Counties with the oldest homes in South Carolina

Written by:
August 27, 2022
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Counties with the oldest homes in South Carolina

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can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize.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

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Connor401 // Wikimedia Commons

#46. York County

- Median year homes built: 1996
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.6% (2,894 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 42.4% (46,655 homes)
- Total homes built: 109,967
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Jasper County

- Median year homes built: 1996
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.8% (590 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 42.0% (5,134 homes)
- Total homes built: 12,234
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Itsbrandoyo // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Berkeley County

- Median year homes built: 1995
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 1.0% (861 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 42.4% (36,577 homes)
- Total homes built: 86,274
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Calatayudboy // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Lancaster County

- Median year homes built: 1995
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.3% (1,274 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 44.2% (17,015 homes)
- Total homes built: 38,529
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Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Horry County

- Median year homes built: 1994
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 0.8% (1,601 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 37.9% (79,789 homes)
- Total homes built: 210,354

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#41. Beaufort County

- Median year homes built: 1994
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 0.9% (866 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 37.8% (38,209 homes)
- Total homes built: 101,059
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Lazyksaw // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Dorchester County

- Median year homes built: 1994
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 1.4% (877 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 40.2% (24,683 homes)
- Total homes built: 61,445
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Ralph Hightower // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Lexington County

- Median year homes built: 1990
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.1% (2,707 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 30.6% (38,667 homes)
- Total homes built: 126,241
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#38. Georgetown County

- Median year homes built: 1990
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.3% (803 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 25.3% (9,032 homes)
- Total homes built: 35,655
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#37. Greenville County

- Median year homes built: 1989
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.7% (8,036 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 30.3% (65,183 homes)
- Total homes built: 214,785

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Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Kershaw County

- Median year homes built: 1989
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.8% (1,115 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 26.4% (7,761 homes)
- Total homes built: 29,444
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Colleton County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.5% (703 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 21.4% (4,331 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,200
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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Oconee County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.0% (1,619 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 26.4% (10,767 homes)
- Total homes built: 40,774
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KudzuVine // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Pickens County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.9% (2,668 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 25.3% (13,882 homes)
- Total homes built: 54,939
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Saluda County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.4% (797 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.6% (1,955 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,470

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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Calhoun County

- Median year homes built: 1988
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.9% (817 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 25.5% (1,916 homes)
- Total homes built: 7,501
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Clarendon County

- Median year homes built: 1987
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.6% (646 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.1% (3,071 homes)
- Total homes built: 17,908
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#29. Richland County

- Median year homes built: 1987
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.9% (6,877 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 29.6% (51,779 homes)
- Total homes built: 175,052
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#28. Charleston County

- Median year homes built: 1987
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.5% (10,536 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 29.0% (55,580 homes)
- Total homes built: 191,521
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Edgefield County

- Median year homes built: 1987
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.3% (918 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.7% (2,289 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,060

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Festiva76 // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Aiken County

- Median year homes built: 1986
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.4% (3,391 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 25.2% (19,547 homes)
- Total homes built: 77,606
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Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Sumter County

- Median year homes built: 1985
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.3% (1,583 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 21.9% (10,580 homes)
- Total homes built: 48,383
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Anderson County

- Median year homes built: 1985
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.4% (3,963 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 23.7% (21,084 homes)
- Total homes built: 89,095
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Farrargirl // Wikimedia Commons

#23. McCormick County

- Median year homes built: 1985
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.0% (285 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 22.8% (1,295 homes)
- Total homes built: 5,669
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Ffuhr // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Hampton County

- Median year homes built: 1985
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.5% (594 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.6% (1,339 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,198

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#21. Spartanburg County

- Median year homes built: 1985
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.8% (8,977 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 26.2% (34,541 homes)
- Total homes built: 131,725
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ProfReader // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Marion County

- Median year homes built: 1983
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 2.9% (444 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.2% (2,295 homes)
- Total homes built: 15,051
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Morder // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Cherokee County

- Median year homes built: 1983
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.2% (1,534 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 19.7% (4,863 homes)
- Total homes built: 24,675
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Chesterfield County

- Median year homes built: 1983
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.2% (1,574 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.0% (3,698 homes)
- Total homes built: 21,764
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Robert Thomas Mckenzie Jr // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Florence County

- Median year homes built: 1982
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.3% (1,999 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.5% (10,759 homes)
- Total homes built: 61,353

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Pollinator // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Williamsburg County

- Median year homes built: 1982
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 3.8% (583 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.0% (2,483 homes)
- Total homes built: 15,543
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Laurens County

- Median year homes built: 1982
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.3% (1,983 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.3% (4,507 homes)
- Total homes built: 31,469
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Fairfield County

- Median year homes built: 1982
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.5% (783 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.1% (1,802 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,958
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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Orangeburg County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 4.4% (1,872 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.4% (6,186 homes)
- Total homes built: 42,856
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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Barnwell County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.0% (531 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.0% (1,698 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,581

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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Dillon County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.2% (724 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.3% (1,843 homes)
- Total homes built: 13,808
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Jud McCranie // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Darlington County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.8% (1,785 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.3% (4,422 homes)
- Total homes built: 30,895
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Ammodramus // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Lee County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.7% (520 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.8% (839 homes)
- Total homes built: 7,785
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NatalieMaynor // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Newberry County

- Median year homes built: 1981
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.3% (2,441 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 19.5% (3,576 homes)
- Total homes built: 18,363
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Upstateherd // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Allendale County

- Median year homes built: 1980
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.4% (243 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.2% (503 homes)
- Total homes built: 4,500

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Calvin Beale // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Marlboro County

- Median year homes built: 1980
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.1% (1,093 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.4% (1,490 homes)
- Total homes built: 12,058
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Bamberg County

- Median year homes built: 1978
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.4% (570 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.3% (1,184 homes)
- Total homes built: 7,715
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Brian Scott // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Abbeville County

- Median year homes built: 1978
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.6% (1,051 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.9% (1,942 homes)
- Total homes built: 12,211
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Bill Fitzpatrick // Wikimedia Commons

#3. Greenwood County

- Median year homes built: 1977
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.3% (2,625 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.4% (5,186 homes)
- Total homes built: 31,549
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#2. Chester County

- Median year homes built: 1977
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.2% (1,360 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.4% (1,529 homes)
- Total homes built: 14,772

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#1. Union County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.1% (1,705 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.9% (1,392 homes)
- Total homes built: 14,118

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