Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Old Houses, Old Wood

These days, old houses are making much more sense to me. I'm not sure that the cost of houses in this housing bubble was inflated by speculation or by the cost of building them. I just bought a single sheet of 3/4" plywood and it cost $39! How many sheets of plywood and other materials go into the cost of building a new house? Anyway, this guy above has a sweet little old house, but it looks like even he got caught by the cost of new materials. Truth be told, he had to pay my price, plus the cost of shipping it to his little island. I guess far from the madding crowd is great, just not necessarily cheap to maintain.

The first two shots are from Providence Island, Quebec. Providence Island, a little community of about 10 houses remains pretty and remote. These days it is a summer getaway for the people of Tete a la Baleine (Head of the Whale), a small mainland community of a couple hundred people in far eastern Quebec. Tete a la Baleine is only accessable by boat (one a week) or small plane and is roughly 250 miles from the nearest road. I always find it fascinating that people is who live in small remote places like Tete a la Baleine feel the need for a summer getaway.

Historically, Providence Island was a summer fishing station closer to the ocean fishing grounds. I guess when its 1900 and you fish from a small dory that you row to the fish, then being 6 miles closer to the fish was a big advantage. But nobody wanted to stay on Providence Island during the winter since the island's highest point is only about 20 feet above high tide and winter storms could make it uncomfortable.

Speaking of a fixer upper, you might be able to get this one for a good price. Woody Point, Newfoundland is a great spot, but unfortunately, the locals are under pressure from rich outsiders looking to buy weekend homes.

Welcome to Entende Cordial. So here is the history. Back in 1900, the owner of several fish packing plants came to the northwest coast of Newfoundland and started a lobster packing plant and small town to support it. This was the finest house in the town, built by the factory owner himself for his family. His grand daughter still lives on the property. Just not in the house.

So keep those old houses going. After all, the wood they were made from was much cheaper than wood today.

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