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Episode 87

Cheap Old Houses with Elizabeth Finkelstein

Elizabeth Finkelstein and her husband Ethan are the brains behind the popular Instagram account @cheapoldhouses and together, they restore historic homes on HGTV's series Who's Afraid of a Cheap Old House?

Elizabeth grew up in an 1850s home lovingly restored by her parents, so her love for crown molding and peeling wallpaper runs in her gene pool. She holds a master’s degree in historic preservation and has put in years of professional work restoring old houses.

While not filming or nurturing the vast and wonderful Cheap Old Houses community, the couple spends time restoring their own cheap old farmhouse — a little slice of heaven they snagged for a cool $70,000.

Key Quotes:

✿ Elizabeth tells us about her sourcing strategies for furnishing old homes, “It's all vintage sourcing. Vintage is my favorite. We're big fans of Etsy, Marketplace, flea markets, and especially salvage yards. Architectural salvage is huge.”

✿ “Old house restoration is a marathon. It's not a sprint. A lot of people move into an old house and think they have to do everything right away. That is absolutely not the case. You can live with an ugly kitchen for 10 years and you will survive.”

✿ “I think people of this generation, especially the generation on Instagram, is extremely design savvy. This is a generation that doesn't just want cookie cutter things, they want things that define them, that are, quite frankly, also good for the world, good for the planet.”

✿ “I mean, work is work. And I'm not going to sugarcoat the idea that if you do something you love, it's never going to feel like work. It often feels like work. It usually feels like work, but there is a greater mission behind it that motivates me every day, and I think that's really important.”



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