Fixer-uppers, you might say. Except the buyers will be operating under historic preservation rules that will not allow them to turn that 120-year-old sleeping porch into a media room or build a six-car garage for the Porsche collection.
No, the ambitious citizens who bought one of five historic and state-owned houses on North Person Street near downtown Raleigh, for prices ranging from $245,000 to $536,000, will be restoring the stately but long-vacant old homes. By the time their work is done, the buyers may spend as much on bringing back the fine old structures to their original beauty as they did buying them.
The sale of the homes, approved by the Council of State, is no small feat. Preservation North Carolina, a sturdy and determined nonprofit, has been after the state to sell the houses for years, and in 2003, lawmakers passed a bill to push the sale. A private developer failed to get the projects moving because of the recession.
This year, the State Property Office got the word from the General Assembly to get the homes sold, and now bids have been accepted. The restored houses will be a terrific addition to blend in to the Oakwood neighborhood, where there are many nicely restored older homes.