When businessman and hotelier Raoul Malak bought a contemporary mansion in Metchosin, B.C., a town on the southern coast of Vancouver Island in 2012, the house was only six years old. Its prior owner had commissioned Simcic + Uhrich Architects to build the home, spending close to seven years and what Malak says was C$24 million ($17.2 million) building it from the ground up.

When the original owner was forced to relocate, Malak purchased the house, its furnishings, a caretaker’s house, and 67 acres for a fraction of that sum—about C$5 million. “I can tell you, he accepted the negotiated price because he understood that we liked what he had,” Malak says. “It wasn’t a question of the price, it was that he understood we appreciated how magnificent it was.”

Since then, Malak and his wife have used the property, filling its six bedrooms with friends and family wherever possible. Still, “with just a wife, myself, and a dog, we found it sometimes overwhelming without people,” Malak says. “We felt a family with two or three children could enjoy it more than us.”

So they’ve listed it off and on for three years for C$12.9 million with Logan Wilson at Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “We’re very fussy,” Malak says. “We’d never sell it to someone unless they understood and could make sure that it takes a lot of money to maintain a structure like this. We want to hand it to someone who appreciates what it is.”

Aside from its unique design, the home was built within the Garry Oak savannah, one of Canada’s endangered natural ecosystems.  Even though the house is built within an oak grove, the architect designed its concrete foundation so that none of the trees’ root systems were impacted.

Malak says that he’s received several offers he found unpalatable—one person wanted to turn the house into a rehabilitation center—but the recent shutdown has brought a larger audience for the home’s many features that encourage remote living.

“My realtor really wants to show the house,” says Malak, who’s currently dwelling in it full-time with his extended family. “I told him: Maybe at the end of the summer, we’d give him more access.”

The Land
Malak’s reticence to leave the property is understandable. It takes him about 30 minutes to get to his hotel, the Westin Bear Mountain Golf Resort & Spa in Victoria, B.C., but the property feels totally isolated from the rest of the world. It abuts a regional park and sits on 1,400 linear feet, about a quarter-mile, of shoreline.

Malak has allowed local farmers to access 50 of the property’s acres to use for growing crops and, during off-seasons, grazing sheep. “We believe in the land and want it to be used the whole time,” Malak says. “So we said to the farmers: The profits are yours, but the land has to be used.” He hopes that whoever buys the property will maintain a comparable arrangement.

There are also tiered vegetable and flower gardens on the property, maintained by a caretaker who lives in a separate house on the land.

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