On the move – region seeing influx of new residents from across the country, looking to call New Brunswick home

St. Stephen – In recent months, Charlotte County has seen its fair share of new residents coming from other provinces. Realtor Katelyn Rodas of Exit Realty said this may be due to the fact that the property prices are lower in New Brunswick than in other provinces, and people are able to sell their homes at a profit and buy homes here without having to take out mortgages.

“There are so many people coming,” said Rodas. “Our property values, although they are higher than they’ve ever been here, they are still so much less than where they’re coming from. If you take somebody that is selling their house in Ontario, they’re selling their house for $600,000 or $700,000, easy. They usually have quite a bit of equity in their home, and they’re able to sell their house, a lot of the time they can move here and buy a home, mortgage-free.

Rodas said another selling point for people from outside of New Brunswick is that for many of them, a yard may have only been a pipe dream when living in Ontario or Quebec, especially for those who lived in the cities. They can move here and have much more property they can enjoy, which is particularly appealing to those who are nearing retirement age.

“People can’t believe the size of the yards. They can’t believe how much value they can get in terms of property and house size for the price.”

In some cases, people are fed up with the high cost of living in other provinces. For instance, if someone wanted to buy a condo in the city, they could be looking at upwards of $200,000 for a down payment. They can come to New Brunswick and buy a nice home outright for half that amount.

“Here, you can buy a house for $100,000,” said Rodas. “Now, a house would be small, our values are still high, but if they have some saved and they still need a mortgage, they’d still have at least a 20 per cent down payment here. Most of the time, they already have a home. They’re selling that home, and they may only have half or a quarter paid off. But, they’re usually able to come and buy something mortgage-free because of the equity they have in their homes.”

In other provinces, houses are sold firm, with no conditions, or basically, as is/where is, and they sell quickly. The offers are firm, so the homes are sold as soon as the offer is accepted. Many people like the fact that things work a bit differently. They have time to shop around, and buy homes “sight unseen” by using Facetime and other online resources. They have plenty of time to hire property inspectors, who will work for them as a third party to ensure the homes are in good condition.

“Most of the time, they’re not here because of the two weeks isolation,” said Rodas. “They kind of really rely on those virtual tours, and their inspectors in order to purchase a property. Then, they come and do their two weeks isolation on closing. There’s really nowhere else where you can buy a home like that right now, because the market’s so hot.”

Rodas said social media is one of the most important tools for realtors these days, and for potential home buyers. Often, it is through social media where people find homes to buy, and they do all of their business transactions in this manner, including the purchasing of homes.

“I think it’s really important as a realtor to have a huge presence in social media,” Rodas said. That’s how they find these houses. I know myself and my team at within Exit we do work with that. I think that there are so m many wonderful homes on the market. If they were promoted on social media, people would see them more regularly, and I think we’d have even more people coming to the area.”

Is there a specific age demographic for the majority of people who are moving to New Brunswick from other provinces? Rodas said she is seeing a lot of clients between the ages of 40 and 60 from outside of the province. She still has clients in their 30’s, but in most cases, those who are coming from away are in the older age bracket. Rodas noted that many of these people are taking early retirements, and coming here as a way to be in better financial positions and enjoy their retirements.

“They can retire, buy a house mortgage-free, and retire on some of the equity they have on their house.”