Old Houses Under $50K

Old Houses Under $50K Finer Points

I comb through so many wonderful old houses here on Old Houses Under $50K that I rarely have time to pause and ponder the perfection of some of the homes’ beautiful original elements. So I thought we would take a short stroll down memory lane to appreciate the finer points of these cheap old houses. Here are a few of the standout details of the homes we featured last week.





This c.1888 Iowa home has four amazing elements in just one photo.  Originally the home of a physician, it features a curved staircase, stained glass, pink globe hanging fixture, and an old Cary Safe Company safe under the staircase.  Cary Safe Co., now defunct, was founded in 1878 in Buffalo, New York.  Like the safe in this house, the bulk of the safes sold by Cary had a family or company name printed on the upper portion of the door. I wonder if anyone still knows the combination. See more of the house here.







You can’t pass by this North Carolina home without doing a double take to appreciate the exuberant Greek Revival portico featuring square tapered fluted columns and elaborate Italianate spandrels. See more of this Greek Revival here.


The spandrels are the triangular shapes indicated by the “S”





When was the last time you saw a built-in like this in a cheap old place? Note the spire pinnacles, dentil work and classic vintage drawer pulls. See more of this place here.


Dentils – small repeating squares







Does anyone else love vintage bathrooms? Original bathrooms are usually the first to go in a cheap old house. This one, however, still has its subway tile, pedestal sink, black and white basket weave tile flooring, and built-in medicine cabinets!  It is not a surprise that subway tile was originally designed to be installed in subways. The Victorians were big into hygiene, and not only were subway tiles easy to clean, but they reflected light in the dark subterranean stations. See more of this Victorian home here.







I hadn’t really noticed the beauty of this amazing U-shaped staircase first time around. A U-shaped staircase is essentially two parallel flights of straight  joined by a landing that creates a 180-degree turn. Oftentimes the first flight has a wall on one side with just one newell post, but this one is open on both sides and has two newel posts! Amazing for a $30K house. See more of the house here.


U-shaped Staircase

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