Developer giving away Edmonton house for free — if you can move it

A developer is hoping he can help give an old house a new life by gifting it to a family or charity in need.

Adam Morris’ company, Copperblock Capital, purchased a bungalow in Edmonton’s Inglewood neighbourhood sight unseen to develop the lot. But when Morris saw the house, his entire perspective shifted.

“We bought it last year with the intention of tearing it down.

“After viewing it and seeing what a beautiful house it was, we thought it was probably better to give it away to somebody that really needs it as opposed to sending yet another house to the landfill.”

The house features two bedrooms and one bathroom in its 900-square-foot layout and has been renovated a number of times since it was built in 1953.

Still, it retained some character touches, like hand-crafted plaster work on the ceiling, curved doorways, a kitchen nook and hardwood flooring.

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Morris is looking for someone to move the free house off the lot and give it a second chance.

“We’re hoping to serve the community that we work in by giving it to somebody that’s in need. Somebody that can really use this house. Maybe it’s a charity, maybe it’s a family that’s lost everything, maybe it’s just someone that’s down on their luck.”

He’s never done anything like this before, but this house is special.

“Most houses that we buy are ready to be torn down and nobody can live in them, let alone consider them to be moved,” he said.

Having someone take the house away will save demolition costs, but Morris says it will also help the environment.

“By not tearing this house down, we’re keeping more than 2,000 kilograms of debris out of the landfill.”

Robert Hanna, the owner from Triple H Building Movers, estimates the cost of moving this particular house to be at least $60,000. He says the mature neighbourhood presents additional obstacles.

“The trees that are in the way, or the power lines and phone lines. Even such things as streetlights can come into play.

“Every one of those things needs to be mitigated before you can even think of moving the home.”

But both Copperblock and Triple H said they could help cover the moving costs for someone truly in need.

“In the past we have done some moves for a reduced rate or even for free in some cases,” Hanna said.

There is a bit of work that needs to be done to the house though.

“The shingles need to be replaced, as well there’s a bit of work — some tiles need to be replaced and the bathroom could use some updating,” Morris said.

The recipient would also need to consider other upgrades.

“When you do move a house like this, everything in the house has to be brought up to code so there’s that extra expense as well,” Hanna explained.

Anyone interested in the house would also have to have land to put it on and be able to apply for the necessary permits quickly, as Morris needs the house off the lot soon.

“My hope is to find somebody who can spend another 20 to 25 years in this house and really enjoy it. It’s not at the end of its life.”

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