Washington State Home Moved by Barge to Canada

Rolling the waterfront house onto a barge on Lake Washington took just over 20 minutes. The house's maritime trip to British Columbia will take a bit longer.

In an effort to preserve a spectacular home at a bargain price, a Canadian family is moving the 3,360-square-foot, two-story house from its lakeshore location in this suburb east of Seattle to a site near Nanaimo on Vancouver Island.

According to public filings, the former owners bought the home for $9.4 million; but they just wanted the 44,000-square-foot lot.

So they contacted Nickel Brothers House Moving USA Inc., which then listed the home for $335,000, including moving the entire thing.

"This saves 200 tons of waste that would go into a landfill," said Jeff McCord, of Nickel Brothers.

On Tuesday, after weeks of planning and preparations, crews rolled the house onto the barge, and the structure started its slow trip to Canada and its new owners, Tim and Jennifer O'Farrell.

"This is a good deal," Jennifer O'Farrell said. "If I were to build this house, it would be a minimum of twice as much."

Crews emptied the Tudor-style house, but kitchen fixtures and the hot tub were left in place. The home was built in 1979 and features leaded windows and hand-carved moldings.

"It's quite a spectacular house," McCord said. He added that a house can be moved and installed on a new lot for about half the cost of building a similar home.

Once on the barge, the house made its way across Lake Washington, then through the Ballard Locks and out through Puget Sound.

By noon Wednesday, the house had crossed the border.

The house should reach its new lot on Thursday, said Boyer Halvorsen, owner of Boyer Towing, the company actually transporting the house.