Free house in Minnesota comes with big catch: ‘I’m not going to sugar-coat it’

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There is such a thing as a free house — though, like with lunches, there’s always a catch.

A Minnesota woman is selling her historic home for a whopping zero bucks. But the lucky homeowner will be stuck with the costly task of moving the darn thing due to zoning issues.

“It’s gonna cost $50,000 to move it, and $150,000 to fix it up,” says the owner, Barbara Kochlin. “So, I’m not giving away some hidden gem.”

Kochlin inherited the house from her grandmother, Gail Andersen, who relocated the house in 2002 to the side of the highway leading into town — and neglected to connect it to water and sewage.

“She was in her mid-80s when she moved this house and wasn’t thinking 100 percent logically at the time,” Kochlin, a property manager in Jordan, tells The Post.

“The inside needs to be gutted…there’s a cork backsplash, orange countertops in the kitchen, and nobody wants that today," the owner says.

“The inside needs to be gutted…there’s a cork backsplash, orange countertops in the kitchen, and nobody wants that today,” the owner says.
(Barb Lee)

Hence the design aesthetic inside the house, she says: “The inside needs to be gutted…there’s a cork backsplash, orange countertops in the kitchen, and nobody wants that today.”

“It’s pretty hodge-podgy, I’m not going to sugar coat it,” Kochlin says. She describes it to her local paper as “godawful ugly” with “horrible wallpaper and fake brick — from some era when nobody had any taste.”

THE ONE THING NO HOMEOWNER WANTS TO HEAR FROM A BUYER

The four-bedroom house also has no space for parking, being on the side of a winding road against a steep hill. And that’s the rub: since the house is zoned for commercial use, it has to have ample parking, which it physically can’t. Kochlin says she’s tried to fight the city’s stance on this, to no avail.

“All the answers I got from the city were no,” she says. “I can’t even use it as storage…It’s become a massive pain in the ass.”

But even considering all that, the house is an important piece of history — her grandmother was the town’s first mayor, and had the house built in the early 1900s — so Kochlin doesn’t want to demolish it, and she’s hoping someone with deeper pockets will pay to have it relocated.

“[My grandmother] spent 15 grand to buy it, 20 grand to move it, and 40 grand to fix it up — and now it’s worth nothing,” Kochlin says.

She’s hoping that whoever ends up with the house won’t just get it for the (semi) attractive price tag.

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“It’s gotta be someone who loves old houses and wants to preserve something like this,” she says.

Interested “buyers” can reach her at [email protected]

This content originally appeared on The New York Post

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