On the Ocean

So I’ve written in the past about various paradises you can move to in warmer areas (Brazil for example is an amazing place for real estate deals, perhaps for the brave), but after looking at the price of houses in Toronto — it’s hard to find a nice place to live these days for under $500,000, I thought I’d give some examples of places in Canada a person could “drop out” to with a limited set of resources and either the ability to telecommute, or enough investments to live off.

Let’s start with the Magdalen Islands, a beautiful little archipelago in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Here’s a cute little three bedroom house (featured on various postcards of the island) on a four acre lot right on the ocean. Asking price? Only $64,000.

If you prefer something on Cape Breton Island, considered one of the most stunning parts of the world, here’s a five bedroom house on the Cabot Trail on a six and a half acre oceanfront lot. Asking price here is $59,000. If you’re willing to spend “Toronto amounts”, you can get gorgeous houses on mile-long stretches of private beach…

If you’re willing to go farther north, near St. John’s on the island of Newfoundland, you’ll find places like this little three bedroom bungalow in Placentia Bay on a small ocean front lot for the scant price of $29,000. Ocean at once serene and wild.

The properties above are all on the East Coast, which definitely contains most of Canada’s deals in oceanfront property, but even in British Columbia you can find deals, like this little two bedroom cottage (bottom) for an even $50,000 or the three bedroom house (top) for $76,000, both right on the ocean.

Anyway, there are a zillion more and I’m not really very good at searching MLS (I have a patience deficiency), but all of the above are on grid, maintained structures that a person could reasonably move into and work from if they telecommuted. That said, you could always take the path my father did and move onto a boat instead!


  1. p7tms wrote:

    Hi Shannon,

    Since I don’t have the finances to jump right in to one of those houses, and since I’d like to try my hand at obtaining/ creating a self sufficient house, I’d opt for a place I could buy the land for major cheap – then create a house (the plans for the house would be made after figuring out what the location’s strengths/ weaknesses were)

    With that being said, I don’t know anywhere land is really cheap (and you’d not have to worry about neighbors – yet still able to get online).

    Unfortunately, my ideas for a house will have to wait till I graduate college (and pay off that expense ) – but I do think it is something I want to call my own.

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 5:29 pm | Permalink
  2. Rawiri wrote:

    I should get place like those… if i had the money

    life is expensive

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 5:34 pm | Permalink
  3. Scienkoptic wrote:

    any suggestions on telecommuting solutions when you are not within the reach of cable or dsl?
    Dixie cup & string?
    Homing pigeon?
    Anyone got thoughts on Satellite. I’m going to be moving onto 30 acres soon that is not near DSL or cable.
    I’d love to get some suggestions. I’m not within miles of DSL and the terrain is rolling hills with very tall trees.

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 7:05 pm | Permalink
  4. Ian Muller wrote:

    Guess I’m moving to Canada… man could move out to one of those places and survive on being a writer and self-sufficient pretty easily I bet…

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 8:10 pm | Permalink
  5. Morgan wrote:

    I looked up that last house there a couple months ago on mls and it seems like a really good deal at the first glance. The only problem with it is that it’s on native land and you’d only be able to buy the house and then have to lease the land for years and years. A good amount of the ‘deals’ out there aren’t when you look into them a bit.

    Sunday, May 25, 2008 at 8:55 pm | Permalink
  6. Shannon wrote:

    Satellite has latency issues, but pricing and bandwidth gets better all the time. For most people it’s a pretty good solution…

    There’s always dialup as well if you want to do it on the cheap. If you’re mostly reading blogs and doing email and so on, dialup does still work fine.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 4:32 am | Permalink
  7. Allahkat wrote:

    All I need to do now is figure out a viable source of income that would keep me going if I lived that far out.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 5:00 am | Permalink
  8. As a Placentia baymen myself, I’m thrilled to see us get a little shoutout. Although I have to say, it’s more of an easterly trip than a northerly one (47th parallel). That house you posted looks to be on the Cape Shore, the Irish heart of southern Newfoundland. Not only are the people cultural and linguistic dopplegangers for Wexford and Kilkenny folk, but you’d also be within a short drive of this Cape St. Mary’s Ecological reserve, one of the country’s undiscovered treasures. It’s basically Heathrow for seabirds :) Plus lots of dramatic cliffs. See what I mean?

    (I don’t know if HTML will work . . . apologies if it’s a mess of code above!)

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 6:10 am | Permalink
  9. estrojenn wrote:

    i want that place in BC.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 9:28 am | Permalink
  10. Magdalen islands???…
    Is that les îles de la madeleine?

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 10:51 am | Permalink
  11. Shannon wrote:

    Yeah — not sure why the name changes across languages.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 10:57 am | Permalink
  12. MissSio wrote:

    Scienkoptic, depending on where you are living, you can also look into the wireless broadband that AT&T and Verizon have now. I’ve heard good things about it, and it’s not insanely expensive!

    That having been said, I too would love to move to someplace like these… but I’d be more inclined to also just buy land and build my own house. The problem with buying pre-existing homes is that they often are not remotely energy efficient, or really human efficient for that matter.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  13. Shannon wrote:

    A lot of the properties are about the same price whether or not they have a house on them, so you can treat the house as a temporary shelter while you build your own much nicer place. The other good thing about a lot of these regions is they have almost no modern building codes so you can build interesting and efficient structures without having to fight a zoning board.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  14. Scienkoptic wrote:

    My 30 acre piece has a cordwood construction house. Two solar panels ~2KW. Also a large bank of batteries and Inverter system.
    I’m going to look into Sprint wireless. I can get a signal at the house. I don’t know if the service in the region supports wireless. I’ve considered Sprint Wireless broadband with a Linksys Router that you can plug the modem into.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 1:19 pm | Permalink
  15. MissSio wrote:

    See Shannon that’s something I didn’t really think of. There’s always a huge difference in price here in the states, I forget it’s not the same way out there… lol!

    Is it hard (or even possible) to buy land in Canada while not a citizen? (but intending to become one) It’s something my sweetie and I talk about a LOT, buying and moving up there.

    Scienkoptic, if they don’t have coverage where you are now, they will soon enough! I have a feeling this wireless broadband thing is really going to take off, esp if they get good upload/download times. I’m going to switch myself actually. I pay more for my cable hook-up and I can’t take that with me.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 1:36 pm | Permalink
  16. Scienkoptic wrote:

    I going to be going up in a few weeks. I think Sprint has a 30 trial period. I just wonder if Having wireless phone service has any/no bearing on wireless broadband?

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 3:04 pm | Permalink
  17. Shannon wrote:

    Yeah, there are no restrictions on non-Canadians buying land.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 3:15 pm | Permalink
  18. Saelym wrote:

    Being that I was born and raised in Newfoundland, and am currently living in British Columbia, seeing the prices on these gorgeous little East Coast homes breaks my heart. My husband and I currently live in a 3 bedroom townhome (no land) that cost us $341,000. With the prices in BC going up constantly it’s always a battle to find a decently sized home to live in – most condos are lucky to push 900 sq. ft. and most townhomes are 1200 or smaller. *sighs*

    I think our answer, when we sell our home, is to just pack up and start moving east. The further you get from BC the cheaper things seem to get, if you want to stay even remotely near a city center.

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 3:21 pm | Permalink
  19. estrojenn wrote:

    almost forgot – the cabot trail is insanely beautiful. we drove it last year and are going back to do it on our motorcycles this year!

    Monday, May 26, 2008 at 5:45 pm | Permalink
Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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