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Another “Sears House” Featured on HGTV?

An update! It’s not a “Sears kit house,” but a Penniman house. Kind of. :D

And “Sears House” is in quotes, because we all know, 99% of the time (or maybe 100%), these horrible TV shows get it wrong. And they are horrible.

One of the first rules of old house ownership is “Thou Shalt Not Destroy Good Old Work,” and yet that is the first thing that these programs encourage.

They rip out all manner of quality workmanship in kitchens and baths, so that they can put in poor-quality plasticine (but trendy) dreck and dregs, which lack classic or traditional beauty, and will be tired and dated before this decade ends, and it’s all in the name of convincing American homeowners that “good enough” is abhorrent and ghastly, and that you shouldn’t worry about “keeping up with the Joneses” but rather, you should be focused on keeping up with the Kardashians.

For the last several months, I’ve been searching for a home and in that process, I’ve looked at several foreclosures in the $175,000+ range. I’ve yet to see a house in original condition in foreclosure. The homes I’ve viewed are either half-way “remodeled” (and how I hate that word), or they have shiny new kitchens and baths. If you have several thousand dollars that you can set fire to, try something truly avant-garde - PUT THAT MONEY IN A SAVINGS ACCOUNT.

This remodeling craze is insanity and it’s also ecological idiocy.

More than 35% of all the detritus at landfills is construction debris. Every time you rip out a full kitchen of knotty pine cabinets or destroy a pink bathroom, you’re adding to this country’s burgeoning problem of solid waste. Our landfills are filling up at a tremendous clip. As homeowners, we are caretakers. We have a responsibility to preserve the unique features of an old house. If you want shiny and fancy and new, buy a house that is shiny and fancy and new.

But I digress…

Let’s go back to HGTV (Houses Getting Totally Vandalized) and their latest discussion on Sears Houses.

According to a friend, Season 11, Episode 7 of “House Hunters” featured a Sears House in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m unable to find even screen shot of the house featured on this show, so if anyone can capture images for me, I’d be very grateful.

And in the meantime, please tell your vinyl-loving friends, if they want a new house, they should buy a new house, and leave our old houses unmolested and undamaged.

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Before there was HGTV, Bob Vila misidentified a house in California as a Sears Home. On "Home Again" he identified this house as a "Sears Craftsman Bungalow" and a "Sears Crescent." Since this house was in the Los Angeles area, you think he would have considered Pacific Ready Cut Homes first, but he didn't. Years ago, I did track down and speak with the home's owner, and sent  him a picture out of the PRCH catalog, showing him the proper model name. He was very pleased.

Before there was HGTV, Bob Vila misidentified a house in California as a Sears Home (about 1999-2000). On "Home Again" he identified this house as a "Sears Craftsman Bungalow" and a "Sears Crescent." Since this house was in the Los Angeles area, you think he would have considered Pacific Ready Cut Homes first, but he didn't. Years ago, I did track down and speak with the home's owner, and sent him a picture out of the PRCH catalog, showing him the proper model name. He was very pleased.

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On a recent episode of Property Brothers, they destroyed this delightful old bathtub and bathroom to put in some new ugly crap.

On a recent episode of "Property Brothers," they destroyed this delightful old bathtub and bathroom for no other reason than to "remodel" the space. That gorgeous basketweave tile floor is also in the landfill now.

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Shown above is an expensive kitchen remodel in a 1961 brick ranch in Portsmouth, Virginia, and it's in foreclosure. The original kitchen is sitting in a landfill somewhere, as are the plaster walls and studs that defined the kitchen, dining room and living room.

Shown above is an expensive kitchen remodel in a 1961 brick ranch in Portsmouth, Virginia, and it's in foreclosure. The original kitchen is sitting in a landfill somewhere, as are the plaster walls and studs that defined the kitchen, dining room and living room.

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Shown above is an expensive kitchen remodel in a 1961 brick ranch in Portsmouth, Virginia, and it's in foreclosure. The original kitchen is sitting in a landfill somewhere, as are the plaster walls and studs that defined the kitchen, dining room and living room.  The bathroom (from the same house shown above) has also been gutted and destroyed. Built in 1960, the original bathroom would have had tile wainscoting, set in 2-3 inches of thickset mortar, with complementing tile flooring. Those materials - which would have survived a nuclear holocaust - have been replaced with MDF cabinetry and engineered wood floors. In place of the tile wainscoting, someone has put up sheetrock with knock-down plaster finish. If these inferior-grade materials survive for 10 years, it will be a Christmas miracle.

