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House Hunting in … New Brunswick, Canada | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Canada- This three-level, four-bedroom house, built in 2008, is set on 4.74 acres at the edge of St. Andrews, New Brunswick, a historic seaside resort town on a peninsula in the Bay of Fundy. With extensive ocean views and rolling lawns, the property, in the unincorporated Chamcook local service district, is a five-minute drive from downtown St. Andrews.

A deep porch wraps around two sides of the home. A pair of large arched doors opens into the front entry hall, which leads to the great room. This room is convenient for entertaining because it has ready access to a full kitchen in the attached two-car garage, as well as a full bath, according to Leona Golding, a broker and the owner of the Fundy Bay Real Estate Group, which has the listing.

The main floor, one level up, has a living room, a kitchen, a dining area, an office alcove, a powder room and a master suite. Most of the flooring is tiger maple, which is known for its distinctive grain. The living room has a fireplace with an automatic “wood waiter” that carries logs up from the garage. A built-in window seat runs the length of one wall. French doors lead to a patio overlooking Chamcook Harbor and Ministers Island, a protected historic site.

The eat-in kitchen has mahogany countertops and custom-designed cabinetry topped by lighted display cases. Windows lining the breakfast nook provide harbor views.

Also on this floor, the master suite has a fireplace and a marble bathroom with an air-jet tub, a sauna and a walk-in shower.

The third floor has three bedrooms and two full baths. A spacious cupola above is walled with windows providing panoramic views of the ocean and Chamcook Mountain.

The year-round population of St. Andrews (sometimes marketed as St. Andrews by-the-Sea) is roughly 1,800, but it swells to nearly 3,000 during the summer months, Ms. Golding said. Downtown, “you won’t see any neon lights,” she said. “It’s mainly quaint little shops” and a single grocery store. Part of the town is designated a National Historic District, with many well-preserved buildings from the 1800s. Fishing charters and whale watch tours begin at St. Andrews Harbor.

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The luxurious Algonquin Resort in St. Andrews, originally opened in 1889 and subsequently rebuilt in a Tudor style after a 1914 fire, features a scenic golf course on the shores of Passamaquoddy Bay. The well-regarded restaurant at the Rossmount Inn uses locally sourced fish and organic produce for its ever-changing menu.

The 500-acre Ministers Island can be reached by car across a sandbar at low tide. Once the summer estate of William Van Horne, a former president of the Canadian Pacific Railway, the island has walking trails and tours of the remaining estate buildings.

The closest airport with scheduled service is in St. John, New Brunswick, about an hour and 20 minutes away; some charter flights use the airport in St. Stephen, New Brunswick, about 20 minutes away. The airport in Bangor, Me., is about a two-and-a-half-hour drive.


While the financial crisis gave buyers in the area the upper hand after 2008, that has started to change in the last year and a half, according to Karl Deering, a salesman with Exit Realty Specialists, in St. Andrews. While it’s still not a seller’s market, he said, sellers “certainly have a lot more strength than they would have had a year ago.”

Prices tend to be more stable within St. Andrews than in surrounding towns. “It’s a little more affluent,” Mr. Deering said. “It’s a market that holds its own.”

Ms. Golding agreed that the last two selling seasons have been stronger, a shift she attributed to the weak Canadian dollar as well as “baby boomers looking at retiring.”

The average home in the area — a three- or four-bedroom residence on an 80-by-160-foot lot — sells for around 250,000 to 300,000 Canadian dollars, or $192,500 to $231,000, Mr. Deering said. But the range is wide, as smaller homes can be had for less than 100,000 Canadian dollars, or $77,000, while some large waterfront properties go for over a million Canadian dollars, or $770,000.


Buyers from outside the area are mainly from western Canada, the United States, England and Germany. “They are coming largely for the more relaxed lifestyle that we enjoy,” Mr. Deering said.

This year in particular has brought more buyers from the west coasts of the United States and Canada, according to Ms. Golding. “I think they’re taking advantage of the high market on the West Coast,” she said, by selling their homes there and buying more for their money in the St. Andrews area.

She noted that the buyer pool also often includes people who spent time in their youth working at the Algonquin. “The Algonquin hires close to 200 students every summer,” Ms. Golding said, “and they tend to come back as they get older because of their fond memories.”


There are no restrictions on foreign buyers in New Brunswick.

All buyers pay a land transfer tax to the provincial government. The tax is 1 percent of the purchase price or assessed value, whichever is higher, according to David A. Bartlett, a real estate lawyer in St. Andrews.

Legal fees typically range from 700 to 1,500 Canadian dollars, or about $539 to $1,155, Ms. Golding said. The broker’s fee is usually paid by the seller, she said.

Second-home buyers in New Brunswick should be aware of some tax implications. Residents are entitled to an owner-occupied credit on provincial taxes, but nonresidents and second-home owners pay a higher rate. Within the town of St. Andrews owner-occupants pay about 1.20 Canadian dollars per 100 Canadian dollars of assessment, Mr. Bartlett said, while nonresidents pay slightly more than double that. Taxes for properties in unincorporated areas like Chamcook are slightly lower.

And when it comes time to sell, homeowners who are not resident income tax payers must pay 25 percent of any capital gain to the Canada Revenue Agency. In order to ensure collection, 25 percent of the sale proceeds are held back at the time of the transaction until the tax calculation is confirmed, Mr. Bartlett said. At income tax time in April, the seller can apply for a refund by submitting documentation of property expenses, including broker’s and legal fees.

“The advice is to maintain good records of all the expenses you incur,” Mr. Bartlett said.

Mortgage financing is available to foreigners, typically for as much as 65 percent to 75 percent of the purchase price, he said.

The New York Times Service