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Old 10-21-2018, 06:15 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,319 posts, read 4,348,520 times
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"More than 100 years ago, Carey Pelto’s house on West Pikes Peak Avenue was ordered from a Sears, Roebuck and Co. catalog — an early version of what would become a nationwide phenomena.

The pale yellow, two-story house in Old Colorado City, purchased by John M. Clear just after the turn of the 20th century, is possibly the first Sears kit home built in the country.

Standing in his kitchen on Friday afternoon, Pelto unfolded a packet of yellowing, faded paperwork labeled in capital letters, “SPECIFICATIONS AND BILL OF MATERIALS FOR MODERN HOME,” with a list of each item purchased and its corresponding code from the Sears catalog. Including materials and labor, the house was expected to cost $2,771."

That's still a nice looking house.

Affordable housing is still a huge need. Perhaps a modern version of those kit houses could serve a new generation.
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Old 10-21-2018, 07:44 AM
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Kit houses and prefab homes can still be purchased. I think some areas may not allow them (HOA rules, etc.) and developers kind of rule the day. It depends on what kind of materials you want, but I think kit homes can be had today for about $25,000. Then there would be the costs of labor depending on what you can do, and plumbing and electrical I think typically do not come with the purchase, as would the land.
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Old 10-21-2018, 08:20 AM
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There was an article I saw a few years back about a Sears kit house that was built in Aspen near downtown that was worth well over a million bucks now- here are a few more:

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Old 10-21-2018, 08:53 AM
Location: Washington Park, Denver
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My first Washington Park house was a 1906 Sears catalog home. The guy ordered 3 kits and built them right next to each other. There are a bunch of them in the neighborhood.
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Old 10-21-2018, 09:32 AM
Location: Colorado Springs
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Like otowi said, kit houses are still out there. Gold Country Kit Homes sells version from $40k to $150k. Inflation adjusted from the early 1900s, that $2771 is still under $75k, so kit houses are still in the affordable range. Like then, one must still secure land to put the structure on.

A significant divergence from then to now is the permitting and inspection process. This will cost additional money to meet codes as a crash course from youtube on house wiring is probably not going to get the owner/builder through an inspection. There also is the whole issues of connecting to water and sewer sources that are within the legal requirements of a municipality. An electric pump in a well with an outhouse isn't going to cut it.

Raw land without utilities can still be found in El Paso county for under $75k. Getting utilities to it is another expense. Semi developed land with utility access and no structures is going to be $150k and higher.

So spend $350-400k to build your own place, on your own land , get through the permit process, deal with some subs along the way, and take months to ensure you pass all inspections to get a certificate of occupancy. Or spend $350-400 to buy a built home in an established neighborhood that is in move in condition. One of these approaches appeals to a large majority of people over the other.

If you are so inclined and have the skills, it can be a cool deal.
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