Counties with the oldest homes in New Mexico

Written by:
August 27, 2022
Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the oldest homes in New Mexico

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history can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize.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 New Mexico 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 New Mexico have the oldest homes.

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turtix // Shutterstock

#33. Sandoval County

- Median year homes built: 1994
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 1.7% (994 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 35.0% (20,088 homes)
- Total homes built: 57,429
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David Langford // Shutterstock

#32. Doña Ana County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.8% (2,487 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 27.1% (24,134 homes)
- Total homes built: 88,937
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Drmccreedy // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Valencia County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.6% (1,129 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.2% (6,343 homes)
- Total homes built: 31,397
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Asaavedra32 // Wikimedia

#30. Santa Fe County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.0% (4,438 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 23.7% (17,414 homes)
- Total homes built: 73,496
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Torrance County

- Median year homes built: 1987
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.4% (678 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.6% (1,093 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,064

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Canva

#28. San Juan County

- Median year homes built: 1985
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 1.7% (866 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.3% (10,421 homes)
- Total homes built: 51,299
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Peter Potrowl // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Catron County

- Median year homes built: 1984
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.7% (205 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.4% (588 homes)
- Total homes built: 3,581
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StockPhotoAstur // Shutterstock

#26. McKinley County

- Median year homes built: 1983
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.2% (1,099 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.4% (4,579 homes)
- Total homes built: 26,348
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Lochaven // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Taos County

- Median year homes built: 1983
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.2% (1,947 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.4% (3,663 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,053
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Kristi Blokhin // Shutterstock

#24. Otero County

- Median year homes built: 1982
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.5% (807 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.3% (5,188 homes)
- Total homes built: 31,832

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#23. Lincoln County

- Median year homes built: 1982
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.0% (727 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 18.1% (3,306 homes)
- Total homes built: 18,262
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M.Bucka // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Bernalillo County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.3% (9,677 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 19.6% (57,970 homes)
- Total homes built: 295,111
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#21. Socorro County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.3% (853 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.6% (707 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,255
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Carptrash // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Rio Arriba County

- Median year homes built: 1980
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.4% (1,091 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.0% (2,830 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,226
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psyberartist // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Sierra County

- Median year homes built: 1980
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.6% (738 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.5% (987 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,567

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KeanoManu // Wikimedia Commons

#18. San Miguel County

- Median year homes built: 1980
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.0% (2,250 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.1% (1,934 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,034
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Luna County

- Median year homes built: 1979
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.5% (844 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.7% (1,666 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,318
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Mora County

- Median year homes built: 1979
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.9% (677 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.1% (277 homes)
- Total homes built: 3,403
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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Colfax County

- Median year homes built: 1978
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.5% (1,600 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.5% (1,392 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,308
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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Hidalgo County

- Median year homes built: 1977
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.6% (211 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.0% (369 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,467

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Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Roosevelt County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.3% (454 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.5% (1,412 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,550
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Billy Hathorn // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Curry County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.7% (1,230 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.5% (3,745 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,410
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#11. Cibola County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.4% (736 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.8% (1,462 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,432
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#10. Grant County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.5% (1,430 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.3% (1,552 homes)
- Total homes built: 15,105
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#9. Los Alamos County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 0.1% (6 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.1% (1,181 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,395

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#8. Eddy County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.5% (1,117 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 19.7% (4,902 homes)
- Total homes built: 24,870
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AllenS // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Lea County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.5% (949 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.0% (4,576 homes)
- Total homes built: 26,871
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U.S. Army Corps of Engineers // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Guadalupe County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.9% (311 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 3.1% (81 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,618
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#5. Chaves County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.3% (1,450 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.6% (2,896 homes)
- Total homes built: 27,385
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Tony Hisgett // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Quay County

- Median year homes built: 1966
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.0% (400 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 3.7% (210 homes)
- Total homes built: 5,700

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Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

#3. De Baca County

- Median year homes built: 1964
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.8% (101 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.0% (93 homes)
- Total homes built: 1,029
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Wordbuilder // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Union County

- Median year homes built: 1964
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.1% (286 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.3% (171 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,354
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Vacaypicts // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Harding County

- Median year homes built: 1953
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 29.0% (134 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.7% (31 homes)
- Total homes built: 462

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