HGTV Greenlights New Series About the Popular Instagram Account Cheap Old Houses

Kelly Corbett
·3-min read
Photo credit: Instagram / @CheapOldHomes
Photo credit: Instagram / @CheapOldHomes

From House Beautiful

When it comes to buying a new home, your first step may be to connect with a realtor or search online for some potential listings. But what if I told you that finding your next home could be as easy as scrolling through Instagram? Today, HGTV greenlit a new series that follows the creators behind the insanely popular Instagram account Cheap Old Houses.

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507 S Griffin St, Armington, IL — Pretty! Listed by Seth Goodman of ME Realty. “Stately concrete block constructed 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath two story home situated on a generous 120X120 tree shaded corner lot in Armington, Illinois! Main floor of home features an inviting 16X10 foyer host to natural woodwork, hardwood flooring, and an open staircase, bright and airy living room with charming columns and neat beveled glass windows, formal dining room with a window seat, equipped efficient kitchen with newer vinyl plank flooring, hall half bath with a large adjacent closet, and a generous 8X16 enclosed back porch (back porch features electric baseboard heat). Upstairs, you will find a neat 7X10 landing area that could serve as a great office/play room, three bedrooms -- all with hardwood flooring and large adjacent closets, and a full hall bath. Property also features a full basement, covered front porch, walk-up floored attic, older detached garage, efficient hot water heat, newer architectural roof, and all appliances to remain upon settlement for new owner(s) including washer and dryer. Olympia school district. City water/private septic system on premises -- septic system replaced in 2013. Property being sold as presented with no repairs at expense of seller. Affordable small town Tazewell County living with both great interior as well as exterior space await you and yours with 507 S. Griffin Street, Armington!” — link at #cheapoldhousesil

A post shared by Cheap Old Houses ™ (@cheapoldhouses) on Nov 9, 2020 at 6:16pm PST

To give some background information, Cheap Old Houses is an Instagram account (now supplemented by a website) run by husband-and-wife Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein. If you take a gander at their page, which boasts over 1.4 million followers, you’ll discover...exactly what you'd expect: antique homes for sale, typically for under $100,000. While many of these properties definitely require a facelift, their bones and beauty remain unparalleled.

The account ultimately serves as a message board to highlight some of the invaluable properties currently sitting on the market— and in many cases, help save them from being demolished. Folks interested in any of the homes featured on the account can click the link in bio (or head to to search for the property’s actual listing — Cheap Old Houses is not a real estate company.

Because of the account's massive success, it only made sense to bring the Finkelsteins to TV. "When HGTV fans told us we needed a show with Ethan and Elizabeth, we listened because we understand how easy it is to fall into the rabbit hole of hunting for cheap old houses," Loren Ruch, HGTV's group senior vice president, programming and development said in a press release.

This upcoming eight-episode series will follow Ethan and Elizabeth as they travel across America to tour budget-friendly old houses and assess their historical significance and architectural uniqueness. Elizabeth, a former history preservationist, alongside Ethan, who shares her love for saving money, will give viewers at home a look behind their extremely selective process for vetting homes for the account. The social media savvy couple will also be stopping by formerly-featured Cheap Old Houses to see how new owners have transformed their properties.

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201 West Kennedy Street, Syracuse, NY — David from @syracusehistory sent me another gem! If you head over to his stories, you can see millions more photos. Here's what he has to say about it: "Former home of William Howard. Born in Vestal, NY, Howard was a known furniture mover in #Syracuse who had built and designed a home at 1425 South Salina Street where he operated his business. When Howard began the moving business, he utilized a vehicle drawn by a pair of horses until later switching to what his obituary noted was one of the very first motorized vehicles in the city. In 1949, he made headlines when he ran after and caught a runaway horse drawing a milk wagon on the 1400 block of South Salina Street after the horse had been scared by a backfiring automobile. Howard also tended an acre of garden behind his Salina Street home, distributing surplus flowers and vegetables to neighbors. He was known to wear a black fedora and carry an unlit cigar in his mouth. In his later years, his home on South Salina was bought by Syracuse General Hospital and he moved here to West Kennedy Street where he spent the last 7 years of his life before passing at the age of 92 in 1964. His former home on West Kennedy is currently for sale through the @syrlandbank for $9,900 with renovations estimated at $108,000. Buyer must show $118,000. If the buyer is a contractor, only $53,000 necessary." — link at #cheapoldhousesny

A post shared by Cheap Old Houses ™ (@cheapoldhouses) on Oct 26, 2020 at 11:03am PDT

"Everyone will be astounded by the incredible, inexpensive property treasures that Ethan and Elizabeth find and they also may be inspired to buy a cheap old house of their own," Ruch says.

HGTV has not yet revealed an air date or a working title for the series; however, we’ll keep you in the loop as more details become available. As for now, you can check out the Finkelsteins latest property listings at @cheapoldhouses on Instagram.

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