Selling a house that must be moved

Real Estate Marketplace 9 Replies

Hello all!

I have an absolutely adorable little house that is in the way of a construction project and must be moved or demolished. Rather than add it to a landfill, I would rather have someone buy it, but they would have to move it. This is not some shack--read below for info.

I'm just not quite sure how to market this sort of project, or even how to price it. I'm wide open to suggestions. Of course, if you know someone who might be interested in acquiring the house, that'd be great too.

Here are some basic facts:
-600 sf
-2 bedrooms, each with lighted ceiling fan and mirror-door closet
-1 bath with lovely granite-topped vanity and marble floors
new kitchen (including stainless steel LG appliances--gorgeous!)
-3/4" tongue-and-groove bamboo flooring throughout
-2 huge, side-by-side slider doors along great room and kitchen wall
-huge screened porch with 2 lighted ceiling fans
-vaulted ceilings throughout
-great room with lighted ceiling fan

Totally renovated (to the studs) 2 years ago, including:
-fully insulated
-new drywall
-completely new (not just updated--NEW) electric/plumbing/HVAC
-exterior paint
-all new windows

I'm sorry, but I can't figure out how to post photos here. If you're interested in pictures, email me at [EMAIL REMOVED].

Thanks in advance for the help.

Medium logo 02   extra largeTerri Pour-Rastegar, Blue Sky Homes, LLC | 803‑517‑6579 |

OK, I created a photo gallery on my dashboard, entitled "Lake Cottage," so you can see what it looks like.

Joshua, I'm not even sure how to set the price with this sort of a situation, so I'm not sure whether it's wholesale or retail. Maybe someone here could give me some ideas on how to price it (give me a range maybe), given the information I've listed in this posting and by viewing the pix.


Medium logo 02   extra largeTerri Pour-Rastegar, Blue Sky Homes, LLC | 803‑517‑6579 |

I think you have to price it like a rehab. In this case, the "rehab" cost includes the price of a piece of land to put it on, moving it, and getting it into place on the new lot. The buyer would compare the price of moving it to the price of new construction. Its quite small, which should make moving it easier, but then construction would be low, too.

I'd try to find a few house movers and get estimates for typical costs for that size of property.

Jon Holdman, Flying Phoenix LLC


I once had a deal where the owner would not sell me the land, but would only sell the house. The catch, I had to move the house. The house was built in the early 1900's. Was really beautiful! I got into contact with a company that moves houses. They would move it for about $35,000. The catch, I had to sign an agreement, that if anything happened to the house, they were held harmless. The price of the house - $7,500. I then had the "mover" take a closer look at the house. He said that it would be a miracle if the house made the trip. But to remember, if the house fell apart or not, they still got paid. So I declined to purchase.

Just my story.


I agree, it’s a cute house. For 600 square feet however, the cost of moving might exceed the replacement value. If it’s a municipally owned construction project I assume you will be paid FMV by the state, under eminent domain, or at least be compensated by the contractor, if private. In this case, anything you get is found money.

You might consider donating the home to a charity, such as Habitat for Humanity, and taking the deduction. They might have someone who can relocate the home at low cost, or they can recycle much of it for a good cause.

Thanks to everyone for their input.

Jon--that's what I figured I'd have to do. Try to figure out what the house would be worth on an average lot in the area, add the cost of moving it, and there you go. We'll try that approach.

Jeff--I like your idea about Habitat for Humanity. Hadn't thought about that, although I've donated there before quite often.

I'm also going to call around to the house movers and see what they have to say.

Well, I've got all my options on the table, and I'll keep working on it. In the meantime, as part of one of my options, if anyone knows a good contractor who could build a foundation in the Lake Wylie SC area, please let me know.

Thanks again!!!

Medium logo 02   extra largeTerri Pour-Rastegar, Blue Sky Homes, LLC | 803‑517‑6579 |

I moved the 2nd floor of a 1700 sf daylight duplex in Seattle in 1997 about 10 blocks. I had it for a dollar (on a handshake with the apt. developer till i got the Building permit) up to 5 days before the move after developer had scavenged out the daylight areas etc. when he told me he really needed 5k (lesson learned)!

Moving company was $17,500 and they were pros. Public works was about $1,500 for someone to drive the route the week before we moved it. The Cable and Telephone work was about $4k. Along with architectural, engineering, permits etc. I was in the 1,700 sf for about 50k in seattle. Not a bad deal, but your costs would be the same for 600 sf probably.

rule #1 move the biggest and nicest house you can fit down the road--preferrably 1 story.

We made good money on that property, build a 1,700 sf ground floor with another unit and full 3 car shop garage I ran my renovation business out of till 2006. We did a light remodel on the upstairs in addition to updating furnace/water heaters etc. Sold it all for $430k in may 2006 near top of seattle market. Always pissed me off that per sf we got terrible price compared to single family homes.

Watching that sucker go down hills and around corners was amazing at 3am sat. morning. House was 34' wide x 50' long and lot was 50' wide x 104' long. Seeing them swing it off a narrow city street into the lot was pretty amazing---met all the neighbors in their bath robes that morning.

We jacked it up 12 feet in the air on cribbing, poured some footings and chained that sucker down for 5 months as we were in the middle of another rehab--pretty amazing to get used to walking under that house after being terrified the first week!

best fun was watching folks heading down the street past what had been an empty lot for 20 years and see them catch a glance of the 2nd floor and hit the brakes wondering what the heck was going on :)

Best thing about a project like that is I can not imagine ever being overwhelmed by any renovation or new construction project again--okay maybe putting a house on a barge and hauling across Puget Sound or something to a waterfront lot--that is another story.

problem with most houses to be moved is developer seems to decide at last moment to try and reduce demo costs by "selling" it to someone to move. Trying to put together the building with permit and a site to put it on in short order is not easy, especially in developed areas. Pro movers usually have a "temp" storage yard they can relocate them to, Seattle wanted a "demo" bond in case we didnt follow through with everything--i.e. they held $5000 till COO so they could haul it off if I didnt finish it.

Movers Rule #2 Meet the demolition contractors as they always would prefer to move a building and save on the demolition costs and keep an eye out for major projects--highways, airports etc. that involve getting rid of lots of existing houses.