Proudly owning a dream home is a lifelong aspiration for a lot of. It represents a sanctuary the place we discover consolation and solace and symbolizes our onerous work and achievements.
However how would you are feeling in case you obtained your dream home with out spending a single penny?
Getting your dream home free of charge is a exceptional and life-changing occasion. The overwhelming gratitude, awe, uncontainable pleasure, empowerment, and graciousness accompanying this extraordinary present create a kaleidoscope of feelings that’s onerous to place into phrases.
A pair from Kansas not too long ago discovered themselves in possession of a exceptional treasure—an outdated Dutch colonial home in Lincoln.
Julie and Eddie Flores have all the time held a deep affection for older houses. Little did they know that their affinity would cause them to probably the most extraordinary alternative—proudly owning one for no price.
In January 2022, the couple fortunately settled in Kansas Metropolis with their three kids and had no intention of uprooting their lives.
Nonetheless, all the things modified once they visited Julie’s hometown of Lincoln, Kansas.
Throughout their go to, Julie’s mother and father insisted they discover an area house that had lengthy remained deserted and uncared for.
At first look, the outside of the two,023-square-foot, three-bedroom Dutch colonial home appeared removed from spectacular.
Years of neglect had taken their toll, leaving the porch in disarray, the lime-green paint peeling, and even squirrels discovering their method out and in via a gap within the roof.
However the couple’s perspective shifted dramatically once they stepped inside.
Initially constructed in 1910, the Dutch colonial home held a wealth of hidden treasures that Eddie and Julie found as they delved deeper.
Beneath the carpets, they unearthed gorgeous hardwood flooring that added a contact of timeless magnificence. Nonetheless, the staircase actually stole their hearts and ignited their imaginations.
“It had good bones,” Eddie mentioned. “It’s sort of onerous to explain, however the minute we walked into the home, it was extra of like, ‘Wow, this might be our eternally house.’”
They may vividly think about a future stuffed with cherished recollections for his or her kids, Lily, Drey, and Sophie, all thriving inside the partitions of this enchanting Dutch colonial home.
Although they have been content material in Kansas Metropolis and had no intention of leaving, the home stored pulling them again.
It exerted an irresistible magnetism that tugged at their hearts, portray vivid footage of a future shared with their kids, Lily, Drey, and Sophie, inside its partitions.
They repeatedly returned to the property, and Eddie couldn’t deny the enchantment and shared how his spouse, Julie, would typically say, “Can’t you simply think about our daughter descending that staircase in her promenade costume?”
As destiny would have it, Eddie and Julie quickly discovered of a possible risk looming over the home they’d fallen in love with.
If a brand new proprietor couldn’t be discovered inside a yr, the home might be torn down.
The land on which it stood belonged to the Lincoln County Hospital & Healthcare Basis (LCHHF), which meant to repurpose it for its personal wants.
Nonetheless, earlier than taking such drastic measures, the LCHHF prolonged a chance to the Lincoln Financial Improvement Basis (LCEDF) to discover a new proprietor for the home inside a yr.
To sweeten the deal, the home could be given away freed from cost, serving as an incentive for potential patrons.
Information of the “free home” unfold like wildfire in February 2022, due to the efforts of Kelly Gourley, the director of the LCEDF, who harnessed the facility of social media to generate widespread consciousness.
Whereas the Dutch colonial home got here with no price ticket, there was a major requirement: the brand new proprietor needed to comply with relocate all the construction to a different a part of Lincoln.
This situation aimed to make sure the preservation of the historic home whereas giving it a brand new lease on life.
The overwhelming response to the itemizing prompted the formation of an area committee tasked with the difficult accountability of narrowing down the pool of candidates.
Eddie and Julie revealed that the committee established particular standards for his or her choice course of.
Firstly, the brand new proprietor needed to decide to maintaining the home inside Lincoln, recognizing its significance as a historic gem for the group.
The home boasts a century-old legacy and as soon as belonged to W.J. Grubbs, one of many city’s authentic mayors—a testomony to its deep roots in Lincoln’s historical past.
Secondly, the committee sought a purchaser who meant to make the home their house.
“They wished a household to really transfer in,” Eddie mentioned. “They only didn’t need any individual to come back in and flip it and generate profits off it.”
Julie and Eddie couldn’t resist the attract of the home that had captured their hearts. They merely couldn’t think about a life with out it, prompting them to throw their hat within the ring and apply to turn into the lucky homeowners.
Their desires grew to become a driving power as they envisioned the unimaginable life they might construct inside these partitions. The considered creating lasting recollections and a heat, loving house for his or her household motivated them to take an opportunity and pursue possession.
Months later, their hopes materialized when their bid was chosen to be accepted. To formalize the transaction, Julie and Eddie sought the help of attorneys who crafted a “invoice of sale.”
This vital doc solidified their home possession, regardless of no monetary trade.
Julie mirrored on the importance of this authorized document, emphasizing that it served as tangible proof that they have been the rightful homeowners of the Dutch colonial home they cherished so deeply, even when they obtained it free of charge.
Julie and Eddie’s choice to avoid wasting the home stemmed from their sturdy perception within the worth of fixing issues slightly than discarding them.
Julie expressed her perspective, emphasizing that of their eyes, the home was completely good; it simply wanted a little bit tender loving care to deliver it again to its former glory.
Julie’s upbringing on a farm in Lincoln performed a major position in shaping her mindset. She was instilled with the assumption that all the things will be salvaged and revived with sufficient dedication and energy.
Rising up in a tradition the place nothing was merely thrown away, she was taught the significance of repairing and refurbishing gadgets slightly than changing them.
