Sunday Mirror 04/11/07

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The east coast of Canada is a haven for nature lovers looking for bargains.
By Sandy Cadiz-Smith.

Spectacular scenery, direct flights and year-round outdoor pursuits mean the east coast of Canada is fast becoming a big draw for savvy British second home buyers who can expect to pay under £100,000 for a stunning family home.

The wide open spaces and huge array of outdoor activities are a major attraction. "Canada has great ski resorts, fishing, hiking, horse trekking and kayaking. It's blissfully uncrowded which is a big plus for Brits looking to escape the densely populated UK," says Mike O'Flynn, of ( ). "Prices are also a big attraction and Eastern Canada is among the more affordable regions. The average price in Nova Scotia in August 2007 was £87,000 while in Newfoundland/Labrador area it was a mere £76,000."

Canada is the second largest country on the planet - after Russia and before the USA - and stretches over 3,854,082 square miles and six time zones. It is home to mountain ranges, over two million lakes and dozens of rivers.
It's the perfect retreat for anyone who is passionate about outdoor pursuits and it's particularly beautiful at this time of the year when the spectacular colours of the changing leaves of autumn will take your breath away.

Canada has become significantly more accessible with the recent introduction of directs flights from the UK, which have a flying time of around five and a half hours. Zoom flies from Gatwick direct to Halifax three times a week with prices from £286 return.
BMI flies direct to St Johns from Heathrow for around £447 return. Aestrus Air flies weekly between Gatwick and Deer Lake, Newfoundland. Prices start at £329 return. Plus there is the favourable exchange rate - £1 will get you $1.97.

"Canada is becoming a haven for foreign investors as, although recent mortgage rises have had an impact domestically, they're still relatively low for many international buyers", says Shawn Luetchens, of ( "Combine this with the strong economy and high consumer confidence and you have an irresistible proposition," he says.
And, if that's not incentive enough, prices are up 13 per cent year-on-year nationally in Canada and are expected to hold up well next year with an increase of 5.5 per cent.

• If you spend less than six months a year in the country you are classed as a non-resident so you don't have to apply
for immigrant status.
• Once the buyer has signed the written offer it becomes legally binding and if you withdraw the offer you lose your
deposit - and could even be sued.
• Make sure every item you are expecting to stay in the property such as carpets is included on the offer as "chattels
• Once the offer is complete it is presented to the seller and negotiations occur. This could include changes in price,
completion dates and chattels.
• The resulting Agreement of Purchase and Sale will state the price and deposit. The deposit is credited towards the
purchase once the transaction is complete.
• As a non-resident you will be able to get a 65 per cent mortgage, so will need to have the 35 per cent down payment.
• Canada's equivalent of stamp duty is called the Property Transfer Tax, which is between 0.5 to 2 per cent of the
property's value. A Goods and Services Tax of 6 per cent is payable on newly- constructed homes but is usually
included in the quoted sale price.

Terence and Kilmeny Saunders and their children, Leonora and Tristam, who were then aged nine and five, found themselves stranded in Canada's Atlantic region by and airline strike in 1998. When the family from North Yorkshire flew back to the UK four days later, there were the owners of a lake side cottage in Nova Scotia.
"We looked at holiday home just for fun," says Kilmeny, who runs a property company with her husband. "When we saw the prices we could hardly believe our eyes. We found a beautiful little cottage with three bedrooms and three acres of land, overlooking a picture-perfect lake - just 90 minutes from the airport. The price was under 25,000."
The family have been taking their holidays there ever since. Halifax is further south than Venice, so the summers are warm, and the children go swimming, canoeing, fishing and beachcombing along Nova Scotia's many beaches.
The winter also draws them back, not just for a white Christmas and stunning snow covered landscapes, but for the winter sports in the ski centres.
Two years ago they bought a house almost double the size of their original cottage. "It needed a little work but the cost after all the improvements where less than £75.000," says Kilmeny. "There's no question, by international standards, Nova Scotia is still a massive bargain, says Terrence. "But it's not just about the price. This is a wonderful place for a family holiday. It's friendly, safe, beautiful and full of attractions. And the process of buying a property in Nova Scotia in safe and well regulated."

Nova Scotia, known for its beautiful scenery and quality of life, is proving popular, with a number of airlines offering direct flights to Halifax, the provincial capital. Halifax is a relaxed waterfront city with a vibrant 19th Century seaport, naval base and an attractive mix of architecture, including white clapboard churches and Victorian red brick public houses. It also has the world's second largest natural harbour after Sydney. As a popular second home destination the region has attracted celebrities such as Jack Nicholson, Demi Moore, Paul Simon, Billy Joel and Roger Moore.
Newfoundland is also attracting interest. The sheer size of it is worth noting - it's as big as Japan, covering more than 400,000 square miles. The capital, St Johns, is the oldest city in North America and the diverse terrain ranges from barren rock to lush farmland to forests and fjords.