A hot mar­ket

City dwellers swoon over rus­tic East Coast real es­tate on the cheap

Cape Breton Post - - PROVINCE/ATLANTIC - BY ADINA BRESGE

A his­toric manor in ru­ral Nova Sco­tia has so­cial me­dia users sali­vat­ing over the roughly $435,000 price tag for the es­tate, but it’s far from the only bar­gain in the Mar­itimes that would make city dwellers swoon over sprawl­ing, rus­tic prop­erty on the cheap.

Wanda Graves of East­ern Val­ley Real Es­tate says an on­line list­ing for the 107-year-old man­sion in New­port Land­ing, N.S., has sur­passed one mil­lion views on the com­pany’s web­site in less than a week and its Face­book post has been shared more than 36,000 times as of Sun­day.

Graves says she is over­whelmed by the flurry of in­ter­est in the “Mounce Man­sion,” so-named for the no­table fam­ily who built the home. She says she’s booked with back-to-back show­ings for eight hours a day and has taken to con­duct­ing tours for po­ten­tial buy­ers from afar over FaceTime.

“We don’t nor­mally see that, of course, in this area, so it is a bit of a phe­nom­ena to us,” says Graves. “We’ve had a num­ber of calls ask­ing if the list­ing is ac­tu­ally real.”

Nes­tled atop a hill over­look­ing the Avon River, the Queen of Anne style home is adorned with aus­tere wood­work dat­ing back to the 1910s, walls hand-painted with flo­ral de­signs and or­nate stucco ceil­ings, ac­cord­ing to the Her­itage Trust of Nova Sco­tia. The list­ing says the roughly 7,000-square­foot res­i­dence is spread over three storeys in­clud­ing seven bed­rooms, a li­brary, two par­lour rooms a sun­room and an eat-in kitchen.

And all of that $2,300 cheaper than the av­er­age price of a condo apart­ment in the Toronto area, ac­cord­ing to the lat­est re­port from the city’s real es­tate board.

There are plenty of other prop­er­ties on in the At­lantic provinces that of­fer the same coastal charm and pas­toral acreage for a frac­tion of what a home would cost in Canada’s ma­jor ci­ties.

On Prince Ed­ward Is­land, Steven Malayny of Royal LePage County Es­tates says he’s seen a steady trickle of On­tario re­tirees and Prairie dwellers who are mov­ing to the Mar­itimes look­ing for a “slower pace” lifestyle or a late-stage ca­reer change.

In the western part of the Is­land, Malany says cen­tu­ry­old homes on ex­pan­sive lots are of­ten listed for less than $300,000. In white-hot hous­ing mar­kets like Toronto and Van­cou­ver, he reck­ons equiv­a­lent prop­er­ties would be priced well into the six-digit range - de­pend­ing on the neigh­bour­hood, you may have to add an­other zero.

Malany is cur­rently work­ing to sell a cot­tage-style inn with eight bed­rooms and seven baths in the vil­lage of Bed­eque. The Vic­to­rian prop­erty was re­stored by an On­tar­ian cou­ple to run the four-star bed and break­fast, but now they’re look­ing to turn over their busi­ness and land to the tune of about $288,888, says Malayny.

Re/Max Har­bour­side Realty has listed 12 acres of water­front real es­tate near Kens­ing­ton for $269,900. Ac­cord­ing to the list­ing, the cen­tury-old home comes fully fur­nished with five bed­rooms, two bath­rooms and the “pri­vate re­treat” is sur­rounded by bu­colic mead­ows and a view of Malpeque Bay.

Ce­leste LeBlanc says Re/Max County Line Realty sold at least six homes in Amherst, N.S., to buy­ers from Western Canada last year, a sig­nif­i­cant num­ber of pur­chases in the town of about 9,500 peo­ple.

The real es­tate firm has two prop­er­ties built in the Vic­to­rian era - one priced $369,900, the more ex­trav­a­gant es­tate go­ing for $579,900.

Even the more mod­est home sits on a 13,900 square-foot lot and touts five bed­rooms, a mas­ter suite equipped with a jet-pow­ered bath­tub, maids quar­ters, an oak stair­case, cherry cab­i­nets, and hard­wood floors through­out the first and sec­ond floors, ac­cord­ing to the list­ing.

It’s much the same story in St An­drews, N.B. Re/Max real­tor Mark Gauley re­cently sold a his­toric prop­erty for an amount he wouldn’t dis­close - but the list­ing price was less than $350,000. Orig­i­nally built around the 1830s, the list­ing says the fivebed­room home “ex­udes the char­ac­ter and charm of a by­gone era” fea­tur­ing mar­ble fire­places, crys­tal wall scones, a pedestal sink and orig­i­nal cook­ing ovens, but also “all the con­ve­niences of a mod­ern home” thanks to a two-storey ad­di­tion put in about 25 years ago.

A short dis­tance from the Maine-New Brunswick bor­der, St. An­drews has been a hotspot for Amer­i­can prop­erty buy­ers look­ing to take ad­van­tage of a favourable U.S. to Cana­dian dol­lar ex­change rate, says Gauley.

As the loonie ral­lied, Gauley says Amer­i­can home pur­chases sub­sided, but he has re­cently no­ticed an uptick in in­ter­est from south of the bor­der.

“We are get­ting some more Amer­i­cans sniff­ing around and buy­ing prop­er­ties,” he says. “Some of it, I would say is (the) Trump ef­fect, be­lieve it or not.”

JAN WAN/CP PHOTO

A his­toric manor in ru­ral Nova Sco­tia, shown in a handout photo, has so­cial me­dia users sali­vat­ing over the roughly $435,000 price tag for the three-acre es­tate.

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