A RESTORED FARMHOUSE ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
1.2 MILLION CANADIAN DOLLARS ($1,219,944)
This three-bedroom farmhouse spanning 2,330 square feet has 20 acres of coastal property. It was built in 1925 on the foundation of a 19th-century home destroyed in a fire; a 2002 addition houses the main entrance.
Framed with timber and clad in cedar shakes, the property, called Meadowlea, was once a favorite refuge of Lucy Maud Montgomery, the author of the "Anne of Green Gables" series of popular children's novels set on Prince Edward Island, said Ian Carter, an owner along with his wife, Beth. In a letter to a friend, the author particularly admired Meadowlea's brightly colored gardens, Mr. Carter said, adding that the gardens remain a vivid feature today.
The farmhouse has wide verandas on three sides; the entrance, off one of them, faces a circular driveway. It leads to a sunken family room with a propane fireplace, floor-to-ceiling windows facing the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and an entertainment center and cabinetry locally made in solid birch and cherry. Just adjacent, a large passage connects to the kitchen, with a breakfast nook, a granite-topped island and stainless steel appliances, most of them by the American company Jenn-Air. In the rear of the house, a formal dining room has large bay windows facing the coast.
Another living room, also with bay windows, is reached through an area defined by four white pillars, the site of a working parlor stove salvaged from the 19th-century house and refurbished by the owners. The asking price does not include such furnishings, Mr. Carter said, but they are negotiable.
"Some of the original furnishings could come with house," he said, "and our preference would be they stay in the house."
In a Victorian parlor at the front of the home, an original 19th-century door with crimson stained-glass panels opens to a veranda and the gardens. The parlor stairs lead to three bedrooms; two including the master suite have bay windows facing the Gulf. The master bath has brass fixtures and an oversized tub with jets. A 19th-century bowed bed in one guestroom is original and available for purchase, Mr. Carter said. The two guestrooms share a hall bath.
The house has hot-water heating, and in-floor heating in the sunken living room, the kitchen and the three bathrooms.
Most of the property is leased to a local farmer, but about three acres are planted with poppies, roses, hydrangeas, English lavender, and other plants. There is a garden shed, and architectural plans also are available for a carriage house that was never built, Mr. Carter said.
Swimming is possible on the property, along the beach on New London Bay, though the site is more amenable to clam-digging, Mr. Carter said. There are better beaches for swimming, in addition to golf courses, minutes away by car, he said. The general area has restaurants and small-town shopping, but the closest city with substantial services is Summerside, about 20 minutes' drive. Charlottetown Airport, which has international flights, is about 40 minutes away.
Home prices on Prince Edward Island, a province in northeastern Canada with a 2,200-square-mile principal island and more than 200 minor islands, were largely spared by the global financial crisis. Even so, hard times have diminished the number of American buyers, who own much of the coastal real estate on Prince Edward Island, said Wayne MacKinnon, a sales agent with Royal LePage Country Estates, which has this listing.
"A lot of people from the U.S. would come up and say Prince Edward Island is like a very early Cape Cod," Mr. MacKinnon said. "We still see some U.S. buyers, but not nearly as many as we saw five years ago."
Between 2000 and 2011, the average sales price increased every year, ending up at 149,617 Canadian dollars, according to data from the Canadian Real Estate Association provided by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Prices increased at least 4 to 5 percent a year until 2010, when increases shrank to 1 or 2 percent; data for the first six months of 2012 indicate a trend toward a similarly small increase.
Sales of standard single-family homes have stayed strong; it is sales of second homes and vacation homes that have fallen off because of the downturn, said Joel Ives, the broker/owner of Century 21 Colonial Realty. A house costing 400,000 Canadian dollars or more represents the high end of the island market; so far this year, 29 homes of this caliber have sold, he said.
Such homes tend to be on the coast, and an inland home "would cost half or less than half of what you'd pay for a home on the ocean," Mr. MacKinnon said. The average range for an oceanfront vacation home is 300,000 to 600,000 Canadian dollars, though properties can exceed 1 million. Inland, the range is 175,000 to 225,000 Canadian dollars, about the same as an undeveloped oceanfront lot under an acre, he said.
This farmhouse, which has been on the market about six months, is priced fairly high at $1.2 million, largely because it's on 20 acres of prime oceanfront land, Mr. MacKinnon said.
WHO BUYS ON PRINCE EDWARD ISLAND
New Englanders used to be the main foreign buyers in the Prince Edward Island market because of their proximity, but they have largely been supplanted by buyers from Europe, Australia and Asia, Mr. MacKinnon said. In recent years the island has been especially attractive to Japanese buyers.
Among Canadians, Prince Edward Island has always been popular with easterners, but has also begun attracting buyers from the west, particularly Alberta, which has a booming oil industry, he said.
Nonresidents of Prince Edward Island -- Canadians included -- must get government approval to buy more than five acres of land or more than 165 feet of water frontage on the island. The requirement is largely a formality, brokers said.
"For the most part, people technically do get rubber-stamped," Mr. Ives said, "unless it's in a certain area where it's all foreign-owned. But very rarely do they get turned down."
Foreigners also must use a local lawyer to close on any property, Mr. MacKinnon said. Typically, closing costs include about 2,500 Canadian dollars in fees for title search, deed registration and lawyer services, plus a 1 percent land transfer tax, he said.
Mortgages are available for foreign buyers, though the down payment is usually 25 to 35 percent, so many take out a mortgage in their home country and pay in cash, Mr. Ives said.
Meadowlea Web site: Meadowlea.ca
Prince Edward Island government: Gov.pe.ca
City of Charlottetown Web site: City.Charlottetown.pe.ca
Canadian Real Estate Association site: Crea.ca
Prince Edward Island tourism site: Tourismpei.com
LANGUAGES AND CURRENCY
English, French; Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar = $1.02)
TAXES AND FEES
Property taxes on this home are about 2,000 Canadian dollars a year.
Wayne MacKinnon, Royal LePage Country Estates, 902-888-9875; Peiproperties.info
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.