PEI

Got a loonie? P.E.I. church priced at $1, but you have to move it

The group looking to sell a church in Kingston, P.E.I., is hoping the new low price will attract some interest. The asking price is just one dollar, but there's a catch.

'I get an email a day on it and calls. It's one dollar, is that not a misprint?'

There have been estimates of $70,000 to move the church, including the tall steeple. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

The group looking to sell a church in Kingston, P.E.I. is hoping the new low price will attract some interest.

The asking price is just $1, but there's a catch — it has to be moved

"We're hoping it will be an incentive to buyers," said Eric Goodwin, chair of the committee responsible for the building.

"You may pay us a dollar but there are some expenses involved because it has to be moved."

"I get an email a day on it and calls. It's one dollar, is that not a misprint?" said Jeff Newson, the real estate agent handling the property.

"No, it's a dollar and that's what it's for sale for."

The Kingston and New Dominion congregations merged three years ago with the Cornwall United Church. They're now known as the West River United Church.

The former Kingston United Church was built about 30 years ago after the previous building was hit by lightning and burned down. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Price drop

The church buildings have been on the market since 2015. The original asking price was $10,000 each. That dropped to $5,000.

Last summer, the New Dominion church building was sold, after the price dropped to a loonie. It was purchased by a family who moved it about a kilometre away.

"The last one I sold, I actually bought for my clients," said Newson

"We were sitting at the table and I threw the loonie on the table so it's one dollar, end of story."

The former New Dominion United Church was moved about a kilometre away and is now a family home. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Moving costs

The biggest challenge, said Newson, is having money to cover the moving costs.

"They need to have the means to buy it, a line of credit, access to cash," he said. 

"The bank won't finance it until it's set up on its foundation and fixed to the ground, then they can mortgage it."

Newson said another option would be to purchase the building and salvage the wood and other assets.

Jeff Newson says he gets an inquiry almost every day about the Kingston United Church. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

'All kinds of potential'

Goodwin believes the property in Kingston has great potential.

"The original church was struck by lightning about 30 years ago and burned to the ground so this is a relatively new building," said Goodwin. 

"It's got all kinds of potential for small hall, for a home, a craft shop, you name it, a restaurant. It just needs a piece of land to sit on."

The building needs to be moved because it is right next to an active cemetery.

"There just isn't enough land to sever it off and let a person buy it along with the land," explained Goodwin.

The price for the Kingston United Church has been reduced from $10,000 to just $1. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Not in a hurry

Goodwin has heard estimates of what it will cost to move the church, including the tall steeple.

"It's not cheap, I've heard prices anywhere from $70,000 and up," he said.

"But even if it was $70,000, that's a small fraction of what it would cost you to build that building."

There have been offers, but so far, nothing has panned out.

"There's been a number of individuals that had dreams but they didn't have access to the funds they needed," said Goodwin.

Eric Goodwin says the building has great potential as a small home, a cottage, restaurant or craft shop. (Randy McAndrew/CBC)

Goodwin and his committee are prepared to wait for the right offer to come along.

"We don't want to have to demolish it, it means a lot to a lot of people and it wouldn't be cheap to demolish it either," said Goodwin.

"We're not in any hurry to do anything with it."

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