This Couple receives Dutch colonial house for free, spends $95,000 to transform it into ‘forever home’. take a look inside!

Many people dream of owning their ideal home their entire lives. It represents a safe haven where we can find comfort and consolation, as well as a symbol of our hard work and accomplishments . But how would you feel if you could get your ideal home without spending a dime. Getting your dream home for free is an incredible and life-changing experience.

Julie and Eddie Flores inside the Dutch colonial house.

The enormous appreciation, astonishment, uncontrollable delight, empowerment, and graciousness that follow this extraordinary gift create a kaleidoscope of emotions that are difficult to express. A couple from Kansas recently acquired a unique treasure: a historic Dutch colonial house in Lincoln. Julie and Eddie Flores have always had a soft spot for vintage houses.

They had no idea their attraction would lead them to the most remarkable opportunity—owning one for free.In January 2022, the couple had happily settled in Kansas City with their three children and had no plans to relocate. Everything changed, however, when they visited Julie’s hometown of Lincoln, Kansas. Julie’s parents insisted on exploring a nearby home that had long been abandoned and neglected during their vacation.

The Dutch colonial house in its original location.

The outside of the 2,023-square-foot, three-bedroom Dutch colonial house appeared unimpressive at first glance.Years of neglect had taken their toll, with the porch in disorder, the lime-green paint flaking, and squirrels sneaking in and out through a hole in the roof. When the couple entered, their perspective transformed radically. The Dutch colonial house, built in 1910, offered a trove of buried treasures that Eddie and Julie unearthed as they dug deeper.

They discovered wonderful hardwood floors beneath the carpets, which provided a touch of timeless beauty. The staircase, on the other hand, captured their hearts and sparked their imaginations. “It had good bones,” Eddie commented. “It’s difficult to put into words, but the minute we walked into the house, we were like, ‘Wow, this could be our forever home.'”

The old house's interior before renovation.

They could vividly envision a future filled with treasured memories for their children, Lily, Drey, and Sophie, who were all growing up within the walls of this magnificent Dutch colonial house. Even though they were happy in Kansas City and had no plans to leave, the mansion kept luring them back. It drew them in with an irresistible pull, creating vivid fantasies of a future spent with their children, Lily, Drey, and Sophie, within its walls.

They returned to the property several times, and Eddie couldn’t deny the allure, recalling how his wife, Julie, would often exclaim, “Can’t you just imagine our daughter descending that staircase in her prom dress?”Eddie and Julie were quickly made aware of a potential threat hovering over the house they had fell in love with.If a new owner cannot be found within a year, the house may be demolished.

The Lincoln County Hospital & Healthcare Foundation (LCHHF) owned the site on which it stood and sought to reuse it for its own purposes. However, before adopting such harsh actions, the LCHHF gave the Lincoln Economic Development Foundation (LCEDF) a year to find a new owner for the house. To sweeten the transaction, the house would be given away for free as an inducement to potential buyers.

The Dutch colonial house's stairs during renovation.

News of the “free house” spread like wildfire in February 2022, thanks to the efforts of Kelly Gourley, the LCEDF’s director, who used social media to raise awareness. While the Dutch colonial house was free, there was one important condition: the new owner had to agree to relocate the complete structure to another part of Lincoln.

This condition aims to preserve the old house’s preservation while also providing it new vitality. The huge response to the listing led the formation of a local committee tasked with the difficult task of limiting the applicant pool. `Eddie and Julie disclosed that the selection committee had created precise criteria for their approach.

Julie and Eddie outside the Dutch colonial house.

First and foremost, the new owner had to commit to maintaining the house in Lincoln, acknowledging its historical significance for the community.The house has a century-old history and was once owned by W.J. Grubbs, one of Lincoln’s first mayors—a monument to its deep roots in Lincoln’s past. Second, the group sought a buyer who intended to make the house their permanent residence.

“They actually wanted a family to move in,” Eddie explained. “They just didn’t want somebody to come in and flip it and make money off of it.” Julie and Eddie couldn’t get their minds off the house that had stolen their hearts. They simply couldn’t picture their lives without it, so they threw their hats in the ring and applied to be the lucky owners.

Dutch colonial house on the road carried by a huge truck.

As they imagined the amazing life they could construct within those walls, their fantasies became a driving force. The prospect of making enduring experiences and providing a warm, loving home for their family inspired them to take a risk and pursue ownership. Months later, their wishes were realized when their bid was accepted. To formalize the deal, Julie and Eddie enlisted the help of lawyers, who drafted a “bill of sale.”

Despite the fact that no money was exchanged, this vital document secured their home ownership. Julie remarked on the importance of this legal document, underlining that it served as concrete confirmation that they were the true owners of the Dutch colonial house they so valued, even if they obtained it for free. Julie and Eddie’s decision to save the house was motivated by their strong belief in the value of repairing rather than throwing away things.

Julie explained her point of view, emphasizing that the house was completely fine in their views; it just required a little tender loving care to restore it to its former grandeur. Julie’s upbringing on a farm in Lincoln influenced her outlook significantly. She was raised to believe that with enough attention and work, anything can be rescued and revitalized.

\The Flores family

Growing up in a country where nothing was thrown away, she learned the value of mending and refurbishing rather than replacing everything. Eddie and Julie jumped right into the renovating process after receiving the keys to their dream home. They embraced their new home with enthusiasm, determined to restore it to its former beauty.

In July, they took to social media channels like Instagram and their blog, appropriately titled “Nursing Back to Life,” to share their enthralling house restoration adventure with their fans. It evolved into a forum for documenting their success, inspiring others, and showcasing their change. One of their first and most notable projects was the replacement of the complete roof.

Recognizing that the old roof had seen better days, they hired a local business to remove the deteriorated shingles. Eddie and Julie continued to remove the front and back porches with the help of their family after clearing up the basement. They demolished the porches with care, ensuring that they were well equipped for the approaching removal of the entire home.

Eddie and Julie then concentrated on patching up the exposed spots. They wanted to keep rain and animals out of the house before it was transported. They took the required procedures to protect the structure during transfer by sealing and fastening these vulnerable places. Julie and Eddie had a great time gutting the house because they discovered a treasure mine of interesting artifacts.

Among the dusty old playing cards, hair clips, pennies, and Walmart receipts, they discovered something special: a set of children’s handprints engraved on a concrete slab that originally functioned as the garage floor. In 1973, a family living in the Dutch colonial house left these handprints. Julie and Eddie opted to save this piece of history because they recognized its sentimental worth.

Julie and Eddie inside the oldhouse during renovations.

“We just wanted to kind of bring the history and feel that the house did have with us to the new spot,” Julie explained. Julie and Eddie revealed their experiences stripping the dining room and removing the plaster from the walls before the house relocation in an honest blog post dated January 12.Despite the ongoing renovations, Julie and Eddie hope to have their home finished in time for Thanksgiving.

“We really want to be able to spend the holidays in it this coming year,” Julie explained. While the couple does the majority of the remodeling work themselves, they have hired local contractors for particular projects such as air conditioning and electrical installations. This choice to engage with local businesses originates from their ambition to turn their home into a community effort, rekindling pride in Lincoln.

They realize their town’s economic issues, such as an aging population and a lack of creativity, and want to help it revitalize.
Julie and Eddie believe they can contribute to Lincoln’s salvation if they can rescue their own home.

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