Owning a mansion is something very few of us have the privilege of doing, but most of us dream about. It’s fun to picture ourselves coming home to an Olympic-sized swimming pool, in-home movie theater, and bubbly jacuzzi after a long day of work. It’s just too bad they’re so darn expensive!
But what if you found out that you can own a palace-sized home for less than it costs to buy dinner? Would you invest?
In Montclair, New Jersey, a 111-year-old mansion was recently put on the market, and it can be yours for the mind-blowingly low price of $10! But, there’s one huge catch…
Most people dream about owning a mansion. Imagining a life where you’re able to enjoy a huge pool, warm jacuzzi, and an indoor movie theater is just plain fun! Recently, in New Jersey, a lovely 111-year-old mansion hit the real estate market, and it can be all yours for $10! Yes, you read that correctly: $10. But, as you’ll find out, there’s one huge catch…
The property is located in the town of Montclair, which is a scenic suburban area full of friendly residents. It’s the ideal location for someone looking to settle down and raise a family. Not surprisingly, the mansion is even located on a road called Pleasant Avenue.
In 1906, renowned local architect Dudley S. Van Antwerp built the residence. He started his design practice in 1900, and he constructed famous buildings such as the Montclair Wachtung Avenue Congregational Church and the Yacht Club in Bayside, Long Island. So, what’s the deal?
This particular Colonial-style mansion contains six bedrooms and three-and-a-half baths. It also has a private exterior tennis court and a carriage house. The house itself is nearly 4,000 square feet, and it sits comfortably on two-and-a-half acres of land.
Given the sheer size and numerous amenities, it has a market value price of $1.35 million. Although that sounds expensive, many of the surrounding Montclair homes sell for around that price. It’s that kind of area.
The home also has some important historical significance to it. It was once owned by the first African American athlete to captain the famed Notre Dame football team, Aubrey Lewis. Lewis eventually went on to become one of the first black members of the FBI.
Unfortunately, Lewis passed away in 2001. After his death, the BNE Real Estate Group purchased the estate and planned on building eight homes on the property. This proposal, however, quickly fell through.
The reason behind the sudden halt in BNE’s plans? When they purchased the home and property after Lewis’s death, they made an agreement with the Montclair Historic Preservation Commission to preserve the estate due to its historical significance.
Because of this hiccup in the plans to build, the home is being sold for a meager $10! It sounds way too good to be true. A property this nice selling for the price of a movie ticket? But that’s where the huge catch comes into play…
And what exactly is the catch that has so many buyers turning their backs on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity? As it so happens, the home cannot be occupied where it currently stands. Whoever purchases the residence would actually have to move the entire thing to a different location.
Montclair town officials say they approved the subdivision application on the strict terms that once the property was sold, it must be relocated to a different area. Doing it this way means everyone wins: the historical significance is preserved, the BNE Real Estate Group gains valuable land on which to build their homes, and the buyer owns a big ol’ house!
But there are also other conditions that must be met by whoever makes the purchase. The home must be moved within a quarter mile of its current location, and the buyer must pay for all the associated costs that come along with that.
The seller is even offering $10,000 to whomever buys it to help with the relocating costs. At first, that might seem like a great deal, but when all is said and done, the total relocation effort will cost upwards of $200,000!
Moving costs aren’t the only thing the buyer needs to be wary of, either. Because the home is so old, there could very well be asbestos problems. This, and any other renovations that need to be done, must be paid out of pocket by the purchaser.
Laurena White, a real estate agent for Prominent Properties Sotheby’s International Realty, told CBS New York in August 2017, “In addition to moving it, the cost of any kind of repairs and renovation required that it be done to historic guidelines. That tends to be real expensive.”
Carmen Warren, a woman who lives next door to this property, shared her thoughts on the situation. She said, “Where are they going to put it? Why would I want to buy such a big monstrosity of a house and don’t know where to put it?” She makes a valid point!
Although rare, a home relocation as intense as this is not entirely unheard of. In 2007, Julie and Randy Olson, a couple from Brook Park, Minnesota, moved their entire home after the value of it suddenly decreased drastically and they couldn’t secure a loan to build a new one.
Fortunately for the Olsons, though, a colleague of theirs was selling their home for one dollar to accommodate a future wildlife refuge. The Olsons jumped at the opportunity, and they had their Brook Park home moved to the land for only $22,000—a fraction of the market value!
Even though the idea of relocating an entire home sounds exhausting—and frankly, a little crazy—it can be a financially savvy move if you know how to go about it in the right way. For some, it would actually be a sensible option.
If you have the money, an investment like the one in Montclair is well worth it. You’d own a home valued at $1.35 million—plus a piece of history—for a startlingly low price. Sure, the relocation will probably cost upwards of a few hundred thousand dollars, but once it’s finally completed, you can sit back and enjoy your fantastic new home!
This goes to show you that, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is!
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