Counties in Massachusetts with the most pre-war homes

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June 22, 2022
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Counties in Massachusetts 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 Massachusetts 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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#14. Barnstable County

- Homes built before 1939: 12.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4%
- Median year built: 1976
- Total homes: 164,064
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thisisbossi // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Nantucket

- Homes built before 1939: 15.9%
- Homes built since 2000: 21.1%
- Median year built: 1984
- Total homes: 12,498
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Jwgetchell // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Dukes County

- Homes built before 1939: 16.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 16.7%
- Median year built: 1982
- Total homes: 18,030
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Schlitzer90 // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Plymouth County

- Homes built before 1939: 23.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 13.8%
- Median year built: 1970
- Total homes: 208,056
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#10. Norfolk County

- Homes built before 1939: 26.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.7%
- Median year built: 1963
- Total homes: 280,180

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John Phelan // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Hampshire County

- Homes built before 1939: 27.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 10.5%
- Median year built: 1967
- Total homes: 64,114
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Daderot // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Worcester County

- Homes built before 1939: 29.4%
- Homes built since 2000: 11.8%
- Median year built: 1965
- Total homes: 336,533
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#7. Hampden County

- Homes built before 1939: 30.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.3%
- Median year built: 1957
- Total homes: 193,713
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Jellymuffin40 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Middlesex County

- Homes built before 1939: 32.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 12.0%
- Median year built: 1960
- Total homes: 641,278
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Marcbela (Marc N. Belanger) // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Bristol County

- Homes built before 1939: 32.8%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.7%
- Median year built: 1962
- Total homes: 236,043

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#4. Essex County

- Homes built before 1939: 36.0%
- Homes built since 2000: 9.9%
- Median year built: 1959
- Total homes: 313,956
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AlexiusHoratius // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Franklin County

- Homes built before 1939: 36.2%
- Homes built since 2000: 7.6%
- Median year built: 1959
- Total homes: 34,164
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Protophobic // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Berkshire County

- Homes built before 1939: 37.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 6.9%
- Median year built: 1954
- Total homes: 69,149
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#1. Suffolk County

- Homes built before 1939: 48.7%
- Homes built since 2000: 12.2%
- Median year built: 1942
- Total homes: 341,231

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