July 2, 2019

Finding A New Place To Grow

Our search for a place to settle more self-sufficiently (and cheaply) in Nova Scotia is off to a slow start, mostly because we do everything slowly. But that is not the only reason for our leisurely pace.

There are a few other reasons not to rush into making one of the largest purchases of our lives.

1. House prices have been dropping since we got here in 2014, and continue to drop.

2. We planted our garden. We can't leave it now, can we?

3. The rental we are currently living is, in many ways, perfect for our needs. Plus, our new landlords are excellent folks. 

4. We have never bought a home before, and it's a scary commitment. 

The house shown above caught our interest as we continue our research into the market here. 

At 79 sq m (850 sq ft), it was listed at $84,000 one year ago. Since then its price had been reduced to $47,500, and it just sold for $42,000. That is a substantial discount, and shows that rushing right now could cost us more.

This particular house, though, was too far from services, requiring a 30 minute drive to the nearest town. It was on a smaller lot (929 sq m/10,000 sq ft), which was sloped. Not the best for a wheelchair. 

On the plus side, the house was in the size range we are looking for, and came with 4 cords of wood. It also has the historical significance of being on the oldest graded road in Canada. 

Granville Road was established in 1606 by Samuel de Champlain, running from Port-Royal to Digby Cape, NS.

Better than that, how about the view across the street?

In between watering and weeding our garden, we will continue to look for a new place to grow and thrive. Until we discover our special place, we will continue to enjoy where we are here and now.

We hope you are doing the same.


  1. Hi Gregg. I'm excited for you and Linda in your house search! The house above is lovely. Very small in comparison to some of the obnoxiously large homes we see here. I prefer smaller myself. Less crap to store and less home to clean. If it's any use, our section is only about 660 sq meters ( with a 160sqm home), and I am growing a fair bit of food as well as numerous fruit trees. Like you guys, I would've liked a bigger section but the location is fabulous. Also, your houses are super cheap to buy! I'm jealous. It's ridiculous how expensive homes here are, very disheartening for first home buyers. I'm so glad you don't have that hurdle. Being content where we are is sometimes tricky, but I keep thinking of blooming where I'm planted and being content. We've got a lot to be grateful for :)

    1. One reason we moved here was because it was one of the only places in the country we could afford to buy a home. Older, smaller places in more rural areas can be very reasonable.

      It is good to remember that one can do a lot with a little. We are amazed at how much food we can get from our 8 X 16 raised bed. It will be nice to plant some fruit trees and berries.

  2. Anonymous7/02/2019

    Gregg, I am amazed at the price the house started at, let alone the selling place!

    When I bought my home about 11 years ago I had a very small budget. One thing I was careful of was location - you can fix the house up, but you cannot change your neighbours! I looked over the back and side fences of every house I looked at, and when I became serious about a house also knocked on the neighbours doors. This way I got an idea of who was living there and could ask if there were any issues with noise etc...

    I have been lucky with fantastic, mostly elderly neighbours, and over ten years have fixed my home up. It really was the worst house on the street, but now it looks loved and has a thriving garden. Try not to be too worried about the commitment. There is nothing more thrilling than having your own little piece of land that no-one can take from you, especially once you start planting fruit trees for the future!


    1. We are not used to being in a position to buy a home, having spent most of our lives in wealthier provinces where homes/land are much more expensive. It is very exciting for us to be in this position as we have plans we would like to put into action.

      Thank you for sharing good advice about neighbours. That is an important consideration.

      Can't wait to plant things, like fruit trees. Also blueberry bushes.

  3. Good advice from Madeleine! I cannot believe that home's price dipped in value so drastically over a year. There must have been a reason why. If the market is that bad (or for a buyer, that good), I wouldn't wait too long to buy something because little gems like that are sure to get snatched up quickly. That view was worth the price for sure. Good luck in your search!

    1. Nova Scotia is not a materially rich province, and a lot of people want to live in more urban areas. That means that homes in more isolated rural areas, like the one I showed above, are going pretty cheap. The better of these homes do tend to get snapped up quickly. Very few go for asking price. That all works in our favour.

      Nova Scotia is a beautiful place, which makes up for the lack of economic vigour. Plus, the people here are very friendly and community minded. Because this is a poorer province, people know how to live well with less, and we like that.

  4. I am excited for you on your new home search. Houses are going up here instead of down.

    1. Thank you. Real estate in most places is stupid expensive. Thankfully here it is different. We have calculated that we can save money over renting the place we are currently in, if we buy. And it is all about saving money.

  5. Anonymous7/03/2019

    We are doing the same thing, Gregg and Linda! Home prices in Texas are going down a little, but that is for houses that need a little (or a lot of!) work. Houses that are in good shape have lots of bidders! So, we are patient and offer what we are wiling to afford.

    I wonder when (not if) the housing market will go down again. As to the commitment, we, too, are nervous. But it helps to think about the fact that we are paying rent each month, and that commitment doesn't scare us. We've always been renters, and the nomadic lifestyle is appealing. But so is being able to plant gardens and trees, and have control over what is (and is not) sprayed on the land. That is huge for us. We also want to collect rainwater and be more self-sufficient in general, which can be tough to do in an apartment. Best of luck to you guys! Slow is the way...
    Peace, Erin

    1. Yup, we are ready to grow roots somewhere nice. Plant trees, cultivate a huge garden, keep chickens, compost, have a wood lot, are some of the things we are looking to do. An active, cooperative, eco/artistic community would be nice, too.

      We wish you well in your quest for a new place to dwell. May you find exactly what you envision for yourselves.

  6. That view is fantastic!
    Living in a mobile home works well for me in accessibility. However I'm limited on what can be done outside living in a controlled park. It doesn't matter to me since I can't get out in the yard anyway.
    I wish you all the luck in the world in finding just the right place at the right price.

    1. Thank you, Marla. We have looked at many mobile homes. Some are in parks, and others are on their own lots. They are all quite affordable.

      It seems that many communities have controls these days that limit what one can do outside the home. No clothes lines, for example.

    2. We aren't allowed clothes lines, but I get away with using drying racks out on the screened porch. We are allowed a small vegetable plot but no fruit bearing trees.

      I think I've mentioned before a book I read called "Trailersteading". The woman who wrote it found a very cheap trailer, moved it on a plot of land and started a homestead. Trailers aren't for everyone, but it is a cheap alternative for some.

      Our park looks more like a housing development and the "trailers" look more like ranch style homes. It was a good alternative for my parents in retirement.


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