Craft industry: South Shore, “seaside shopping”

In the July issue of Maclean’s, and every week here online, recent buyers divulge what they had to do to acquire their dream cottages: pool family money, send relatives to visit, take the first flight to Atlantic Canada after the bubble, or buy on sight, sometimes thousands of miles away.

South Shore, Nova Scotia

Average price of recreational properties (2021): $313,500

The market: Nova Scotia’s south coast is synonymous with maritime charm: home to the iconic Peggy’s Cove Lighthouse, the Bluenose II, seaside beaches and seemingly endless seafood supplies. It’s funny, then, that the biggest cost increase for recreational properties on the South Shore is in the non-waterfront category. Between 2020 and 2021, prices for interior cabins have increased by 29%. This has kept pace with soaring home prices in the region, thanks to new waves of out-of-province buyers, particularly from Ontario and British Columbia, hoping to get more for their real estate money. All eyes are on the East, and its holiday market has exploded as a result.

The buyers : Jordan Perry, a 30-year-old mortgage agent, and his wife, Tanya, a 27-year-old parts and warranty administrator.

After deciding that a cabin in the Kawarthas was financially out of reach, the Perrys set their sights on Nova Scotia’s South Shore. (Photo by Sarah Hiltz)

For a long time, Tanya and I had the goal of owning a cottage, somewhere near the ocean but not on the ocean itself. We wanted a lake so we could swim, boat and kayak. The Kawarthas are great, but they were financially beyond our reach. We love Mahone Bay, Lunenburg and Bridgewater so we decided the South Shore would be our number one region.

Jordan: I live in Warsaw, Ontario, but I considers me an honorary Atlantic Cangoodbye. My brother went to school in Dalhousie, and visiting him was my first real exposure to the East Coast. He met his wife there and ended up staying there. And my ties go beyond family: I am a mortgage broker and real estate investor, and my business is primarily located in New Brunswick.

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I have developed a remote purchasing system: I start by looking for places that have been on the market for a while, those that have been forgotten. Earlier this year, I came across a 2,200 square foot log cabin with a gorgeous red roof on Big Mushamush Lake. It had been on the market for 200 days and needed some maintenance: there were holes in the drywall, bright orange walls, the decking was attached in the wrong place and the roof overhang was not wide enough to protect the face of the chalet. rain water.

The Perrys wanted a lakefront property so they could swim, boat and kayak.  (Photo by Riley Smith)

The Perrys wanted a lakefront property so they could swim, boat and kayak. (Photo by Riley Smith)

I asked my brother to check out the property in person. He didn’t raise any huge red flags, so Tanya and I made an offer of $500,000. The owners responded with $550,000. Once we received the inspection report, we negotiated our final offer at $500,000. I wrote a letter of apology to the owners for the low offer, but in the end, that’s what I thought the property was worth. We bought at sight and closed in April, a month after the birth of our second son.

For years I was puzzled as to why people weren’t as drawn to Nova Scotia as I was. Now it seems everyone has it figured out. The South Shore has never been a market for multiple bids and bidding wars, but now it is.

I consider investment properties to be assets, but I made the decision early on to put this specific property in the liacollar bilityuh. This cabin is certainly rustic, but for us, it is a big dream come true.


This article appears in print in the July 2022 issue of Maclean’s magazine. Subscribe to the monthly print magazine here or purchase the issue online here.

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