There’s a saying that if something sounds too good to be true it probably is, and when you see the words “free house” it definitely comes to mind.
People are advertising their homes on Gumtree – like this four-bedroom home in Clyde, Victoria, or this three-bedroom house in Paddington, Queensland – for free. And no, we don’t mean they’re being advertised at such a low price, they’re practically free. They’re being advertised as totally 100 per cent free.
But, of course, there is a catch.
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While the home itself is free, the land underneath it isn’t for sale, and anyone who wants the home will have to pay to remove it. And it’s not cheap.
The total cost of removing and resettling the home could cost up to $75,000, not including your the price of the land you’re moving it to, Seven News reports.
Removing the home from its foundation costs anywhere from $20,000 to $30,000, cleaning the site could cost up to $10,000, and restumping the home at its new location could cost between $10,000 and $25,000. Then you’ll still have to pay for a building certification, which is around $10,000.
There are also dozens of experts to consult, including council officers, building certifiers and engineers and the whole process will take at least a few months.
So there are risks involved, but if you’re willing to pay the added costs it could be a good option. The seller, who obviously has other plans for their block of land, gets the house removed without any cost to them, saving them thousands of dollars.
Meanwhile, the buyer gets a home for cheaper than if they bought it the traditional way, especially if they could put the home at the back of a relatives’ block. And as the housing market becomes increasingly hard for millennials to crack into, it could be the easiest way for 20-somethings to buy their first home.
The key is figuring out – with help from professionals – what you’re getting into before you sign up for a “free” house.