a house without a home

When I first started my mission to recycle a house I spent hours every day on the Vancouver.ca website checking the addresses where owners had applied for development permits. I would then do a goodle maps search of the address and if the house looked like a possibility I would drive out to look at it. The first house I tried to save was a lovely old home with a wrap around porch. It was perfect. I could see it on a country acreage surrounded by gardens divided by winding pathways, and arbours. I contacted the architectural firm. Their response was positive but there was never any response from the property owner. After a few weeks I moved on.

The second house I tried to save was a lovely 1920's tudor located near the University of British Columbia. It was a great layout and was in excellent structural condition. The interior had not faired quite as well over the years but with a little TLC I was pretty sure I could make it a fabulous home once again. I contacted Rick at Nickel Brothers and we peoceeded to come up with a plan to save the house. He contacted the realtor and we got permission to measure the house. We not only measured the house inside & out, we measured between trees, around corners and along the streets until we had a route all the way to the ocean that the house could be taken on to a barge.

The owners did not speak english but we were told they were ecstatic that the house could be moved and they would be able to build a new house on the lot. I started doing reasearch on the house and it's history. I contacted two historians who started to look into who the architect of the house was. Meanwhile Nickel Brothers started working on the logistics of moving the house.

As time went by Rick met with the guy in charge of development on the UBC Endowment Lands about the route, tree trimming and the removal and replacement of some small trees. Eventually he sent me an email saying the permits had just hit $35,000 AND there was a different route being pushed which would take the house through trolley lines (ka-ching!!!!). 

Meanwhile I was putting in a ton of time and a lot of due diligence in my search for land. Because the house was two stories it required land that was close to water access. I scoured listings on MLS as well as craigslist and kijji looking for land. We drove from Vancouver as far as Hope looking at various properties that might work. We finally found a long narrow 5 acre strip in Chilliwack. Unfortunately we were too late and the land sold ten minutes after I contacted the owners. There were two other potential properties but they were much more remote. It was around this time that Rick suggested that the tudor, lovely as it was, wasn't looking like it would work out.

He then suggested I look at a very different house opportunity...