With the keys to their dream home, Eddie and Julie wasted no time diving into the renovation course of.
They enthusiastically approached their new house and decided to deliver it again to its former glory.
In July, they took to social media platforms like Instagram and their weblog, aptly named “Nursing Again to Life,” to share their charming house renovation journey with their followers.
It grew to become a platform to doc their progress, encourage others, and showcase the transformation.
Certainly one of their preliminary and noteworthy undertakings was the alternative of all the roof. Recognizing that the outdated roof had seen higher days, they enlisted the providers of an area firm to take away the worn-out shingles.
After clearing out the basement, Eddie and Julie, with the assistance of their household, proceeded to take away the back and front porches.
They fastidiously dismantled the porches, guaranteeing they have been absolutely ready for the upcoming relocation of all the home.
After that, Eddie and Julie centered on patching up the open areas. They aimed to stop rain or animals from getting into the home earlier than it was moved.
By sealing and securing these weak spots, they took essential precautions to guard the construction throughout relocation.
Gutting the house was an journey for Julie and Eddie as they stumbled upon a treasure trove of intriguing gadgets.
They discovered one thing particular among the many dusty outdated enjoying playing cards, hair clips, cash, and Walmart receipts—a set of kids’s handprints imprinted on a concrete slab that when served because the storage ground.
These handprints have been left behind by a household dwelling within the Dutch colonial home in 1973.
Recognizing the sentimental worth of this discovery, Julie and Eddie determined to protect this piece of historical past.
“We simply wished to sort of deliver the historical past and the texture that the home did have with us to the brand new spot,” Julie mentioned.
In a candid weblog publish dated January 12, Julie and Eddie shared their experiences of gutting the eating room and eradicating the plaster from the partitions earlier than the home transfer.
As they labored, they have been startled by the sound of squirrels frantically looking for a approach to escape. Though the squirrels initially brought on some concern, it turned out to be a minor difficulty in comparison with what awaited them.
Upon tearing open the partitions, Julie and Eddie have been confronted with an disagreeable shock: cockroaches infested insulation.
They described the distressing sight however discovered some solace in the truth that the chilly winter temperatures significantly slowed the bugs’ actions.
Talking to Insider, Julie acknowledged they have been mentally ready to come across animals and pests in the course of the renovation course of.
Provided that the home had been vacant for an prolonged interval, they’d anticipated such challenges.
As Eddie and Julie centered on renovating their home, a separate mission was underway two miles away.
They’d bought a 3-acre plot of land from Julie’s father to construct a brand new basement.
Nonetheless, this endeavor proved to be one in every of their most vital challenges.
Initially, they enlisted the providers of an area basement firm, however their expertise with this particular person turned out to be extremely problematic.
The couple discovered that the corporate made quite a few errors and didn’t meet their expectations. Finally, they determined to sever ties with the corporate and search another resolution.
After months of intensive preparation, the long-awaited day arrived for Eddie and Julie—the day their home could be moved to its new location.
They entrusted the duty to Unruh Home Transferring, an organization they employed for about $40,000.
Eddie and Julie discovered themselves inside the home because the transfer commenced, making last preparations and securing varied gadgets. All of a sudden, they felt a definite shudder all through the home—a tangible reminder of the monumental process.
The shifting crew needed to take away a good portion of the present basis, leaving solely 4 corners intact. This allowed them to fastidiously place 5 metal beams beneath the home, offering the required help to raise it onto the again of the truck.
The method of relocating their house to a brand new plot of land located simply two miles away proved to be a prolonged endeavor, taking roughly two hours because of the cautious and deliberate tempo required for security, as defined by the householders.
All through the journey, Julie and Eddie anxiously adopted behind their home, attentively observing because the movers skillfully maneuvered it utilizing hydraulic lifts, navigating previous mailboxes and maneuvering below low-hanging phone wires.
Regardless of moments of trepidation, Julie expressed confidence within the structural integrity of their house, stating that it was constructed to face up to such a transfer.
“They don’t make homes like that anymore,” she added, acknowledging the sturdy development of their residence.
Eddie mirrored on the expertise, describing it as a “easy trip,” with the Dutch colonial home remaining upright all through the journey.
“Our home was on a parade,” Julie mentioned. “There have been folks all alongside the route and all the things. It was so enjoyable.”
Following the challenges encountered with their basement and the nerve-wracking relocation of their home, the Flores household now grapples with the numerous process of discovering time to finish the remaining renovations.
This endeavor proves significantly demanding as they navigate the obligations of elevating three kids and Eddie’s demanding job as a touring nurse, which frequently requires him to be away for 3 days every week.
Residing in a home owned by Julie’s mother and father, they attempt to allocate time to go to their houses to steadily renovate them.
To this point, they’ve invested roughly $95,000 of their house, which incorporates the $40,000 expense related to relocating it to its new location.
Regardless of the continued renovations, Julie and Eddie have set their sights on finishing their house in time to maneuver in by Thanksgiving.
“We actually need to have the ability to spend the vacations in it this coming yr,” Julie mentioned.
Whereas the couple undertakes a lot of the renovation work themselves, they’ve additionally engaged the providers of native firms for particular duties comparable to air-con and electrical installations.
This choice to collaborate with native companies stems from their need to make their house a group mission, rekindling a way of satisfaction in Lincoln.
They acknowledge the financial challenges confronted by their city, together with an growing older inhabitants and a scarcity of innovation, and want to contribute to its revitalization.
Julie and Eddie assume they’ll do their share to avoid wasting Lincoln if they’ll save their house.
“We’re making an attempt to stay to our motto of actually serving to our city develop and giving the individuals who already reside right here some enterprise,” Julie mentioned.