Back to School? These 7 Converted Schoolhouses Are at the Top of the Class

The summer party is (almost) over—another slog through the school year is soon to begin. For students, it’s an anxiety-producing time. For parents, it’s a time of celebration! But for some homeowners, back-to-school day happens each and every day.

Folks who reside in converted schoolhouses can relish the trappings and history of a place of learning without all the pesky teachers, tests, or homework. Many of the converted schoolhouses up for sale right now blend the best aspects of the property’s past with today’s modern conveniences.

If you’d like to experience life in a former schoolhouse, we’ve found seven converted homes on the market ready for your approval. We think all are deserving of A’s—and we don’t grade on a curve.

Check ’em out before some teacher’s pet snaps them up…

14095 Proctor Valley Rd, Jamul, CA

Price: $725,000
Passing grade: This place is worthy of advanced placement. The Old Jamul Schoolhouse was built in 1890, but it’s no dusty old textbook. Modern updates sit side by side with the schoolhouse’s original hardwood floors. There’s even a nod to the home’s past with a chalkboard mounted over the fireplace. Sweet! (Erasers not included.)

Jamul, CA

735 King Pen Rd, Kirkwood, PA

Price: $289,900
Passing grade: Charming and compact, the White Rock schoolhouse sits on a 3-acre parcel. Built in 1890, the adorable brick building will require a buyer to earn extra credit by updating the kitchen, carpets, and linoleum floors.

Kirkwood, PA

333 Summer St, East Bridgewater, MA

Price: $475,000
Passing grade: The Beaver Schoolhouse dates to 1884, and many of its original elements have been well-preserved. Gleaming hardwood floors, stained-glass windows, and cathedral ceilings are just a few of the holdovers from this home’s school days.

East Bridgewater, MA

99 Salisbury Turnpike, Rhinebeck, NY

Price: $595,000
Passing grade: Located a couple of hours north of NYC, this weekend getaway has been fully updated inside while maintaining its quaint country charm on the outside.

Rhinebeck, NY

7801 Route 120, Woodstock, IL

Price: $198,000
Passing grade: Not quite a little, red schoolhouse, this former academic institution has more of a magenta hue. Built in 1900, the one-room Ostend Country Schoolhouse has since been converted into a lovely three-bedroom home.

Woodstock, IL

305 Route 199, Red Hook, NY

Price: $323,000
Passing grade: This two-bedroom home is a perfect antidote to city life. The Red Hook schoolhouse sits right alongside Saw Kill Creek, making it an ideal spot to kick back on the stone patio and listen to the sounds of the water rushing by. Before diving in the creek’s swimming hole, let your mind drift back to 1840—when the school was built.

Red Hook, NY

Undisclosed address, Fairhaven, MA

Price: $269,000
Passing grade: This tiny conversion takes its cues from Scandinavian style. The owner used his architectural background to convert the one-room schoolhouse from 1840 into a “unique and functional space.” We’re ready to present him with an apple for his gorgeous work!

Fairhaven, MA


Posted by Erik Gunther on

100 Years Of Homes! Tour A House For Sale From Every Decade

Can you guess the decade of this home's construction?

Can you guess the decade of this home’s construction?

These homes, built from the early 1900s to this year, are all seeking new owners.

Take a field trip to your hometown’s historic district and stroll the sidewalk. Blur the cars out of focus, and it’s not hard to imagine what life looked like in decades and centuries past. It’s proof you don’t have to travel to a museum to get a glimpse of history — instead, you can live it every day when you own a home from your favorite decade. To prove just how diverse American homes are, here’s a sampling of homes for sale on Trulia that showcases period home design and architecture styles from each decade, from 1900 through today.

The 1900s: $549,000, 337 Valley St. NE, Abingdon, VA 24210

Known to locals as “The Pink Lady,” this early Victorian home for sale has been refreshed with new appliances, but many of the original details have been preserved (like those beautiful mosaic-glass windows leading from the dining room to the living room!). From the gorgeous wraparound porch to the “gingerbread” trim, historical details are what make this 1903 home a standout.

The 1910s: $439,900, 15 Geneva St., Medford, OR 97504

Tucked behind lush landscaping on a cobblestone street, this 1914 craftsman bungalow in Medford, OR, is a well-cared-for charmer. With original mahogany stain woodwork, box beam ceilings, and bird’s-eye maple and red fir floors, this home is a magnificent example of built-to-last elegance. Add in modern details like heated Carrara marble floors and a newly remodeled kitchen, and you’ll want to move right in!

