January 29, 2014 - 2:06 PM
VERNON - It’s the cheapest house on the market.
All Saints Anglican Church is selling a 122-year-old home once used as a rectory for its ministers. The asking price? One dollar.
“We’ve had a bunch of inquiries from as far away as Osoyoos and Alberta,” Rev. Canon Chris Harwood-Jones says. “People kid me about the price.”
Of course, there’s a catch. Moving the 27th Street building will cost at least $100,000 and further investments to bring it up to code. But for the right buyer, it will be worth it.
Asking just a dollar for the building, the church obviously isn’t trying to turn a profit. It can’t afford to renovate the building and doesn’t want to see it demolished. Local real estate agent Joe Pearson, a member of the church, is offering his services pro bono to sell the building.
The massive two-storey house has been home to numerous families and organizations over the last century. Its original owner was a lawyer who had it built in 1892 and lived there with his family until 1904 when it became a boy’s school. In 1912 it was purchased by the church as a residence for its ministers. Seven priests called the rectory home until one chose to buy his own house in town, part of a shift across the Anglican Church that left ministers able to retire with some home equity.
In the late 1990s the church began renting the building to local organizations. For awhile, it housed a recovery program for women living on the street. Later, Venture Training used it for programming, and its clients could often be found playing pool inside or sitting on the porch, chatting with passersby on 27th Street. Both programs ended when they ran out of money to pay the rent.
The building lay vacant for months, and in order to once again rent it out, the church learned it would have to invest thousands in renovations to meet building code requirements.
“It’s best that it become somebody else’s pet project. In the end, we don’t want to be in the real estate business. It would be a big distraction of our time. That’s why we decided, just put it up for a dollar and if someone wants to pick it up and move it to another place and give it a lot of love, I’m sure they’ll enjoy it,” Harwood-Jones says.
With the building gone, the church could do a number of things, like expanding parking, building a new facility or creating green space.
Harwood-Jones envisions the house as an office space or home for a big family due to its numerous spacious rooms. While the foundation is crumbling, he says the skeleton is sturdy.
“To build a house like this today would be $450,000 to $500,000 after the land, because of the high ceilings and the large size,” he says.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014