Gayle and Brent Yeadon at their home, the former Mukilteo Presbyterian Church. The Yeadons spent the past 12 years renovating the church house and are now selling it for $2.1 million. (Daniella Beccaria / For The Herald)

Pray for pennies from heaven to buy this church turned house

MUKILTEO — Pray for a windfall.

This luxury estate can be yours for $2.14 million, complete with a clanging church bell.

It’s a “chouse” — a church house.

What’s up with that?

Brent and Gayle Yeadon spent 13 years turning a house of worship into a house to worship, with high-end finishes and 18-foot ceilings. Now they’re selling the 1907 repurposed Presbyterian church at 822 Third St. in Old Town, a few blocks from the ferry.

From the outside, it still looks like a church, with a steeple gracing the skyline and quaint welcome marquee in front.

Inside, it is 8,816 square feet of heaven, with eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, three kitchens, three laundry rooms, two office spaces, workshop, music room, beauty shop and rooftop deck with panoramic views of Puget Sound. It sits on a quarter-acre with six parking spaces.

The chouse is divided into three separate units: a three-bedroom, two-bath space for the Yeadons; a bed and breakfast with three suites; and a spacious basement apartment with its own entrance. The couple’s living quarters were finished in the first year, but the other rooms were years in the making.

The area where parishioners once perched on pews is the couple’s gourmet kitchen and a great room with antlered skulls mounted over the fireplace.

Their master bedroom is off the outside backsteps where AA meetings were held back in the day. The rec-room loft is over the platform where the preacher preached and the choir sang. A flat screen TV hangs near where organ pipes bellowed.

The foyer maintains the church theme, with crosses adorning the walls and a dangling rope to bang the bell in the belfry.

Then there’s the family pet, a spirited goldendoodle named Moses. Sorry, he doesn’t come with the chouse.

Brent, 55, a metal and wood craftsman, and Gayle, 53, a hairstylist, bought the former Mukilteo Presbyterian Church in 2004 for $423,750.

It was a shell of a church. “Very utilitarian,” Gayle said.

At that time, the family of four was living happily in their 1,500-square-foot rambler in the Eastmont neighborhood of Everett near Costco, with no plans to move. Their older daughter was a college freshman and the younger girl in the eighth grade.

They were looking for an old building to renovate when the historic church came on the market.

“It was in the time that Home and Garden Television (HGTV) was doing a lot of interesting shows on living in something that wasn’t a regular house,” she said.

“It piqued our interest enough and it scared us enough,” Brent said. “I would come here and go into the secretary’s office when trying to decide. I would sit down and just try to imagine. Then I would think, ‘OK, maybe.’ Then I would go home and think, ‘No, that’s crazy.’ Gayle let me dream big and think what it could be.”

“He is the reason it looks this way,” she said. “He did all this stuff. Anything metal or wood is Brent. He makes all the furniture. He’s pretty handy.”

Handy even in the two-chair beauty salon he built for her. “He trimmed his beard in here today,” she said, brushing off the counter.

In addition to the interior renovations, Brent installed a metal roof and siding to keep with the aesthetics of the exterior. The tall windows are clear with stained-glass accents at the top created by their friend, Everett artist Stan Price.

The chouse looks just as churchy as the nearby Catholic church at the corner. That visual cue has led some souls to seek salvation in the Yeadons’ living room.

At times, “People would come on Sunday morning looking for a service,” Brent said.

Other times they’d find people standing on the front steps taking pictures. After 100 years as a church, it held a lot of memories.

“It’s a cool piece of Mukilteo history,” Gayle said.

It’s also a big chunk of history for the Yeadons, but after 13 years of toil they feel their work is done, here at least.

The couple purchased land on Camano Island and plan to build a normal single-family house for them and Moses.

“We like projects,” she said.

The chouse is listed in real estate ads nationwide.

“I’ve never sold anything nearly as unique as this,” said selling agent Matt Hart of Marketplace Sotheby’s International Realty in Woodinville. “The owners of this home are artists and, to be able to take this and convert it into what it is today, it really is art.”

It costs five times the median price for a home in Snohomish County, which was $416,000 last month.

“When you break it down for 8,800 square feet, the price per square foot is pretty affordable. That’s about $240 a square foot,” Hart said.

Plus a church bell that’s priceless.

“We ring it every once in a while,” Brent said. “New Year’s, Fourth of July and when the grandson is here. We try not to compete with the Catholic church.”

Can you afford it?

Cost: $2,140,000

20 percent down payment: $428,000

Monthly mortgage at 30-year fixed, 3.86 percent interest: $8,923, plus property taxes and insurance

The word “chouse” is a made-up word for church house. The standard dictionary meaning is to swindle or cheat. Or, according to Urban Dictionary, a really awkward person who looks like a chicken/mouse animal.

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