WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 04, 2012, 06:17 PM

Oslo Auctions Off Houses for Levy Project

Oslo, MN (WDAZ TV) - Some people are now the proud of new homes, all in an effort for future flood control.

By: Melanie Orlins, WDAY

Some people are now the proud of new homes, all in an effort for future flood control. The town of Oslo auctioned off houses to get its levy project underway.

80 people bid on 20 houses and garages. People from Oslo and others parts of the red river valley showed up and crossed their fingers they were the highest bidder.

Brad Johnson - Homeowner: "Looking for a shed or a garage, always looking for something that's a good deal."

Two years ago, FEMA mandated a levy realignment. This auction will get rid of houses on land the town needs to extend that levy.

Scott Kosmatka – Oslo Mayor: "Makes us move forward with our project, it’s the first phase of our project and it just shows progress."

Houses like this one, and this one, sold for less than 10 dollars because it’s hard to get a two story house across the bridge to North Dakota. People say they buy houses at a low price to salvage what they can of the inside.

And buying houses at salvage rate was strategy for many bidders.

Scott Schuster - Auctioneer: "They can gut the house take the furnace, windows, doors, whatever they want out of the house for that high bid, the rest of the house will be demolished where it sits."

Terry Sundby – Home Buyer: "Cause we wanted the stuff out of it, we're going to take the doors and the windows and that kind of stuff out of it."

Scott Schuster - Auctioneer: "They're taking a chance on what the condition of the stuff is, lot of sweat and labor put into it."

Not everyone walked away feeling good about their buy...Richard Bitz got stuck with just a shed.

Richard Bitz – Shed Buyer: "Made a little work for myself but I'll be ok, I'll get some help to move it, I could've gotten some deals there if I was prepared for it."

Maybe next time he'll come prepared. Richard paid only 15 dollars for his shed.

The expensive fee to move houses is a big reason why houses were auctioned off for cheap.