My husband and I noticed that a building on the corner of St. John and 12th Ave was for sale, along with a vacant lot behind it.  We did some initial scoping and started the process to see if we could turn it into our new home.

The Ministry of Education approved the upstairs for 61 spots and the downstairs for a further 61 spots – meaning we could, potentially, have 2 facilities in the same building.  (There is a limit of 90 spots in any licensed daycare facility in SK.)  Windows (which were included with the building) would have to be installed to meet regulation.  Green space (a full vacant lot) was not sufficient but because there was a public park and a public school playground within 500m, we would be granted an exemption.

The building had geothermal installed (it needed some repair) which would have assisted with us meeting our “green” mission.  Several appliances were included, which was a bonus.  There were washrooms upstairs and piping downstairs for additional washrooms.  A kitchen on both floors.  Hardwood flooring upstairs.  It was so very perfect.

We put in an offer, contingent on a few things – inspections, funding, etc.  The asking price had been reduced from $1.4 million to $750,000 for both the building and the vacant lot (they had to be purchased together).  We offered $700,000 for both and this was accepted.

Then it rained and we discovered a huge leak in the roof.  This was unfortunate, but we could work with it.

We paid for an appraisal (to assist with the mortgage) and found that the 2 properties came in assessed at $721,000.  On the positive side, the properties were worth what we offered.  On the negative side, there would be no equity to borrow against to fix the building up.  We estimated repairs at $250,000.

We had a mold inspection booked next.  Unfortunately, when we were told that there was mold and, possibly, asbestos, we had to walk away.  First, we hadn’t budgeted for mold removal (and we would have had to pay another $2500 for the tests to tell us what kind of mold and what kind of cleanup would be required).  Second, the asbestos would have been in the foundation so it would have required extra money to seal that off.

As a non-profit charity, we would have been able to provide the owner a tax receipt for a gift in kind but I don’t know if our realtor actually asked the owner.

The building is still up for sale.  It would be really nice if some angel would consider donating the building to us or purchasing and renovating it so we could lease it.  We would be eternally grateful.

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