The Return Of The Mail-Order Home. With Free Shipping!

in culture •  20 days ago  (edited)

Howdy folks and greetings from the Great Plains of North Texas!

Remember back in the day when Sears, Roebuck and Co. used to sell mail order homes? Of course you don't , you weren't around then! At least not many of us were, they stopped selling them in 1940.


This dramatically helped the expansion of the Western territories

What an amazing run they had. From 1908 to 1940 they sold 70,000 "kit homes."

Yeah, they were pre-cut and fitted and all you had to do was assemble them, they came with a 75 page instruction manuel. (I'm guessing it was in one language.)

They didn't deliver it to your property

It arrived in one or two railroad boxcars, depending on the size. Totally complete including nails and screws. The customer had to come and haul the kit to their property though, and many did that with horse drawn wagons!

Check out some of the styles and prices..

I think this first one was their cheapest. A little one bedroom cottage for $191. The deluxe model was $266.00. lol.


Here's a 3 bedroom Colonial:


A little more deluxe:


I love this classic design. If you're lucky enough to own one of these ordered from Sears you're sitting on alot of money!


Many kit homes are still standing like this model:


Check out this fine 10 room home, dang-near a mansion, especially in those days. This was their most expensive home. That price translates to $180,000 today, still a bargain. Try finding a home like this for that price!


And here's that model today, this one is being used as a funeral home:


It's interesting that the Sears kit-homes have become all the rage in real estate today.

They were made with the best materials so the quality is excellent and they are rare. They're hard to find and that's what makes them valuable.

For some reason all the company records were destroyed when the homes sales stopped in 1940. Just the records of the kit homes. No one knows why. So it takes some research to identify a Sears home but well worth the effort.

One couple bought a home for $60,000 some years ago and then discovered that it was a Sears kit home. It's appraised value now? $600,000.00! lol. One way to tell is Sears stamped all the wood with a mark like this:


Enter Amazon

Hey you can buy everything else from those guys, why not a house? They started selling kit homes just like Sears did and guess what? It's an insane market, they can't even keep them in stock!

Here's a few of them..

Here's a little get away cabin. 292 sq ft but that doesn't include the sleeping loft sq footage. Price: $19,000(with free shipping).


This one is 1,000 sq ft. with a price of $40,000:


Here's one with 1,108 sq ft, $46,900:


Here ya go, 1,336 sq ft for $64,650:


Okay, so you can see what's happening here. With the medium home selling price of $234,000 here in the United States, you can understand why people are just buying kit homes.

With free shipping! lol. It's another brilliant move by Amazon.


Thanks for reading folks, God bless you all!
the gentleman redneck

I had to laugh at true of human nature. (except Steemians who are rock solid role models of self-discipline!)





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It is interesting that the first two homes you show don't have a bathroom. I wonder if sears sold a kit for an outhouse, hehe ;)

lol! Howdy sir hhayweaver! good to see you! Are you posting these days? If you are I'm sorry I haven't been around but I'll get over there if you are. I thought that was interesting too, if I was going to pay 19 grand for a house I would expect at least a toilet and sink! dang. That's cheap today but still alot of money for most people. They did have one for 5grand but it was only 132 sq ft and was basically a utility shed with a large overhang in the front.

  ·  19 days ago (edited)

Oh wow! This is so cool that you can actually buy kit homes and build it out yourself. I am sure that I saw the getaway cabin 292 sq ft and the one directly after it at 1000 sq ft they both came out in a youtube video showcasing tiny homes! They look really good.

  ·  19 days ago (edited)

Howdy khimgoh! It's an interesting phenomenon for sure. Hey, I wonder if they are selling these in Malaysia? It might be a good fit in some neighborhoods, these would make good first time purchaser homes!
Thanks so much for reading and commenting!

Hey @janton not that I know of but I would so get the 1000 sq ft one. It is so beautiful with all the glass!

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I agree, I love that design! You have good taste in houses! lol.

If only my grandfather would have bought a bunch of these and left them to me. LOL.

lol! Exactly! Me too. They would unknowingly be making the investment of a lifetime for you!

I have never heard of kit homes before. I must be living under a rock. And I would still be living under that rock if I had to put it together myself. I better go stand in that lifestyle change line. Wait, there isn't a line so I will just stand at the lifestyle change counter. LOL!

lol! Howdy Butterfly! Don't worry, the Sears kit homes were before most people's time, even mine! And Amazon hasn't been selling these for long either. The lifestyle change counter is open for you though, that line is all yours! lol. No one has any self discipline.. But like I said, the Steemians are different and they do have self discipline or they wouldn't be posting everyday.

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Howdy esteemapp! Thanks so much for the upvote and the great platform!

I want pills... Got rogain?

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All I got is health supplements...boring!

Well with a little chemistry... Lol watching breaking bad now.

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ha! some chemistry going on there in that show!