The 1920s: $788,000, 1228 Murray Hill Ave., Squirrel Hill, PA 15217

Built in Colonial Revival style, this imposing six-bedroom home sits on one of the most sought-after cobblestone streets in Pittsburgh, PA. Built in 1920, the property includes a converted carriage house with a two-car garage and a one-bedroom apartment above. The main house features details such as hardwood floors, coffered ceilings, updated bathrooms, and a remodeled kitchen. Don’t miss the dual staircases and the level backyard.

Que Linda! 7 Lovely Pueblo-Style Homes in Honor of Cinco de Mayo

Happy Cinco de Mayo! In case you didn’t know, this nacho cheese–drenched holiday celebrates Mexico’s unlikely win over invading French forces many, many moons ago. And on this day, while we decide if we’d like our tequila-based beverage blended or on the rocks, we’re celebrating another Mexican inspiration, the Pueblo-style home.

Located mainly in the Southwest, these thick-walled homes feature natural materials, courtyards that stretch on for days, and intriguing architectural flourishes.

We scoured our listings for sale to find some of the most luxurious examples of Pueblo style on the market and came up with a magnificent seven…

443 Acequia Madre, Santa Fe, NM

Price: $9,950,000

The salt on the rim: This classic Pueblo-style house isn’t your typical home. There are 18 gallery/office/storage spaces, a guesthouse, and a main residence. That is on top of some serious historical details, including a Juliet balcony, exposed wood beams, and a Mexican-tiled bathroom. You even get your own cowboy!

375 Loma Linda Dr, El Paso, TX

Price: $8,250,000

The salt on the rim: This retreat has it all: rustic tile floors, exposed rafters, and a courtyard with a kitchen. Did we mention it comes with 10,000 private acres? No, that isn’t a TV screen you’re looking at, that’s the view.

The Hunt Ranch, Abiquiu, NM

Price: $5,500,000

The salt on the rim: It isn’t just the margaritas talking—we’re floored by this 310-year-old hacienda. From the kiva fireplaces to the Mexican-influenced modern kitchen to the carved wood doors leading to the amazing library, this ranch home is the stuff adobe dreams are made of.

140 Leaping Powder Rd, Santa Fe, NM

Price: $4,500,000

The salt on the rim: The simplicity of this home raises Pueblo style to an art form. There are exposed beam ceilings, wrought-iron chandeliers, and brick floors against a backdrop of white plaster walls. Can Pueblo be elegant? Yes, it can!

922 Canyon Rd, Santa Fe, NM

Price: $3,915,000

The salt on the rim: If you’re going to go adobe, you need a good courtyard—and this home has one of the best. With ivy-covered walls, a lion’s head fountain, and a built-in dining spot, we’re ready to dig in to a fabulous feast.

566-568 Camino Del Monte Sol, Santa Fe, NM

Price: $2,900,000

The salt on the rim: If the word “adobe” makes you think of dark and cramped living spaces, think again. With high ceilings and tons of natural light, this home has a bright and open feel. There’s also plenty of Spanish-style charm accompanying that airy feeling, including the intricately detailed exposed rafters.

885 E Palace Ave, Santa Fe, NM

Price: $1,450,000

The salt on the rim: This home was so well-restored, we almost mistook it for a museum. From the basic plank wood floors to the cast-iron, claw-foot tub, everything looks like you’ve stepped back in time. Especially the kitchen, which comes with an icebox and turn-of-the-century stove.

Posted by Angela Colley on

Locked Up: Old Kentucky Home Comes With 2 Vaults and an Outlaw History

History buffs will surely be taken with this property which once housed a bank robbed by the notorious James Gang, one of America’s most famous post-Civil War outlaws.

Built in 1857 and known as the Southern Bank of Kentucky Building, this historic structure was converted to residential use in the early 1980s. It features hardwood floors, 12 fireplaces, two mahogany staircases, and 15-foot ceilings restored to their 19th-century grandeur.

The 7,321-square-foot building on three quarters of an acre is zoned for residential or commercial use. It sits in a historic district in Russellville, KY, only 45 minutes from country music capital Nashville.

Priced at $825,000, it includes six bedrooms as well as a renovated kitchen with exposed brick wall. Covered porches recall a simpler time when sitting on a porch to chat with neighbors was a way of life.

However, our curiosity was piqued by what remains under lock and key. Inside, the bank’s two vaults remain and are still operable should you have some priceless treasures to keep safe.

The main vault, which has three chambers and four doors, sheltered $2 million in gold at the time of the James Gang robbery—gold the gang was unable to pilfer.

However, the bank wasn’t left unscathed on March 28, 1868, when the James Gang (Jesse James himself was elsewhere recovering from a gunshot wound) rode up. Two bullet holes remain from that day when bank president Nimrod Long refused to cash a questionable bond the gang brought in and was shot, according to listing agent Becky Reinhold.

