West Des Moines Sees New Home After Big Move

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West Des Moines  --  A 140,000-pound home being moved by truck isn't something you see every day, but that's exactly what happened in West Des Moines on Saturday.

The house was built on the corner 50th and Wessenwood Drive, and now sits on the corner of 8th and Maple in Valley Junction. West Des Moines officials say there were two options for the house: demolish the structure, or move it new a new location.

The road adjacent to the house had been widened, and after that project it was determined that the house sat too close to the road. Taxpayers helped the city foot the cost to buy the house from its original owner, and then it sat vacant in the lot for nearly two years.

This all changed when Renae Johanningmeier bought the house at an auction for $500 and took on the responsibility of paying $25,000 to move the house and level the lot at its original location. Johanningmeier moved the house to land she already owns in Valley Junction.

"We think just the character of the house and quality, once it’s done it’s going to have a higher value than maybe some of the other houses, and inspire people," Johanningmeier said.

She went on to say there aren’t any new homes being built in the neighborhood, so this house will create property tax revenue for Valley Junction. Once the old land on 50th is also built on, West Des Moines will see a revenue, as well.

City Councilman Kevin Trevillyan said the move saved taxpayers the $20,000 it would have cost to demolish the building.


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