How often is the listed age of the home wrong?

I have been running into this a bunch lately, and wondering how many of you find the same thing. The listing page of the house says built in** 2008**, the inspection sticker on the furnace shows it was approved in 2003. No typos or blurred text, plain as day. How can this possibly be an honest mistake? I commonly see the listing “fudged” a year or too, but not usually 5. (although the worst one I remember was closer to 10 years off)

I dont look at the real estate listing, i go to the town assessor card. Seems most accurate. if you google “city, state” assessor, the database site will be there it will have all the info you need, year built, foundation plan square footage, sometime type of heating system wetc will be wrong, but you get the basics, even a picture makes it easy to recognize when you roll up.

Mike, don’t forget to take into consideration all the new homes that were built and never sold, or sold many years later. I generally don’t see a large problem with inaccurate dates, but when I do it is typically on homes built after 2001, and usually only a year or two, three the most.

I inspected a home listed as being built in 1980. The inspection revealed that in around 1980, an addition was made to the original section of a home that was dated to around 1900.

Recently, I am finding stick built expansions that surround what were originally mobile homes (in one case, still on wheels). The listings reflected the dates of the expansions … and made no mention of the mobile homes enclosed within them.

As for using the date of the manufacturing of the HVAC system to date a house, I find that unreliable, as well. I had a nine year old addition that had a 1991 gas furnace in it and this is not uncommon, at all, in the areas where I inspect.

I have never relied upon the accuracy of information (other than the street address) in a real estate listing and I encourage my clients to share that skepticism.

Due to recent Fed changes in HVAC ratings, regulations, several HVAC manufacturers stock-piled units. Not uncommon to see two-four year old appliances in newer homes.

The only “Inspection Sticker” that has any significance, in my opinion, would be the State Electrical Inspection sticker.

I use the accessors page also. Here they have the age of the building and also the weighted average year so you have to pay a little attention.

Most listings are not accurate. As soon as you know the person who wrote the listing also waits tables at the local diner, it makes sense. Getting a real estate license is not hard, and the continued education required to hold the license is very minimal, at best. Sad but true.

I’ve lost count of the number of homes I have inspected that were “listed” as being “modular homes” that were not modular but, instead, were built to meet HUD specifications.

My advice to anyone wanting to trust the accuracy of a listing is to compare the actual salesman who wrote it to the photo on their business card. That pretty much clears it up right away. :wink:

Can’t trust listings. The home I inspected today was listed as having a full basement and a walk up attic. It had a crawlspace and an attic that was a b*tch to get into.

All the time.

Many times the Property Appraisors sites in South Florida have a “Actual Year Built” Date.

Realtors don’t always take the time to research these things. It is quite common to have furnaces installed 10 years before the home was built or windows that were 5 years old when the walls were put up. LOL Sometimes a gas furnace mysteriously turns into an electric furnace etc. etc. I usually don’t ask for the spec sheet because it isn’t always very reliable. There is a disclaimer at the bottom of the spec sheet just in case… If I do get one I have a little chuckle and move on.