Caveat Emptor

I’ll ask you to keep in mind as you read the following that I love living here. Buying a house on Campobello was the smartest thing I’ve ever done and it, the people, and the Island itself, bring me joy every day. Still, I think if you’re going to consider investing in a piece of this place that there are a few things you need to know.

I bring this up because the Province is selling a large number of lots that have been seized due to unpaid property taxes. This article, published yesterday, gives a good overview of the sale and some of the background. So, please sit in a comfortable chair and give it a read. πŸ™‚

Last summer a young couple arrived from the mainland looking for 250 acres they could buy and farm. There were a few problems with trying to help them achieve their dream. First of all, a 250 acre plot of land does not exist, although maybe you could cobble together a few properties to get part way to that total.

Secondly, one assumes that farmers are looking for reasonably flat areas. This is not an Island in a river delta. The image directly above is of one of the plots currently on the market. The whole of Campobello isn’t that rugged but an awful lot of it is.

Thirdly, this is a rock. I don’t mean it is composed of 5 or 10 feet of topsoil on top of rock. I mean it’s rock. There’s a reason nobody farms around here. It’s a big deal when you know a neighbour has cultivated a small vegetable garden in their yard.

I don’t want anybody who buys these lots to face the same amount of disappointment that young couple did. Now that you’ve read that article, you should watch this short video put out by the Government before I supplement the information they provide. πŸ™‚

The properties on the “back side” of the Island, Fundy Drive, are undeveloped. Of course – at that price you don’t expect too much. The first thing you will have to do is get some land cleared for a driveway. I did not take this photo from above, lol, some of them will be steep. This driveway, and the next, are all the work that was done on 2 lots before the owners gave up.

Land for your house will have to be cleared and a well dug for water. You’ll also need a sewage system, a hookup for power and a discussion with the Home Owners Association.

There are a LOT of rules governing your development of any property you decide to buy within their sphere of influence and on Fundy Drive (as well as much of the Island) that is all encompassing. You should check out these rules on their website.

I want you to have reasonable expectations before you invest. This is not Nantucket or Bar Harbor. Fundy Drive itself is only partially paved. There are no sidewalks or street lights. You’re definitely in the country.

The sales pitch for these lots (and admittedly there are some in other areas such as Bunker Hill – yes we too have a Bunker Hill) says that, although they are not waterfront, it is just a short walk to the sea shore. I question this assertion. True, Schooner Cove is situated along Fundy Drive and it is pretty.

You’ll find though, once you’ve walked that far, that most of the 2 or so acres it includes are primarily forest and pond. Still there is a beach and my next photo shows you some of it (there is a large flat section with rocks as well).

You’re not going to walk through private properties to get to the water’s edge. Even if you managed that you’d be on top of a cliff.

The other option would be to hike a couple of miles to Mill Cove. I’m not sure what they were thinking when they tried to give the impression you’d be just minutes from the water. πŸ™‚ Still, you could drive to Herring Cove and it is spectacular. There are also stairs down to the water at a number of locations within the Roosevelt International Park.

There is another option for purchasing land within the bounds of the Campobello Island Club (that HOA I mentioned). A few of the developed properties on the water side – with gorgeous houses (the Club rules do ensure a high standard of design) – are for sale as well. These would be private sales and not part of the Government’s offerings.

These homes go for a much higher price than the land being sold to pay off unpaid taxes. Still it would save you all the headaches of doing your own development and it would give you that view. I know a family which has been building a home next to Schooner Cove for the past two years and they love it. It hasn’t been easy though.

I’m not trying to suggest that anybody should give up the dream of living here. I just think you should know more than the sales video tells you. If you go ahead, this could be the entrance to your property – once it’s built. πŸ™‚

2 Comments

  1. Well, considering I’m an introvert and becoming more of a hermit with each passing day (it was a year before I knew that people isolating due to COVID was a “lifestyle change”), considering that I grow more disillusioned with my country, considering I adore the water and find spiritual solace in such places… your island has always sounded like paradise. Too bad there’s a little thing called “money” getting in the way or you’d have a “SecondLife” neighbor. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol You’d be very welcome. BTW I try and explain to people that lockdowns etc really don’t change my daily life. πŸ™‚ Apart from wearing masks and social distancing in public my pandemic has been relatively smooth.

      Liked by 1 person

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