FREDERICTON — It sounds like a spectacular buy: A 100-hectare island with two houses and several private beaches on the scenic Bay of Fundy, all for less than the price of a Toronto or Vancouver bungalow.
But the Quebec family that owns Cheney Island has had no luck selling it, and has dropped the price to $850,000, down from $920,000, after a couple years on the market.
Cheney Island is on the New Brunswick-Maine border, just a short distance from Grand Manan Island. While part of New Brunswick, it’s actually closer to the United States than the Canadian mainland.
“Being as big as it is, there are different areas. There’s sandy beaches, there’s rocky beaches and there’s rocky cliffs,” said real estate agent Dan Webster.
“If you’re talking waterfront and you’re talking just acreage in general, in itself it’s a great deal. When you compare that to what you’d pay for similar acreages on Grand Manan Island or the mainland, it’s a steal.”
Cheney Island offers spectacular views and lots of privacy, in waters known for whales and dolphins. It gets its electricity from NB Power.
The Quebec owners have spent their summers on the island since the 1970s.
“They are now getting to a point where the extended family has decided that they’d be better off moving the property off to someone who can use it in a similar fashion,” said Webster.
The owners lowered the price to boost interest, and Webster said it’s working — potential buyers have come forward from New Brunswick and other provinces as well as the U.S. and overseas.
“There are people out there who just like the idea of it being an island. It sounds impressive and there’s no one on your boundary, is there?”
The homes are rustic; photographs reveal wood panelling, a woodstove and thin carpeting. But there are eight bedrooms in total, and taxes were only $3,463 in 2014.
The current owners have a deal with a family on Grand Manan to ferry them over as required.
The island is also accessible by foot or four-wheel drive at low tide.
The two homes are close to the beaches along the southern shore of the island. Webster said there are cliffs along the northern coast, and the island also features fields and wetlands.
“It’s an ecosystem in itself,” he said.
Webster said the island offers the possibility of being used by one family, or subdivided by the buyer.
“Hopefully we’ll see it sell soon,” he said.
Kevin Bissett, The Canadian Press