By Dave Enscoe

It almost sounds like fake news: an Egg Harbor based home building company that will take your old house in trade.

“It’s just like trading in your car at a dealership,” says Steve Hauck Jr., who founded SJ Hauck Homes last year. “We take your house and move it to another location and build you a new modular home.”

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Hauck says that recycling a house instead of razing can save homeowners up to $20,000 in demolition costs.

“And we also stop 40 tons of debris from going to the landfill,” he says.

Reselling the recycled house is relatively easy, Hauck says, because a used house costs about 70 percent less than building a comparable new home.

“We’re moving one down to a lot in Wildwood in a couple weeks,” Hauck says. “We got it out of Longport and stored it in our yard. The buyer picked up a 1,400 square foot home for $36,000.”

Hauck says his company is the only builder in South Jersey that will take a house in trade. That may have something to do with the fact that it’s the only builder with the ability to move houses.

“We’ve been moving houses for over 30 years,” says Hauck, whose father, Steven Sr., started a house moving business in 1984. Hauck’s new company is a division of SJ Hauk Home Movers. The company also provides house lifting services and sells modular houses wholesale to other builders.

Most of the homes Hauck recycles are located in shore communities like Margate and Longport, where property is expensive. The homes are usually moved to lots on the mainland, where property values are lower. “We will build anywhere from Cape May to Toms River, and as far west as Camden County,” Hauck says.

The new homes are built by the Ritz-Craft Corporation in Mifflinburg, Pa. and shipped in boxes from the factory. SJ Hauck Homes offers over 300 modular floor plans ranging from 1,000 to 4,000 square feet. The company’s Restore the Shore Collection has more than 20 floor plans including ranch, Cape Cod and two-story plans designed for either crawlspace or piling foundations. The floor plans are engineered to match the building sites and code requirements along the coastal areas affected by Hurricane Sandy.

Living areas range from 1,197 square feet to 2,382 square feet.

“We can take any custom floor plan and have the factory design a modular for that floor plan,” Hauck says. “Then we’ll build a foundation and set the house on it.”

The company offers a wide selection of builder select and builder premium upgrades including hardwood floors, tile, and granite. The new homes range in price from $125,000 to $300,000, or $120 to $145 per square foot.

“We handle the entire project from the design to the certificate of occupancy,” Hauck says.

Hauck says modular houses have several advantages over traditional stick built homes.

“They’re usually cheaper per square foot, up to 20 percent,” he says. “And the house never sees a drop of rain. It’s built inside a factory and assembled within a day or two. It’s also a very efficient process that can be done in 60-90 days.”

On March 22 from 7 to 9 p.m., S.J. Hauck will host a free house lifting workshop that will also include information on modular homes and house moving. The workshop will be held at Holy Trinity Church, 2998 Bay Ave, in Ocean City.

For more information on S.J. Hauck Homes and House Movers call Jeff Wertz at 609-758-8912. · 609-272-7087

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