Counties with the oldest homes in New York

Written by:
August 27, 2022
Jwilson855 // Wikimedia Commons

Counties with the oldest homes in New York

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can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize.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

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Eric Richards // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Sullivan County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.8% (11,111 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.4% (7,826 homes)
- Total homes built: 50,966
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Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#49. Jefferson County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.6% (20,221 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.7% (8,809 homes)
- Total homes built: 60,119
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Tim Hettler from New York, NY, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Suffolk County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.0% (51,975 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.3% (59,384 homes)
- Total homes built: 576,804
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Colin D. Young // Shutterstock

#47. Dutchess County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 18.9% (22,943 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.9% (14,412 homes)
- Total homes built: 121,161
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Felix Lipov // Shutterstock

#46. Greene County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.7% (8,542 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.9% (3,838 homes)
- Total homes built: 29,746

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Benjamin D. Esham (bdesham) // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Livingston County

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.0% (8,826 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.7% (3,221 homes)
- Total homes built: 27,601
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James Kirkikis // Shutterstock

#44. Putnam County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.5% (6,746 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.6% (4,111 homes)
- Total homes built: 38,652
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Mwanner // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Hamilton County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.5% (2,014 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.2% (1,006 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,964
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WCohen // Shutterstock

#42. Tioga County

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 26.5% (5,984 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4% (2,341 homes)
- Total homes built: 22,571
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Lamar Gore/USFWS // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Schuyler County

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.2% (3,170 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.6% (1,048 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,852

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Fred Hsu // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Ulster County

- Median year homes built: 1966
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 24.3% (20,771 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.3% (10,493 homes)
- Total homes built: 85,372
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Andre Carrotflower // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Wayne County

- Median year homes built: 1966
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 31.8% (13,295 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.0% (4,176 homes)
- Total homes built: 41,792
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tomtsya// Shutterstock

#38. Essex County

- Median year homes built: 1965
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.0% (8,444 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.4% (3,810 homes)
- Total homes built: 26,390
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Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Columbia County

- Median year homes built: 1965
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 32.4% (10,881 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.7% (3,612 homes)
- Total homes built: 33,622
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Paul Brady Photography // Shutterstock

#36. Monroe County

- Median year homes built: 1964
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.1% (82,656 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.3% (30,749 homes)
- Total homes built: 329,105

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Andre Carrotflower // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Allegany County

- Median year homes built: 1964
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 31.7% (8,356 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.8% (2,576 homes)
- Total homes built: 26,376
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Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Chenango County

- Median year homes built: 1964
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 35.1% (9,056 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.7% (2,501 homes)
- Total homes built: 25,818
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PQK // Shuterstock

#33. Yates County

- Median year homes built: 1963
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.1% (5,021 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.1% (1,547 homes)
- Total homes built: 13,919
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littlenySTOCK // Shutterstock

#32. Onondaga County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 23.2% (48,442 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.0% (18,903 homes)
- Total homes built: 209,068
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P199 // Wikimedia Commons

#31. St. Lawrence County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.4% (16,219 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.2% (5,431 homes)
- Total homes built: 53,328

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Marduk // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Steuben County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.4% (17,095 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.0% (4,984 homes)
- Total homes built: 49,688
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Colgate University // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Madison County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.8% (11,258 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.5% (3,388 homes)
- Total homes built: 32,381
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Mwanner // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Franklin County

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.3% (9,373 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.5% (2,442 homes)
- Total homes built: 25,835
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Wangkun Jia // Shutterstock

#27. Albany County

- Median year homes built: 1961
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.9% (41,113 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.4% (13,351 homes)
- Total homes built: 142,246
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Matt H. Wade // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Rensselaer County

- Median year homes built: 1961
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.7% (24,677 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.7% (9,324 homes)
- Total homes built: 73,251

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Pubdog // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Cattaraugus County

- Median year homes built: 1961
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.8% (14,496 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.6% (3,987 homes)
- Total homes built: 41,681
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UpstateNYer // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Washington County

- Median year homes built: 1960
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.6% (10,816 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4% (3,658 homes)
- Total homes built: 29,562
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Canva

#23. Broome County

- Median year homes built: 1958
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 28.8% (26,237 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.8% (5,304 homes)
- Total homes built: 91,155
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marjobani // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Seneca County

- Median year homes built: 1957
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.9% (5,732 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4% (1,712 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,409
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Canva

#21. Erie County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.3% (130,106 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.8% (33,308 homes)
- Total homes built: 429,708

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Canva

#20. Westchester County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.6% (115,182 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.4% (28,014 homes)
- Total homes built: 376,315
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Mihai_Andritoiu // Shutterstock

#19. Niagara County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.7% (30,834 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.1% (7,091 homes)
- Total homes built: 100,539
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Nina Alizada // Shutterstock

#18. Oneida County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.1% (35,939 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.8% (7,202 homes)
- Total homes built: 105,459
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PQK // Shuterstock

#17. Cayuga County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 38.3% (14,221 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.5% (3,516 homes)
- Total homes built: 37,131
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Daniel Case // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Genesee County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 39.2% (10,130 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.6% (1,697 homes)
- Total homes built: 25,826

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Stef Ko // Shutterstock

#15. Cortland County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 40.6% (8,448 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.4% (1,132 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,806
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Kenneth Sponsler // Shutterstock

#14. Otsego County

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 42.2% (13,206 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.6% (3,309 homes)
- Total homes built: 31,300
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littlenySTOCK // Shutterstock

#13. Nassau County

- Median year homes built: 1955
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.7% (93,435 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.2% (24,782 homes)
- Total homes built: 473,238
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Lvklock // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Chemung County

- Median year homes built: 1955
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.2% (13,347 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.1% (2,396 homes)
- Total homes built: 38,983
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Kenneth C. Zirkel // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Wyoming County

- Median year homes built: 1955
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 41.4% (7,575 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.5% (1,196 homes)
- Total homes built: 18,297

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UpstateNYer // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Schenectady County

- Median year homes built: 1954
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 34.6% (24,214 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.3% (5,781 homes)
- Total homes built: 69,885
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Beyond My Ken // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Fulton County

- Median year homes built: 1954
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 36.6% (10,656 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.9% (2,294 homes)
- Total homes built: 29,148
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Andre Carrotflower // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Chautauqua County

- Median year homes built: 1953
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 38.7% (26,185 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.0% (4,738 homes)
- Total homes built: 67,656
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Bjoertvedt // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Queens

- Median year homes built: 1952
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 31.5% (272,373 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 7.3% (63,190 homes)
- Total homes built: 864,790
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Gryffindor // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Bronx

- Median year homes built: 1952
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 37.5% (200,199 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.6% (45,727 homes)
- Total homes built: 533,434

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Doug Kerr from Upstate New York // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Herkimer County

- Median year homes built: 1952
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 42.4% (14,355 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.7% (2,947 homes)
- Total homes built: 33,850
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Jimmy Emerson // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Orleans County

- Median year homes built: 1952
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 44.3% (8,231 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 5.8% (1,085 homes)
- Total homes built: 18,576
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pisaphotography // Shutterstock

#3. Manhattan

- Median year homes built: 1950
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 42.7% (378,010 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.9% (87,425 homes)
- Total homes built: 884,828
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Jwilson855 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Montgomery County

- Median year homes built: 1945
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 45.1% (10,605 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.0% (1,406 homes)
- Total homes built: 23,529
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Victor Moussa // Shutterstock

#1. Brooklyn

- Median year homes built: before 1939
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 50.2% (529,930 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.2% (97,459 homes)
- Total homes built: 1,055,660

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