Check Out These 1920s Sears Homes in Atlantic City
In the early 1900's Sears, Roebuck and Company revolutionized home buying that took the painstaking process of going from house to house out of the experience. Rather than going to look at houses for sale, you could just flip through a catalog and choose the home of your dreams. The Sears, Roebuck and Company's Modern Homes started in 1908 and came to an end in 1940.
As the Sears department stores close up one by one throughout the country, the homes bought from Sears still stand today. According to Forbes.com, "...[A]bout 75,000 well-designed, well-constructed and economical houses were sold to American families." This was very much the IKEA of homes. Sears would send the buyer all of the pieces necessary to put their home together.
Sears sent all of the wood pre-cut and every screw, nail, doorknob, and paint needed to put your dream home together. According to Sears, even if you were not a professional the homes could be put together in 90 days.
The Forbes article described the homes that could be purchased from Sears:
They ranged from pocket-sized English cottages to three-story, five-bedroom suburban manses; from lightly built garages and fishing camps to heavily framed houses that included two-story columned porticos, sleeping porches and porte-cocheres. Some of the earliest, marketed to areas without water or sewer services, had no bathrooms. Later, more lavish versions came equipped with the sought after amenities of the day, including built-in china cabinets, mirrored closet doors, dining nooks, kitchen cupboards, built-in ironing boards, telephone niches and medicine cabinets.
Can we address the elephant in the room right now? You could purchase this home for $1,647.00.
There were a row of homes built in Atlantic City that were purchased and built by Sears. Newark was home to a Sears Mill, which would lead to the conclusion that there are more Sears homes in New Jersey.
Sears did offer mortgages on the homes, that ended in 1934. According to Forbes, "...[T]he application form asked no questions about race, ethnicity, gender or even finances. This made home ownership possible for thousands of buyers who were not welcome at their local banks."