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Purchased for $50 in 1977

Purchased for $50 in 1977

We always knew our summers would be busy in the home building business, as that was when a lot of families moved. Families liked to schedule moving into a new home so the children could finish up their school year at one school, and then have part of the summer to get situated in a new house and neighborhood before starting at their new school. This meant we were usually under pressure to make sure the house was finished and inspected before the moving van showed up. Evidently summer is the season for moving old houses as well, but probably not for the same reason.

Old House Summer Moves

Over the years I have seen quite a few articles about buying an old house to save it, but physically moving the house was part of the deal. Most of the time the purchase price was next to nothing, and I always wondered if anyone ever took advantage of buying what was often an historic old house for such a bargain. Well, here are three home buyers who did just that, and so far it seems to have worked out pretty well.

There is an old house in Aurora, Illinois, that at one time was the home of Aurora’s mayor. The town purchased the old house from a local church to save it, but it needed to be moved from where it was located. A local contractor bought the old house from the town for a dollar and recently moved it across the street to a lot he bought from the town for a dollar. He plans to restore the three story home, and he is supposed to receive almost $100,000 in grants to help him do it. Not a bad deal.

An old house was recently moved on Anna Maria Island in Florida. Anna Maria Island is near St. Petersburg, and evidently has a number of Sears catalog houses from the 1930s. A local resident recently moved a 1935 Sears home about a half mile to save it, and is planning on restoring the old house. He hopes to create a historic village of the old houses.

A Victorian home built in 1882 in Anaheim, California, was purchased for $50 and moved in 1977. The old house was slated for demolition to make room for a county building, but it was saved by a family who moved it and completely restored it. A recent article in the Orange County Register by one of the home’s present occupants describes the frequent visits they get from old house enthusiasts wanting to tour the historic old home.

Cash for Caulkers Update

I recently wrote about the Cash for Caulkers bill that was passed by the House of Representatives early in May. The Home Star Bill, as it is officially named, seemed like a great incentive for making homes more energy efficient, and also had the potential for helping the hurting construction industry. However it seems to have fallen off the edge of the earth, I haven’t seen anything about it since that week when everyone was writing about it. I checked on a government tracking site today, and evidently the Bill has been sitting at the Senate since being passed by the House. It doesn’t appear to have made any progress at all.

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  1. 3 Responses  to “Moving Season”

  2. Aug 29, 2011
    I have been a part of moving a couple of houses Fred, and you are right, it is a lot of work. It's not just the labor of moving the home, it's also the prep time involved in getting the route and home ready for the trip. I would think though, that depending on the historical significance of the home, or one's sentimental attachement to the house, it can sometimes be worth the trouble.
  3. Jeremy
    Aug 29, 2011
    U-Haul is a pretty hot business in the summer, trucks driving everything, and beds of trucks filled with stuff. I wish I could have bought a house for a dollar and then in return got $100,000 in grants to rebuild it. That is one heck of a deal.
  4. Fred
    Aug 29, 2011
    I was given an old farm house(which had to be moved), and purchased a small lot a few miles from the original site. I paid a premium for the lot, because it was the only thing available in close proximity to the original site. Even the short ":move" cost me $40,000. Long story short, it was a big job to physically move the "free" house, and in the end I would not do it again.