On the Market: Old Houses Under $200K with Woodwork to Die For

published Sep 23, 2017
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(Image credit: Circa Old Houses)

Real estate daydreaming is one of the most enjoyable pastimes: you can envision all the lives you’d lead, all the outfits you’d wear, and all the updates and improvements you’d make without being confined by budget, building codes, or reality. Here are a dozen homes currently on the market for under $200,000, all of them fixer-uppers of varying degrees, all of them featuring ridiculously beautiful, ornate, and irreplaceable original woodwork.

Let’s dive in:

(Image credit: Circa)

4 Bedrooms/1 Bathroom

The Smith House

Blockow, MO


Now THAT is a door! Make a fabulous first impression with this incredible original door, and then continue to delight your guests with 10′ ceilings and gorgeous woodwork in every room. The current decor isn’t terribly modern, and the 4:1 bedrooms to bathroom ratio is less-than-ideal, but damn those are some good bones.

(Image credit: Circa)

5 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms

Peoria, IL


Trade in your studio apartment for a 4,500-square-foot house and start practicing descending the stairs dramatically. There’s a ton of amazing wood in this home—floors, mantels, doors, and more—and just think how glorious it will be once you swap out those folding chairs!

2 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms

Beloit, WI


This is the most unnecessarily complicated stairway and I love it. Each spindle has its own little house, and there are bites taken out of the wood? Who knows! This 1890 house also boasts delicate details on the interior window frames, echoing the carving on the amazing front door.

(Image credit: Zillow)

5 Bedroom, 5 Bath

Walnut IA


I have no idea what this room is, but I know I need it. Look at all that storage! There are countless hardwood windowframes, doors, and floors in this huge 1911 house, but I’d probably spend all my time huddled up in this cupboard.

(Image credit: Zillow)

4 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms

Mentone, IN


That chair might be comfy, but get it out of here! That woodwork is too amazing for even a single inch of it to be blocked. I’ve seen something similarly gridded in other homes, but never on an exciting angle like this. So good!

2 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms

Pecan Street Queen Anne

Chetopa, KS


Can you imagine how dreamy it would be to curl up and read in this little nook?! There’s amazing woodwork throughout the house, but this space—which absolutely needs to have a windowseat installed—is my favorite. However, you definitely NEED to see the dog carving in the second image—yes, dog carving!—as well as the stairway fit for an evil queen.

(Image credit: Zillow)

4 Bedrooms/2 Bathrooms

Brooklyn, MI


One door to Narnia is fine, but here we have at least three magic doors! Store your IKEA dishes in this amazing 1880 built-in, but be sure to save the top three cupboards to hold all your secrets.

(Image credit: Zillow)

4 Bedrooms/— Bathrooms

Manito, IL


Yes, this 1895 house is listed as having “4 beds, — baths” so good luck with that, but this exquisite bit of finery might make up for any inconvenience that might cause.

5 Bedroom/3 Bathroom

The Powell House

Waycross, GA


Pocket doors! Pocket doors are the coolest. This 1895 house is chock-full of excellent woodwork—click through to see the lovely mantel—and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Image credit: Zillow)

4 Bedrooms/1 Bathroom

Hillsdale, MI


This is AMAZING. The rest of this house is perfectly fine, but this loft is crying out to be converted into a disco, a rollerskating rink, and/or a wedding venue. It is so gorgeous you might be tempted to rent out the rest of the house and just live in the loft.

7 Bedrooms/4.5 Bathrooms

Milwaukee, WI


This magical stairway is ridiculously delightful, but you’ll also want to check out the fireplace in the all-pink room as well as the striped wood floor. Buy this 1885 house with all of your friends, as there’s plenty of room, including a parlor—you’ve got to have a parlor.

(Image credit: Zillow)

3 Bedrooms/1 Bathroom

Detroit, MI


Amazing wood on every single surface! Fill those built-ins with something sparkly, lean pensively against the columns, re-wallpaper between the graceful vertical slats, and lie on the floor admiring the incredible ceiling. Does your current apartment living room have columns? If not, get yourself to Michigan!