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For anyone looking to channel their inner Joanna and Chip Gaines, you're in luck. Thanks to Circaoldhouses.com, a Zillow-like real estate website strictly for older and very affordable fixer upper homes, consumers now have direct access to an assortment of stylish dwellings across the country that are in dire need of TLC.
The website is the creation of Elizabeth Finkelstein, a resident of New York's Hudson Valley, who first became interested in older homes after growing up in a Greek Revival fixer-upper.
Over many years, Finkelstein watched her parents laboriously restore the home to its former glory. "Before my parents purchased this home, it was a property where other prospective buyers wouldn't even get out of the car when they saw it," said Finkelstein.
Circaoldhouses.com is designed to be easy to use, and also has strong social media components to reach audiences where they are: surfing the web, on their mobile devices and via email newsletters. A brand new Instagram feed — aptly titled @cheapoldhouses — recently launched and features current listings of old homes across the country, price tag and all.
"This Instagram account was an outgrowth of passion and obsession," Finkelstein shared. This fall, Finkelstein will also be launching a free mobile app where consumers can view and access listings of cheap old homes.
Finkelstein and her team even created a digital magazine featuring stories and ideas targeting fans and owners of old homes. Recent features include a roundup of 35 gorgeous historic homes under $50,000 and a video about her favorite interior paint colors for old houses.
If you really have no money to spend on real estate, there's a running listing of free houses currently up for grabs across the country.
Of her website, Instagram feed and upcoming app, Finklestein says, "I want it to be fun. Old houses are marketed as outdated and stuffy and not talked about in way that is fun."
While her interest is in targeting younger consumers and specifically millennials, the site is for anyone interested in honoring, celebrating or refurbishing an old house of their own.
"Home is an expression of who you are," says Finkelstein. "And in this DIY culture, old houses are really suited to that. They need to be put on the fun pedestal that they deserve."