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The Belmont English Cottage by Sears Modern Home

Kit cost: $2,600
Bedrooms: 3
Bathrooms: 2|
Square Footage: N/A

Sears sold about 70,000-75,000 Modern Homes from 1908 – 1940 in dozens of different customizable styles, as well as offering barn and other outbuilding kits during part of that period. They are enduring evidence of a time when Sears sold items (including toys) made from real wood and metal, and modestly sized houses were desirable.

The models pictured on the bottom, the Belmont, was available for purchase from Sears Modern Homes catalogs from 1931 to 1933. These homes are in Hopewell, Va., where numerous Sears homes still stand. Many others are concentrated in the Chicago area. They appear to be holding their value well—last year, when two went on the market in the Long Island area, one had an asking price of $689,000, and the other on Shelter Island was $875,000.

Liz West | Flickr