There is a Sears home in my town. That is so cool that Amazon is following in Sears footsteps!

Howdy Melinda! It's a great idea and they've found a very popular niche. I wonder about the quality compared to Sears but they're probably pretty good. That's interesting, is it a nice style home?

I may be wrong. Somebody told me years ago that it was a Sears home, but when I went to look for a photo of it to show you I couldn't find any information online about it. Now I'm wondering if I was not told the correct information.

Oh, yeah that might be the case, someone might have gotten it mixed up or they had the wrong information. I think they're super cool!

I love that first one from Amazon! I could totally live in that!

Really? The price seems a little high for it's size but on the other hand I know that home prices up there are crazy aren't they? Canada is becoming too popular! lol.

I wasn't actually looking at the price tag, I just liked the way the thing looked

Yes sir, sir keith, I agree that it's very sharp. These little ones would be great for starter homes or for downsizing it you had the land to put them on. I reckon land up there is real expensive too isn't it?

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Hi janton, I recognise some of the older designed homes from the movies. I think I would have lined up for a Sears home too.

Amazon is a very clever enterprising company, There are obviously some creative thinkers sitting around a 'think tank table', lol.

Howdy today angiemitchell! yes, Amazon doesn't make very many mistakes, to put it mildly. lol. They know what they're doing. I wonder if these kit homes are available in Australia? Can you imagine what the shipping costs would be if they came from here? Maybe they make kit homes there.

  ·  19 days ago (edited)

The Sears name is one of the standard symbolism of the American frontier that propelled the growth of America forward, it's sad to see them slowly fading into the abyss.

Back in the day though people didn't have all the requirements needed today to build a kit house, you have to have all these different permits for everything and probably a cost of finale inspection to boot, it's not like you can just plop it down over where your well is unless you are in homesteading country.

That's so true sunlit7, the regulations these days is a nightmare so you'd have to do alot of research. I need to check on Sears, do you know if they declared bankruptcy? I think they closed most of their stores last year.

From what I remember is that the guy who owns Sears decided not to prop them back up, then I heard he decided to go into reorganization, and as frequently as a month or so ago I read somewhere they were going to open back up some stores in certain area's...which ones I am not sure.

oh, very interesting! Thanks sunlit7, I hope some of them can make a come back.

I’d heard about people ordering homes through the catalog. Good that Amazon has got on the bandwagon. Once you have the parts it would still be lots of figuring to get the home erected.

Howdy redheadpei! I think you would have to have a crew of pros helping you so you'd have to add that to the cost for sure. I wonder what their instruction manuals today are like? Or if it's all online.

Howdy Sir @janton, I love that last joke. So true.
I wonder if the quality of the Amazon kit homes would be as good as the Sears ones.

Howdy sir papilloncharity! Thanks for appreciating that meme and as far as the quality of the present day homes...I highly doubt it. Probably alot of plastic involved to cut costs on shipping! lol. You should order one and then we would know! That would make for some interesting posts!

Ours was a Modular. In 2008. Set on our foundation with a giant crane.

Do not try this. It is not OSHA approved.

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oh very cool sir krazzytrukker! You did the foundation yourself? Is it a slab or it has a crawl space? Hey that ladder rig looks safe to me!

They did foundation. Crawlspace..... but that is me painting it.

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So they came and set it up, now you just gotta maintain it. Did you save some money by going the modular route?

I did get to create my own floor plan. I took multiple homes we looked at and put what i liked from each into the home we have.

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Howdy pooky-jax! Well that's wonderful, I'm glad you were able to do that, it makes a big difference. And I still wouldn't give up on the dream home either!

Yes we were forced to save. Our 12 acres did not appraise high enough so the Dream Home Log Style we had jumped thru all the hoops for and had blueprints on fell thru. It was a quarter million dollar deal.

We had to fall down to the 140k mod. For the most part We are happy with it. But the what coulda beens. So many of them, make me a bitter angry man......

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Howdy sir krazzytrukker! Oh I can see that log home on that property, that would be magnificent! But hey, you still got a great home that looks wonderful on a beautiful property. You're not really a bitter, angry man are you? That was a joke, hopefully? People would kill to have a property like yours.

We had something like this on paper. 3000 sq. ft.

It was a small cypress logstyle. but it had the log ladder stairs to loft master bedroom. All open inside. With a main center post that was Cypress tree. Huge stone fireplace. And awsome kitchen for the @pooky-jax

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oh that's a beauty. Well hey, it ain't over yet, maybe you can still get that one and replace your current home with it. In ten years who knows what things will look like?

Another similar to what we spec'd out. That fell thru. In 2007

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Gorgeous. And perfect for your property.

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Howdy steem-plus! Thanks so much for the upvote!

So $1,742 before it comes with a bathroom... I wonder if you had to build your own outhouse for the cheaper ones.

yeah those cheaper ones wouldn't work for me! Back then alot of people had outhouses and I guess you could continue until you could afford to put in a bath but that would be rough! Especially in the winter. great observation sir fotosdenada!

