Self-Storage Owners Swap Old House for New One on Business Property

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What do you do when you no longer want to live in a house with stairs but can’t move because your home sits on the same property as your self-storage business? For Earl and Ruth Fredrickson, owners of E & R Mini Storage in Kenyon, Minn., leaving the home was out of the question. They thought about having it demolished, but instead sold it for $1 to a man who agreed to remove the house from the property so the couple could bring in a new one.

The Fredricksons, both in their late 60s, are essentially swapping out their two-story home in favor of a rambler-style modular house. The only caveat is the couple will have to live in a camper on their property until their new house arrives in eight to 12 weeks.

The couple lived in the old house for 45 years, raising three children. They sold it to fellow Minnesotan, Dennis Krueger, who paid to have the home shipped to his property in Roscoe, about 150 miles away.

Krueger said moving the structure (a cost that runs between $6,000 and $12,000) was a better deal than building a new house, and he didn’t want to see the home destroyed.

The Fredricksons didn’t want to demolish it either and advertised the house on Craigslist, offering it for free and hoping someone would want it for the materials or even as a house swap.

"I got a lot of calls on it. But people wouldn't be able to do it, once they looked at it," Earl said. "Then Dennis happened to see it. I sold it to him for $1, and it saved me tearing it down—it would have been $8,000. Plus, it was in too good of shape to tear down. It's a good, old, solid house, and he was just tickled."

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