Counties with the oldest homes in Alabama

Written by:
September 12, 2021
DXR // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the oldest homes in Alabama

There's an undeniable charm that comes with pre-World War II American architecture, characterized by high ceilings, crown molding, hardwood floors, and ornate details. In fact, 12.8% of all housing units in America were built in 1939 or before, showing the popularity of the preservation of these units. Owning a piece of history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize. However, with more and more modernized pre-war homes on the market, generally located just outside bustling downtown metros, investing in property that has withstood the test of time is an attractive prospect.

Stacker compiled a list of the counties in Alabama with the oldest homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by median year the structure was built, with ties broken by the most homes before 1939.

The country’s domestic architecture is perhaps best characterized by a rugged individualism as opposed to the hybridization of disparate architectural elements. As Maya Angelou once perceptively observed, "the ache for home lives in all of us," a phrase that has meant very different things to different people.

Modest or palatial, there is no shortage of noteworthy homes in the U.S. Log cabins constructed by industrious pioneers have dotted the landscape alongside traditional Native American dwellings ever since immigrant Swedes introduced them to the New World in 1638. The unprecedented personal fortunes amassed by the so-called "Robber Barons" at the close of the 19th century gave way to the construction of a staggering number of Gilded Age estates.

The ravages of time spared neither the sumptuous nor the humble. Stately mansions, often prohibitively costly to maintain in the modern era, were frequently neglected; simple structures were forgotten, discarded by their owners, and damaged by natural elements. However, the tireless efforts of architectural preservationists and local historical societies have saved many of these homes from demolition, leading to their inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places and thereby safeguarding them for future generations.

Keep reading to learn more about which counties in Alabama have the oldest homes.

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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Hale County

- Median year homes built: 1982
--- #2,218 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.8%
--- #2,147 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 7,792
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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Marion County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,141 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.8%
--- #2,902 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 14,737
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RuralSWAlabama (Billy Milstead) // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Choctaw County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,135 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.4%
--- #2,797 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 7,359
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MPearsallArt // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Morgan County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,127 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.0%
--- #2,673 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 52,050
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Canva

#26. Sumter County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,123 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.3%
--- #2,606 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 6,872
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Public Domain

#25. Pickens County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,117 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.7%
--- #2,537 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 9,588
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Rivers A. Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Coosa County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,095 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.5%
--- #2,197 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 6,585
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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Talladega County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,092 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.6%
--- #2,177 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 37,861
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Canva

#22. Fayette County

- Median year homes built: 1981
--- #2,084 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.1%
--- #2,083 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 8,505
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Canva

#21. Marengo County

- Median year homes built: 1980
--- #1,996 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.2%
--- #2,426 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 10,348
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Rudi Weikard // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Franklin County

- Median year homes built: 1980
--- #1,994 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.4%
--- #2,403 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 14,052
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Canva

#19. Greene County

- Median year homes built: 1980
--- #1,953 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.0%
--- #1,934 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 5,112
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Springfieldohio // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Jackson County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,852 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.7%
--- #2,344 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 25,041
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Chris Pruitt // wikicommons

#17. Montgomery County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,844 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.3%
--- #2,239 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 104,697
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Wmr36104 // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Geneva County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,833 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.9%
--- #2,119 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 12,869
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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Barbour County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,829 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.3%
--- #2,046 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 12,013
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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Crenshaw County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,824 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.6%
--- #1,997 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 6,815
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Chris Pruitt // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Butler County

- Median year homes built: 1979
--- #1,822 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.7%
--- #1,977 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 10,089
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Altairisfar // Wikicommons

#12. Mobile County

- Median year homes built: 1978
--- #1,726 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.1%
--- #2,651 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 183,671
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Wayne James // Shutterstock

#11. Lauderdale County

- Median year homes built: 1978
--- #1,721 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.1%
--- #2,460 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 45,001
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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Calhoun County

- Median year homes built: 1978
--- #1,709 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.1%
--- #2,276 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 53,631
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JNix // Shutterstock

#9. Clay County

- Median year homes built: 1978
--- #1,672 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.1%
--- #1,573 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 6,799
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Mccallk69 // Shutterstock

#8. Macon County

- Median year homes built: 1977
--- #1,600 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.7%
--- #2,164 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 10,296
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Dailynetworks // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Colbert County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,466 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.8%
--- #1,959 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 26,588
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Canva

#6. Perry County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,460 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.3%
--- #1,897 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 4,736
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Rivers Langley; SaveRivers // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Chambers County

- Median year homes built: 1976
--- #1,436 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.7%
--- #1,515 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 16,988
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Myself - Nathon Morris // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Lamar County

- Median year homes built: 1974
--- #1,236 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.6%
--- #2,549 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 7,403
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M Floyd // Flickr

#3. Jefferson County

- Median year homes built: 1974
--- #1,223 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.2%
--- #1,780 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 307,874
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DXR // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Dallas County

- Median year homes built: 1974
--- #1,210 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.8%
--- #1,425 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 20,419
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Prestinian // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Etowah County

- Median year homes built: 1973
--- #1,124 oldest among all counties nationwide
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.0%
--- #1,797 most among all counties nationwide
- Number of homes: 47,704

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