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Mr. + Mrs.
Cheap Old Houses

We’re Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein. We’re dreamers. We love old things. And we believe that you’re being sold the wrong American dream. Contrary to what everyone else says, you don’t actually need to buy a million dollar house and go into extreme debt to live a satisfying and beautiful life. But don’t just take our word for it—we’ve brought together over 2 million people who feel the same way, and who are masters at celebrating the beauty of cheap old houses.

Our cheap old house, a forgotten c. 1770s farmhouse in upstate New York, saved from the wrecking ball for $70,000.

“If you’re endlessly curious about all the old houses out there that have yet to be saved, then Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein are the two to watch.”



Cheap Old Houses is a counterculture, and a rallying cry to fall with us down the rabbit hole of forgotten old houses.


As a culture, we’ve quickly been conditioned to desire homes that are perfect and flawless. Homes that are larger than life, “smart” with amenities to care for all of our needs, and that reflect every fleeting design trend. For many of us, the trade-off for acquiring these homes is living beyond our means and accepting soul-crushing debt, not to mention contributing to the overabundance of waste that comes from accumulating everything shiny and new.


It doesn’t have to be this way.


Investing in a cheap old house is about so much more than buying real estate. It’s about investing in ourselves and the future of our communities by looking to the past. It’s about respecting architecture that can continue to outlive us if we allow it, and saving materials through reuse, repair, and salvage. It’s about taking a critical look at the building and design industries, which thrive on a “newer is better” sales model and play a significant role in packing our landfills. And it’s about showing that not all dreams out there look alike.


If there was any doubt that an alternative to the typical American dream exists through cheap old houses, we are here to say it does. Indeed, this book intends to spell out that these particular buildings are more than worth our time and attention, and may just be the answer so many have been looking for: a sense of place, purpose, and possibility.


Read more in our book, Cheap Old Houses: An Unconventional Guide to Loving and Restoring a Forgotten Home.

“Ethan and Elizabeth Finkelstein are not your typical HGTV stars—and that’s what makes Cheap Old Houses stand out.”



Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein are dynamic public speakers, eager to share their expertise on historically-informed design, old house restoration, creative housing financing, and so much more.

To start a conversation, please email [email protected].


Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein are passionate about old houses, breaking the outdated myths of achieving homeownership, celebrating history and craftsmanship, supporting restoration and preservation trades, and so much more.

To pitch a story or request a quote for your article or other media, please email us at [email protected].

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