Readers’ Comments


  1. Elizabeth Wallace

    I’m betting that half the town of Crisfield, MD is kit homes. I own a foursquare and there are 78 of them within town limits, and even more bungalows.

  2. bruce gray

    This is such an interesting read. I am a realtor in Norfolk, Va and have a house at 1506 Royale Park in Lafayette Residence Park. My house was built in 1924. I would love to find out if my house is a kit home and if so who the manufacturer was. I know in the past I’ve had sold kit homes and didn’t know it. One listing I was sure was a kit home was what turns out to be an “Ethel” I sold on Ethel avenue in Riverview years back. Can you tell me the best way to determine whether my house or other homes I may list or sell is a kit home. Thanks so much, Bruce Gray Long and Foster Realtors.

  3. bruce gray

    @bruce gray I suppose the markings on the beams underneath wouls be the be way. Correct?

  4. Jim Niehoff

    I grew up in a Sears Fullerton house in Baldwin, New York at 849 Pilgrim Avenue. I understand that the house was built in 1930. The floor plan is a perfect match with the advertised plan, except that the fireplace was moved to the left side of the living room. Also, an extra ground floor bathroom was added off the kitchen at the rear of the house.

  5. Steve and sunny king

    We have a Sears home (Osborn) located at 1112 st. Tell City Indiana. Thought you might be interested. It’s in real good shape.

  6. Britt Harmon

    Hi, I live in the Avoca in West Point. The Whitehall you could not find is on the corner of Lee and 5th Street. If you are ever back in West Point Virginia please stop by.

  7. BB Hess

    Hi! I live in the Saratoga in Chelsea, Oklahoma.
    We love this home! It is so well made. We are considering buying. Tell me what is the best option, update and modernize, or remain original? It’s roomy, I don’t want to lose the charm and appeal of its originality. Please advise.

  8. Rachel Shoemaker

    @BB Hess
    Remain as original, well what original is left in the house. The Saratoga in Chelsea was untouched by time until it was sold by the original family some years ago. After it was sold the bathrooms and kitchen were ripped out and “updated”. It was a shame. It wasn’t appreciated by the next owner. I wish I had known and I would have purchased it! The home was one of a few Sears or kit homes in original condition that had been so meticulously cared for through the years.
    People who want new homes, updated homes, etc. should buy newer homes. Leave the old charm and original homes for those who appreciate them. Once they are gone there will be no more.

  9. T.R. Moore

    I’ve got a picture of our Sears home under construction in the early 1920’s. Haven’t been able to find anything close to this model on-line or in catalogs. The backsides of the molding have S&R stickers on them so I’m sure it’s a Sears home. Is there a place I can post the picture or email it to you?

  10. ClairBear226

    Rose, I’m hoping you can help me. My family owns a Sears Kit Home near Pittsburgh, Pa. My grandfather, an immigrant from Holland, built it in the 30’s, and we believe it to be a Sears Strathmore. When my grandparents died (the last in 1997), the house sat vacant. It sits there still, well away from a road and hard to access, as the driveway is now quite overgrown. It was always such a pretty little house, and I love it, but in the state it’s in, I don’t know that it could be salvaged. Can you tell me how I can go about finding out the best thing to do with it? Is the salvage from it worth anything, should it be torn down, and how would we go about doing that. We will most likely lose it, and if that’s what needs to be done, then we’d like to see salvageable pieces at least put to good use. I have a million questions, and would very much enjoy the chance to pick your brain.

    I’m enjoying your site immensely. I grew up the next town north of Elgin, Illinois, and live only a half hour from there now. I also lived in Cincinnati, Ohio, which has a lot of kit houses also. I’ve always loved them – they hold a special place in my heart.

  11. SallyV

    I rent a sear kit home built in 1908 in central California. I will be moving soon and they plan to tear the house down. Is there anything of value or use to other kit homeowners out there. If so I can facilitate it.

  12. Nadine Huffman

    Might I gently suggest that what you need is a book designer, as opposed to a graphic designer. Not all graphic designers know how to make a book “pop,” and give it visual continuity.

    When I published my book, “A Cincinnati Night Before Christmas,” we used Chad DeBoard, who at that time worked for Orange Frazer Press.

