Counties with the oldest homes in Virginia

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

Counties with the oldest homes in Virginia

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can sometimes come with a cost: Many old homes come with asbestos, lead piping, knob-and-tube wiring, and other outdated building styles that can rack up a hefty price tag to modernize.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

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Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#50. Greensville County

- Median year homes built: 1977
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 9.7% (407 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 18.8% (790 homes)
- Total homes built: 4,192
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Puddin Tain // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Southampton County

- Median year homes built: 1977
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.8% (1,058 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.2% (1,542 homes)
- Total homes built: 7,648
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Wythe County

- Median year homes built: 1977
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.4% (2,071 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.7% (2,987 homes)
- Total homes built: 14,402
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Taber Andrew Bain // Wikimedia Commons

#47. Amherst County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.0% (1,569 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.8% (1,827 homes)
- Total homes built: 14,237
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pfly // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Lee County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.4% (1,349 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.7% (1,386 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,800

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#45. Scott County

- Median year homes built: 1976
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.4% (1,488 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.2% (1,818 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,960
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#44. Hampton

- Median year homes built: 1975
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 6.5% (3,934 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.6% (7,577 homes)
- Total homes built: 60,145
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Mathews County

- Median year homes built: 1975
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.3% (1,284 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.1% (697 homes)
- Total homes built: 5,758
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Henry County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.3% (1,378 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.7% (2,280 homes)
- Total homes built: 26,193
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Pics2018 // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Arlington County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.2% (9,495 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 23.8% (27,714 homes)
- Total homes built: 116,248

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Rhyssdavies // Wikimedia Commons

#40. Lunenburg County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.6% (638 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.5% (751 homes)
- Total homes built: 5,994
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vastateparksstaff // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Halifax County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.7% (2,132 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.2% (2,224 homes)
- Total homes built: 18,215
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Betcantrell // Wikimedia Commons

#38. Norton

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.2% (256 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.4% (135 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,105
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Ser Amantio di Nicolao // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Charlotte County

- Median year homes built: 1974
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.4% (978 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.5% (733 homes)
- Total homes built: 6,351
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JERRYE & ROY KLOTZ MD // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Smyth County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.2% (1,871 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.9% (1,524 homes)
- Total homes built: 15,366

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Brian Stansberry // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Tazewell County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.4% (2,777 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.6% (2,409 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,731
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Radford

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.9% (904 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.2% (601 homes)
- Total homes built: 6,522
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Calstanhope // Wikimedia Commons

#33. Grayson County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.1% (1,582 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.0% (1,389 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,262
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Nottoway County

- Median year homes built: 1973
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.3% (1,176 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.8% (1,077 homes)
- Total homes built: 6,813
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ALXCHO // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Alexandria

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 8.4% (6,432 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 17.1% (13,055 homes)
- Total homes built: 76,361

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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#30. Pulaski County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.7% (2,021 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.7% (2,197 homes)
- Total homes built: 17,289
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Bath County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 21.2% (706 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.0% (434 homes)
- Total homes built: 3,336
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Cecouchman // Wikimedia Commons

#28. Page County

- Median year homes built: 1972
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 22.2% (2,616 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.6% (1,716 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,783
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Skye Marthaler // Wikimedia Commons

#27. Giles County

- Median year homes built: 1971
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.3% (1,025 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.6% (1,054 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,360
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Southerngs // Wikimedia Commons

#26. Falls Church

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.7% (349 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 28.4% (1,724 homes)
- Total homes built: 6,080

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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Hopewell

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.0% (1,031 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.0% (1,241 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,354
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Cyoung9 // Wikimedia Commons

#24. Galax

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.5% (337 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.9% (288 homes)
- Total homes built: 3,222
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Moofpocket // Wikimedia Commons

#23. Charlottesville

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.9% (2,875 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 20.4% (4,237 homes)
- Total homes built: 20,736
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Famartin // Wikimedia Commons

#22. Highland County

- Median year homes built: 1970
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 33.6% (625 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.8% (256 homes)
- Total homes built: 1,859
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Colonial Heights

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 5.9% (452 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.3% (640 homes)
- Total homes built: 7,724

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DanTD // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Emporia

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 7.7% (198 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.8% (303 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,569
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Mojo Hand // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Salem

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.2% (1,538 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.3% (1,014 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,846
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Carol M. Highsmith // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Buena Vista

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 14.5% (417 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.8% (309 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,866
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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#17. Lynchburg

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 17.3% (5,642 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 16.0% (5,192 homes)
- Total homes built: 32,533
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APK // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Winchester

- Median year homes built: 1969
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 20.8% (2,489 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 13.0% (1,560 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,980

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Idawriter // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Fairfax

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 0.9% (83 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.8% (1,339 homes)
- Total homes built: 9,019
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Lvklock // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Waynesboro

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 12.1% (1,220 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 15.5% (1,564 homes)
- Total homes built: 10,059
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Jarek Tuszyński // Wikimedia Commons

#13. Alleghany County

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.6% (1,330 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 8.0% (639 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,036
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#12. Petersburg

- Median year homes built: 1968
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.8% (2,747 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.7% (2,075 homes)
- Total homes built: 16,346
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#11. Franklin

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 10.8% (415 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 10.5% (404 homes)
- Total homes built: 3,843

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Aplomado~commonswiki // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Bristol

- Median year homes built: 1967
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.7% (1,190 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.8% (855 homes)
- Total homes built: 8,714
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U.S. Navy photo // Wikimedia Commons

#9. Portsmouth

- Median year homes built: 1966
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 13.1% (5,372 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 9.4% (3,833 homes)
- Total homes built: 40,879
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Nyttend // Wikimedia Commons

#8. Staunton

- Median year homes built: 1965
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 19.3% (2,281 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 14.1% (1,675 homes)
- Total homes built: 11,847
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Ewelch1 // Wikimedia Commons

#7. Norfolk

- Median year homes built: 1963
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 15.2% (14,960 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 12.5% (12,243 homes)
- Total homes built: 98,142
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Sleddog116 // Wikimedia Commons

#6. Martinsville

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 11.4% (805 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 4.3% (307 homes)
- Total homes built: 7,062

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Acroterion // Wikimedia Commons

#5. Danville

- Median year homes built: 1962
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 16.9% (3,724 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 3.9% (869 homes)
- Total homes built: 22,017
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Nolanwebb // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Roanoke

- Median year homes built: 1958
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 25.0% (11,730 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 6.9% (3,231 homes)
- Total homes built: 46,991
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Will Weaver // Wikicommons

#3. Richmond

- Median year homes built: 1957
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.5% (30,743 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 11.0% (11,088 homes)
- Total homes built: 100,930
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Zeete // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Lexington

- Median year homes built: 1956
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 37.7% (906 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 2.1% (51 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,405
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Smash the Iron Cage // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Covington

- Median year homes built: 1950
- Homes built 1939 or earlier: 30.6% (915 homes)
- Homes built since 2000: 2.8% (83 homes)
- Total homes built: 2,987

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