‘Cheap Old Houses’ taking over Instagram, Kansas City area as it inspires millennials

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Historic fixer-upper homes are getting extra attention on social media and selling at a high rate in the metro.

“Cheap Old Houses” on Instagram is partly credited for the explosion, showcasing historic houses listed for under $100,000. The account has gained a faithful following since the start of the pandemic with more than 1.5 million followers.

“I think when COVID first started, we all thought what was going to happen in real estate. Real estate agents were very nervous, but now we are seeing it’s been a sellers’ market. People are trying to move, and houses are flying off the market instantly,” said Elizabeth Finkelstein, founder of Cheap Old Houses.

A local real estate agent told FOX4 that young and millennial buyers looking for unique and cheap homes is becoming more common.

Independence, Mo., is currently a popular area.

“There’s been a lot of particularly millennials that are looking at particular areas that are nothing but these older homes. We have had to create tools for searching for those homes,” local real estate agent Kelley Snyder said.

Snyder is currently listing a historic Independence home built in 1880. She said the home was completely refurbished after being purchased for $18,000.

“Millennials are really wanting to put their stamp and their name on something. They work really hard for their money and want to be able to show something for it. Millennials are big part of homebuyers out there. They make up about 30% of the pool out there,” Snyder said.

James Berry said he and his wife purchased their second home, a historic house built in 1937, with a list of renovations projects planned.

“It’s the style that draws me to it. This is the second house me and my wife bought together,” Berry said. “I enjoy the aspect of being able to take something and make it mine. Definitely updating the paint, lately a lot of insulating and draft fixing.”

People are reportedly moving all over the country for these one-of-a-kind fixer uppers.

Finkelstein said this “cheap old houses” movement is saving money and saving historic homes.

“I think it was definitely a change and interest in thinking about changing your life. Let’s face it, your home became really important. You are going to live there, you are going to work there, you are going to spend all your time there. People started thinking about their homes very differently,” Finkelstein said.

“We are in a housing crisis in this country. You don’t have to live in a house that’s robbing you.”

Finkelstein’s Instagram sensation will be featured in a new series on HGTV this summer.

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