Does the idea of owning a historic home for the bargain price of just $10 sound good to you? If so, you better get the heavy machinery ready because you’ll have to move it off the property.
The real estate group that purchased the property that’s home to the historic Lewis Estates house in Montclair, NJ, is going to subdivide it so it can build eight new houses, reports Montclair Local. The house is estimated to be worth about $1.3 million.
The house was built in 1906 and was once occupied by acclaimed athlete Aubrey Lewis, the first African American to be captain of a sports team at Notre Dame and one of the first black FBI agents.
The new owner will be required to move the 3,900-square-foot house to within a quarter mile of where it sits now, with an Aug. 31 deadline for the contract of that sale. Not only that, but the buyer will be responsible for fixing the house before the move — for example: removing lead paint and asbestos, if any — and for all costs of the move.
Despite the fact that the seller will contribute up to $10,000 toward the moving costs, it’s a pricy proposition that could keep prospective buyers away:
“All I can say is it’s a very expensive proposition,” the real estate agent selling the home told CBS New York, estimating that it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars just to move.
“In addition to moving it the cost of any kind of repairs and renovation required that it be done to historic guidelines,” she noted. “That tends to be real expensive.”
Preservationists with the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission are worried that the high relocation cost will stymie buyers, and that the home will end up being torn down because the township’s council and planning board didn’t designate it for historic preservation.
“That house, it’s a shame,” one member told the Montclair Local. “The HPC did everything we could to preserve the house and even tried to make the developer’s plan to be incumbent on him retaining the house as part of the property. … Without those protections put into place, the owner of the home is entitled to do whatever he wishes.”