Want A Free House? Historic South Coast Home Up For Grabs, If You Move And Restore It

Jul 26, 2016

It sounds like the deal of a lifetime. How would you like a two story, 2200 square foot house on the South Coast for free?

There are some catches. First, you have to come get the house. And second, it’s what real estate agents would call a fixer upper.

A Ventura conservancy group is working with the owners of the historic 140 year old house to find someone willing to move, and restore it.

Stephen Schafer is President of the San Buenaventura Conservancy.

Schafer says the Day House was used as a home for about 100 years by some of the county’s iconic farming families. It was then used as a ranch office for a few decades, before being boarded up about 10 years ago.

Thousands of people pass by the  historic house every day, which is just off of Telephone Road on a farm across the street from Ventura Community Park.

While the home isn’t in immediate danger of being torn down, it has no protections. The house is owned by the Smith-Hobson partnership. Schafer says they have no plans for it, and are willing to give it someone who is willing to take on the task, and the cost of moving, and restoring it. 

Schafer says the house is made of redwood, which is why it’s survived more than 140 years. While the paint has chipped, there are broken boards and other obvious damage, the stunning architecture is still apparent. It has 12’ high ceilings inside, and ornate molding. Outside, the house has carved pillars which give it a unique Victorian look.

So, if you want to preserve a slice of history, and have a house which could ultimately be worth millions, get your checkbook ready. Schafer says it could cost $30-$40,000 to move the house to nearby property which you’d need. Then, depending on how much you do yourself, restoration could end up costing up to a half million dollars.

Even though it would probably end up as a private home, Schafer says it would be wonderful if what’s one of the oldest homes could be preserved. Without a taker, at some point the house would probably have to be demolished because it’s a potential fire and safety hazard, as well as an eyesore.