'We do crazy stuff and we're always taking chances': B.C. couple new owners of Kinistino mansion
Couple bought the mansion for $550,000 at auction
What started with a joke and ended with a $550,000 purchase has proven to be a wild ride for Tracy LeBeau of Kamloops, B.C.
LeBeau and her husband are the new owners of the unfinished mansion that sits on a rural plot of land near Kinistino, Sask. It was listed as 11,000 square feet but is actually closer to 22,000 once she saw and measured for herself, LeBeau said.
A Facebook post initially turned LeBeau's attention to the unique Saskatchewan property.
While she and her husband found the house interesting, LeBeau said they never actually intended to place a bid.
But when they saw the bidding begin to slow down around $500,000 their keen business sense kicked in. The LeBeaus own and operate a successful logging company and they knew they would be getting a good deal if their offer went through.
"We are business people, so we wouldn't have bet on it if we didn't think we were getting a good deal and that there was going to be something for us in the end," LeBeau said.
The property was assessed at $2.6 million, but the LeBeaus paid just $550,000.
The home features geothermal heating, a 2,700-square-foot four-car garage, a movie theatre, an elevator, a solarium, a fitness centre and a swimming pool with two adjacent saunas.
The couple has already made one trip to Saskatchewan since buying the property on Oct. 11. So far, they have nothing but positive impressions of the community that surrounds their new home.
"[There's] really nothing like the kindness and the hospitality of people from these small towns and in the prairies," LeBeau said.
To those that dismiss the mansion is as being "in the middle of nowhere," LeBeau says that there's more to it than one would initially think.
"It's not in the middle of nowhere," LeBeau said. "There's the Birch Hills and Kinistino and Weldon and P.A. isn't far ... everything you need is within 10 minutes."
The LeBeaus are no strangers to grandiose property-related decisions
The couple also acquired a house in Las Vegas during an economic downturn in 2012. Another time, they built a lake house from scratch in LeBeau's mother's backyard.
"It's just another thing that we do. We do crazy stuff and we're always taking chances," LeBeau said. "Most of the time, it pays off."
LeBeau says that they will keep the public updated on the property's progress through a public Facebook page.
Their first focus will be to repair the exterior of the mansion and clean up any vandalism, LeBeau says.
Then they'll start to think about what it could be used for.
"We're hoping with this place that we can live in it for a bit when it's getting finished and enjoy it. And maybe open something there — because it's so large — that would benefit the community," Le Beau said.
Suggestions have included everything from a seniors' centre to a wellness retreat.
For now though, LeBeau said the couple is just looking forward to working on the property — what she calls "a little project." It's something that she and her husband can tackle together now that their two daughters are grown.
"It'll either be fun or it'll be a divorce — we'll see," LeBeau said with a laugh.
with files from CBC's Chelsea Laskowski