"Back then," eh? Haha. The house my father grew up in had an outhouse up to the 70's, sometime. I bet that was lovely in the winter!

lol! An outhouse in the Minnesota winter! Wow that's not something I want to think about. lol. Unless it was heated but I assume it wasn't. Up to the 70's is remarkable!

  ·  19 days ago (edited)

What a cool find sir janton look at them 1940 prices at the cost of a packet of cigarettes today but we still have hope a Amazon kit house sounds good to :)

Yeah but even though aren't cheap sir hangin. Well they may be for the Vin but for most people they would be, plus I doubt if the quality is as good as the Sears homes. However, if you are paying half the price for a home it would be worth it. With the money you save you could buy a big 4 wheel drive pickup truck! lol.

This would be true the quality would not go close to them 1940 homes but good for people who would like a cheap home or a second log cabin home :)

Hey sir hangin you could rent or buy a little piece of land and put one on there, or do they allow foreigners to buy land?

You can buy land but you need to form a Thai company but foreigners can buy and own condo's outright which is a better option no lawns to take care :)

That makes sense sir hangin. I bet land is at a premium in price there though!

Depends were you want to buy but it's definitely cheaper then western or european prices :)

oh! well that's good news then. But you want a condo on the beach right? so you can have beach parties every night? lol.

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Howdy ocdb! thanks so much for the upvote and for helping so many.

Howdy Janton! That little one would be perfect for me! I just have to find free land, lol. Anyway, I had no idea houses back then where mail order by Sears! They are even houses here with similar style, especially those Colonial. I am wondering if we have any of these mail to order homes here. I believe we probably do.

You should find a Sears home and not tell the owners about it, then buy it and sell it for a fortune! Then you could afford to buy a little piece of land on the outskirts of town or even move to a real country. lol.

Sounds like a plan Janton! I will talk to my Real- estate buddy, lol. However, as I already mentioned, houses here already cost a fortune 😂😂😂

That's true because for some unknown reason people like Canada! SMH! lol. The world's longest winters. Plus, we don't even know if the Sears homes are a big ticket item up there, it would be interesting to know though.

I think the reason Canada was always likable despite the winter is more peaceful living than the rest of the world. Also, job opportunities and equal rights. And summer is amazing here, once it comes, lol. Besides, Mexico, Cuba and Florida are very close, so lots of people just go there to take break from cold. Only poor people like me have to sit home all day on computer and complain, lol. But that will change soon 🌴😊🌴

Howdy Miss Lena! I love your optimism! hey what ever happened to that site that wanted your recipes? Is that deal still on? Yes, Canada is peaceful because everyone is inside for 9 months of the year! lol. Too cold to cause trouble. No, Canada is great, we love her down here.

Howdy Janton! Detroit and NY is not that far from Toronto and what a difference, lol. Practically same weather.

I've been emailing with them back and forth. They are working on setting up my page.

yes, no comparison is there? amazing. I'm thrilled to hear that you are working on setting up your page, how exciting!

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Howdy steem-ua! Thanks so much for the upvote!

I like the idea of kit-house. So, do you say they are rare today? Do you mean those old are rare, or any kit-house?

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Howdy zirochka! The old kit houses from the Sears catalog are rare but the new kit houses sold on Amazon are selling faster than they can keep them in stock! I wonder if they are available in Europe?

I say more. They are available in Ukraine! But not very popular

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oh, very interesting. Well they must not need them there. Thanks zirochka!

I think the reason is not that. Kit home aren't cheap at all, and you need to pay all sum at once (and you get your home right away though), so many people prefer to build by theirselves. Find cheap workers and so on.
And those who are rich they build palaces and castles where no one live.... Crazy country :)

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Howdy zirochka! oh that makes sense, thanks so much for explaining that. I would like a castle on one of those mountains that you like!

haha, call me when you get one ))

you guys will be my first house castle guests!

**While I personally do not remember this (was before my time on this great planet)...

Remember back in the day when Sears, Roebuck and Co. used to sell mail order homes

I do see other things happening and coming back (certain fashions, music genres, etc)

but in regards to houses... people are buying more online (think tiny houses)

Howdy goldendawne! Yes, they are selling like hotcakes on Amazon, I had no idea but apparently with the high cost of home ownership the tiny homes are an option!

I'll take 3 cowboy 😉😂😂😂🏃🏃🏃

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lol! howdy reikigirl! You'd need more land. Well I guess a tiny house could fit at the back of your forest!


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Interesting concept. It would work for places that has got plenty of land. It wouldn't work here in Singapore. We don't have the luxury of space.

oh my bad! I thought it would work there the best because ya'll don't have much land and so many of these houses are tiny ones that would fit anywhere! Shoot, I'm wrong again. That makes at least two times so far this year!