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
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Rising mortgage rates lock out homebuyers, trigger layoffs
Rising mortgage rates lock out homebuyers, trigger layoffs
United Kingdom Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng
Turmoil hits United Kingdom mortgage market
Turmoil hits United Kingdom mortgage market
 Lakeland Bank president Thomas Shara (Lakeland Bank, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
In redlining case, New Jersey lender to pay $12M
In redlining case, New Jersey lender to pay $12M
(Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Mortgage rates climb to 15-year high
Mortgage rates climb to 15-year high
Corcoran's Sheri Winter Parker and Compass' Elkin (Getty, Corcoran, Compass)
Cyberattack cripples Suffolk County real estate industry
Cyberattack cripples Suffolk County real estate industry
Lloyd and Barbara Macklowe with 51 West End Road (Getty, Douglas Elliman)
Macklowe Gallery founders chop another $10M off East Hampton home ask
Macklowe Gallery founders chop another $10M off East Hampton home ask
854 Fifth Avenue (Douglas Elliman)
Gilded Age mansion trades for $50M in all-cash deal
Gilded Age mansion trades for $50M in all-cash deal
Divvy Homes CEO Adena Hefets (LinkedIn, Illustration by The Real Deal with Getty)
Divvy Homes cuts 12% of staff
Divvy Homes cuts 12% of staff
arrow_forward_ios

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

Loading...