FREE Houses! All You Have to Do Is Move Them.

Being a historic preservation professional married to the director of a creative agency, I am constantly being challenged to appreciate the value of new things as much as I love the past (before I met Ethan, I would happily have plotted my overseas time travel to 1920s London and never looked back, even if it meant being dead by now). Ethan’s perspective has opened my eyes to the incredible ways in which new media can transform preservation advocacy, and how critical it is that preservation groups jump on the new media bandwagon. If you’re at all tapped into this world, you’ve probably seen the stats showing that social media is no longer an option for businesses; rather, it’s “just the ways things are.”
CIRCA’s presence on Facebook has introduced me to a number of wonderful preservation advocacy groups and campaigns that I had never before known about, and it’s great fun to follow their work. Coincidentally, three items that have popped up in my feed recently all have something in common: They are offering free houses to the first person who can pick them up and move them.
And by the way, if you’re interested in knowing how to move a house, I did some in-depth research that I’m happy to share with you in the video below!



Arlington, Virginia


Photo courtesy of Preservation Arlington.

Preservation Arlington is helping to promote this adorable Sears kit bungalow dating from 1926. Here is what their webpage says about it:
On behalf of their client, Arlington-based architects Paola Lugli and Paola Amodeo, of the firm Paolasquare international, are offering a free Sears house at 3010 7th St. N. (near Pershing Drive in Lyon Park). The house, built in 1926, is a Wellington model Sears home. Originally priced at $1,998, this lot recently sold in September 2013 for over $750,000. However, the needs of the homeowner do not meet the constrictions of the current home. Rather than bulldoze this historic property, the homeowner is interested in giving it away for only the cost of moving the home.
“When we got the project, we spoke with our client, and we all agreed that the house should not be demolished,” Lugli says. “Unfortunately, given its positioning on the very narrow lot and the programmatic requirements of the client, we cannot integrate it in our project. The Sears bungalows are part of Arlington’s historic heritage and boast great proportions, hard-to-find craftsmanship, and attention to detail. We would love for someone to move it somewhere where it can be used.”

To save this house, contact either principal of Paolasquare International:
Paola Lugli — [email protected]
Paola Amodeo — [email protected]

Greenville, Georgia


Photo courtesy of Keller Williams Realty.


Photo courtesy of Keller Williams Realty.

Ok, this one’s not entirely free. BUT it’s only $40,000, and hey, in my inflated world of Brooklyn real estate, that’s as good as free (and you might have some bargaining power there). Besides, it dates all the way back to 1840! Oh, I just love an historic log cabin. (Over the holiday, we happily binged on the entire season of Frontier House. Best 10 hours of my life.)
Here’s what the listing says:
A true and authentic hand-hewn Log Cabin constructed in 1840. It is a Dog-Trot design. It has a bathroom, dining room, living room and sunporch on main level. It has three adjoining bedrooms on upper floor. Located near the FDR & Warm Springs GA areas. Price is for the cabin only; no land. Buyer must move cabin to a new location.
To save this house, contact Keller Williams realtor Norm Hatke at 404-906-4455.

Nashville, Tennessee


Photo courtesy of Historic Nashville.

Gahhhhhhh I love this one. A little Queen Anne with a porch to die for! AND It’s entirely free. From the Facebook page of Historic Nashville:
Looking for a FREE historic house?? This c. 1885 Queen Anne-style house at 1818 Eastland Avenue in East Nashville (across from Eastland Cafe) is available at no cost for anyone willing to move it to another lot. According to research by the Metro Historical Commission, the building was originally the Spout Spring School before being converted into a dwelling. In the 1970s, it was converted into 3 apartments. The current owner March Egerton has pulled a demolition permit, but will allow someone to relocate the house at no cost. The window of opportunity is short so if you are seriously interested, you must ACT FAST. Please spread the word. Let’s save this East Nashville landmark!
UPDATE (July 18, 2014): Sadly, the house in Nashville has been demolished. Thank you to everyone who reached out to try to save it!
Elizabeth is the founder of CIRCA and a practicing writer, architectural historian and preservation consultant living in Brooklyn, NY. Elizabeth has loved historic houses for as long as she can remember, having grown up in an 1850’s Greek Revival gem that was lovingly restored by her parents. Elizabeth, her husband Ethan and their beagle Banjo remain on a relentless hunt for their perfect “Thanksgiving house.”

Join The Discussion

Compare listings

Have the most beautiful old houses on the market
delivered to your inbox every single week!

Enter your email below to receive our latest listings,
featured favorites and more !
Have the most beautiful old houses on the market
delivered to your inbox every single week!

Enter your email below to receive our latest listings,
featured favorites and more !