    His work on a book about the Dayton (Ohio) Airshow was beautiful. He did a great job on our book and was easy to work with. I believe he’s now in Nashville TN if you’d like to contact him. ❤

  13. Tabby

    We recently purchased a home that I believe is a Martha Washington, that still has a lot of the original hardware and woodwork. We have a few repairs that we need to make (lead in toplight is caving, door knob needs to be replaced, etc) and I’d like to keep it as authentic as possible. Is there any resource that you know of for purchasing Sears salvage parts?
    If you’re curious, here’s the listing!

  14. Anne L

    Hi Rose, My mom grew up in this house in Northside, Pittsburgh, PA.

    We were able to tour it in 2009, and were pleased to find it had been left in much of its original condition. It has only had about 4 owners in 100+ years.

    My grandfather and his brother-in-law built it in 1912.

    The owners who showed it to us thought it was a Sears 111. It just sold so there are some pictures of it here:

    What do you think?

  15. Karla Etten


    My family home in Tenleytown NW Washington DC may be a Sears home, but not sure.

    Wondered if someone could look up 4226 Ellicott St NW Washington DC 20016 and let me know. If so I would love to find the original plans or ad!


  16. Amy

    Hi — I have a Sears Newbury in Oradell, New Jersey. I’ve reached out before… Just wondering if you want to add my house to the website or an official register of Sears homes, or whatever else. I can send photos of the interior and exterior, as it was when we moved in (basically untouched since it was built… we bought from the original family that lived here) and also after some renovations. We’ve kept the house pretty true to its original form, but had to redo the kitchen and bathroom. Let me know…

  17. Sharon Dunbar Mare'

    Just letting you know if you don’t already that there is a Sears kit house on Hwy 441 in McIntosh FL

  18. Anthony Maratea

    Hi there – this is a long shot. I am looking for the source of an image Rose posted on the Wardway Homes site back in 2011.
    It appears to be one page of either a Harris Brothers catalog or a two page advertising spread. I am currently researching this specific model (Known as Design No. 6, Model 6-a, J-6, L-2013, and K-2013) and looking for living examples of it. I was able to track some down with the names and towns on the given page, and I believe there are names on the other page as well. I am interested in this model because I recently moved into one, and I’m curious to see how others look compared to my own.

    Thank you,


  19. Valerie Singer

    We live in an Oak Park, which we renovated in 1999 and kept as much of the interior and exterior preserved as possible. We are the third owner; the original family comes by on a fairly frequent basis and drops off pictures, information about the original home and tours it. We even get holiday cards addressed not to us, but to the house!

    Now that my kids are grown, I’m tired of the hall bathroom (relatively unchanged from the original) and want to update it. Has anyone done any updating of Honor-Bilt bathrooms that keep the original charm of the house but are more updated/functional than the current sink-tub-toilet-blah configuration that we currently have? I intend to pull the tub and install a shower.

    Happy to post photos of the house from the original owners and currently as well.


  20. Anthony Maratea

    @Rachel J Shoemaker

    Thank you Rachel, I was able to find the opposite page that I was looking for on the group’s page.

  21. Danny

    I noticed the street sign from the corner of North Augusta Street and Belmont Avenue here in Greenville, SC.

    There used to be a large house at 1930 Augusta Street that appeared to be one of the kit homes.

    I remember seeing it in an article about the house kits. It was used as offices for Equipment Leasing Corporation at the time i was in it several times.

    My grandfather worked there in the 70s and 80’s. The company was bought out and moved, and the house unfortunately was demolished around 1987.

    It was a beautiful massive two story white Colonial. The rooms were huge and the woodwork was very detailed.

    It had fireplaces in about every room, even on the second floor, and most of the original plumbing fixtures were still in use.

  22. Theresa Thimm

    Hi Rose. I was reading through some of your archives and I was wondering if you’d be interested in seeing any pictures of my house.

    It is the Walton although I cannot prove it with a shipping invoice, the details called out in the Catalog match my house pretty much to a T.

    I am located in Lacon IL. It was built in 1927 and I am the third owner. It was not sold to me as a Sears house but through some research I identified it.

