Fascinating saga of the Sears kit homes, here at the Financial Times. They were shipped to their purchasers flatpacked in railroad cars, and the new owners built them, ahem, themselves. From 1908 until 1940, Sears had sold between 70,000 and 75,000 of them.
There was nothing ramshackle about these homes: the designs were sturdy, the materials of good quality. Prospective owners could even submit their own designs to Sears, and Sears would assess the design and ship them the requisite amount of materials.
Many Sears houses are still standing and are apparently hot ticket items.