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This

This is how America did bathrooms in the 1960s. This bathroom shown above (located at 1889 Rosemary Lane) is now more than 50 years old, and yet looks wonderful. And yes, that's the original toilet in the background. Today's replacement materials - in many cases - are not going to survive more than 20 years, at best.

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According to a friend, Season 11, Episode 7 of “House Hunters” featured a Sears House in Nashville, Tennessee. I’m unable to find so much as a screen shot of this show, so if anyone can capture images for me, I’d be very grateful.

To contact me, please leave a comment below.

Look at a real Sears Crescent by clicking here.

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  1. Melissa Burgess
    July 17th, 2017 at 08:51 | #1

    You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’ve enjoyed reading this, and would love to share it.

  2. July 17th, 2017 at 09:21 | #2

    Please DO share the link on Facebook!

  3. Rosemary
    July 17th, 2017 at 09:32 | #3

    Totally agree with your post 100%! HGTV has ruined the concept of first time home ownership.

    They have the folks in there 20s and 30s thinking their first home needs to be totally revamped and gutted for open space!

    They have professional kitchens that they don’t even cook in! Don’t get me started what realtors asks people to do to sell their homes! When my sister went to sell her in pristine condition town home in Alexandria VA, the realtor requested she update ALL the appliances, counter top and rugs.

    I asked my sister why couldn’t the new home owner just do all that. Pick out what they wanted!? My sister had no kids.

    She traveled all the time for the state department. The house was immaculate. The realtor insisted that the house would move quicker if it was move in ready. No one in that area has the time to buy a house then shop for new appliances, etc.

    I think it was total BS! I also have a friend selling an older house in Port Norfolk!

    The buyer (a young 20 something) requested that the deck be replaced by the owner and offered up a design on her phone!!! I am stumped! I was so happy when I JUST got my FIRST load to get my first house.

    I accepted the “flaws” and thought of ways to improve on them. If you want move in ready, buy a plastic monster that is being built in new developments. I hate what HGTV has done to the mind set of folks.

  4. Rosemary
    July 17th, 2017 at 09:34 | #4

    Rosemary, have you seen what is happening in Westhaven (Portsmouth) lately!!?? When a cute smaller home on a big lot goes on the market, it is torn down and replaced with 4 ugly skinny plastic “houses”.

    It’s a trend.

    I have seen a few incidents like this in older neighborhoods in Chesapeake and Norfolk as well. Really people!?

  5. July 17th, 2017 at 09:58 | #5

    Thanks for the comments, Rosemary!

    And for the readers who think that I have now started talking to myself, this “Rosemary” is a classmate from Norcom High School.
    :)

  6. Donna
    July 17th, 2017 at 10:04 | #6

    I despise those shows. When we had our contractor (and I use that term loosely) look at our house, the first thing he wanted to do was rip out our knotty pine kitchen.

  7. July 17th, 2017 at 11:07 | #7

    When they gut old houses and make them new I call them McBungalows, McCottages, McFoursquares.

    I hate it. No character. And when they paint EVERYTHING white I am blinded.

  8. Janice giacoppo
    July 17th, 2017 at 12:21 | #8

    I’ve said for years that someday it will be illegal to throw out in landfill all the cabinets, flooring, etc that they just smash up now.

  9. Jill Grusak
    July 17th, 2017 at 14:38 | #9

    That blue bathroom from the 60s is still alive and well at my parents in Indiana.

    The sink is a beautician one with the sprayer, it had to be replaced once because it cracked, otherwise totally original.

    Their other two baths are mostly original too. One had a bath fitter liner put in the tub due to water damage, and the master bath needs a shower overhaul, but just about everything else is original.

    Also original floors, carpets, cabinets. You would love it.

  10. July 17th, 2017 at 17:41 | #10

    The house in question appears to either have been built with Upson Board or possibly a panelized house that used Upson Board.

    It’s hard to say without seeing the construction, how the corners etc were assembled. At any rate, $172,000 plus what they spent was way too much.

  11. Dale Wolicki
    July 17th, 2017 at 18:01 | #11

    You want to start a fight with my hero Bob Vila and me????????

  12. Kimberly
    July 19th, 2017 at 20:38 | #13

    I saw one HGTV show with a HUGE kitchen. A person would be tired after cooking dinner from running from one end to the other.

    People looking at houses on those shows only see the glamour, not the actual day to day use of it.

  13. Luke
    October 21st, 2017 at 10:46 | #14

    Hi, my wife and I just brought the PRCH in LA that you mentioned Bob Vila misidentified as a Sears home!

    We intend to keep it as original as possible.

    Please can you send me the picture of the kit you sent the previous owner?

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