Want to see what a very plain Amish home looks like inside? There are currently photos online at Zillow.com showing the exterior and interior of a Swartzentruber Amish home up for sale.
The price on this home, located in the area of Pulaski, New York, is $94,900. It’s listed as having 2 bedrooms, no bathrooms (Swartzentruber Amish do not use indoor plumbing), and having 1,512 square feet, on a little over 27 acres of land.
There are a total of 24 photos available at the Zillow listing for this property, which you can see here.
The Swartzentruber Amish are arguably the most traditional of all Amish affiliations. You can see some things in these photos that indicate that.
Since Amish properties tend to be purchased by other Amish people, it is always interesting to see when they are advertised online through traditional real estate portals–and even more so since this is a very plain Amish community. However it does happen that non-Amish people purchase and convert Amish homes for conventional use.
We’ve previously seen similar advertising with a couple of other Amish properties – one in the Belle Center community in Ohio, and another also in New York state.
Thanks to reader Erin for sharing this listing.
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About the only difference I see in these photos from the homes I am familiar with is the natural wood trim around the windows. The Swartzentrubers in Randolph, MS paint theirs. Even the towel drying rack on the post in the second photo is the same. However, the chairs are much fancier than I am used to seeing. There are a number of Amish built homes in the Randolph community that have been purchased and converted by English including one that was built by Amish, converted by English and then sold back to another Amish family. Not sure how they got rid of all the electrical and plumbing fixtures but knowing how these folks think, I am certain they did.
The ones I know have houses that was bought from the English, so they had electricity in them. They simply disconnect it and it is not used. Even when they build new homes they was wired with it in mind that if they sold the house it would increase the value. If they rent a house, the electricity may be used as I have friends that live in rental properties and they use it,
It looks to be very nicely finished – it is obviously quite new. I’ve never before seen the metal or vinyl lining used here for interior finishing on ceiling and walls. My impression of Swartzentruber homes would be of untaped drywall, unfinished wood floors; generally looking quite shabby. But I guess i am stereotyping!
Not the case at all ~ I have never seen a Swartzentruber home that wasn’t beautiful. If you notice in pictures of which I have many ~ they have no upholstered furniture and for large families you will generally see the table with benches and a smaller table with 2 chairs in the living area all the children sit on the floor or at the eating table. Their known by their blue color the doors and often the roofs.
Osiah, I’ve been in many Swartzentruber homes that would match your impression. The metal siding indoors is a new one to me.
I’m going to take a guess that this family is living in the shop and had in mind to put up a proper house at some point. We see that a lot with younger couples in many groups — move into the shop until a house can be built.
Mark, I have only been an outside observer, but my observations agree with your thoughts that many families do seem to build and live in the vocational/secondary building (e.g., a shop or even a barn) first, then build a proper house. I don’t know about either the Swartzies or this area in particular, but in seems in several of the OOA settlements that the red buildings (such as the one pictured here) are vocational/secondary, and the house proper is white or some other community-agreed-upon color.
Eric, enjoyed the post…, and only have one thought/question. I wonder if all the Amish ‘furnishings’ and other trimmings (incl. kaps and capes and coats) are a part of the whole deal. If so, this photographer may be making a bid on the house. 😉
Mark, the metal siding for the ceiling was the first thing I noticed! I wonder if the house was spruced up for sale. That might explain why it is fancier than you expected, Osiah. I did notice a pie on the table, a trick used by realtors to entice prospective buyers to conjure up homey thoughts. 😉 The barn looks to be in pretty good shape, too. I have heard that red for barns is forbidden in Allen County, Indiana. The Amish there seem to like red brick, though.
Thanks for the post, Erik and Erin! Very nice to see these photos!
Don, you are right. In many Amish communities the “residential” buildings are white and everything else is red, but that can vary. The recent post showing a Lawrence Co., PA, daughter settlement shows the all-white buildings that group favors. Then there are those like the Nebraska people who have white houses but do not paint the barns.
In Holmes Co. many of the more conservative groups still have the white/ red color use, but in moderate or progressive groups that has changed and it’s not uncommon to see the barn color match the house. We see a lot more tan or gray barns than we did 20 years ago.
Our house is white, but our other buildings are tan & brown.
Sure, I know that the practice varies from place to place, and in my somewhat limited experience it is the more conservative groups that do the red vs. white/other color scheme, with the more progressive going pretty much away from it. But thanks for confirming it.
Hi! I shared this. The Amish district in the western part of the town, where this is located, seem to use white wooden siding when they build new. The district in the eastern part of town do not have white houses (unless it is a converted English home) but use what looks like tar paper or some other sort of plain house wrap in a dark green for the houses and black for outbuildings like a root cellar. Both are Swartzentruber.
The Swartzentruber Amish Home IS lovely… The house color is
bright but this is the norm…since the color is patterned
after barn colors..
Non Amish barns that are colored beige is considered
high end in todays society..
However, it does remind me of the beautiful
brightly colored homes in Cincinnati Ohio
dubbed the Crayon Box homes…
Their furniture is ALSO beautiful and well crafted…
They were very blessed to live there!
(In today’s world some folks can only afford wood w/veneer
furniture in their homes)
The wood cook stove looks like a Pioneer Princess.
It does look like a Pioneer Princess. I went back & looked and then it hit me what the cut-off blue plastic barrel beside it might be — a bin for wood scraps or maybe even the wood box. It looks like it might have gotten a bit too warm a time or two.
Home for sale...
Being the dreamer I am — I look at those photos and I wonder. I wonder who lived there. How many people grew up in that house. Are there marks on a post to see how far the kids grew each year? Were there many generations in that house? Was Grandma and Grandpa living there? What does the outside sound like at night, cicadas? Crickets? Are there trees that blow in the wind? What did the soil smell like in summer? How many songs were sung in the kitchen during the winter? How many people fit in the house for Church? Is there creek nearby – and how did they stay cool in August? What kind of animals roamed the barn – and who spent hours feeding, cleaning, caring for them? Did anything get hidden in the barn – or outside, under a rock? What did dawn feel like in the spring, where is the well that supplied the water that cleaned the feet of those who trod that farm? Who lived there – and more importantly, why did they leave their home? Did no one want to live there anymore? Where are they now? Are they happy – or sad to sell their house? The memories they have can not be sold, I know. But still – I wonder…
Judith, you just made me want to go back and look at those pictures in a whole new way. 🙂 I never even thought about the “dreamy side” of a home for sale!
Judith, I appreciate your thoughts. I often think similar thoughts when visiting historical buildings or older local homes for sale. I can’t help but wonder why the house is being sold…it looks “homey” enough on the inside. Do they need more room for a growing family?
I wondered about the blue plastic “thing” next to the cookstove, too. I thought it might hold water…what do I know?!
The attic bedroom gives me pause! All that insulation—and it looks like someone (a child, perhaps?) in the far back left bed might have started poking at it, ripping off some of the paper and causing some of the insulation (fiberglass?) to hang down as well. (My throat is starting to tighten at the thought of breathing it in!)
Interesting post, for sure.
I enjoyed looking at the pictures on this post, as well as the additional ones on the link. I have been in several Swartz. homes many times in the Orange Co., Indiana settlement and this one looks very similar. Yet, this one seems to be a little fancier, in the decorations on the wall, mantle, shelves, etc. I think a home like this shows much beauty in its simplicity.
Is the $94,900 for all of those acres as well? It would be fun to have such a place, even if just to play farm.
One wonders where the owners are headed. Does anyone have more details of the area to share?
Tom in Lincoln
Many of the Ohio Amish are running out of land to farm and there are large settlements popping up in Upstate NY where there are many farms available and lots of fertile land for farming.
I grew up about 45 minutes north of Pulaski. I didn’t know that Amish have settled there. Makes sense since so many Amish are looking for more areas with land to grow their communities. It was interesting to view the pictures. Quite similar to the Swartzentruber home I have visited in Holmes County just a bit “fancier”.
Thanks for sharing!
Inside Amish homes
The Amish homes I’ve been in (Michigan,) do not in any way, resemble this home! They are much plainer and not very homey or inviting. There is furniture against every wall and nothing in the middle. Since religious services are held at a different home every week, furniture is always placed out of the way. There is very little or no decoration of any kind on the walls. Everything in those Amish homes was for convenience. Cleanliness was not of the utmost concern! I do understand it is not easy being clean when you cannot use any modern conveniences. I was gratified that these families invited me into their homes because I bought some of their homemade wares whenever I was in the area.
Their homes are VERY different than an old order Amish home they do not have upholstered furniture nor coaches only 2 to 3 wooden chairs in line bing area and benches at their table. Nothing on walls and except maybe in the teens rooms. They are a plainer more strict sect than old order.
Do they have any Amish in the state of Mississippi?
Norwich / Springford Ontario Amish
The Old Order Amish located in the Springford, Ontario / Norwich, Ontario region of southwestern Ontario are very conservative and this certainly reminds me of what you’d see from them.
When you see inside the houses, basically they appear like these, for all intents and purposes mid 19th century, simple farmer homes with natural woods, lots of white, stained wood floors, etc.
As others mentioned here, they too follow the usual dictates of white coloured houses and then red painted barns, sheds, etc.
Whenever people talk about the strictness of the Swartzentruber Amish, it always sounds exactly like the Old Order Amish I grew up around.
Here are some photos I took that were featured on the site back in 2010:
Two of the photos here are one’s I took from this area as well (the one of the buggy is not.. that is far too modern for the Springford Amish and moore indicative of the Aylmer, Ontario Amish):
I should add, the floors may not be staine. Natural plain wood — no ornamentation like patterns or patterns formed by stains however.
These were interesting to me, Shawn. We have friends in Norwich and it was nice to see pictures from that area and recognize some of the homes.
Glad you enjoyed. I have some other pictures as well and really need to take more, especially in the summer and fall. You have to be careful though as the Amish themselves in this locale do not want a picture taken of their persons, so you have to be careful and respectful in how you go about it. (I believe they believe a photo of their person goes against the biblical proscription against “graven images.”)
I would be interested in seeing more. And thank you for being respectful about their feelings on photography. Many are not.
You might be interested in knowing the Amish in that area are “Abe Troyer” people, a more progressive off-shoot from the Swartzentrubers. There are some strong similarities, but enough of a difference they can be identified as different.
Well I grew up next to all of them. They were my neighbours and they knew us and we them. So only natural to want to be and plus it is why we knew their position on that.
We probably know some of the same people then. 🙂
The thought of sleeping in an unfinished attic under the insulation makes me itchy!