What can be done with a house that is just perfect but it is in a bad neighborhood or a dangerous spot? Think about homes that are in decent condition; yet, too close to the water. America is experiencing flooding now that is not supposed to happen in 500 years.
That cute little beach bungalow could easily get wiped out in the next hurricane. It might be time to think about moving those homes to a safer area or higher ground.
The International Association of Structural Movers says that around 8,000 homes are moved each year in America. Relocation may be due to hazards, such as the erosion of an oceanfront or cliff side lot. Others relocate for their historical value.
What It Takes To Move A Home
There are five main considerations for moving a home, which are:
- Legal Issues: Moving the home and transporting it must be allowed by law.
- Strength: A home must be strong enough to stay together when disconnected from its foundation.
- Lift and Transport: It must be possible to lift the home and transport it to the new location.
- Access: Access to the home’s new location must be unimpaired on the route to get there and on the site when the home arrives.
- Cost: The cost to move a home may be shockingly prohibitive.
The legal issues can be very challenging. Do not give up easily, if the idea of moving a home is blocked at first because it may be possible to get a one-time waiver from the regulations.
Some homes are not strong enough to move. However, it is surprising what is possible if the home and/or lot is very valuable.
There are home-moving projects that lifted Victorian-style homes built over one hundred years ago in the most valuable parts of San Francisco. These homes only moved upwards. They stayed on their lots. The moving project raised them 15-feet higher to allow a garage to be built underneath. These well-built wooden homes survived the 1906 earthquake. They were carefully raised without damaging them.
Lift And Transport
Experts use many techniques to lift a home and prepare it for transport. Homes may be transported by strong flat-bed trucks, by industrial, heavy-lifting helicopters, and on barges in the river or ocean. Homes can be disassembled partially to make moving them easier.
When moving a home, even if separated in pieces, the pieces may be very large. The entire transport route needs to be carefully checked by an engineer for proper clearance heights, enough turning radius when needed, and sufficient width for passage.
While many homes are movable, the cost may be too high to make it worthwhile. However, the cost to move a multi-million dollar mansion falling off a cliff may be far less than the home’s value, which might otherwise be lost.
If there is a beautiful heritage home sitting on a cliff’s edge overlooking the ocean and teetering on the edge of collapse, there is a new way to think about it. It may make perfect sense to move it to a lot that is down the street and further away from the edge.
If you are interested in purchasing a new home or refinancing your current property, be sure to contact your trusted home mortgage professional to discuss current financing options!