We often use this Buzz space on Saturdays to feature stories about local real estate, or topics related to our local homes and gardens. While most of our stories focus on areas close to our readers’ own back yards, however, we also know that people who really, really love houses, especially historic homes, also tend to enjoy at least daydreaming about places a bit farther afield.
So today we’ll indulge in a bit of a fantasy field trip, especially for those who love dreaming about old houses, owning an old house somewhere other than Los Angeles…and places where such purchases are probably going to be a whole lot more affordable than they are right now in the City of Angels. (L.A., we love you forever…but we can’t deny that home ownership here – especially ownership of drool-worthy classics – is increasingly out of reach for most people.)
So, that said, we ran across a story in BuzzFeed (no relation to the Larchmont Buzz!) this morning, featuring “21 Cheap Old Houses You Can Buy For Under $25,000.” Now that’s a price that would catch any sticker-shocked Angeleno’s eye…so we clicked through imediately.
Not surprisingly, most of the listings – which are all pulled from the CheapOldHouses Instagram feed – are 1) in depressed Rust Belt cities, very small towns, and rural areas outside major metropolitan zones…2) often in southern and/or Great Plains states (which generally have lower real estate prices overall, but lack LA’s incomparably mild climate)…and 3) may be in “needs restoration” condition (which may be putting it kindly). But, still, with prices at 1/100th of what you might pay for some larger homes in our own neighborhood at the moment (or even less – the cheapest one is only $7.00…yes, you read that correctly), there’s room for a lot of fantasy restoration. And many of these places would be quite liveable after even just some very reasonable fixes. (Consider, too, that restoration work in lower-priced markets also tends to be less expensive than it is here in L.A.)
If your fantasy relocation/restoration budget is a bit bigger, however, and/or if you’d prefer to dream about classic homes that may be in a bit better shape, another of our favorite historic home daydreaming sites is Old House Dreams. The listings here tend to be bigger, more elaborate, partially or fully restored, in areas that are sometimes closer to major metropolitan areas, and tend to land in the $100,000 to $500,000 price range. (Definitely not as cheap as those in the BuzzFeed article, but they still feel like something out of a nostalgic real estate past only dimly remembered in our current local market.)
And, finally, similar to Old House Dreams, Old House Journal magazine, both print and online, also maintains a great list of current old house listings from around the country. Homes here are similar in specifications to those in OHD, and often include some spectacular properties.
So if you enjoy old houses, and would like to do a bit of weekend real estate daydreaming, grab a cup of coffee and your favorite internet-connected device, find a comfy chair…and go ahead and indulge your fantasies.