***Update: In October 2017, we launched a website dedicated to all things Prince Edward County (including real estate). Check it out here: Get What You Want in Prince Edward County. ***
It started out innocently, with Brendan and I taking a trip to Picton, Ontario for the annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival. The Cheese Festival is one of our favourite summer activities, and this year, we came home with more than a cooler full of cheese. We came home with a vacation house in Bloomfield, in the heart of Prince Edward County.
Why Did We Buy in Prince Edward County?
- It’s just a 2-hour drive east from Toronto and in our opinion, one of the most up-and-coming areas in Ontario.
- It’s uber-affordable (especially if you’re trained to think Toronto home prices are normal). We bought our home – a 5-bed, 5-bath 3,000 sqft home with pool, hot tub and cabana on 3.5 acres – for the price of a basic condo in Toronto.
- Wine! Beer! Cider! There are almost 50 wineries and craft brewers in the County. Wood-fired pizza in a vineyard, anyone? That’s just around the corner from our house.
- Lakes, bays and beaches – and of course one of Ontario’s best Provincial Parks: Sandbanks. Swim, canoe, SUP or sail.
- It’s a walker and biker’s paradise with kilometres and kilometres of trails.
- Culture, theatre, art galleries, festivals and events throughout the year mean there’s always something to do (even on rainy days)
- There’s a HOT short-term rental market in the County – a house like ours (we’re not on a lake) rents for $3,500 a week
- The County is quickly becoming one of Canada’s foodie hot spots with some of our top Toronto’s chefs recently opening restaurants there (Check out the Jamie Kennedy Summer Dinner Series)
- The Drake Hotel opened up an outpost there 2 years ago, the Drake Devonshire (affectionately known as Drake on the Lake). We like their space so much we hosted our annual BREL Retreat there in August.
Yes, we Used a REALTOR
As licensed Real Estate Brokers, Brendan and I could have represented ourselves and pocketed the commission. But we like to practice what we preach and decided to bring in a true local expert. Our REALTOR guided us on price (we probably would have WAY overpaid for the house), local offer practices (a $1000 deposit, crazy!) and informed us of all things septic tank and well-water related. Like Toronto, there are good and not-so-good areas to buy in and if the price seems to good to be true, there’s always a reason. It’s nice to hear the good/the bad/the ugly from someone who’s an expert.
Maybe. We predict real estate values in Prince Edward County are about to increase significantly. In the meantime, you can enjoy cottage life away from the city (while avoiding the drive to Muskoka) or make some cash by renting it out short-term. If Toronto prices continue to increase at this ridiculous pace, it wouldn’t surprise me to see more young couples buying real estate outside of the city while renting in Toronto.
If you’re thinking about buying in Prince Edward County, drop us a line – we’ll be happy to connect you with our wicked agent!
Oct 2017 UPDATE: We launched a website dedicated to all things related to Prince Edward County, including real estate. Check it out here: Get What You Want in Prince Edward County.
Melanie & Brendan