Home News Instead of demolishing older Shore houses, this company moves them down the road

Instead of demolishing older Shore houses, this company moves them down the road

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Bungalows and small beach houses are becoming scarce in coastal towns, replaced block by block by three-story homes with decks and balconies. But rather than fall apart, some of these old homes are finding new lives in communities miles away.

That’s where SJ Hauck Construction comes in. The company has a burgeoning business of picking up homes and trucking them to locations that match their aesthetics.

At The Shore, “homes are constantly being demolished to create better, bigger homes,” said Steve Hawke, president of the company. But Hauck says the two- to three-bedroom ranch homes that have been replaced often fit well 20 to 30 miles inland where he has a market.

Hauck says his company, located in Absecon, New Jersey, is the largest company of its kind in the area, moving 20 to 25 homes a year.

“We also do demolition, so people call us to demolish their homes. We say we can,” Hauck said. The company owns land inland where it will move homes — or it may buy homes and sell them to investors who own the land, he said.

Either way, moving the house instead of demolishing it would “save a lot of money,” he said.

“Our culture as a society assumes that if I want another home, I have to abandon another,” he said. And we can use it as a house for another 100 years.”

Hauck has some high-profile work, most notably 2020’s Victorian homes from Avalon to Cape May It required the house to be partially dismantled, and in Mamaroneck, New York, the house had to be divided into nine parts because the route they had to travel was “too narrow.”

The company also ‘Pizza Slice’ moved house, a longtime Wildwood landmark, to Upper Township in June. That operation, performed on his 1960s A-frame, required cutting the top of the triangle.

“The main homes we move into are ranch houses or Cape Cod,” Hauck says. It’s just a matter of feasibility. ”

A recent example is the move of a more than 130-year-old church from Egg Harbor City to the Historic Smithville, which is now a shop.

The Pomona Union Protestant Church sold the property because membership was declining over the years as the surrounding area grew, said trustee and treasurer Pat Scamofa. “Since COVID, we haven’t offered a service,” she said. “Before that, we were seeing each other about three times a year.”

The church was built in 1890 on what used to be a farm. “We wanted to preserve a building that we love so much and that has so much history,” he said Scamoffa. “We wanted to keep it safe and have it recognized in beautiful condition.”

Drew Fishman of Coldwell Banker Argus Real Estate represented the sale congregation. “It’s beautiful inside, so I don’t want to destroy anything if it doesn’t have to be destroyed,” he said.

Fishman said Smithville is an “ideal” location for the move because of its cluster of buildings that fit perfectly into a church.

Moving is not a new trend on Shore. Visitors may not know, but some Victorian-era buildings are no longer in their original locations. For example, Cape May’s Angel of the Sea Bed and Breakfast he moved in 1881 and moved in 1962.

“Moving has been around since the 1500s,” says Hauck. At that time, workers used horses, carousels, and logs to haul structures. In the old days, “it took months to move a house compared to years to build a house,” he said. “It’s easier to make new things.”

For Hauck, moving is a two-generation family affair. “I learned the business from my father,” he said. “He did it when I was a kid.”

Hauck says moving homes instead of tearing them down has a positive impact on the environment. An average house weighs him 60,000 pounds, so if the company says he moves 25 homes a year, “going to the landfill saves him £1.5 million of rubble,” he says. said.

“Given where the world is going and the scarcity of material supplies, moving should be taken more seriously,” says Hauck. “We just need the general public to understand that it can be done.” ‘ he said.

A typical move costs between $25,000 and $50,000, Hauck said. As with any construction project, the cost will depend on time and materials, he said.

Rommi Drozdov of Mays Landing was looking for a source of income when her four children were in college. Hauck’s business led to starting a family business that buys and develops transplanted homes.

“I think I’ve done seven of them now,” she said. “They’re really good starter homes for people.”

Drozdov typically buys homes from areas such as Longport, Margate, and Avalon where land values ​​tend to be higher than older homes.she finds a home Good layout and quality features like hardwood floors.

“If I can find a lot of properties somewhere, I buy a lot because I know I will eventually have a house to move into,” says Drozdov.

According to Drozdov, the permitting process can be complicated and often requires home renovations. But once the house is repaired, “usually it sells quickly,” she said.

Most of Drozdov’s buyers are first-time homeowners who prefer the quality of 50- or 60-year-old moving homes over the average starter house. “They don’t build houses like that anymore,” she said.

Home sellers are also grateful that their homes have been saved. Drozdov said he bought one “totally remodeled” Ocean City home.

“My kids tell me they need a show on HGTV. recycle house” said Drozdov. “It can be busy at times, but overall it’s fun.”

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