Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Catalog Homes (Assembly NOT included)

I think it happens to most of us.     You move into a neighborhood and it seems the neighbors know more about your home than you do!     

It happened to me.   

Along with my new purchase, came new neighbors.    Some came by with baked goods, some just waved hello, and some with a story.     

The "old" man down the street... my new neighbor,  a large man, with an intimidating stature, a gruff voice and a huge smile, said to me with a twinkle in his eye,
"You know, that home you bought came straight out of the Sears catalog!"   

               What?  My beautiful little house, a mail order home?    Really??


Apparently, as a child, he had seen it delivered! 

Between 1908 and 1940 Sears sold more than 70,000 Sears and Roebuck Homes right through their catalogs!   They were shipped by rail in kits to be assembled by the purchaser, his friends or a professional. Not only did they advertise that "a man of average abilities could assemble a Sears kit home in about 90 days",    but, they were quality homes that one could customize.  

What Could You Buy?

A Bungalow, an American Foursquare, a light Queen Anne or even a Farmhouse!
Imagine purchasing a home for as little as $700!

Have a Sears Home?

Over the years, I forgave that "new neighbor" and found that the homes I truly fall in love with are these Sears Homes.   Doesn't matter the style, for the most part, they seemed to be built rock solid,  filled with warmth and character!    I just love them!   Apparently so do others!    There is a following!

But, they don't make them anymore so,, the only way to get one is to buy a resale!   
                                     How To Recognize A Sears Home

           Click here for  More Info and A Facinating Slide Show on plans and advertisements!    

What is your favorite style home?

Need a home?     Search for Homes Here


  1. Send me a photo of your house and I can tell you if it's a Sears Home. More than 80% of the time, people who think they have a Sears Home are wrong! Typically, it is a *kit* home, but from a company OTHER than Sears!

    Rose Thornton

  2. I love this story because something similar happened to me. Some neighbors brought baked goods, others waved and others told the story of a family that lived here. How the gentleman who lived in the house prior to the owners we bought it from had a little shop in the basement. Apparently, he was a woodworker and sold his creations. That explains the steps leading from the sidewalk to nowhere and the massive stone landing in front of basement door (that was sided over).

    It's great to have those neighbors who remember. We also received information from the historical society. Lots of history in this 'old house'.

    Thanks for sharing!

  3. Rose! I've been reading about you for awhile! (for anyone else reading this, Rose is the expert!) The picture above is my home. I will get a better picture today to get over to you sans snow as it is now gone! Thanks for commenting. I can't wait to hear what you have to say!

  4. Nancy. Don't you just love living in a home with history! And, isn't it fun to discover the secrets of the home and learn about the people that lived there. I think the first book I remember reading, bought through a book club way back when, was about a family that moved into an old house and the stories that the house had to tell them. Apparently that started my addiction. Thanks for commenting!

  5. What an interesting story line. Your Sears catalog home is adorable and what a lot of snow!! Who knew. If it existed, it would be interseting to know how much a Sears Catalog home would cost in today's dollars?

  6. Hi Pam! The snow has thankfully melted, well, all but just a bit! I'm not sure what a Sears Catalog home would cost today but according to the inflation calculator, usinflationcalculator.com
    That $700 in 1919 would be similar to $8910 today... but.. the cost of construction is around $80-200 per square foot. So, if you built an 800 s.f. home today (assuming $140 per s.f.) that would equal $112,000. Which seems pretty close I think. What an eye opener! Thanks for checking in!

    March 16, 2011 3:53 PM