A Historic Victorian In Texas Is On Sale For Just $195K

The 4,160 square foot home at 614 West Sears Street in Denison, Texas, is a historic home waiting for a complete makeover. The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home was built around 1892 and is listed for sale at $195,000. The wood Victorian exterior, and the mostly gutted interior, will need a great deal of restoration from a buyer who is passionate about restoring old houses to their original glory. According to Zillow, windows have already been replaced in a style that fits the home, and work has been done on the post and pier foundation, with a limited warranty remaining. Architectural details seen throughout the house indicate how beautiful the home must have been, starting with the decorative pediment, running trim, and brackets on the covered porch. 

West Sears Street is just a few blocks away from the Main Street section of the downtown area, where considerable resources were spent to restore and revive a section of 19th-century buildings that now house boutiques, galleries, and restaurants and serve as a popular tourist destination. In August 2021, a brick Italianate house of similar vintage condition on West Sears Street sold for $205,300, according to Zillow.

Large first floor extension

Denison, Texas, is located near the Red River, which serves as a border between Texas and Oklahoma, and is less than 10 miles away from Lake Texoma, one of the largest lakes in Texas with over 89,000 acres. It's a popular getaway with biking trails, campsites, boating, watersports, fishing, and a scenic drive that attracts leaf-peepers when the foliage turns in the fall, according to the Lake Texoma website.

Denison was founded in 1872, at the same time that the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad depot was built close to the Red River, per the Texas State Historical Association, creating an important transportation center during the industrial revolution and development of the western United States. Like many other towns it has had its famous residents in fields such as music and sports, per Wikipedia, however, among the notable residents are President Dwight David Eisenhower, and in more recent history, Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger, who safely landed U.S. Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River in 2009, per the City of Denison.

Restoring the home to its beauty

The first floor has had some renovation completed, as can be seen in the vintage-look wallpaper, restored ceiling, chandelier, and crown molding in the 19-foot by 15-foot dining room, according to Zillow. Traditional multi-paneled Victorian-era doors throughout the house have fluted casings and corner rosettes, while the double front doors still have some stained glass squares. The remaining first-floor rooms all have generous proportions, including the 24-foot by 21-foot kitchen, the 20-foot by 14-foot living room, and the game room (20 feet by 12 feet), which currently has a billiards table. 

There are four bedrooms on the second floor, two of which have attached bathrooms. The elegant, winding staircase rises three floors starting with the decorative finial and newel post at the bottom and featuring decorative balusters and stringer panels throughout. Two large rooms top the third floor which feature a variety of decorative dormer windows typical of the period.

Floors, doors and windows have been completed

According to listing photos on Zillow, it appears that some electrical work has been started on the house. The potential buyer will need a thorough inspection of the wiring, plumbing, and structural integrity of the building to know more about what will be involved in the renovation. The listing photos show that most of the walls and ceilings have not been insulated or finished yet. There are several rooms in which wallpaper will need to be removed from walls and ceilings, and floors which will need to be replaced. 

Although a portion of the house is constructed on a pier foundation, it appears from the listing photos that a portion of the foundation is brick and does have a basement under one section of the house. The lot size is listed as 8,232 square feet and mentions a carriage house that may require too much restoration work to save. Whatever the new owner decides, West Sears Street has houses from across a number of decades, and with its walking proximity to the downtown, and easy access to parks, supermarkets, and schools, per Redfin, make it an attractive place to live.