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Moving to Nova Scotia? What to Consider.

Let’s welcome Keith Kucharski! Keith and Sarah are friends that moved to Nova Scotia a few years ago. Since then, quite a few of my friends have moved there or purchased property. I’ve asked Keith to share some of his wealth of knowledge about Nova Scotia and what you might consider if you are considering moving to Nova Scotia.

Five years ago, my family and I moved from a mid-sized city in Alberta to an acreage in rural Nova Scotia. And as a Nova Scotia REALTOR® operating in the Annapolis Valley and South Shore, I’m experienced in helping out of province buyers relocate to their new home in Nova Scotia. Here are some of the reasons why you should move to Nova Scotia (and some reasons why you might not want to).

Affordable housing

Nova Scotia housing prices are still the envy of the nation. “But there are no jobs!” people used to complain, and certainly a depressed job market was an east coast reality for a long time.

However, Nova Scotia is experiencing an employment boom, as new companies look to the east coast for undiscovered talent. And with remote work finally reaching more widespread acceptance, living in Nova Scotia but working for a remote company is increasingly common.

Though increased demand has driven up the cost of housing and home prices in Nova Scotia are rising faster than nearly anywhere else in the country, homes in Canada’s Ocean Playground are still more affordable when compared to other urban areas. Keep in mind though, many older Nova Scotia homes will need significant repairs to meet the standards required by people moving here from larger centres.

Nova Scotia coastline

Lakefront and oceanside fun

It’s been said that living near the ocean “lowers stress and anxiety, increasing an overall sense of well-being and happiness, a lower heart and breathing rate, and safe, better workouts,” says Dr. Wallace J. Nichols in his book Blue Mind.

Whether you choose Halifax, a suburb, a smaller regional centre, or a place out in the sticks, you’re never more than 30 minutes from the ocean, and usually less than that from a lake. It’s easy to plan a last-minute beach day or get out for a paddle or go fishing when the mood strikes, without having to plan a multi-day trip.

Friendly and welcoming people

While we had family in Nova Scotia (my wife was born and raised in Cole Harbour), we didn’t know anyone in the area of the Annapolis Valley that we moved to. However, east coasters are a friendly bunch (as long as you don’t complain too much about the things we actually like, such as stores closing on holidays, or the slower pace of life).

Even in the tiniest communities, you’ll find plenty of opportunities to make friends and connections. Each week there’s a community supper, usually held in schools, church basements, and fire halls, that bring neighbours together to raise funds for projects while sharing delicious, home-cooked food. 

Volunteering for the local fire department, or a shore clean-up is another sure-fire way to make friends fast. Plus, with the recent influx of new residents from BC, Alberta, and Ontario, you’re sure to find friends with recent experience going through the same transition you are.

Nova Scotia lake shoreline

A thriving cultural scene

Nova Scotia is a very musical place, and there is live music everywhere, all the time. And the festivals? There are literally thousands throughout the province all year long (our favourites are the South Shore Lobster Crawl and the Apple Blossom Festival).

Keep in mind that the further you buy from Halifax, the less sophisticated or frequent the events and restaurants will be. Each of Nova Scotia’s 7 distinct regions is different, and where one area might have vineyards and five-star restaurants, another might have stellar golf courses but only middling restaurant options. Areas popular with tourists, such as Halifax, Wolfville and Annapolis Royal, have excellent options for food and entertainment.

Are there any downsides to moving to Nova Scotia?

I won’t sugar-coat it–there are some very valid reasons why you might not want to move to Nova Scotia. Check out I Regret Moving to Nova Scotia to read some of the reasons why people might decide against moving to Nova Scotia. Also, don’t hesitate to reach out to me to discuss why you’re considering moving here and how I can help, or download my free Guide to Buying a Home in Nova Scotia for Out of Province Buyers.

Thanks to Keith for giving us a lot to consider before moving to Nova Scotia. I can’t wait to visit him and Sarah and I’ll keep looking at Nova Scotia properties on MLS and dreaming.