    Just from reading through your blogs it looks like there might be multiple Sears houses in my neighborhood (all different).

    Let me know if you’re interested.

  23. Joan Stephens

    I enjoyed reading your article and seeing the photos of the Sears “Verona” home on Sears Blvd. in Wildwood (Grayslake) Illinois. I grew up in that home with my parents and 4 siblings from 1965 to 1977. My dad was David W. Baumann, pastor of the original Presbyterian church that was built out of the old Sears estate barn on the same property. It was a wonderful house and we had a lot of great memories growing up there. The small bay window in the second story (above the front entry) was a favorite spot – we had one wall that was full of bookshelves and books and a window seat looking out the bay window. We knew it was a Sears Catalogue house, but didn’t realize how many of them were around the area. We had also heard rumors that there is another Sears Catalogue home at the bottom of Gages Lake – – the story we heard growing up was that they were moving one of the houses during the winter and were taking it over the ice and it broke through and sunk. I don’t know when that may have been or if it is true, but always thought it was an interesting tale. Thanks! Joan Baumann Stephens

  24. Elizabeth Wallace

    You should come to Crisfield, MD. I believe 3/4 of the homes down here are kit homes, including mine. I’m trying my best to find out where the plans came from.

  25. Stephanie Rose

    Hello Rose,

    I am currently rehabbing a 1920 bungalow in Idaho Falls, Idaho.

    Some of the interior and exterior wood trim pieces we’ve removed for repairs or alterations show grease pencil markings leading me to suspect a kit home.

    Also, there were two lumber mills close by in the neighborhood at that time.

    Given that the town was small and the builder was well-known, it seems unlikely that a local mill would have labeled the pieces with the part name as well as the builder’s name and city/state.

    If you are interested, I could send photos of the markings and the house.

    Partly because of the red gum trim and also because of our western location, and also because we haven’t noted stamped parts numbers that seem to be more common with bigger manufacturers, I wondered about Pacific Ready-Cut homes.

    Any feedback would be appreciated.

  26. Janice Leiw

    Hi Rose,
    If you ever come to Columbia, SC, you should visit the neighborhood of Melrose Heights.

    You can find Sears Craftsman homes all throughout the neighborhood.

    I once looked through a copy of the 1923 Sears Craftsman catalog and can identify nearly all the models as being somewhere in Melrose Heights.

  27. Susan Conner

    We owned a Sears home, ca. 1925, in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. 218 E. Wisconsin Street.

    The woodwork was lovely including crown moldings and a staircase.

    Plus the windows that were over built-in bookcases next to the fireplace featured beveled glass.

  28. Jane Darling

    Dear Rosemary, I am a designer that is currently working on a local historic home which I am told is a Sears Home.

    I have not seen the plan or elevation of this type in any of the literature on catalogue homes.

    I’m hoping you can help me out. I can provide you with a picture of it, but I do not see how I could do that at this portal. Could you give me a contact address whereby I could send a photo.

    It is a very distinctive style that I am certain you would recognize.

    I’m hoping to possibly procure floor plans for this home. Thank you in advance. Sincerely, Jane Darling, Saline, Michigan

  29. denise e long

    Hi Rose,

    Can I send you 2 or 3 pics of what I believe is a Sunbeam Sears home?

  30. pamela s rue

    Love the houses, owned one in Woodriver, IL.

    I’ve married a man, Robert Rue, who has a 1923 Sears barn.

    Do you research the barns from Sears? Also the Rue farm was homestead by the Rues’, in 1868, and in 2018 we will be celebrating the sesquicentennial. That’s a long time in one family.

    Pamela Rue

  31. ptk

    We hear a lot about Carlinville, Illinois.

    In Champaign, Illinois, there is a major rail siding on the main Chicago-Memphis-New Orleans line and was once a freight depot near the corner of William St and Neil St.

    Within about a mile radius of that depot (now just a concrete slab) there seem to be dozens or even hundreds of catalog houses.

    A few are well cataloged (A Sears Martha Washington, a Sears Savoy, and a few others on Elm Blvd) but there are far more.

