It's taking longer than expected to sell the house built by shop students, putting next year's project into question.
Brand-new house available for immediate sale. Motivated seller. Three bedrooms, two bathrooms, open floor plan.
Price: at cost, $51,500.
Location: wherever the buyer wants to put it.
The 1,352-square-foot house was built by 75 Blaine High School students as part of Tim Nestrud's Carpentry 1-2-3 classes this past year.
It's the 16th year Nestrud's classes have built a house on school grounds and completed it for a new owner to transport to the lot of his or her choice. Normally, the houses move right away; sometimes there's a bidding war. But this year, no deal.
Without income from the sale, or space on the temporary foundation, Nestrud is beginning to worry that if the house isn't off school grounds by Aug. 31, he'll have to find a different project for this year's students.
"We can't start much later than the beginning of the school year; otherwise, we just run out of time," he said, adding that it takes time for a buyer to arrange the paperwork and secure a lot.
Proceeds from the sale also go to help support other technical education programs at the school.
Other student-built houses have gone into neighborhoods and into the woods. One was transported all the way up to Lake Vermillion.
"They go all over," Nestrud said.
Additional cost to a buyer depends upon land prices and the distance the house needs to be moved.
Digging a basement and hooking up the utilities runs around $30,000, Nestrud estimated. He noted that a finished basement will double the size of the house to more than 2,600 square feet.
Nestrud theorized that the bargain prices on foreclosed homes are cutting into his market niche of starter and retirement homes. The economy may be a factor for some potential buyers, he said, noting that last year's sale pushed his deadline, too.
"The last couple years we've been concerned, but it's actually worked out," he said.
Building a house is a great practical application of everything he wants to teach students, as well as many of the lessons they learn in their other classes, especially math and science, he said.
"It's one thing when you learn out of a book or watch a video versus seeing those things and doing those things."
Students did everything except plumbing, finishing the drywall, insulation and carpet. In 16 years, Nestrud said he's never had a complaint from a buyer.
"I tell [the students], 'If we're going to do something, we're going to do it right -- whether it be working on my house or anything you do in life.' "
Maria Elena Baca • 612-673-4409