I wanted to do a post on ranch style homes and for some reason Sears catalog homes sold through the mail popped into my brain. Per Wikipedia, in 1908, Sears issued its first catalog for houses called Book of Modern Homes and Building Plans. Their first order was filled in 1909. The banger for today’s home buyer is that back then the catalog featured 22 styles ranging in price from $650-$2,500. Their early mortgage loans were usually for 5-15 years at 6% to 7% interest. Sears production hit its peak in 1929 with the least expensive model under $1000 and the highest priced under $4,400. Not featured in this post, but of note, Bungalows were the nation’s biggest selling model for Sears.
I am putting Buy a Sears Home on my list of things to do as a time traveler. I will go back in time and buy a Sears catalog ranch home for $4,400, put it in my name or a relative’s name (left to me in their will) and when I am born I will already have a paid-for-house to go live in at my leisure. La-De-Da.
I would pay them cash. But wait no, how am I going to pay cash when all I have is coins and paper dollars dating in the 2000s. Oh sure, I can find quarters and dimes and pennies from the 60s, 70s, 80s, and maybe the 50s, but that is just not going to work. They won’t take my cash from the future! I am doomed as a time traveler unless I can switch out my current cash for cash dating from the day of purchase; oh let’s say 1928. I could find someone with a coin collection in the here and now and buy it and get the money that way. Would a coin collection from 1928 be too expensive to buy today for the exchange of a $4, 400 Sears house from the past? Maybe gold, that’s it, I will take pure gold. These are my time-traveler dilemmas to work out first before I buy my Sears catalog house from the past.
Okay, I got that out of my system. Let’s get back to the point and look at some ranch style homes.
Today there are many Baby Boomers that would just love a ranch. No more climbing the stairs unless there is an elevator. This Ranch is by Laguna Niguel Real Estate from flickr and is in Laguna, California which is a wonderful place to be a ranch.
From Portland Urban Condos Linda Jeffers on flickr stating it is a typical ranch style home in the West Hills of Portland.
I like this one for its good looks and the tall trees and property. Give me a riding mower and I am set to go. Taken from Steve Frenkel on flickr This ranch is in Keego Harbor, Michigan.
A 70s ranch remodeled roofline. A new rounded stone wall hides the patio for private entertaining. This photo belongs to the photo stream of Diane Plesset on Flickr.
This photo belongs to Chimay Bleue photo stream and is a storybook ranch that is delightful and deserves to be in the lineup today.
Light baby blue and packed with charm. Taken from Kitty Dukane on flickr.
You may recognize this ranch house from the TV show Homeland that is located in Mountainbrook, North Carolina. I am a serious addict of Showtime’s Homeland show because of the story line, because it is so well written, and mostly because the star of the show, Clare Danes, is so compelling in her role as Carrie Mathison. You can see more about the ranch home on the TV show Homeland (inside and out) in a earlier post here.
Ranch with a pool to keep cool in is in St. Helena, California featured by dekrisdesign.com. The design flow of the ranch shows a effortless transition from the inside to outside, perfect for entertaining.
A LITTLE MORE ABOUT SEARS CATALOG HOUSES: There are unofficial historical sites in the United States that are clusters of Sears Homes. The largest one is in Elgin, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago) that has more than 200 Sears Homes with a sprinkle of a few kit homes from other companies as well. I have been to Elgin many times and never knew about the Sears Home neighborhoods. Also in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois are 42 in Downers Grove and Aurora. Sears homes can also be found aplenty in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Florida and California.
So tell me, would you go back in time and buy a ranch home from Sears catalog? See you there!
Credits: The people History, 1920s Homes