Got a Buck? Buy and Move a ‘Used’ House

This house was moved by truck to a new locationBuying a home from a "used home lot" will only cost you $1, but the delivery fee can range from $15,000 to $60,000. Image: Wolfe House and Building Movers

Relocated homes are a double blessing: They let buyers fulfill the dream of home ownership by picking up a house for next to nothing, and they keep old homes out of the landfill.

This may be the ultimate in reusing and repurposing materials, and we applaud this trend: For as little as $1, some people are buying homes off a “used-home lot” — homes that would otherwise be torn down — and just paying a delivery fee, between $15,000 and $60,000, to have the house transported to their lot.

Tough economic times are making these “cash and carry” homes more and more popular, according to The New York Times.

The relocated homes are bargains for both the new and old home owners: Newbies can pick up a house for next to nothing, while previous owners save on demolition and dumping fees.

Operators of used-house lots, especially along the Pacific and Atlantic coasts and in the upper Midwest, say sales have increased as much as 60% over the last three years. “It seems like we’re even busier when the economy is bad,” Warren Davie, owner of a structural moving company and a used-house lot in Kenner, La., told the Times.

Some owners of delivered homes figure they saved about 40% to 60% of what it would cost to build a comparable house.

Jennifer and Craig Davis moved a 1,500-sq.-ft. vacation home by barge across Puget Sound to Hat Island for $65,000. The house arrived no worse for wear, except for a few hairline cracks in the drywall, easily repaired with some Spackle or joint compound.

We didn’t find any used-house lots listed on the web, but the International Association of Structural Movers can help point you in the right direction, according to its chief executive N. Eugene Brymer. Email him at

Would you consider moving a house to your lot? Do you know of any used-house lots in your area?