Author Topic: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?  (Read 3507 times)

Zoot Allures

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I was driving through rural Washington on my way back to Portland yesterday and passed a very cool mid-century ranch for sale, no doubt for a fraction of the price of what it would sell for in Portland. I started wondering about the cost-effectiveness of buying a house like this and moving it to a different desired location, whether it's a vacant lot in the city or a parcel of raw land in the country. Anyone ever done or contemplated this, or seen it done? I realize it's quite expensive to move a house, but the numbers could still make sense. Seems like an interesting form of arbitrage.

mskyle

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2016, 01:39:20 PM »
I'm gonna vote "ridiculous" unless it's a house of extreme architectural importance. If you have this magical parcel of raw land, why not just build a nice mid-century-esque ranch on it?

bobechs

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2016, 01:40:02 PM »
Show me the money.

Kroaler

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2016, 01:42:27 PM »
There is a tv show on netflix I think about this.   "Texas Flip and move".

The lots are what are expensive in HCOL.     So I dont see how the movement of a house from a LCOL would benefit.

Zoot Allures

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2016, 01:45:39 PM »
I'm gonna vote "ridiculous" unless it's a house of extreme architectural importance. If you have this magical parcel of raw land, why not just build a nice mid-century-esque ranch on it?

Well, in Portland, the rationale would be that houses are very expensive right now and so is construction.

Interesting: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/moving-a-house-can-sometimes-be-the-practical-way-to-go/

brute

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2016, 01:47:44 PM »
Have you run any numbers, or are you just day dreaming about it? If you have numbers, I would be interested in seeing them, but it seems unlikely to be profitable to me.

Zoot Allures

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #6 on: July 25, 2016, 01:53:13 PM »
Have you run any numbers, or are you just day dreaming about it? If you have numbers, I would be interested in seeing them, but it seems unlikely to be profitable to me.

Just daydreaming. :) I'd be interested in seeing some numbers too.

brute

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #7 on: July 25, 2016, 01:59:50 PM »
Well, moving the house looks like it might get close to $200k

http://home.howstuffworks.com/real-estate/moving-tips/house-moving2.htm

plus i can't image than land prices are good if the housing market is expensive. Seems like it would be cheaper to build than move, buy land, connect, repair, etc.

v10viperbox

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #8 on: July 25, 2016, 02:02:11 PM »
Serious HCOL areas are driven by square footage on the lot and rarely the home. Construction costs are rarely terribly different unless the local area has some sort of weird market condition.

mskyle

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2016, 02:03:04 PM »
I'm gonna vote "ridiculous" unless it's a house of extreme architectural importance. If you have this magical parcel of raw land, why not just build a nice mid-century-esque ranch on it?

Well, in Portland, the rationale would be that houses are very expensive right now and so is construction.

Interesting: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/real-estate/moving-a-house-can-sometimes-be-the-practical-way-to-go/

I think you would still face a lot of building-type costs if you moved a house, though - you would need a new foundation (right?), you would need to get all the electrical and water hooked up, you would probably need repairs to the house once it was delivered...

I mean, people have been doing this for years, so there must be some kind of financial or emotional situation where it makes sense, but "arbitrage" seems like a very optimistic way of describing it.

Fishindude

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2016, 02:03:12 PM »
I've been involved with some house and building moves.   This becomes very impractical if you are moving it very far.   Houses aren't exactly set up very well to transport down the road :)
A house move from rural Washington to Portland would be pretty ridiculous.

Labor and materials aren't ridiculously higher in Portland than they are in other parts of the country.  The big expense increase is the real estate and trappings that go with that in high cost of living areas.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2016, 02:09:02 PM »
Ridiculous to move an old home.

Search for "factory built homes" or "Modular Homes". These are not the double wides that you think it is.

Modular homes are built in a factory and assembled on site on the foundation at your location. Takes about 2 or 3 days to put together on site if the foundation etc are all done. These are much better constructed then a stick built home and probably cheaper.

dougules

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2016, 02:11:45 PM »
What's the cost of a tornado machine, witch services, and ruby slippers?

Zoot Allures

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2016, 02:15:41 PM »
OK, I'm glad I gave you all the option of voting "ridiculous." Thanks for the comments.

I own a house on a subdividable lot in Portland, so that's one reason the idea intrigues me. I also see a lot of Portlanders spending small fortunes ($120-200k) to build accessory dwelling units next to their houses, and I wonder about other possibilities.

KMB

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2016, 02:33:56 PM »
I got a quote to move an 1,800 square foot house 2 blocks. $37,000. The contractor said the price was highly contingent on the amount of utilities (mostly power lines) that would have to be moved while the house was listed. The deal never came together, so I don't have any insight into the actual process.

thd7t

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #15 on: July 25, 2016, 03:09:10 PM »
Moving buildings short distances is expensive, longer distances is prohibitively so.

Kaydedid

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #16 on: July 27, 2016, 07:12:55 AM »
A friend moved a house, and it worked out great.  However, he bought the house for $1 (eminent domain property) and worked for the company that did the move.  He had to pay for the land and basement, so he ended up saving in the neighborhood of 10-20k vs. buying an existing house.

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K-ice

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2016, 07:52:33 AM »
In my city near the University they were giving away 5 heritage homes to anyone who would take them.

Lots of interest but not one was saved once the numberes were crunched.

They were all demolished. I think it was a great marketing ploy.

fishnfool

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2016, 08:09:29 AM »
Just buy a mobile home!

iris lily

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #19 on: July 27, 2016, 08:44:24 AM »
My SIL and her husband did that. They got a small (1,000 sq ft) mid century ranch house for free. Because it was small, frame, and one story, it would move well.

They moved it and built a foundation, and built an addition that contained  the entry staircase necessary for the grade  difference between old and new site. By the time they did all of that, we doubted that they saved any real money.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2016, 08:49:08 AM by iris lily »

adamcollin

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #20 on: July 28, 2016, 03:25:08 AM »
 It is not profitable to buy a house in an inexpensive market since the resale value will be low. 

thd7t

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #21 on: July 28, 2016, 06:11:22 AM »
It is not profitable to buy a house in an inexpensive market since the resale value will be low.
This statement is ridiculous. For example, I could say"it is not profitable to buy a house in an expensive market, because prices are inflated." Might be true. Inexpensive markets have greater upside and less capital at risk.

Irrespective, this thread is about moving a house purchased in an inexpensive market to an expensive one.

CowboyAndIndian

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #22 on: July 28, 2016, 06:47:45 AM »
In my city near the University they were giving away 5 heritage homes to anyone who would take them.

Lots of interest but not one was saved once the numberes were crunched.

They were all demolished. I think it was a great marketing ploy.
They did that in Princeton, NJ. The college was expanding and they were giving away houses if you moved them.

There was a lot of interest, but in the end there were no takers.

All houses were demolished.

K-ice

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Re: Buy a house in inexpensive market and move it: ridiculous or genius?
« Reply #23 on: July 28, 2016, 12:07:03 PM »
^^^

So they do it everywhere. I thought it was genius move. All the historical people couldn't say anything because it was just too expensive to move the homes.

Basically, "If you want to save it, you can take it."

I do think it is sad when historical buildings are demolished. But it is just not feasible to save everything.   

To the OP, maybe you should look for a FREE home.