Budget Breakdown: This Sears Kit Home in Houston Originally Cost $1,299. It Just Got a $368K Glow Up

A family expands the 1920s prefab with a two-level addition, introducing storage solutions, a primary suite, and a powder room painted a punchy blue.

Michelle White was recently at a neighbor’s dinner party when another guest—a visiting architect at Snøhetta—asked to see her house. Michelle and her husband, Haden Garrett, had spent more than a year renovating their Houston Heights residence, which dates back to the 1920s. They long suspected it was a Sears kit house—sold via catalogue from Sears, Roebuck and Co. and shipped to the buyer via railroad boxcars. Michelle’s neighbor, who lived in a Sears kit house almost identical to hers, had done the research, finding old advertisements that led everyone to believe their homes were the Josephine model: four rooms total, including two bedrooms, a kitchen, and a bathroom, retailing for $1,299, not including cement, brick, or plaster.

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