Free home! 1900-era Oakland Victorian up for grabs

- With homelessness challenging so many in Bay Area, it seems incredulous that someone is giving away a free house.

But there it is, on Reddit. 

Uptown 8 Investors LLC is advertising this message in black and white: “FREE HOUSE MUST BE MOVED!”

The two-bedroom, 1,600-foot home is a 118-year-old yellow Victorian located in 2325 Valley Street, not too far away from the New Parkway Theater.

The home, which sold for $1.5 million last year, must be moved by Oct. 27, to pave way for a new, six-unit complex, according to Paul Nieto, vice president of Signature Development Group, which owns the property and is planning the new project.

The offer, he told KTVU  on Wednesday, is a great deal. But there two big caveats.

"You have to move it," he said. "And and you have to have a place to move it to. The city doesn't let you just collect old houses."

Oakland's preservation rules require developers to make older buildings that are not officially deemed historic available for free, or almost free, to buyers who can move them.

Last March,  for example, two 1900-era homes on Brook Street in Oakland were selling for $1 each as long as the buyer moved them off site.

As for moving costs on this particular house, Nieto wasn't sure. He guessed that it might cost in the $100,000 range, but that price could go up or down depending on where the new buyer would want to relocate.

Nieto said that his company has kept the home vacant since April 17 to pave way for the new project, which he wasn't ready to fully discuss. 

As for any potential buyers on the Valley Street Victorian?

"We have had some inquiries," Nieto said, "but so far no one has signed up."

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