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North Vancouver houses get new life as recycled homes

Several houses that used to be part of North Vancouver’s Moodyville neighbourhood are getting a new lease on life in communities around the province and beyond. The three houses were loaded on a barge by the Northshore Auto Mall March 2.
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Several houses that used to be part of North Vancouver’s Moodyville neighbourhood are getting a new lease on life in communities around the province and beyond.

The three houses were loaded on a barge by the Northshore Auto Mall March 2. The homes were moved by Nickel Bros, a house moving company, from Moodyville, a neighbourhood slated for redevelopment, to the company’s storage facility in Duke Point, Nanaimo.

The homes were removed from a 8.5-acre site that will see the development of 300 new townhomes and duplex style homes. Known as The Trails, the massive housing project is under development by IBI Architecture and Wall Financial, which hired Nickel Bros to move the now-empty homes ahead of construction.

“We basically go and evaluate the homes, make sure they're structurally sound, make sure they're good enough condition to recycle. Then we list them on our website for sale and then people buy them, then we locate them to their property,” said Nickel Bros sales manager Jon Swisher.

According to Swisher, the entire home except for the chimney and foundation is reused. Anything made out of concrete would make the house too heavy to relocate, but cabinets and windows from the basement are recycled. Very little renovation is required after the houses are delivered.

Two out of the three homes moved this month were bought by private buyers. One house is headed to Gabriola Island, near Nanaimo, the other is set to go to Washington, D.C. and the third will be kept in storage until it’s bought.

In this case, since the houses were set to be demolished, buyers only had to pay for the moving process, which cost an average of $70,000 per house. The cost does not include installation but Nickel delivers the house on to the property and places it on the new foundation.

The company must first get approval from the City of North Vancouver to move the houses. The city also sets the route the company must take to transport the houses to the barge. In the case of the Moodyville homes, the route was fairly direct, said Swisher.

In the last year and a half, Nickel Bros has moved a total of nine houses from Moodyville, including the three moved on March 2. Some of the homes are still in the Nickel Bros storage facility and others went to Courtenay and Campbell River on Vancouver Island.

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