    The neighborhood began to develop in the early 1920s. I wonder if anyone has more information about that neighborhood?

  32. Pemmy Peterman

    Hello Rose,

    I live in West Point, VA, a small town that is situated on the peninsula of the Mattaponi and the Pamunkey Rivers where they converge into the York River. We are approximately 25 to 30 minutes from Williamsburg, VA.

    I am a member of the Historical Society of West Point. We are very much interested in the Sears Homes and feel we have several in our town that have not been identified. Would you consider a visit to our town for a tour to help us identify these homes and possibly meet with our membership.

    I would be glad to call you but do not find a phone number.

    I look forward hearing from you and look forward to your new book release.

    Pemmy Peterman
    Member of the BOD HSWP

  33. Denise Pons

    Thought that you would like to see this Alhambra in Wythe Hampton VA


    Rose’s Reply:

    Thanks, Denise. I’ve done a blog on that Alhambra in Old Wythe. Right now, Wythe is one more bad memory. I was hired to do a survey of Sears Homes in Old Wythe and never paid. That really sticks in my craw, and especially now, when I’m struggling.

  34. Patricia Isham

    We are selling my parents Sears & Roebuck home in Premont, Texas.

    The original owner added a second half story with dormer windows, but we’ve narrowed original plans and feel we might know what the original Sears plan was.

    My Dad, did some remodeling around 1971 when I went off to college, but behind the very thick sheetrock, was old Sears Catalog pages.

    There were originally 2 chimneys, but the kitchen one was walled up. It also has a basement which is highly unusual for south Texas. We have owned this house since 1960.

    My question is, is there a site/page/contact to let others know that the very large 2 story Sears house that I grew up in, is for sale for $115,000?

    It sits on about an acre of land and was well cared for by my Dad. He passed about 7 months ago. Does anyone have an idea where I can post pictures? Doesn’t seem to be a place here.

    Thanks so much.

    Patricia Isham

  35. Crystal Williams

    Hi Rose, I love your wesbite! I live in Old Seminole Heights in Tampa and during the 1920’s our neighborhood was actually considered Sulphur Springs and one of Florida’s main attractions!

    During the time the spring was most popular to visit many bungalows were built near the Hillsborough River. My husband and I are incredibly lucky to have one of these beautifully restored 1920s bungalows and I was wondering if you might be able to help identify if it is a Sears house.

    Given that it is the right time frame and also that many of the bungalows in our neighborhood are almost identical I thought it was a strong possibility!

    Thanks so much!
    Crystal Williams
    811 E Robson Streeet
    Tampa FL 33604

  36. Kim Kemper

    Are there tours of Sears homes in the Chicago suburbs of Illinois (i.e. Downers Grove or Elgin)?

  37. Patrick

    I was in Danbury, CT for the holiday weekend, and noticed a possible kit house (Starlight) at 64 Westville Ave, Danbury, CT 06810. My only thought is that the dormer looks wrong. Your thoughts?

  38. David Aldridge

    My dad started working for Jim Walter homes around 1960-61. He built one, then decided he rather paint them than build them. So he worked for them up to 1974 and then retired due to a disability.

    I have fond memories of working for him and painting those houses that were built everywhere.My job was to get up early in the morning and make sure the truck had the proper paint and supplies loaded.

    It was good training!He would give me the contract and say we need this many gallons of paint for the house, this many quarts for the shutters etc etc. Then as I grew up i did more and more.

    Working for Jim Walter homes gave my family a good income and I will always have respect for Mr. Walter and his company!

  39. Gemma

    Our dear Rosie, I do think that perhaps on your to-do list for sometime in the future could be an “official” registry of kit homes and plan book houses, no matter the manufacturer.

    If such already exists, please let us know where it is.

  40. Costas

    Hello Rose. I love your website!

    I bought a home in Washington DC a few years ago that I’m sure is an old Sears home. I’m having trouble identifying the model. Is there any way you can help?

    Thank you!

  41. Dan Beck

    I was wondering if you kept an index of known Sears homes.

    I’m told by my father that the home I was born at (my great-grandmother’s home) is a Sears home. It looked similar to the Cornell model but the floor plan is a little different.

    Dan Beck

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