Houses for Sale Cheap: Three Chicago-Area Homes Priced at $1

Geneva, Ill. homes selling for $1 dollar Three houses in Geneva, Ill., are selling for $1 each, with one important provision: The new owners must move the historic homes.

Are they good deals?

Two of the homes, located at 122 and 130 East State St. and known as the oldest properties in Geneva, are in jeopardy of being demolished. According to public documents from Geneva's Historic Preservation Commission, the current owner of these properties wants to redevelop the land into a restaurant.

Given the ages of the homes -- the two on State Street were built in the mid-1800s and the other in the 1920s -- locals hope that a buyer will step up to keep the houses in Geneva, a town about 20,000 that's 40 miles west of Chicago. "If someone would be willing to move the homes to their own property, they would sell for one dollar," said Colin Campbell, a member of the Geneva Historic Homes Association.

But some may wonder whether the price of a dollar is a deal or simply a stunt to attract publicity for endangered homes.
Campbell believes that, even when including the cost of moving the homes and bringing them up to current standards, their price is a bargain compared to area homes selling at market value. "Somebody could wind up with a very nice home for about half the cost," he figures.

The expense of moving a house depends a lot on its original location and final destination, but generally runs $12 to $16 per square foot. Smaller homes are substantially more economical to transport, with larger homes easily costing $150,000 to $200,000. Tricky routes also cost more than relatively straight ones.

Don't forget the price of the land where the house will ultimately rest, as well as the cost of new electrical and plumbing connections.

Geneva is requesting bids by June 30 for the home at 215 Campbell St., which is a 1920s brick bungalow currently owned by the city. No deadline has been set on the two State Street houses.

While some might think that buying a home for a single buck and moving it it to a new location is still risky or absurd, this is just the way it goes in this quaint town.

"Moving old houses around has been a common practice in Geneva," Campbell said. "We would like to preserve as much as we could."

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