On Wednesday morning, a trim but redundant three-bedroom rambler was sitting next to the beach along Ebb Tide Lane, facing Mutiny Bay in Freeland.
A few hours later, it was sitting on blocks in a storage lot in Everett, waiting for Mr. or Ms. Right.
Things could be worse. It might have wound up in the dump.
“We’re always looking for homes that are going to be demolished,” said Dan Arnold, sales and estimating specialist with Nickel Bros. House Moving USA. “We try to save them.”
The owner of this particular house wanted to build a bigger one on the property, but didn’t want to throw the old one away. He was looking for someone to take it. Along came Nickel Bros., which prides itself on being a “recycler of houses.”
“Our paths crossed,” Arnold said.
Nickel Bros. (not to be confused with the boat builders) bought the house, loaded it on a barge Wednesday and floated it over to its Everett headquarters.
The house is for sale for $119,000. It has three bedrooms, 1.75 baths, lap-cedar siding and an electric forced-air furnace. You want it, you pay to move it.
“It’s a nice, clean little house,” Arnold said.
Nickel Bros. has been in the structure-moving business for
54 years. Headquartered in western Canada, it has three offices there and the one in Everett.
The company as a whole moves or lifts about 300 buildings per year, Arnold said. It has a job on Whidbey Island “every few months,” he said.
It moves large structures by land and sea. It’ll also jack up your house, if you want to build a new foundation or a new ground level.
Arnold said building a ground floor is often cheaper by thousands of dollars than building a floor on top of an existing house.
He said the company has relocated historic houses that are worth millions, but most of the inventory on its Web site are listed at less than $200,000.
The company Web site lists about 75 houses for all its locations, and 27 in the Everett-Seattle area. Many are already marked “sold.”
Arnold said there are five houses for sale in the company’s storage lot in Everett, and another parked at a nearby marina.
Arnold said recycling a house can save tons of building materials from being wasted.
As for the Freeland bungalow: “It was nice to save the house, instead of seeing it smashed up into pieces and thrown in a landfill.”