Historic NW Indy home for sale - for a dollar

The Cotton-Ropkey House has stood on W. 79th Street for 150 years.
Published: .
Updated: .

Richard Essex/Eyewitness News

Indianapolis - This may be the best time in history to buy a home and a house on the northwest side has a price that's truly hard to believe.

For the past 150 years, the white house on W. 79th Street near Marsh Road has been a fixture on the northwest side of Indianapolis. It was originally built by Isaac Cotton and through the years, the house has changed.

"Historically, the only porch that ever existed was on the side entry over there," said preservation coordinator Chad Lethig.

The last owner used the land and barns around the house to store military surplus - it was known as "the tank farm." The house has been empty since a developer bought the land and house. Since then, vandals have torn out the stair railings, broken windows and even left Christmas decorations in the living room.

The house was placed on the National Historic Registry because of its design.

"This house is of two different design types," said Lethig.

But now, the house is in danger of being leveled.

"It can be. That is kind of a misnomer with the national registry. Just because it is listed doesn't afford it any more protection," said Lethig.

Indiana Landmarks convinced the developer to hold off on demolition with the hopes of finding a buyer.

"We receive calls about daily, at least three calls a week. The one caveat is, the house has to be moved and around the area, land is a little bit harder to come by," said Lethig.

The unbelievably low price of the house - one dollar. But keep in mind you have to move the home. The house has had almost 1,500 square feet of space added on, but only the original portion will be moved.

"You can see the original floor is just right there," said Lethig.

Estimates to move the house are $35,000-50,000, but the hard part - finding vacant land close by in order to make the house livable - is a more expensive proposition.

"I would say, at the very low rung, you are looking at $150,000. Then the sky is the limit on the upside," Lethig said.