction. My first memories are from a house my family bought new. The next two houses I lived in were family built and designed new. Throw out the custom design and I don’t see a single advantage to buying new.

    What new does offer is materials which are not time proven, and construction methods which are not time proven. It also offers either living in a house that stands out in an older neighborhood, or buying into a neighborhood which has greater uncertainty because everyone who lives there is new. Also, the lot is more likely an inferior lot. IMHO new construction should sell at a discount to existing if the existing construction has been well maintained.

  9. 9

    […] far in this week’s poll more people have indicated a preference for homes built before 1940 than any of the other […]

  10. 10
    Dirty Renter says:

    I don’t know a lot about architecture and all that…but I really like those houses that are kind of boxy and ugly on the outside, but when you go inside, they’re roomy and have a great vibe. I first went in one in 1978 and again in 1982. I think they were inspired by FLWright.
    Okay, okay, I’ll shut up.

  11. 11
    mmmarvel says:

    Myself and my siblings have all too often ended up in homes built before 1940. Rarely are they in good shape, yes they don’t need to be bulldozed but they typically need ALOT of work. And as with most rehab projects, you get some rather nasty surprises when you open up a wall, a floor a whatever. On the flip side, to find one that doesn’t have work that needs to be done, one that has already been gone through – typically you will pay ALOT of money for it. So if you like the architecture of the pre-1940 house are the the DIY’er or do you have a lot of money to spend?

    Myself, give me a 80’s – 2000 house, again if it hasn’t been kept up, then I’m not interested.

  12. 12
    SB says:

    Pre-1940, but more to do with location (near city core, better bus service, mature landscaping, sidewalks, etc) than anything. I would have been open to a more modern house (floorplans make more sense 1960s and beyond, hands down!), but good luck trying to find one of those in Ravenna!

  13. 13
    HappyRenter says:

    1980 to 1999 is my preference. Preferentially one that has not been remodeled. Do some remodeling according to your own taste, put in a new kitchen and bathroom, and you are set.

  14. 14
    RustyJohn says:

    I got the best of both worlds last year (thanks housing collapse!)- great brick craftsman built in 1945 with terrific bones, only one prior owner. The hardwoods were original and in great condition because the previous owner carpeted over them 35-40 years earlier. Got a HUD rehab loan and redid the wiring, the plumbing, partially finished the basement, added a master suite upstairs, redid the kitchen and bath. Got a 1945 house with everything brand new inside- who says recessions are bad?

  15. 15
    nwilkens says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8
    @ Larry, I agree with some of the comments you make about materials, sites, etc. but keep in mind that while there are a host of new finishes, which you state correctly have not been time-tested (and will may become a boon for lawyers and lawsuits for some time – think “Dryvit”), we have come a long way in addressing the need for better performing structures. Given the high probability of seismic activity in our future, I would feel good about living in a new home. We also know more about how buildings perform better from an environmental and energy use stand-point. Additionally, some people benefit greatly from having a home designed to fit their needs. Now if we can only capture the essence of what people like in older homes without literally recreating them ;-)

  16. 16

    RE: nwilkens @ 15 – Some houses can be retrofitted for seismic for a reasonable sum.

    The other area I would mention would be electrical. In addition to having more circuits and better breakers, the insulation on wire got better over the years too. That’s important particularly for the newer enclosed bedroom flush mount ceiling lights. Back in the older days they either hung from the ceiling or at least had some vents. Using the newer style lights on older wire can lead to the insulation becoming brittle, and that becomes a fire hazard.

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