2) Location - may be in an older neighbourhood with less amenities and less desirable environment
3) May have a design that does not fit into current lifestyles such as only one bathroom in a four bedroom home, or non-insulated windows.
First, few homes are actually constructed to the current code - they are constructed to meet the variation of the code adopeted by the local jurisdiction at the time of construction. Some jurisdictions are 5-7 years behind in updatig their codes. Others have poor (or overworked) code inspectors who miss items. Even a home built 3 years ago wouldn't necessarily pass todays code. I am not a realtor, but I have been told that things like updated wiring and plumbing do not equate to increased sale value (whereas updated kitchens and baths may increase the sale value).
Next, while some materials and methods used in current construction are advertised as "better" or "stronger" they have not been in use long enough to identify their weaknesses and failngs. PB (grey plastic) pipe was thought to be a great advancement in the 70s and early 80s, until it became the subject of a lot of failures and a huge class action suit. Asbestos was thought to be great stuff when it came out, too...... Myself, when I construct something, I prefer a solid piece of wood to the finger jointed lumber that many builders use, for example.
Still, there are a good number of features and materials that are improvements (like improved roof venting standards, manufactured trusses, and fire safety codes for example) but those rarely sell a home. So, structurally and mechanically, there is little to support a price difference between homes of different ages in the same location. This would seem to indicate that it is more reliant on cosmetic concerns, features, and design.
We tend to like "new" things as opposed to "used" things. Bigger, better, shinier. We may never use that 3rd bath, but it's great to have!! I also think there is something to the idea of functional obsolescence, especially wqith regard to layout, that was mentioned previously.
Hope this helps!
I can be amused if I so choose and I do not need to be reprimanded by Diane Glander for what she thinks is a right or wrong way to respond to an answer.
People are looking for real answers to questions.. not talking head blather as noted.
If you have some constructive criticism about someone's answer, it would be a better idea to respond directly to it and the original post than to make a blanket statement like "Being a Realtor and fighting the image is a hard thing sometimes.... answers like some I have seen are the reason"
The Trulia community is not so much about disagreeing with someone's opinion, but being able to do so with tact.
To answer the question posted, as a house ages, it depreciates like most everything else. You do not mention whether or not improvements were continually made so a house built in 1960 should not be appraised comparably to one built in 2000.
If the home has be maintained well and updated.. It should be able to compete with others around it.
There are homes that are 50 years old that have been updated mechanically ... wiring and utilities and such that were probabaly built 1000x better then a lot of todays particle board homes that cost 800 -900,000
Oh, yes.. and of course the location : )
Being a Realtor and fighting the image is a hard thing sometimes.... answers like some I have seen are the reason.
It could also vary from neighborhood to neighborhood and city to city. For example here in the Orlando, Florida area, a 1960 home in an affluent Orlando suburb, Winter Park, would command a higher price than a comparable 2007 home in a less desireable area.
I'd highly recommend getting the advice of a competent Realtor or hiring a professional appraiser for a value if necessary.