Crews will come take your home away for free, and ship it somewhere for a new family to enjoy.
In the last 10 years, about 3,700 homes across King County have been replaced with a new home. But sometimes homes slated for the wrecking ball survive.
Tawny Davis of Nickel Bros. scours the region for homes about to be torn down in hopes of saving them and shipping them elsewhere.
She uses trucks and barges to send the entire homes to other communities, often as far as Island County, where construction costs are sky-high because it’s so hard to get materials and crews there.
Davis has a simple pitch to teardown developers: Sell me the house for a dollar, and I’ll haul it away for free, saving tens of thousands of dollars in deconstruction costs.
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With all the homes being torn down lately, she says business has been picking up. The firm now does about 150 home moves per year around Western Washington and British Columbia, and for the last 60 years has been one of the few house-moving companies around the region.
The buyer usually pays more than $100,000 to move the house plus the actual market value of the home. Sometimes the move causes small cracking in the house, requiring additional work.
This option doesn’t always work — there are often trees or power lines in the way, or the developer doesn’t want the hassle or the risk of delays. But when it does, old houses find a new home somewhere else.
“There is a lot of history behind the (houses), a lot of families that lived in them. And they don’t make houses like that anymore,” Davis said.
“There are some people that would say it’s no big deal; it’s all in the name of progress,” she said. “But there are others that really value history, and what that house means. There’s a great sense to me of accomplishment to make sure that history doesn’t go away.”