Located at 620 Cross St. in Dresden, Ont., this is the most expensive house for sale in the town. (https://www.point2homes.com)

COLUMN: No hope for a home away from home(town)

Reporter has traded the prospect of home ownership for a life of adventure

As a new(ish) resident of British Columbia, and one who is approaching the general age of those often associated with home-ownership, I’ve come to the bleak realization that maybe it’s just not in the cards for me.

My family hasn’t left Dresden, Ont., where the average cost of a single detached home, likely one that includes an in-ground pool and a finished basement, comes at a whopping $260,000.

Although big money to my people, it’s peanuts compared to the $852,000 one might expect to pay south of the Fraser.

Social media has never let me forget my age. First, my feed was filled with photos of friends graduating university, and then wedding photos. That recently shifted, and now my feed is flooded with photos of friends dangling a set of keys in front of their new home.

I suppose babies are next.

I can’t help but feel envious – about the houses, not the babies – but going back home and connecting with friends certainly helps.

Speaking to them, I learn that I’m living an adventurous life, wedged between the mountains and the sea. Getting lost in nature, discovering new worlds and living an authentic life – I like to play up the Indiana Jones lifestyle a bit.

Listening to them gives me valuable perspective that keeps me in check. That said, it would be kind of cool to own a house, which brings me back to the point of this column.

Out of morbid curiosity, I started to research what kind of home I could buy in Ontario with B.C. money.

Less than two blocks away from my hometown house, and for only $649,900, I could buy a single-family 10,000 sq-ft., century old, completely brick, three-storey Victorian.

It’s the most expensive property for sale in Dresden, but my mother tells me the bank owns it, so I could likely haggle.

According to the online advertisement, this mammoth includes 20 rooms, a four-car garage, in-ground pool, two elevators and a finished basement.

“This property oozes charm and elegance,” the advertisement reads.

If I was selling this property, I probably wouldn’t use the word “oozes.” What this advertisement is not telling you – and I know from personal experience – is that it used to be a funeral home.

It’s still a little pricey – I am a journalist after all. I readjusted my expectations and came across another magnificent property. For only $399,000, I could buy a 20,000 sq.-ft. beautiful brick church in the heart of Blenheim’s downtown. Built in 1895, this historical United Church has a beautiful sanctuary adorned with stained glass and a full-size gymnasium. It even has a large bell on the roof – thou shalt not love thy neighbour.

British Columbia may have nature, but the architectural history is pretty short-lived. Most buildings come down before they crack 100 years.

White Rock recently lost the beautiful First United Church. A unique building demolished for a multi-dwelling development. What a missed opportunity. Were the church owners aware that they could have sold that building and bought a Victorian funeral home and an even older, more historic church?

Seems like a no-brainer, but maybe that’s another reason I shouldn’t buy a home.

Aaron Hinks is a reporter with the Peace Arch News.

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