Caraquet man will give heritage house away free to someone willing to move it

·2 min read
The house is located at 592 Rue Sainte-Anne in Caraquet, just across from the Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage sanctuary. (Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier - image credit)
The house is located at 592 Rue Sainte-Anne in Caraquet, just across from the Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage sanctuary. (Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier - image credit)

A poster on the side of an old house in Caraquet is catching the attention of people passing by.

"House to give away," it says above the owner's first name, Armand, and his telephone number.

The catch is that whoever gets the house has to move it.

Albert doesn't want to see the two-storey, 19th-century house on Rue Sainte-Anne demolished.

He said that last September, he bought the house, in front of the Sainte-Anne-du-Bocage sanctuary for the land, which is next to his son's property.

Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier
Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier

The investment made

Albert told Radio-Canada he wants his son to benefit from the land on which the old house sits, but he doesn't want to demolish it.

And if someone took it, it would save him from paying $8,000 to have it demolished.

"I don't want to invest too much money in this," he said. "I've already invested quite a bit for the purchase of the land."

Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier
Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier

He's received about 20 calls a day since his sign was posted about a week ago but no agreement has been reached yet.

Since the house is on the larger side, Albert said there are challenges to moving it.

It might need to be cut in half for transport, he said, but it shouldn't be particularly hard for someone who hauls houses for a living.

While he's not set on a date, he would like the house to be moved before the end of fall. If he cannot find a taker who is willing to move the house, Albert will have to demolish the home.

A heritage home

Caraquet Mayor Bernard Thériault said he is pleased at the idea the house may get a second life if someone moved it.

According to Thériault, the house had previously belonged to a cousin of his father. It is also on the list of heritage houses of the town.

"It's a house that has stood the test of time," he said.

Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier
Radio-Canada/Mario Mercier

Thériault said the house is a rare model because there aren't many like left in Caraquet.

"They are [among] the oldest and we are doing everything we can to save them," he said.

Renovating this type of house, however, requires a certain level of expertise.

"If someone buys them with their heart rather than with reason, it makes for great projects."

Following the rules set in place

Heritage regulations require that owners obtain a demolition permit to tear down a house of this type, which Albert did.

Thériault said New Brunswick lacks provincial assistance programs. He said it would be easier to support people who want to save old houses, if communities had the extra cash.

Despite the obstacle, the town succeeded in saving 20 old houses in the last 20 years, according to Thériault.

"It makes the citizens proud, and we want to continue doing that."

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