There’s a little old house in Fayetteville, North Carolina called the Poe House – not the same Poe as our beloved writer (who’s buried in Baltimore, by the way, and if you haven’t been up there to see his space, it’s definitely worth the trip to the tiny churchyard).
The house isn’t anything spectacular – it’s from the very late 1800s, and it belonged to a family whose patriarch ran the local weapons-making facility. But what is spectacular about the house is that Poe ordered the home out of the Sears Catalog. (It’s not on the website – but it’s inside info you get when you take a tour!)
Today, manufacturers are designing and selling “kit homes,” which are a throwback to that time. These homes are available from a lot of retailers – including Amazon – and they’re marketed toward people who have property (or will buy property) and want to build something simple themselves.
Related: Amazon’s $7K “Tiny House”
The drawback to most of these kit homes is that they’re not really equipped to live in. They don’t feature electrical wiring systems (and you’ll have to connect them to the grid if you want electricity), and they don’t have plumbing. In fact, many don’t even have space for an indoor bathroom.

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Sure, it’s a romantic notion – you can build your own home from a kit. However, you’ll have to start with a foundation, install plumbing and electrical (and a septic system if your property doesn’t already have one). You’ll also need local permits, which can be tough to get.
Our take? These kit homes are great if you’re building a small cabin in the woods for a summertime getaway – but if you’re looking for a permanent place to live, you’re better off buying an existing home or hiring a professional builder to tackle the task for you.

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