Wednesday, November 5, 2014


As a child, I remember waiting with much anticipation for the arrival of the Sear's Christmas Catalog. My siblings and I wore out the pages of the catalog, looking at all of the toys and making our lists after perusing that catalog.  

Imagine my surprise when I read Anton Vincent Hoefer's (a 6th cousin 3 times removed) obituary which mentioned the purchase of a house from the Sear's catalog.  What?  I had never heard they sold real houses!   "Florence and Frank (2 of his children) were born in the house that Anton bought and built from a Sear's catalog".  Then he later built another house -- this time it was a 2-story square house.

So, of course, I had to research this practice of "purchasing a house kit from the Sear's catalog.  How do they delivery it?  Who builds it?  I found out that 70,000 of these ready-to-assemble kit houses were sold through the mail order from 1908-1940.  These kits contained 25 tons of material with 30,000 parts and were shipped by railroad.

I wonder how many pages there were in the instruction booklet for these house?  Is planning on offering these house kits anytime soon?


  1. That is super awesome! All those quirky things they had in store catalogs and stuff. Real estate is a much tougher purchase, though. It involves a lot of investment, logistical planning, and of course money. Not only in terms of cash, but in terms of financial packages and bonds. Well, it is what it is now, might as well cope up with it, right? Thanks for sharing that! All the best!

    Chad Nelson @ Iron Point Mortgage

  2. It's amazing that they sold house kits through a catalog back then. Wow!

  3. It was rather amazing that they sold an entire house kit in the catalog. Now, it makes me really wonder what other kinds of things they also sold in the catalog way back when.