Starter Homes in Nova Scotia

by RateHub.ca August 26, 2013 / No Comments

This charming three-bedroom, one-bathroom bungalow is located in Harrietsfield – a suburb of Halifax, Nova Scotia – and features a new outdoor deck and laminate flooring throughout. With an asking price of $198,900, this is a great option for first-time buyers.

Our starter home series has taken us all the way across the country, from British Columbia to Prince Edward Island. The goal has been to explain what the average starter home costs and features in provinces from coast-to-coast, so first-time homebuyers can better prepare for the real estate market they may be looking in.

After speaking with mortgage brokers from Halifax and Cape Breton Island, it is clear that Nova Scotia’s real estate market is very different on one end of the province compared to the other.

“Right now, Halifax is a hot market. [Buyers] can and should expect bidding wars,” said mortgage broker Mustapha Maynard.

With that being said, starter homes can still be purchased for far less than what they would be worth in many other parts of the country. Maynard says a first-time buyer should expect to pay $175,000-$215,000 for their first home in Halifax.

“Generally, for that price range, one can expect a home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a full or partially completed basement – inside or outside of Halifax.”

Just outside of Halifax, there are a growing number of new homes being built. Many first-time homebuyers are taking advantage of this by buying homes in the area to “avoid the high taxes associated with living within city limits and services,” Maynard explained.

For homebuyers looking to buy on Cape Breton Island, homes are currently priced lower than normal.

“We have a large number of listings this year,” explained mortgage broker Glenn Davis from The Mortgage Group Atlantic Inc. I feel that it’s a buyer’s market this year, and the prices are leveling out with interest rates staying low.”

According to Davis, the average price of a starter home on Cape Breton Island is just $120,000. For that price, first-time buyers can expect to find a three-bedroom bungalow or a two-storey detached home, often with a view of the water.

To give you a better idea of what a starter home looks like in these cities, we’ve created a comparison chart using real homes listed on MLS. Note: We’re looking at a home in Harrietsfield for Halifax and a home in Baddeck for Cape Breton Island.

On top of affordable asking prices, the cost per square footage in Nova Scotia is significantly lower than what we’ve seen in most of the other provinces in this series.

If you’re thinking of buying your first home soon, you should find and speak with a Nova Scotia mortgage broker today. If you’re armed with a down payment and know what you’re looking for, interest rates are still low enough to make this purchase even more affordable than you might think.