Got $1? You're rich enough to buy property in this lakeside N.B. village

Published Nov. 23, 2018 6:38 p.m. ET
Updated Nov. 25, 2018 12:45 p.m. ET
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Not rich enough for real estate in the big city? Looking for a quieter life?

For $1, you can buy a plot of land to build the home of your dreams in McAdam, a sleepy New Brunswick village.

The generous offer isn’t a desperate bid to repopulate a ghost town, according to McAdam Mayor Ken Stannix. More than 60 homes have been sold in the community of about 1,250 people – located 74 kilometres from Fredericton – in the past two years.

In fact, for the first time in 50 years, the town’s population is growing, not shrinking.

“They’re coming from all over Canada, really. Ontario, Quebec, Newfoundland. We’ve got three families that have moved in here from Texas,” Stannix said.

Demand from those newcomers has put a strain on McAdam’s housing market. And so the mayor made some calls and found a sprawling, undeveloped plot of land up for sale, owned by N.B. Housing.

The land has since been subdivided into 16 lots, each of which is on the market for a single loonie. The catch: buyers must commit to building a home with a minimum living area of 1,200-square-feet in the next two years. In return, the village is offering free water and sewer hook-ups.

“We’ll try and entice younger families, retirees to move to the community and to live here,” Stannix said.

Known for its tightknit community, the village regularly hosts darts games, writers’ workshops, bingo, pick-up baseball and an annual winter fair, which includes an outdoor bonspiel for curlers.

McAdam is surrounded by several small lakes. In town, restaurants and shops dot the main street. The mayor says plans for new businesses and tourism operations are already in the works.

Residents who moved to McAdam say they have no regrets.

“We just found the dream house in McAdam. We weren’t looking here at all. Just happened to find it and couldn’t have found a better place to live,” said Sharon McMahon, who moved from Ontario.

Mary Hann moved to the village from Newfoundland, and said she’s been surprised by the local hospitality.

“The people here are so friendly. And they are so kind. And I’ve never met such wonderful people,” she said.

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