Vintage home prices are booming

Buyers are willing to pay for history, agents find

New York Weekend Edition /
Sep.September 24, 2017 11:10 AM

What’s old is new again, real estate agents are discovering as buyers lay down millions in order to own vintage houses known as kit homes.

Before these homes became sought-after relics, they were built as an affordable option for families who would order their house from an Ikea-like catalog. The pieces needed to assemble said house were then mailed right to their doorstep for assembly.

One of the major companies behind these made-to-order kit homes, Sears, Roebuck and Co., had over 300 styles listed in its catalog and sold about 70,000 kit homes between 1908 and sometime in the 1940s, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Kit homes built in the 1920s were sold for between $600 and $6,000, but, today, these homes can bring in a million or more according to real estate agents, who say kit homes are becoming a valuable feature to include in listings.

Long & Foster Real Estate’s Sky Group agent Anna Mackler told the Journal a listing that explains a house’s history as a kit home “made it more appealing” to buyers. A client of Mackler’s willing forked over $200,000 more than the asking price simply because they wanted to “own a piece of history.”

Other agents report selling kit homes for prices ranging from about $1 million to close to $3 million.

Though the history of kit homes — how many are left and the rarity of a particular style — is poorly documented, various bloggers have taken up the mantle, such as Kit House Hunters and Sears House Seeker, to preserve the history which has turned out to be more lucrative than home buyers a century ago could have imagined.

[Wall Street Journal] — E.K. Hudson


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Jeffrey Epstein with 9 East 71st Street and Courtney Ross with her penthouse at 7 Hubert Street (Getty)
Jeffrey Epstein’s UES townhouse was priciest Manhattan deal last week
Jeffrey Epstein’s UES townhouse was priciest Manhattan deal last week
Unit 55B of Central Park South and Steve Roth of Vornado Realty Trust. (Compass, Vornado, Getty)
220 Central Park South’s first resale in the works
220 Central Park South’s first resale in the works
President Joe Biden’s American Rescue Plan was passed over the weekend. (Getty / Photo Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
What real estate gets in Biden’s $1.9 trillion package
What real estate gets in Biden’s $1.9 trillion package
Vince Viola and 12 East 69th Street (Getty, Google Maps)
Vince Viola’s massive UES townhouse in contract
Vince Viola’s massive UES townhouse in contract
(Getty, iStock)
Movie theaters’ future uncertain as studios focus on streaming
Movie theaters’ future uncertain as studios focus on streaming
One57's unit 51B (left) and unit 32C with Extell’s Gary Barnett (One57 photos via StreetEasy)
One57 resident pays $5.2M to swap 2-bed for duplex
One57 resident pays $5.2M to swap 2-bed for duplex
Rendering of Sonnen's ecoLinx home battery (Sonnen)
Off the grid: Developers eye “virtual power plants” for properties
Off the grid: Developers eye “virtual power plants” for properties
Hedge fund manager Robert Citrone (Getty)
This “Tiger Cub” hedge funder owns nearly 10% of Compass
This “Tiger Cub” hedge funder owns nearly 10% of Compass
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...