Do you think it would be totally COOL to move what you consider to be an ideal and special house to the most perfect lot or location ever?
Here in my community of New Westminster, BC we recently had 2 houses moved from side-by-side lots earmarked for multi-use/commercial development.
Our city is so committed to the preservation of its heritage houses that they said NO to tearing either of these homes down. Rather, they asked the developer to sell them (and from what I understand, they were purchased for about $1 a piece!) to people willing to incur the cost of moving them to approved lots in the city. When I first discovered that the houses were to be moved I wrote about the idea in my post titled The Ultimate in Recycling. How I had wished I could have one of these houses!!
In late December they moved the first of the 2 houses and I wrote about it here.
This house – a Foursquare built in 1920 – used to look like this…
And now it sits here and looks like this…
For years – in it’s original location – this house was the home of a doctor’s office and health clinic. In it’s new location I believe it will continue to host a business – perhaps an architects or lawyers office. I’ll have to watch and find out!!
My favourite of the two houses… it has a much more exciting future!
Yep… the colour is hideous! But can you see the potential in this 1913 beauty?!
It turns out that local realtor Dave Vallee and his fiance could!! They purchased this fantastic heritage building – known as the Wadsworth House I’ve learned – and moved it into the heart of New Westminster’s most historic neighbourhoods… Queens Park.
I missed the actual moving of the house, but the local paper didn’t…
In this first photo, the Wadsworth House is traveling down 6th Street and passed the local Tim Hortons (mmmm! coffee & donuts!).
Crazy… but Amazing!!
Here, Nickel Brothers Housing Moving company carefully rolls the house on to it’s new lot.
I HAD to do a drive-by and check out this charming house’s new neighbourhood!!
The Vallee’s will put an addition on the house here at the back and, of course, they’ll rebuild the front porch.
It’s so funny… its new neighbour is ALSO a Foursquare! Only this particular Foursquare is charming! The Wadsworth House should feel right at home here :-)
And across the street… a lovely Victorian (my opinion: it would be so much more lovely if they’d paint it in fresh colours!)
I’m definitely going to be doing regular drive-bys to check on the progress. If I get up my nerve, I may even approach the Vallees and see if I can get interior shots as the house comes together!!
Maybe one day the Wadsworth House will look a little like this!
Some of you may be wondering how much it costs to move a house. Here’s what Dave Vallee told the local paper:
It probably cost around $100,000 in total when you factor in everything from the Nickel Brothers’ fees, demolishing the previous house, permits etc.
Sounds like a lot of money, hey? Now consider this… $100,000 as quoted by Dave Vallee, (the following numbers are pure guestimates) maybe about $600,000-725,000 for the lot with it’s tear-down house (low for this area because of the house), perhaps about $200,000 to $300,000 for the rebuild, restoration and addition… that’s possibly a maximum of about $1,100,000. But do you know what they could sell a restored heritage house with this kind of history in the Queens Park area for? Our current market could support $1.2 to $1.5 million!! (Please note: I am not a property value expert. In making this broad assessment, I’m basing my guess on comparable listings [not sales] only.)
So not a bad investment, really!!