Counties with the oldest homes in Michigan

Written by:
August 27, 2022
PhotosByMahin // Pixabay

Counties with the oldest homes in Michigan

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history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize.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 Michigan with the oldest homes using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by median year the structure was built according to 2020 5-year estimates. Ties broken by the highest percentage of homes built 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 Michigan have the oldest homes.

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Jeffness // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Mackinac County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.1% (1,813 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.8% (1,662 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,233
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SBarnes // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Eaton County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.2% (7,737 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.8% (6,560 homes)
- Total homes built: 47,647
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rossograph // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Montcalm County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.1% (4,901 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.3% (4,113 homes)
- Total homes built: 28,675
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Andrew Jameson // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Macomb County

- Median year homes built: 1975
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.4% (16,183 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.9% (54,906 homes)
- Total homes built: 367,684
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O. David Redwine // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Midland County

- Median year homes built: 1975
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.8% (2,908 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.9% (4,775 homes)
- Total homes built: 37,065

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Doug Coldwell // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Mason County

- Median year homes built: 1975
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.4% (3,058 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.3% (2,872 homes)
- Total homes built: 17,614
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Ryano913~commonswiki // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Barry County

- Median year homes built: 1975
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.9% (5,249 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.3% (4,812 homes)
- Total homes built: 27,785
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Henry Schenck Tanner // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Montmorency County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.9% (371 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.6% (822 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,604
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Andrew Jameson // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Oakland County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.7% (41,578 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4% (67,093 homes)
- Total homes built: 542,094
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Notorious4life // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Alcona County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.2% (919 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4% (1,170 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,210

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Mxobe // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Kalamazoo County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.4% (16,226 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.3% (18,403 homes)
- Total homes built: 112,585
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Ken Heuvelman // Wikimedia Commons

#39. St. Clair County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.2% (11,709 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.4% (9,718 homes)
- Total homes built: 72,395
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Grguy2011 // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Kent County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.5% (42,405 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.4% (42,105 homes)
- Total homes built: 257,115
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Lawrence G. Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Van Buren County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.1% (6,767 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.2% (5,325 homes)
- Total homes built: 37,394
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USFWSmidwest // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Oscoda County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.7% (435 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.7% (898 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,238

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Charles W. Chapman // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Monroe County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.1% (10,441 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.9% (10,310 homes)
- Total homes built: 64,760
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rossograph // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Cass County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.4% (4,871 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.8% (4,167 homes)
- Total homes built: 26,406
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Andrew Jameson // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Ionia County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.4% (6,875 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.3% (3,831 homes)
- Total homes built: 25,094
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Nick Nolte // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Iosco County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.1% (1,452 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.6% (1,966 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,574
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Modlind // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Baraga County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.7% (942 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.2% (647 homes)
- Total homes built: 5,314

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rossograph // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Manistee County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.5% (2,933 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.6% (1,689 homes)
- Total homes built: 15,866
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Michigan Department of Natural Resources // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Sanilac County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.9% (4,602 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.7% (2,697 homes)
- Total homes built: 23,093
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David Coats // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Presque Isle County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.7% (1,430 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.0% (1,145 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,442
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Bryan Robb // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Ingham County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.5% (20,414 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.5% (15,521 homes)
- Total homes built: 124,012
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kennethaw88 // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Tuscola County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.8% (5,088 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.9% (2,415 homes)
- Total homes built: 24,476

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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Menominee County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.0% (3,009 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.5% (1,797 homes)
- Total homes built: 14,351
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rossograph // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Branch County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.8% (4,766 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.8% (2,670 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,924
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Charles W. Chapman // Wikimedia Commons

#23. St. Joseph County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.3% (6,534 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.5% (2,941 homes)
- Total homes built: 27,983
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daBinsi // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Shiawassee County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.8% (6,297 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.1% (2,763 homes)
- Total homes built: 30,246
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Dwight Burdette // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Lenawee County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.5% (10,334 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4% (5,425 homes)
- Total homes built: 43,894

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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Hillsdale County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 27.0% (5,959 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.8% (2,598 homes)
- Total homes built: 22,055
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Flintmichigan // Wikicommons

#19. Genesee County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.7% (22,589 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.9% (21,068 homes)
- Total homes built: 192,583
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NOAA Great Lakes Envorinmental Ressearch Laboritory // Flickr

#18. Muskegon County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.8% (11,713 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4% (9,182 homes)
- Total homes built: 74,335
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Charles Bash // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Huron County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.8% (3,999 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.7% (2,269 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,278
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Tony Webster // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Marquette County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.2% (7,396 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.7% (3,375 homes)
- Total homes built: 34,907

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rossograph // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Dickinson County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.8% (3,356 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.0% (1,270 homes)
- Total homes built: 14,108
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Recomposemedia // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Delta County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.9% (5,079 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.4% (1,924 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,396
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Dylan L. Tanner // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Alpena County

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.4% (2,631 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.1% (1,302 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,057
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Russell Sekeet (amtrak_russ) // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Berrien County

- Median year homes built: 1966
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.4% (12,734 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.8% (9,173 homes)
- Total homes built: 77,645
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kennethaw88 // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Saginaw County

- Median year homes built: 1966
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.9% (15,738 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.9% (6,968 homes)
- Total homes built: 87,789

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Phillip L. Hofmeister // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Jackson County

- Median year homes built: 1965
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.8% (16,619 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.2% (8,477 homes)
- Total homes built: 69,719
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Unknown author // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Gratiot County

- Median year homes built: 1964
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.9% (3,581 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.0% (1,313 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,331
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battlecreekcvb // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Calhoun County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.0% (15,249 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.9% (5,434 homes)
- Total homes built: 60,889
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Rklawton // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Iron County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.6% (2,673 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.2% (670 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,341
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RomanKahler // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Ontonagon County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.9% (1,647 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.6% (548 homes)
- Total homes built: 5,703

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Phoenix-Five // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Keweenaw County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.1% (892 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 18.4% (454 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,473
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Andrew Jameson // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Bay County

- Median year homes built: 1961
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.2% (11,692 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.5% (3,642 homes)
- Total homes built: 48,340
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Jcvertin // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Houghton County

- Median year homes built: 1960
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 37.6% (7,096 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4% (2,333 homes)
- Total homes built: 18,854
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PhotosByMahin // Pixabay

#2. Wayne County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.4% (166,652 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.1% (57,489 homes)
- Total homes built: 814,954
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Bobak Ha'Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Gogebic County

- Median year homes built: 1955
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.5% (3,935 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.9% (635 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,779

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