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Unique B.C. house on stilts selling for $425,000

If village community living is your bag, this might be for you

A unique investment opportunity has come up on Galiano Island, an hour by ferry from the Tsawwassen terminal.

Agent Hedi Kottner's listing showcases a 2-storey "pole house" which is adjacent to Dionisio Provincial Park on the north end of the Gulf Island.

More like a small cottage, the 1-bedroom, 487 sq ft dwelling comes with 14-foot-high windows and a 2,500 sq ft garden plot. It offers an opportunity to "add your finishing elements," as it's not quite completed.

The price reflects the fact that it's not a freehold property - it is located on a 160-acre plot owned by Therah, a "village community" founded in 1982. People who buy in are sold shares and allotted pieces of the property to build on, and this is the only share currently available.

Therah sees its members as "stewards" of the land, and solicit donations from people who do not own there to become "Friends of Therah."

The upside (or the downside, depending on how you look at it) is that speculation won't really affect the price of your investment, as it's difficult to resell.

Another upside (or again, downside, depending on your vibe) is that the community is actually a community - a gallery on their website shows members dancing to folk music, working on the gardens together, and living what looks to be close to a commune lifestyle.

Therah's purpose statement says that they exist in order to "create a village community in which people are nurtured and empowered to express their humanity in a way that contributes to all members of the global community."

If you're feeling it, the listing is live on the Galiano Island Realty website.

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