Cheap Old Houses – Why People Are Looking for Old Mansions

Is seems a lot of become caught up in illusions that we have no intention of pursuing.

But what if a pandemic robs you of your ability to travel, dine at the most talked-about restaurant, or even converse with friends while wearing your most fashionable outfit?

It looks like a lot of people on social media are using real estate photos to inspire their dreams. This is a trend that has become so popular with millennials that it was recently made fun of on SNL.

How Cheap Old Houses Became Popular?

A very popular Instagram account that promotes affordable, historic homes for sale has inspired people to travel far and wide for the chance to spend a lot of time and money restoring their own old homes for sale.

It’s something we’re all guilty of: If you have an Instagram account, you’ve probably found yourself looking through photographs of luxurious holiday places, destination weddings, vineyard tours, and other daydream-inducing views.

How People Became Interested in Cheap Old Houses?

Daydreams may or may not come true. But what if your nightly social media rabbit hole led you to the house of your dreams—and you could actually afford it, even in the midst of a historic housing shortage? Welcome to the world of Cheap Old Houses, an Instagram account and website that features historic property listings from all around the country.

Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein, a married couple from New York, founded the @cheapldhouses Instagram account in 2016, which now has over 1.5 million followers.

Despite not being real estate brokers, the couple turned their passion for old houses into a full-time career. Elizabeth and Ethan also run CIRCA, an “old house real estate marketplace” that contains a list of historical home brokers.

What Makes A Property a Cheap Old House?

What makes a cheap old house, you might wonder?  The houses posted on their account are “architecturally intact cheap old houses for around $100K,” while they occasionally include houses offered for up to $150,000, according to their website.

The cheap prices are due to the fact that many of these residences are located in smaller, more economical locations.

Elizabeth, who has a master’s degree in historic preservation, thinks about the homes’ architectural significance and original craftsmanship when she chooses which ones to include.

Houses are frequently in need of repair, but don’t go sledgehammering just yet. Cheap Old Houses is not necessarily a house renovation account, unlike many popular social media accounts and television series.

The word “fixer-upper” has become synonymous with the HGTV show of the same name, which stars Chip and Joanna Gaines, a strong Texas renovation pair.

While the Gaineses’ signature contemporary farmhouse style, which is always open-concept, neutral, and full of shiplap, transforms old or decaying houses, the Finkelsteins want to find buyers who want to restore them to their former glory.

Are Old Houses Historically Preserved? 

Historic preservation is at the heart of Cheap Old Houses’ purpose and the essence of the Instagram network known as the “old-house community.” Brightly colored, tiled kitchens and bathrooms, as well as retro wallpaper, are popular in cheap old houses.

The key selling elements for followers of Cheap Old Houses are generally original hardwood floors, built-ins, woodwork, windows, and any other historic features. The Finkelsteins now have an online shop offering not-so-cheap merchandise, including T-shirts with their characteristic taglines like “Save All the Old Houses” ($32), “Fear No Fixer” ($32), and “The Peeling Wallpaper Preservation League” ($34) to cater to their devoted fans.

They also produce four newsletters with specific collections: cheap farmhouses, cheap houses overseas, “ultra-cheap” houses under $25,000, and “cheap (ish)” houses up to $250,000.

How People Look for Cheap Old Homes?

Followers will occasionally look for featured houses near them and post about them. The most exciting aspect of following the account is when one of your other followers buys one of the highlighted homes and starts their own remodeling Instagram account.

As a follower of @cheapoldhouses, it’s been impossible not to notice the account’s recent burst onto the feeds and pages of many of my peers who had never expressed an interest in historic restoration before.

Thousands of people leave comments on each page, many of whom joke with their friends about quitting their jobs, buying one of the featured homes, and starting a bed and breakfast.

The pandemic has had an effect on followers of the Cheap Old Houses account and their reasons for moving. While the account has been massively popular since its inception—and people purchasing homes they find on social media is not a new phenomenon —it has had an effect on followers of the Cheap Old Houses account and their reasons for moving.

Is Buying Cheap Old Houses A Trend?

According to Chief Economist Danielle Hale, as stated in a recent piece in The New York Times, “In January 2020, the median days on market for [homes over 100 years old and less than $100,000] was 86 days, eight days slower than the same time in 2019.” homes were selling in 79 days, 10 days faster than last year.”

According to a report in the New York Post, demand for the types of homes Cheap Old Houses offers is growing: Since the outbreak of the pandemic, its viewership has only grown: Finkelstein’s Instagram account has passed the million-follower mark, and her readership has grown at about double the normal rate from week to week. ”

What is the name of an old house?

An old house is a property that has seen better days. An older house with a significant history or part of historical town or area.

What era if a house was built in 1918?

The era is called Edwardian Style Design (1901 to 1918). Architectural revivalism took place during the Edwardian period, which went on after the reign of King Edward VII. The Baroque, Georgian, and Arts and Crafts movements were a big part of this revivalist style of architecture.

What era is a house built in 1920 belong?

From 1920 to 1929, the period house was designed. Despite their nickname, the “Roaring Twenties” were a period marked by post-World War I optimism as well as years of economic misery. Many of the houses built in the 1920s were in rural areas surrounding existing towns and cities.

Cheap Old Houses on TV

Don’t worry if you can’t get enough old house love! Cheap Old Houses has gotten so popular that it will be the subject of its own HGTV series, which will premiere this summer.

The eight-episode series will follow Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein as they visit old properties, think about their historical significance, and imagine repairs before deciding which ones to include on their Instagram feed.


It’s no wonder that individuals are drawn to affordable homes where they may work remotely and devote their time to making a place not just livable but also beautiful, especially during a pandemic.

Many would-be homeowners who feel priced out of the market will find hope in cheap old houses, as well as inspiration for those of us who just follow their journeys online.

If you want to go deeper, search the larger old-house community on Instagram with hashtags like # oldhouselove, # oldhousesofinstagram.