An artist settles down in Saint John’s old north end

Struggling artist Daniel Gable got the bargain of his life: An old house in Victoria Street at Saint John’s old north end for a literal give-way price of $8,000.
 
Having arrived at New Brunswick’s largest city for the first time around two months ago, the musician (and erstwhile tree planter) said that the deal was too tempting to pass up—especially considering that he hailed from Squamish, B.C., where single-family home prices start at around half a million dollars.
 
“I'm not too particular: I knew I was going to be interested in anything for $10,000 as long as it was usable and safe for people to live in,” Gable told CBC News. “It was exciting to think that there are houses this affordable in a Canadian city.”
 
“There was access to water, a university, Saint John as a whole.  It had all these unique properties of a good investment,” he added. “An affordable place to live, and access to a city — that's an artist's way to live, and that's what you have in Saint John.”
 
Gable noted that the home, while not in the best condition upon purchase (it was left unoccupied for several years), proved to be “better than I thought.”
 
Renovations have so far been infrequent, and the artist said that a long road still lies ahead—but it is one that is worth taking, especially considering the potential for an influx of affordable home seekers in the very near future.
 
“If you don't have a lot of expensive costs, you can have your pick of houses and where you want to live in Saint John,” Gable stated. “If I had an extra $100,000, this house would be amazing, but as it is it's functional. I'm not in a huge hurry.”
 
Gable’s optimism towards the largely abandoned old north end might not be misplaced. According to the Canadian Real Estate Association’s numbers as of September, overall home sales in New Brunswick increased by 19.2 per cent month-over-month, while average prices grew by 8.9 per cent in the same time frame.

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