9 Resources for Finding Amazing Old Houses for Sale
Find the historic home of your dreams by perusing these websites, apps, and social media accounts.
This article is part of Old House Appreciation with Bob Vila, a month-long series dedicated to showing you the best places to find historic homes, pros and cons of investing in an older house, potential repairs and precautions, and our favorite examples in a variety of house styles to keep you inspired along the way. We’ve included current market trends mixed with Bob’s tried-and-true advice, our vetted shopping guides, and the behind-the-scenes tips you need to make your old house a home.
While newer homes have plenty of advantages, it’s hard to compete with the charm and character that older homes can offer. Preserving and restoring historic homes is a labor of love, but for old house enthusiasts, the effort is unquestionably worth it. Finding old houses for sale, however, can be tricky if you aren’t sure where to look. Luckily, several online resources can help house hunters find their historic dream home. Here are nine of the best platforms to start your search.
Oldhouses.com is likely familiar to anyone who has shopped for a historic home online. The platform is geared specifically toward those seeking an older home. It features extensive advanced search tools, allowing users to filter results to find exactly what they’re looking for. One of these advanced features lets users search by home style, so potential buyers can find their dream home, whether it’s a Colonial, Victorian, or mission-style home.
CIRCA allows users to submit their older homes, which are listed for sale, and provides an extensive list of available old houses for sale around the country. CIRCA has also partnered with The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a nonprofit organization that seeks to preserve historic properties in the United States. Along with its online presence, CIRCA publishes a periodical print magazine full of ideas and information for old-home lovers.
Zillow is the most popular real estate marketplace in the country, and while it isn’t necessarily known for specializing in older homes, it still provides features that allow users to seek them out. By navigating to Zillow’s advanced search functions, house hunters can specify the age of the home they’re looking for. Zillow also provides a helpful “Zestimate” for each home that predicts the selling price, giving users insight into the market. Access it online or download the app.
Realtor.com, like Zillow, allows users to search for homes based on their age. Realtor.com is sponsored by the National Association of REALTORS® so its network is extensive. Not only does the site offer countless listings to pore over, but house hunters can connect with realtors directly through the app. To get the best results, take advantage of the platform’s search functions, which allow users to specify a home size, lot size, and even a maximum commute to work. Use the app or website to search.
Sotheby’s may be known primarily as an auction house, but Sotheby’s Realty is an excellent resource for finding historic properties. The site focuses on high-end real estate, so it isn’t for the budget-conscious old house shopper. For anyone with the budget to invest or a love of window shopping luxurious homes around the world, it sure is fun. View properties under the lifestyle menu, and “historical” will be an option for narrowing your search.
6. Old House Dreams
Old House Dreams launched in 2009, and is still run by an old house enthusiast, who lives in a century-old home herself. While this site may not feature such extensive listings as some other platforms, the homes profiled are sure to impress. Along with featuring homes on a regular basis, the site allows users to search based on their desired specifications. Categories include offbeat and unique, fixer-uppers, and under $100,000.
7. The Old House Life
Started as a tribute to her sister and focused only on North Carolina abandoned houses, TheOldHouseLife.com has grown into a nationwide site for historic home lovers. Many of the houses listed can be found on other real estate websites, but the site offers fun commentary on the best features of each home. Visitors will also find preservation tips, ongoing projects for inspiration, and historic bed and breakfast locations. A mobile app version of the site is also available.
Historic Properties was launched in 1999 with the intention of creating a community for those who love older homes. The houses featured on their site must be at least 50 years old. Users can search by architectural period in order to find a home that suits their tastes. Along with listing homes, the site provides resources for those looking for tradespeople specializing in older homes.
Cheap Old Houses is a great resource for those on a budget. Most of the homes featured list for under $100,000, and while some are fixer-uppers, many are totally livable. While they primarily share their homes on their Instagram page, they also list the homes on their website and in their weekly subscription newsletters.