North Shores home finds new lease on life

House ready for demolition saved at the last minute
A crew from East Coast Structural Movers slowly trucks the home along Hebron Street in West Rehoboth. BY RON MACARTHUR
December 4, 2013

A North Shores home destined for demolition has found new life, providing a West Rehoboth family with a fresh start.

On Nov. 20, East Coast Structural Movers carefully moved the house to Sumlin Park, a small complex of homes administered by West Rehoboth Coalition.

Money for the move and most of the exterior work needed to prepare the house was donated by Jeffrey and Theresa Rihn of Wayne, Pa., owners of the North Shores home. Echelon Custom Homes of Rehoboth Beach prepared the house for the move.

The coalition's Kevin McKinney said the original house was a large, two-story home that has been rehabilitated to a one-story home with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. “This house could have just been torn down, “McKinney said. “It's like angels coming to us to help provide affordable housing in the community.”

He said $30,000 is needed for some interior renovations and water and sewer hook ups. Other improvements include siding and shingles.

The coalition will rent the house for $550 a month – which includes some utilities – for three to five years. McKinney said the coalition will work with the tenants to help them eventually qualify for a mortgage.

Lance Manlove, Echelon operations manager, said plans were underway to demolish the home to make way for a new home on the lot in North Shores. “The house was in good shape,” Manlove said. “I was thinking the house could possibly be donated and moved.”

Manlove said he remembered a story in the Cape Gazette about another house in the same situation. He researched the story on the newspaper's website and found the contact information for the West Rehoboth Coalition.

Manlove said it didn't take long to convince the Rihns. “The homeowners were upset that the house was going to be torn down,” he said.

In order to retrofit the house to fit on the West Rehoboth lot, a team from Echelon tore off a two-story addition, two decks and a carport. Before that work was done, volunteers from Habitat for Humanity removed everything of use they could, including windows and doors.

Echelon workers weatherized the remaining section of the house in preparation for the move.

McKinney said the coalition is set to receive another donated house that will be moved to West Rehoboth in mid-December.


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