This house is free — with a catch

The 1907 house is yours for free if you move it

This house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. Feb. 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
This house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. Feb. 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — Want a free house? Move it and it’s yours.

The house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. A developer bought the house last fall and planned to demolish it.

This house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. Feb. 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
This house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. Feb. 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

The former owner, Craig Gulla, had the house for 13 years before he sold it.

He said it needs tens of thousands of dollars in upgrades. “Even though it’s got great bones, as they say, it still needs a lot of improvement.”

It would have to be moved all the way down at least one road.

“You’d have to clear all the power lines and low hanging trees out of the way,” he said. “How much would that cost? Would it really make sense?”

Terry Emmert, who has moved more than 5000 houses, said a lot goes into considering house-moving costs.

“What type of overhead wires you have, what the widths of the streets are, how much trees have overgrown the roadway,” Emmert said.

This house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. Feb. 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)
This house on SE 50th Avenue, just south of Hawthorne in the Mount Tabor neighborhood, was built in 1907. Feb. 17, 2015 (KOIN 6 News)

And that’s just to start.

“Let’s say we only went a couple blocks  away. By the time we pick that up and move it down the street and put it on a regular foundation you’re probably looking someplace between $40,000 to $50,000,” he said.

It could go up to $80,000 to $90,000 if the house then goes on a full basement – and that’s only if the house is moved a few blocks.

It isn’t likely or feasible in inner Southeast Portland. If an inexpensive private lot was available, you might think about it.

“You’ve got a 1907 house setting on a lot with a brand new foundaiton, you’ve got a bargain,” Emmert said. “But if you’ve got to take it 10 miles away, then that’s a problem.”

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