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Need to Relocate? Take the House Along

Homeowners move more than 8,000 structures yearly. The reasons vary, but it’s often due to historic preservation or development, or to avoid environmental hazards.

NEW YORK – Dao Engle is just one homeowner who planned and executed a move of an entire house, propping her 10,000 square-foot Nantucket Harbor home on steel moving rails to move it further from the coastline and the eroding bluff.

The process requires careful planning and measurement – and enough funds to cover the cost.

More than 8,000 structures are moved each year due to nearby development, environmental hazards or for historic preservation, according to Tammie DeVooght Blaney, executive director of the International Association of Structural Movers.

If a home move is logistically possible, the owners have to weigh the cost of relocation against the costs of demolition and new construction, which vary by region.

Flood risks are just one factor in home moves. Jerry Matyiko, co-owner and president of Expert House Movers, says flood-related moves often occur after a house has already taken some water damage, which means the states’ Federal Emergency Management Agency grant money and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims can factor into budgetary decisions.

However, the NFIP caps its structural reimbursement at approximately $250,000, and that’s not enough to rebuild a home over 4,000 square feet. There is supplemental insurance available to cover some of the costs, but premiums can be cost-prohibitive.

Source: Wall Street Journal (07/25/19) Guzzetta, Marli

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