He was a little bit nervous, too, but breathed a sigh of relief when Deitz House Moving Engineers finally maneuvered the house and garage onto property that Poel, his father and grandfather cleared on State Road, west of 112th Avenue in Crockery Township.
The house originally sat on 148th Avenue, north of Leonard Road, in front of Spring Lake High School. Poel said the house had to be moved to make way for an expanded parking area at the school.
Poel grew up on the family blueberry farm on West Spring Lake Road in Spring Lake Township. When he was 18, he bought his own house and moved to Muskegon.
He moved back home with his son after a failed relationship and eventually met his girlfriend, Kari Beutler. They also have a child. So they decided to move the family into his Muskegon home, but it didn’t feel right.
“There was hardly any yard,” Poel said. “I wanted my kids to enjoy everything I had growing up in the country.”
So, they moved back in with his parents until they could figure out what they wanted to do.
A year ago, they bought the State Road property and have since been trying to figure out what kind of housing they could afford to put on it.
They had recently been in contact with Dan Deitz about the possibility of moving a house they found, but the costs were high because it was a two-story and the kitchen would have to be removed.
Deitz said it was in the same week that someone asked if he knew anyone who needed a house. The mover said he could have found several people who would be interested in such a nice house, but he immediately thought of Poel.
“I moved his aunt’s house about 25 years ago,” Deitz said. “They’re a nice family.”
Deitz said he wanted to help the young man and his family get into a home, so he offered the house for the price of the move.
The house had been scheduled for demolition, but those involved thought it should be saved. Deitz said he appreciates the recycling of a home.
Poel said the move cost close to $20,000. He’s working on a construction loan to put in the foundation and utilities. It will be a several-month process, something that might have normally been done before putting the home on the property, but Poel said the house had to be moved off the school property right away.
Poel said he would be spending a lot of time at the site, continuing to get the property ready.
The move started at about 9 a.m. Tuesday. Both the house and the garage were on the Crockery Township property before 1 p.m. that day.
“This is just the right-size house,” Deitz said. “We never moved any power lines.”
Although the move went smoothly, there was a lot of preparation work involved, said Deitz’s son, Kevin. The house was loaded and ready to go a week ago, but the Deitzes had to scout the route and check for obstacles.
“We have to measure every wire to make sure there’s enough clearance,” Kevin explained.
They also have to make sure the route is approved, all the proper permits are in place and police escorts are arranged.
Movers took the house north on 148th Avenue to Hickory, went east to Apple and then east to Cleveland Street. They made a short jog on Cleveland, and then went north on 112th Avenue and west on State Road to the site.
Poel said the house is a little more than 1,350 square feet and the garage is 24-by-24 feet.