|The 1940 Book of Modern Homes.|
Sears made many changes to its business model after the Depression:
- They listed complete pricing so customers could see the true cost to purchase a house (this included lumber, millwork, hardware, plumbing, roofing, wiring, lighting fixtures, heating system, etc.). Complete house "packages" ranged from $3,500 to $7,500 in 1939.
- They primarily sold houses through their Modern Homes district offices. In the Chicago area, there were offices in Aurora, Chicago, Gary, Hammond, Peoria, Rockford, and Milwaukee. If a customer came into a Sears, Roebuck retail store, they were directed to a Modern Homes office. Orders rarely came in directly from the mail.
- Sears only sold homes in the East and Midwest United States. There were no sales west of the Mississippi or south of the Mason-Dixon line.
- Sears no longer offered home construction services. They would offer an inspection service to ensure "the job is done right".
- Sears no longer offered financing. The buyer was responsible for obtaining financing through FHA or a private lender. Sears would help advise the purchaser through the financing process.