The Inspiration for HGTV’s ‘Cheap Old Houses’ Came From Instagram

We’ve all done the late-night Zillow searches. Whether you like to look up McMansions out of your conceivable price range or older homes with tons of charm, you know the value in looking at real estate porn. So when Elizabeth and Ethan Finkelstein started an Instagram account dedicated to old houses and their potential, it was only natural for HGTV to make a show about it called Cheap Old Houses.

That’s right — the inspiration for Cheap Old Houses was not only inexpensive old homes, but also an Instagram account. It makes total sense, given the world’s obsession with looking at one-of-a-kind houses online. So many of us have done so, while dreaming of ways we might renovate or restore these kinds of homes.

And now Elizabeth and Ethan have a show all about it.

The ‘Cheap Old Houses’ inspiration came from Instagram.

The couple spoke with Country Living about how they started their Instagram account, which came before Cheap OId Houses, and why they thought there was a market for it.

The Instagram page was a way for Ethan and Elizabeth to share homes that were on the market for a steal so their followers could potentially buy them. And they also have personal experience with old houses.

“We both grew up with old houses in our lives,” Elizabeth, who has a masters degree in historic preservation, told the outlet. “My family fixed up an 1850s Greek Revival and Ethan spent his summers in a house from the 1700s on his family’s 200-acre New Hampshire farm. We both still love a good fixer-upper and have always kept our eyes open for them.”

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She also shared that the inspiration for the Instagram account itself came from wanting to help the right buyers find the kinds of homes that deserve the attention they could give them. She explained, “Instagram is full of ‘after’ photos, and we thought we’d bring the ‘before.'”

And, it seems, the account will be more than active now that there’s a TV show to go along with it.

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