It may seem like the economy is worse than we thought when $1.00 is too much for buyers to spend on a historic house!
In the desirable town of Barrington, Illinois, that is exactly what has happened. Three old houses were slated for demolition unless a buyer (or buyers) saved them from the wrecking ball by promising to pay just $1. However, there WAS a catch . . . the buyer would also have to pay to move the house(s) to another location, which could cost $50-$100K per house. Apparently, no one thought the total cost was worth it to save the old houses from demolition.
The “historic-ness” of the houses– or lack thereof– may be a bit of an issue for some potential buyers. The house on Main Street (left) is clearly the oldest & largest of the three. The other two, both located on West Station Street, are small 1920s Crafstman houses — one more quaint & attractive than the other (right). So perhaps the architecture or history associated with the houses just wasn’t appealing enough to rally support. All of that said, it does seem surprising that no one thus far has taken the town up on its offer. It raises the same question we discussed recently in the post about when to save, and when to demo.
However, there is still hope: town officials have delayed plans for demolition, and are going to give the houses more time to sell before making a final decision. And Barrington— a suburb of Chicago— has a median home value of $385,000 and median income of $85,000. Surely, someone must have the means, sense of mission, or investment impulse to save these old houses?