When we see Canadian real estate on the news, it's usually stories about impossibly high price tags in Vancouver, or the lack of affordable housing in Toronto. So here's a nice reminder - to us and the world - that reasonably priced real estate still exists outside of our largest metropolitan centres!
An elegant 5000+ square foot historic manse in the town of Windsor, Nova Scotia, has been listed for sale for $395,000. Designed by architect William Critchlow Harris in 1898, and built for a banker named Walter Lawson, it was posted for a half million last year, but didn't sell. Now that the price has been reduced, the real estate agent - Johnathon Benedict, with the Benedict Group Royal LePage Atlantic - says buyer interest has been overwhelming.
When he loaded the property on to Facebook, the post reached 100,000 people in one day, garnering phone calls and emails from interested parties as far away as Dubai and Sydney! Johnathon said they thought there must be an error in the price - like a missing zero. Years of supply and demand issues, real estate speculation, and foreign investment have made Toronto and Vancouver two of the most unaffordable real estate markets in North America. So, after half a decade of international media coverage on those inflated markets, this is a much-needed reminder to the world that Canada’s real estate is still reasonably priced in many provinces!
And this picturesque property seems quite the bargain! Located in the scenic Annapolis Valley and boasting 8 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a backyard pool, basketball court, and wine cellar, this meticulously cared for 100+ year old home would likely sell for over $3M in a city like Toronto!
Here's some photos of the expansive property, that owner Della Marie Jay's grandkids used to call "Windsor Castle":
Real estate has always been cheaper in rural areas, that don't offer the same "centre of it all" amenities that urban centres do, but the skyrocketing prices that Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal have experienced in the past 5 years makes this gap all the more pronounced - almost humourously so!
For example, the Huffington Post gathered these city properties, offered for about the same price as this manse:
In Toronto, a 600 square foot condo with one bedroom and one bathroom:
In Calgary, an 1137 square foot 2bed 3bath townhouse:
In Vancouver, a 402 square foot micro condo, with 1bed and 1bath:
In Montreal, a 1bed 1bath condo:
Pretty incredible, right?
If you're a city dweller, could you sacrifice the urban lifestyle to enjoy more house in a smaller town? Before you answer, we offer you this study from earlier in the year: according to researchers at McGill University in Montreal and the Vancouver School of Economics - who analyzed the health, happiness, and overall life satisfaction results of 400,000 surveyed Canadians across the country - life is "significantly less happy in urban areas".
So... rural dwellers get better bang for their buck, and are, overall, more satisfied with their lives...
...but can they get Thai food at 3am?! Because - trust me - that's pretty darn satisfying too!
Real estate aside, here's a great Financial Post article by Phillip Cross entitled: "The Importance Of Rural Canada And Its Growing Divergence From Cities"
And here's another Nova Scotia mansion whose sale went viral:
~ Posted by Steven Fudge, the purveyor of houseporn.ca and proprietor of Urbaneer.com, a division of Bosley Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage.
*All photos courtesy of The Huffinton Post and Benedict Group - Royal LePage Atlantic