A Cross-Post on a Funky Arbitrage Opportunity in the Housing Market

Want to be Warren Buffet?  Here is a new recipe:

Buy land, find a home at another location that is slated for demolition, buy the home and drag it to your new land.

For details on this funky arbitrage, read my cross-post.







Author: Matthew E. Kahn

Professor of Economics at UCLA.

5 thoughts on “A Cross-Post on a Funky Arbitrage Opportunity in the Housing Market”

  1. My parents did it decades ago — only the highway department first condemned their house and property for a widening. They then bought it back and moved it.

  2. I’m familiar with mhbay.com (which helps folks buy and sell mobile homes), but I’ve never heard of a “used house lot”. Apparently my google-fu is weak today, because I can’t seem to figure out search terms that find one in the US. Anyone got some links or search terms I can use? Thanks.

  3. I knew a couple of men in Eugene, OR, that were professional students. They made their money exactly this way.

  4. Sounds easier than it is in the NYT’s story.

    In my neighborhood we have a pseudo French style house with Mansard roof which was moved here in the fifties from a much fancier area (built 1922). Does add a pseudo touch of class, but, according to the owner a lot of damage was done to the plaster and frame when it was moved and they have a continual repair cost which would be much less on an un-moved house.

    IMHO, much as I like old houses, a newer one is usually more cost effective.

  5. This kind of thing depends very strongly on the supply of buildings slated for demolition that have been well-maintained until the time of removal. Buildings that are slated for demolition because they’ve become unsafe or uninhabitable aren’t going to change that status because they’re on another plot of land.

    What I could see somewhere like Detroit (where from reports the bars to home-price improvements are about redlining by lenders and insurors rather than the supply of shells) would be the removal of former high-end housing to the suburbs, where it might compete with mcmansions and townhomes. But that wouldn’t help Detroit.

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