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Sears & Roebuck Kit Home

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Anonymous

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Hi group--Another interesting one--a 828 sf cape COD on a full basement kit home built circa 1950. Small town <900 people set up where a developer bought 3 kit homes and erected them side by side. Subject hasn't had significant upgrades since new.
Other two have had extensions built bigger thatn the orig home, and placed new siding and insulation.

Inerior Plywood and pressed steel stairs still have Sears Part Numbers!!

My subject has original interior paneling and exterior treatment. 2 roof replacements since new.

Fascinating basic home, and can I check "manufactured" or not as it was a kit that had to be put together??

Happy thursday from coast to coast
 

Ray Ohler

Sophomore Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
I have done quite a few of them over the past 16 years. They are not all that uncommon in Philadelphia and surroundings. Some people are amazed when you tell them, they didn't have a clue. One I did was the grandson of the original owner. Had chronological pictures of the vacant site through to the completion of the assembly. It was interesting. As far as a "manufactured" home I always put an askerisk and explain where I can to see Attachment #X which explains in detail what the particulars are. Hopefully you'll have at least some pre-fabs or "panelized" houses to compare it to. If not, you do the best you can. I've also done some of the all concrete pre-fabs which were "experimental housing" built in 1946. An area just outside of here has a whole development of them (about 50 or so) and lucked-out when I did that. Had five recent sales (all within 8 months) all within three blocks. Good luck with it.
PS - I'm sure someone will recite from form-filling guidelines or some book about the checking of the manufactured housing block. I say, do as you see fit.
 

Charlotte Dixon

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Delaware
Sears Kit? My home was built in 1910 and when we purchased it about 20 yrs. ago, our neighbors referred to our home as the Sears Kit. I did a little research on it, but have since lost that information. Maybe it was a panel home; I don't know. I can find no evidence of the house being assembled or built any different that an on-site stick built home. Maybe the blueprints were from Sears. I'm sure you've all seen this style. It's a square house, four rooms over four. It has a hip roof and three little front dormers in the attic. Then there's the typical open front porch. We have 3-4 in our little town and they each has about 1,800 sfla. I must do some more research, if get caught up on my appraisals and can tear myself away from this forum. :lol:
 

Rich Heyn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 17, 2002
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Michigan
Frank:

I would advise against using the term "manufactured" to describe your subject. If the loan is sold through FNMA or FHLMC, the term "manufactured" means (to them) a HUD code house.

It's doubtful that even the generic use of the term is appropriate, as the Sears homes were basically a mass shipment of nearly all of the building materials, some of which were pre-cut.

Rich Heyn
 

Richard Carlsen

Elite Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2002
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
State
Michigan
I owned one in Kalamazoo that was built in about 1923. A classic Bungalow (or California Cottage as some called them). Large end covered porch facing the street with the upper level cantilevered over the porch. They came to K'zoo in boxes on rail cars. You hired your own local carpenters to put them up. The boxes were even used for floor joists braces. I saw a 1918 Sears catalog with the same house offered in it.

Manufactured? Not on your life. Panelized? Nope. These are honest to goodness frame houses that happened to be marketed as a kit. There are many of them in SW Michigan including I think it was National Homes kits.

I have seen exactly 2 up here in Northern Michigan. I'm sure there are more but the kits were very popular in SW Michigan. The smaller were called Working Mans Bungalow and fit front to back on the narrow city lots. LR in the front, Dining in the middle and Kitchen in the back. The Bedrooms opened on the LR and Dr as did the bath. Not much in design but they provided affordable housing for the hardworking folks of the time.
 

Monica (N GA)

Freshman Member
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Georgia
I have appraised many log homes in my neck of the woods that were originally sold as kits. The homes are cut and assembled on the log mnf site then unassembled and reassembled on the subject site. I have never thought of these as mnf homes because all of the final building takes place on the subject site. It seems the same logic would apply to your place. I also agree with the earlier post that mnf may give the impression of HUD. In any event I would explain all in an addendum regardless of what you choose to do.

Monica
 

bradellis

Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Frank,

It is not manufactured nor is it panelized. Sears homes were designed to be "stick built" by local craftsmen. The majority of them have features that were not a part of the kit, as well. That is why so many of them fall under the broad classification of "craftsman" homes.

Brad Ellis, IFA, RAA
 

slacker

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2002
I see at least one of these a month and actually know some people that own them. Go to Amazon.com and get the following book. It contains all the models ever sold, including floor plans and dimensions. Nice reference. I usually give the home owner a copy of their model out of the book. It's pretty cool.

Houses by Mail : A Guide to Houses from Sears, Roebuck and Company by Katherine Cole Stevenson, H. Ward Jandl (Contributor)
 

Nancy in Friday Harbor

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 16, 2002
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
Washington
Actually, some of the Sears houses made it to the San Juans as early as 1908. I've done several of them. Some even contain the signatures of the contractor and workman on the rafters in the attic!
Manufactured? No more than Lindal or Panabode or other current "package of building materials to factory blueprint" homes.
I have a copy of the Sears home catalog -- backed away in a box of books -- thanks for reminding me about it! Love looking at all the pictures of interior trim selections. If you've seen the reproduction of the early Sears catalog, there are house things in it too.
Nancy
 
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