The gang, which that day likely included James’ brother, Frank, made off with more than $9,000, a true haul for its time. The robbery was only the third daylight bank heist in U.S. history and the first for the gang, which became known as the James-Younger Gang after the robbery because of the presence of the infamous Younger brothers.

The cash the gang did make off with was housed in the building’s second vault—located in what was then the president’s office. It was known as the day vault because it remained open during the day while the bank did business.

The gang wasn’t the first to try to steal the gold in the bank’s main vault. The Confederate government of Kentucky (which desired to secede) wanted the bank to loan it the gold during the Civil War. The bank’s board refused and subsequently hid the gold in an upstairs residence then used by the bank president.

Whether you choose to keep the vaults as curios or use them to hide valuables is up to you. Just don’t lock yourself in.

Posted by John N. Frank in

Comparing Cultures: Homes from Around the World

Granite countertops, outdoor kitchens, remodeled bathrooms – we all know there’s a certain art to real estate. Just like here in America, a country’s culture directly affects the look, feel and styles of homes from all over the world. Even in locations such as Indonesia, Cameroon and the Artic, there are always cultural reasons behind the architecture and why homes are made in a particular fashion. For example, Tulou Houses from China were traditionally built in a circle formation to form a defensive village.

The following infographic from Able Skills compares homes like tipis and igloos to residences like the sukiya-zukuri in Japan and the inkajijik houses of Kenya. Take the fastest trip around the world with the information below:

Posted by Housecall

Abandoned behemoth with 46 bedrooms – or ‘more like 70’ – is for sale in Texas (where else?)

Now this is more like it! Don’t you think?

Forget Jackie Siegel and her biggest-home-in-the-nation Florida “Versailles” with its piddling 30 bedrooms or so, which was once on the market for $75 million unfinished.

This Texas structure is being marketed as a 60,175-square-foot “shell” of a single-family home on about 15 acres, with 46 bedrooms and 26 bathrooms — “more than enough room for the entire family inside and outside!” the listing says — for $3.5 million.

Those room counts are only estimates, by the way. “It’s probably more like 70 bedrooms,” listing agent Mona Miller tells the Houston Chronicle. “They’re not completed, so it’s difficult to tell.”

Rumors about this residence and its junior version next door, which is about half the size at a mere 32,000 square feet, have been circulating locally for going on a decade. They’re in Manvel, near Pearland, about half an hour’s drive south of Houston. In 2009 the Houston Press got a glimpse of the bigger one, which it dubbed“Pearland’s mystery mansion,” and judging from the current photos, the property has been essentially abandoned for the intervening six years.

Theater room perhaps??

There’s even an unfinished indoor pool.

Even Miller isn’t sure of the real story, but she’s heard that a physician and his wife started building the bigger structure in 2001 as a surgery rehab center, then turned their attention to building a smaller (air quotes) neighbor.

Old listing photos for Junior (shown at the bottom) show a furnished, finished and distinctly institutional-looking dwelling that was billed as being available for residential or commercial use.

The bigger behemoth now on the market was earlier floated as a “special purpose” property but apparently didn’t go over with prospective buyers. According to that listing, the property was “originally designed to be a senior assisted-living center, but was not completed.” No kidding.

The remaining photos — from a property listing from 2008 — show the smaller (air quotes) property next door. It’s about 32,000 square feet and was apparently built by the same physician and his wife sometime after they started and then dropped the 60,000-square-foot project in about 2001. They completed this one, as the photos show.

Originally published by Jennifer Karmon on Yahoo Homes.

A Boulder House With Petroglyphs

One fireplace has scorch marks from ancient encampments.

Published by Melissa Allison on Zillow Blog.

It’s easy to see why the Fort McDowell Yavapai nation of Native Americans bought this house in Scottsdale, AZ.

The stone walls bear ancient petroglyphs, including rare sculptural forms, and create sacred spaces where sunlight plays during equinoxes.

A couple from the Northwest built the home in the early 1980s — if “build” is the word for pouring concrete among Precambrian granite boulders and cutting windows to fit the unusual contours of weathered stone.

They lived there more than two decades, then sold it in the mid-2000s to the Fort McDowell Yavapai nation, which expected to use it as a retreat center but found it was too far from their community. It’s now on the market for $4.2 million.

Looking at the pile of boulders, it’s hard at first to pick out the 5-bedroom, 2.5-bath home among them.

It sits on 9 acres in the Sonoran Desert and includes amenities that prehistoric people would have enjoyed — fireplaces and mountain views — plus some they would not, such as double ovens, a super-wide stainless steel refrigerator and a master suite with a combined deep tub and shower.

The guest room has a private patio entrance and a natural fireplace with scorch marks believed to have been left by Native American encampments.

These boulder formations also created the landscape of the famous Boulders Resort & Spa nearby, said Preston Westmoreland, the listing agent with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty.