This Old House
, one of our favorite dead-tree publications, has a feature called Save This House at the back of most issues. Generally there is a building which is available if you can either take it off the land or restore it to it's former glory.
Photo Gallery: See Homes for Sale for $1
This past year, a house from Leesburg, Va., was promoted all over the Internet, and drew interest from all over the world.
While it's great to look at older homes and dream, this feature actually contextualizes what a huge expense owning a home can be. Most of these older homes are going to need tens of thousands of dollars worth of work, and the taxes and utilities could be another thousand, so it's not like you are getting a "free" home.
What Happens to Those 'Save This House' Homes: 2006
It's one thing to buy an old car and fix up the engine as a hobby. It's another thing to actually try to maintain the structural integrity of a 150 year old house when you have no idea what you are doing.
So, we'll leave buying those really old houses to the experts.