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Vernon  

122-year-old home to sell for $1

Nestled beside two large trees at the corner of a busy intersection in Vernon stands a 122-year-old home that is garnering a lot of attention.

The property was built in 1892, transformed into a boy's school in 1904. In 1912 the All Saints Anglican Church purchased the home, but today the Parish is putting the property up for sale for just one dollar.

Previously used as a home for the residing minister, in the 1990's the Church decided to rent out the building. First to families and then to social programs such as woman's recovery and Venture Training.

But for the last four years or so, the residence has sat empty.

Rev. Cannon Chris Harwood-Jones says the Parish tried to rent out the home, however after a property has been vacant for six months under city bylaw a building inspection must be done and renovations need to made to bring everything up to code.

"So we thought what is that going to cost, we have some engineers in the Parish but we also paid engineers to come and do a full assessment, " he explains. "It took about a year of research maybe a little more to figure out what the story was and the long and the short of it is it will cost over $200,000 to bring up to code."

The most costly renovation being that of the crumbling foundation built mostly of rubble and rock.

Harwood-Jones says the Parish is in no position to be taking on the costs of the renovation and did not wish to see the home demolished.

"The best case scenario is for someone to buy it and take it away. So let's just list it for a dollar and see if someone wants it, so we put the sign out there and much to my surprise there has been huge interest in the community."

The home must be moved as it resides on one title that also houses the building for the Anglican Church and Harwood-Jones says the title cannot be separated due to the city's land requirements.

"So it is just one piece of property, where we have a house we can't afford to fix and we are hoping someone who loves heritage homes is going to take it away and give it some TLC."

The move will come as a costly one which is why Realtor Joe Pearson says it was put on the market for a dollar.

"What is more difficult and what we want to know is do you have a lot already, if you do where is it?" asks Pearson, who explains that the right zoning by-laws will need to be met on the new property.

Pearson estimates it will cost about $100,000 to move the home out of it's foundation and through the cornering busy intersection as there are hydro lines and street lights in the way.

Another roadblock for potential buyers is the possibility the residence may fall under the stipulations of a heritage bylaw.

"Before the properties were amalgamated there was a heritage bylaw on the Church which now extends to the home," explains Harwood-Jones. "So there is a by-law on it and it is on a list with the heritage society but we don't know what that means whether you are allowed to do things with it or not."

Once an application to move the home is put forward, it will then be decided if the home falls under any heritage bylaws.

However despite the arduous move and the pricy renovations, there are several potential buyers from Osoyoos to Fort McMurry waiting in the wings.

"At first I wasn't sure how long this house would be on the market, but now after all this attention I would hope no longer than six months," says the Parish Priest.

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