Home & Lifestyle

Why @CheapOldHouses needs to be your new favorite Instagram account 

It’s all very well, all of the #interiorsinspo that television and social media subject us to, but here’s the thing: you’ve kind of got to have an exterior going on before you can start thinking about interiors – and when we’re thinking big (we’re thinking big, right?) that pokey urban apartment just isn’t going to cut it. It doesn’t have enough space for the must-have monstera plant, let alone the reclaimed teak 10-seater dining table. And where on earth are you supposed to put the indoor hammock? 

Yes, we can dream of winning the lottery and snapping up that mansion (which will, of course, have an entire room devoted to mid-century modern decor) but here’s where @CheapOldHouses steps in: billing itself as ‘the most architecturally intact rabbit hole you’ve ever fallen down,’ the account is a veritable feast of old and exceptionally reasonably priced homes currently to be found on the US market. Sure, most of them are in flyover zones and likely not within walking distance of a Sephora, and most require a decent amount of work to bring them to their deserved levels of ‘wow’ – but come on! You’ve soaked up all the inspo, imbibed all the know-how. With most prices on the account coming in under $100,000, give your bank balance a rest and let your imagination take over. 

A Bit About the Scavenger Hunter Herself

Founder Elizabeth Finkelstein has a Master’s Degree in Historic Preservation but is adamant that you don’t need special qualifications to appreciate the worth of the real estate gold that’s out there. She states that her aim is to see houses turned into homes by people who will recognize and acknowledge their uniqueness, who will want to celebrate and preserve their architectural features. 

The ‘flip’ or ‘flop’ mentality can be blank-canvas-focused to the extent that it erases everything that’s special about a property. Looking at an affordable old home, says Finkelstein, sparks that feeling of ‘what if?’ – not just, “imagine if I had space to carry out my interior dreams”, but, “imagine if I could start all over again?”. Imagine if I could re-create and re-curate my life in a whole new space? 

$51,900 Phillipsburg NJ 

“Experience the Charm and Custom Finishes of this Craftsman Style 3 Bedroom colonial with its rocking Chair Front Porch situated on a corner lot with a detached garage. This home features a formal dining room with French doors leading to a large inviting living room, all with extensive woodworking and hardwood floors. The kitchen has the original farm style sink, a separate breakfast area and is open to the rear porch, which has first-floor laundry facilities. The second floor features three bedrooms, the main bath, original wood doors, and a stained glass window. This home awaits your finishing touches. Close to major Rt 78, shopping and recreation. Phillipsburg High School is a beautiful brand new, state of the art facility that just opened for the 2016-17 school year.”

$29,900 Highland Park MI

75 Puritan St, Highland Park, MI — Needs a lot of work, but the house is telling me to “dream” so Iet’s do that! “Amazing Opportunity. Beautiful Brick Colonial. Prime Location (Near Q-Line on Woodward) . Peaceful Street. Amazing Floor Plan. Double Staircase. Large Rooms. Huge Kitchen. So Much Potential. Make This Your Home, Investment, Air BnB & So Much More. Check Out The Amazing Floor Plans Provided In The Photos. Property Being Sold In As-is Condition.” 

$99,900 Flemingsburg, Kentucky

The seller is asking for someone “who sees the beauty in this retro home” so I’m sharing it with 412,000 of those kinds of people

Fancy seeing you here…

Skip the FOMO. Get the Good stuff.