A Few Fabulous Crumbling Houses That Need You!

November 12th, 2009

On a recent drive through the Flint Hills, on my way home from my eldest son’s cross country meet, I meandered through some small towns and found a few great old houses to photograph.

This house was not crumbling at all and was clearly well loved by it’s current owners.

But this one was in dire need of someone who could see past the neglect…

Someone who could bring her back…

Look at that stone, those formidable eaves, the demanding arts and crafts presence!

I wish I could have hitched her to my car and set her in the side yard to nurse back to her former glory.

And then there was the door into the shrubbery!

A house so overtaken with vines, that it felt like an entrance to a secret garden.

I fell head over heels for this house.  As I walked around it, my heart was pounding, my hands were sweating, me knees were weak.  There had to be someway I could turn this house around.  Someway!  Somehow!

Look!  A side balcony!  Look at those third story dormers!

Look!  Another balcony!  IN fact – THREE balconies!  And french doors and TWO chimneys!

Look at the trim details!  Look at the stone lintels!  It has a SLATE roof!  Why doesn’t someone live here?  How could someone NOT be living here?  What is going on?  Is there a grisly past?  Is there a ghost?  Was there a murder?  How can a house like this sit empty?  How?  HOW!!!!

This one is for sale.  If anyone is looking for a great old house for cheap in the middle of Kansas .  I wish that I could buy it!


  • Heavens to Murgatroid. $150K?!? If I had any reason to be in the middle of Kansas, I’d snap that baby up. Gorgeous. And the interior looks awesome as well (although the wallpaper’s got to go).

  • jamoody:

    Beautiful. I have lived in the same county for my entire life, but something like this could tempt me to move….are there any jobs to be had in the middle of Kansas???

  • Fran:

    Oh my, these houses are fabulous! I love the wallpaper in the landmark colonial! And the floors! I would just get rid of the curtains – and the vines, of course. I can’t believe that the house is only 150,00. And one of the houses on the realty page is only 39,900! I would love to see the inside of the stone arts and crafts house. I need to move to Kansas!!!! Do they need a librarian in that town?!

  • p.j.:

    Ah, Rechelle. I’d love to be able to fix up lots of neglected homes, including these beauties. In St. Louis, there are many available. Unfortunately, I haven’t finished the one I started 31 years ago. And I can’t believe it’s been that long. How embarrassing! Thanks for sharing. p.j.

  • Wow – in Peabody? Gorgeous house.

    P.S. I used to run cross country in Newton – I think you said in another post that is where his meet was. I ran one year for Sterling High and a few more years for McPherson. I love Kansas.

  • Margaret:

    please let us know if this house sells. I would love to live there but the commute to North GA is a little far.

  • Catherine:

    Wow, lovely house, unfortunate wallpaper though!

  • For that price you can’t even get a closet where I live. What a spectacular home. It almost makes me want to uproot and move to Kansas. Almost.

  • Kyra:

    My heart aches for that house. It is so beautiful….

  • Prairiewind:

    I just accidentally happened onto this website. I was looking to identify a little yellow song bird that came as a flock of 50 through my back yard this morning. Mazingly, of the millions of homes in the USA, I know two of these photographed homes. The one at 60th and Old Mill has been in the same rural ranching family for some five generations. They had an open house once about 10 years ago for locals. Secondly, the old house with vines is part of Millionaire Row in this little town. The history of this town goes back to way before the oil boom days of the 1920s. This house was one of several built by oil barrons in the 1920s. I looked through this house, when it was first on the market some 5 years ago. It has been empty and the price has not gone down one iota in all that time. While it is a vernable old house, I don’t think it is worth what is being asked. Maybe knock off 25 to 50%. Pricing is a sort of disconnect. Even back 5 years ago, the house that was just to the west was priced some 20% less and had more space. It was a real oil barron’s house and it sold in a few months. No, there are no jobs in this town. At least no jobs that would justify what this house is being sold for. Practicality is the buzzword, unless one has plenty of money already in the bank and doesn’t need a job, this house will remain unsold for another 10 years. What some parts of this great country think of as normal for valuation of homes simply won’t fly in other areas. While $150,000 might buy a single car garage in Florida, because there is so much money flowing there, this ivy covered house might sell for $90,000 if one had plenty of outside money. It is a beautiful home and I drive by it every time I drive through this little town, just to see if it is still for sale. And, yes, there is a beautiful old 1920′s Carneigie Library building in town. The library is open mornings two days a week. This town does have a grocery store, a gas station and a complete public school system for now, and a church on almost every corner….well, almost on every corner.