Sears Catalog Modern Homes: An American Classic

What is a Sears Modern Home? This is a fascinating episode in US home planning history. From 1908 to 1940, people could actually order homes from stock home plans and designs out of the iconic and popular Sears Roebuck Catalog. During that time, Sears, Roebuck and Co. sold between 70,000 and 75,000 homes. Moreover, they were able to sell nation-wide through their mail-order Sears Catalog Modern Homes program.

Sears actually designed 447 different stock housing plans. Designs included the elaborate multistory Ivanhoe, with elegant French doors and art glass windows. There were also designs like the simpler Goldenrod house plan, a quaint, three-room and no-bath cottage for summer vacationers. Customers were thrilled to be able to choose the ideal home design from a catalog to suit their individual tastes and budget.

Sears Catalog Modern Homes Followed Design Trends

Sears was not an innovative home planner, but was able to follow popular home designs and house plans. The company even offered customers the ability to modify houses and hardware to create custom home designs.

People were even able to design their own houses and submit the plans to Sears. The company would then ship off the appropriate pre-cut and fitted materials for the home owner to assemble.

As Sears says in the Sears Archives, “Modern Home customers had the freedom to build their own dream houses, and Sears helped realize these dreams through quality custom design and favorable financing.”

And a tragic accident, all of the sales records of these houses were destroyed. This happened after Sears discontinued the program in 1940. Moreover, finding one of these 70,000 houses today would take a lot of research to correctly identify them.

The Home of Your Dreams

Sears no longer offers classic stock homes. However, there are a myriad of vintage, international, and custom home designs available. Designs from craftsman style home plans to bungalow house plans are very popular. In addition, there are mountain style house designs, Greek revival home plans, Italianate home designs, traditional house plans and many, many more.
You only need to know one thing: Which design will you choose to create the home of your dreams?

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