A beautiful and inexpensive place in North America where oceanfront and lakeside lots can be had for as little as $10,000 (or a charming 3-bedroom home on several acres can be yours for under $50,000). Sound like a dream? It’s not. This slice of Heaven does exist. Nestled in the North Atlantic on Canada’s east coast, Nova Scotia is a little-known paradise steeped in Scottish, Irish and English history. For the potential expatriate or retiree, Nova Scotia has a lot to offer…cheap real estate, a low cost of living, unspoiled natural environment, friendly people and lifestyle opportunities to suit virtually every taste. Coastal property prices are among the lowest in North America and with the local government rolling out the red carpet to newcomers, it has the potential to become North America’s next great retirement haven.
Nova Scotia has long been a favorite escape for savvy Canadians and Europeans, yet few Americans live or retire in this secretive outpost. Why? Well, perhaps it’s because Nova Scotia isn’t a destination you stumble across by accident. Almost completely surrounded by water, it lies hidden between the Atlantic Ocean, the Bay of Fundy, the Northumberland Strait, and the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
Canada’s second-smallest province (21,425 square miles), Nova Scotia is about half the size of Pennsylvania with a population of just under 1 million people. Its craggy 4,600-mile coastline is dotted with quaint fishing villages, lighthouses and working seaports. Over 3,800 islands lie off its shores (some are for sale); the largest being Cape Breton, which is nearly a quarter size of mainland Nova Scotia. Most of Nova Scotia’s population is concentrated along the coast. The largest city is the capital, Halifax, in which about 40% of the province’s population lives (much of the interior is heavily forested and sparsely populated). The area’s most famous part-time residents are Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Paul Simon, Billy Joel, Roger Moore, and Alan Arkin, all of whom have summer homes here.
Live the Good Life…stress free
Nova Scotia is one of those places that can seduce you through its sheer natural beauty. The seemingly endless stretches of picturesque coastline, a lush green countryside, the beautiful colors of autumn, and the friendliness of its people, make it one of the most livable places in North America. Nova Scotia has a bit of something for everyone: old-world European architecture, everything is close to the water, New England-style charm, great restaurants and leisure opportunities, and slow-paced towns that haven’t changed much since the 19th Century, where fishing and enjoying the outdoors is a way of life.
The climate is another plus. Summer temperatures range from the mid 60s to the low 80s, with the winters being much milder (with less snow) that you’d expect to see north of the border. Like the United States, Canada has a fully democratic system that respects individual rights and freedoms. In fact, Canada has some of the strictest personal and financial privacy laws in the world.
Compared with many places in the United States, Nova Scotia enjoys a low crime rate, with incidents of violent being remarkably low. Americans don’t need a visa to spend up to 180 days as a tourist in Canada and non-citizens may buy property without restrictions.
Live the good life on less than $25,000 a year.
Besides the fact that there’s no such thing as a rat race in Nova Scotia, you can legally enjoy perks that are forbidden at home (such as being able to smoke genuine Cuban cigars). Its biggest asset is its cost of living. You’ll pay $12 a month for cable TV and $28 a month for home telephone service (or use a public payphone for just 20¢)…you can have fresh lobster, potato salad, coleslaw, bread, and mouthwatering dessert at a charming local restaurant for $17, and that includes a good bottle of local wine!
Affordable Real Estate
To give you an example of the costs in U.S. Dollars, here are some properties on offer right now (late May 2005):
o A beautiful private 1-acre lakefront lot (only 35 minutes from the capital) for only $10,500, and a 3/4-acre lot with ocean views: asking price: $14,500 (just an hour from the capital), both perfect places to build your dream home.
o A 4-bedroom home overlooking the harbor in a charming private neighborhood for $53,750.
o A 5-acre lot to build your dream home on in a new development right on the Atlantic Ocean neat several country clubs for $36,400.
o A newly-renovated ocean-view 4-bedroom home within walking distance of a golden sand beach and the local general store (and only a 10-minute drive from one of Canada’s most picturesque historic towns) can be yours for only $105,000.
o A secluded, yet accessible 340-acre parcel of land that includes a lake on the property (your own private fishing and hunting reserve). The cost: $101,000.
o A fully-furnished bachelor apartment in the city for $500 a month, which all utilities, indoor parking, TV, microwave, bed linens, dishes and eating utensils. Only a 10-minute walk to the ferry.
These deals and many more make this little-known place worth investigating. Right now is the perfect time to get into Nova Scotia on the ground floor, before the mainstream media lets everyone in on the secret and prices begin to soar.
For more information about living, retiring and investing in Nova Scotia, visit: http://www.nsliving.info.
Phillip Townsend is author of Passport to Canada: The Complete Guide to Living and Retiring in Nova Scotia. His website is http://www.nsliving.info