Counties in Iowa with the most pre-war homes

Written by:
June 22, 2022
Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

Counties in Iowa with the most pre-war homes

Pre-war homes—those built before 1939—are architectural gems. They are sturdy, charming, and often what people are referring to when they look at the prevalent colorless, linear designs of today and lament “they just don’t make them like they used to.”

In some ways, that’s a good thing. Pre-war homes often contained materials we know to be hazardous today, like asbestos and lead. But their signature characteristics, including hardwood floors, nickel accents, ornate crown molding, and high ceilings, are among the features many people look for in a dream home.

Preserving the history of these properties, many of which you’ll find on the National Register of Historic Places, is labor that often extends beyond the scope of an individual homeowner. Depending on where these homes are located, special permission by local historic commissions may be required before renovations can be done in an effort to preserve their historic architectural integrity.

Stacker compiled a list of counties in Iowa with the most pre-war homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percent of homes that were built before 1939 based on 2020 5-year estimates.

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Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Franklin County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 4.4%
- Median year built: 1954
- Total homes: 4,846
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Ian Poellet // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Des Moines County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.8%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 18,613
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Winneshiek County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 14.1%
- Median year built: 1958
- Total homes: 9,008
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Jon Roanhaus // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Mitchell County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.1%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 4,987
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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Fremont County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.9%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.0%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 3,444

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Kevin Schuchmann // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Cedar County

- Homes built before 1939: 38.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 15.3%
- Median year built: 1963
- Total homes: 8,244
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Cherokee County

- Homes built before 1939: 38.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.0%
- Median year built: 1953
- Total homes: 5,734
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Woodard // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Fayette County

- Homes built before 1939: 38.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.2%
- Median year built: 1955
- Total homes: 9,606
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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Floyd County

- Homes built before 1939: 38.5%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.8%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 7,571
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Ann Sullivan-Larson // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Hamilton County

- Homes built before 1939: 38.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 7.5%
- Median year built: 1954
- Total homes: 7,199

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Jim Roberts // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Shelby County

- Homes built before 1939: 39.0%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.8%
- Median year built: 1955
- Total homes: 5,567
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Billwhittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Butler County

- Homes built before 1939: 39.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.0%
- Median year built: 1954
- Total homes: 6,804
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Robert Thall // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Lee County

- Homes built before 1939: 39.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.5%
- Median year built: 1955
- Total homes: 16,235
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Joe Elliott // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Crawford County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.9%
- Median year built: 1956
- Total homes: 7,068
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Pettingills // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Pocahontas County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 2.2%
- Median year built: 1949
- Total homes: 3,657

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User:Magicpiano // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Sac County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 5.4%
- Median year built: 1951
- Total homes: 5,398
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Ann Sullivan-Larson // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Hardin County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 2.9%
- Median year built: 1951
- Total homes: 8,193
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Jatakuck // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Howard County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4%
- Median year built: 1949
- Total homes: 4,376
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Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Greene County

- Homes built before 1939: 40.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.9%
- Median year built: 1952
- Total homes: 4,546
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Jonathunder // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Worth County

- Homes built before 1939: 41.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 5.9%
- Median year built: 1951
- Total homes: 3,519

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Smallbones // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Cass County

- Homes built before 1939: 41.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.6%
- Median year built: 1953
- Total homes: 6,583
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JERRYE AND ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Monona County

- Homes built before 1939: 41.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.3%
- Median year built: 1952
- Total homes: 4,723
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Bill Whittaker // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Tama County

- Homes built before 1939: 42.1%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.1%
- Median year built: 1952
- Total homes: 7,788
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Nst101 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Audubon County

- Homes built before 1939: 42.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 5.9%
- Median year built: 1950
- Total homes: 2,988
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Jared Winkler // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Taylor County

- Homes built before 1939: 42.5%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.6%
- Median year built: 1950
- Total homes: 3,105

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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Ida County

- Homes built before 1939: 43.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.1%
- Median year built: 1949
- Total homes: 3,450
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Judd Furlong // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Montgomery County

- Homes built before 1939: 43.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 3.8%
- Median year built: 1949
- Total homes: 5,220
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Scott Romine // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Harrison County

- Homes built before 1939: 45.3%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.3%
- Median year built: 1950
- Total homes: 6,837
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en:User:Cburnett // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Keokuk County

- Homes built before 1939: 46.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 8.5%
- Median year built: 1947
- Total homes: 4,880
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Jason McLaren // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Adams County

- Homes built before 1939: 46.6%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.8%
- Median year built: 1944
- Total homes: 2,011

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