A COUPLE bought a three-bedroom home for free but had to sort out a location issue.
Eddie and Julia Flores won the bid to become the owners of a once-abandoned, 2,023-square-foot home in Lincoln, Kansas.
The Dutch Colonial-style home was located on property owned by the Lincoln County Hospital & Healthcare Foundation (LCHHF), which was planning to repurpose the property, according to Insider.
As an incentive, the LCHHF gave the Lincoln Economic Development Foundation (LCEDF) one year to put together an offer on the house and give it away for free.
The offer was created and advertised in February 2022.
Among the requirements of the bidding process was that the new owners had to remove the house from that property, but the house had to remain in Lincoln due to its historical significance.
Another requirement was that the new owners had to live in the house to avoid a quick resale at a profit.
Eddie said: “They wanted a family to actually move in.
“They just didn’t want someone to come in and flip it and make money off it.”
A few months later, the couple won the bid and decided to move the family from Kansas City to Lincoln, which was also Julie’s hometown.
Even though the house was vacant, the couple had to spend $95,000 on moving and renovation costs.
The house was originally built in 1910 and is said to have been vacant for almost a decade.
That meant the house needed a lot of renovation work, including repairing the roof and porch, so Eddie initially said the exterior was “terrible.”
The couple also found many positive things in the room, such as hardwood floors under the old carpet and a magnificent staircase.
Eddie said: “It had good bones.
“It’s hard to describe, but the moment we walked in the house we were more like, ‘Wow, this could be our forever home.’
“And my wife kept saying, ‘Can’t you just see your daughter walking down the stairs in her ball gown?’
Julie said she grew up on a farm and the repair culture helped with this home renovation.
She said: “I just grew up in a culture where we don’t throw things away, we fix them.
“My father, when a lamp breaks, he takes it apart and repairs it. He doesn’t go out and buy a new lamp.”
The restoration process began with the couple removing the old roof, clearing out the basement and tearing out the porch to get the home ready for occupancy.
The house was then moved in the back of a truck to a property two miles away, costing the couple $40,000.
Despite the short distance, the move took over two hours as the house had to be moved slowly to avoid damage, but there was also a crowd.
Julie said: “There was a parade at our house.
“There were people and stuff all over the track. It was so much fun.”
The couple revealed that the biggest challenge was building the new basement on the property as they had to change companies as part of the work.
Because the couple have three young children and Eddie works as a traveling nurse, he finds time to complete the renovations, which means he could be away from home three days a week.
Julie said: “We have our kids here and it’s crazy.
“It just depends on what we can do.”
The couple shared their trip on their Nursing Back to Life Instagram page and revealed that they plan to move into the house by Thanksgiving.
Julie said: “We really want to be able to spend the holidays in it next year.”