I first passed through Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, in 2005 enroute to the celebratory union of my journalist friend Stephanie Nolen to her filmaker beau Meril at his family's farm in Meat Cove, Cape Breton. It was one stop of several on a circuitous road trip beginning and ending in Halifax, Nova Scotia, that would see me loop around the east coast for the first time in my life. I've commented in the past that we Canucks have a habit of traveling the world and never seeing our own entire country. Even though I've been to some pretty remote places, including witnessing monks chanting in Himilayas in the Kingdom of Bhutan and the canyons of Utah, where I hiked amongst the hoodoos, I'm somewhat embarassed to admit I have yet to visit Newfoundland or the Northwest Territories. The only good thing I can see in this shortcoming is that it has probably prevented me from buying even more real estate that I might only occasionally visit.
To my point, this week is my first time staying at a property I have co-owned in Charlottetown for almost three years. Good grief! However, now that I'm here I expect to be visiting with much more frequency. This place is lovely.
Charlottetown was originally on my itinerary in order to see my dear friend James, a musician who has outsourced his talents for the Charlottetown Fesitval over the past 13 years. The festival's headliner musical, and for that matter Prince Edward Island, is most renown for the irrepressible 'Anne of Green Gables' tale based on the bestselling novel first published in 1908 by author Lucy Maud Montgomery. The story, set in 1878, tells the tale of two elderly siblings who share a farmstead and are mistakenly sent an orphan girl instead of a boy farmhand to help with the chores, yet decide to keep her to the dismay of residents.
Prince Edward Island is also known as Canada's Birthplace of Confederation, for its lush rolling green hills made of red clay ideal for growing potatoes, and for some of the country's best seafood chowder.
Having spent my formative years growing up by Willows Beach in Victoria, British Columbia, any destination that has a lush green setting and an easy sea-breezy scent in the air is going to get my Thumb's Up. Charlottetown, with a population of just 32,000, captured my heart for its historic charm and charming architecture. Below are a few snaps:
And below are some pics of the local vintage residential vernacular, some which has subsequently been converted into commercial space:
Having owned a number of properties within the City of Toronto over the past two decades, I had never given much thought to the notion of owning something elsewhere. But when my friend James suggested that perhaps buying something for him to occupy during his summers in Charlottetown might be both a great investment and co-ownership adventure, it got me thinking "Why not?".
As a realtor who helps clients strategize on how to build a well-balanced real estate portfolio, my first rule of thumb for Canadians is to purchase a suitable property as your primary residence. Why? Because your primary residence is not subject to the same Capital Gains Taxes which are payable with the sale of recreational and investment properties. Once you have your primary residence, what you buy from that point forward depends on your own needs, objectives, and motivations.
So what were mine?
You can ready our journey in urbaneer.com's newest blog category called "The Tales Of Upper Hillsborough", which will share with you my own personal journey to purchasing the right investment property in, surprise, Charlottetown!
~ Steven and the urbaneer team
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