In 1982, a photographer living in Nova Scotia bought a house that was at the time the definition of a fixer upper. Sherman Hines spent just $15,000 on the home, which sits on 105 acres and is thought to be the oldest house east of Quebec City. Then Hines set about restoring the old home, a task on which he spent the last 30 years.
Now, according to CBC News, Hines has put the home back on the market and hopes his hard work will help fetch some $2 million.
“We drove up and I crawled around in this basement, it was full of mud and debris. I was doing kind of a duck walk around, I couldn’t stand up, and I fell in love with it,” Hines told CBC News, speaking of an early visit to the property.
In addition to restoring the old home, Hines reportedly pieced together the property’s history using old maps and books. According to his research, the property is estimated to have been built around 1699 as a French mission. To this day, the house is still referred to by its nickname, “The Mission.”
What’s more, according Tradewinds Realty, the company in charge of selling the home, the house was once the property of the King of England and the Chancery before the creation of the Township of Newport, when the home and land was granted to two Rhode Island men in 1760.
Despite the modern amenities Hines has added — like stainless steel appliances in the kitchen, and an in-ground pool — the house has many old world charms, such as stained glass windows and a candlelit cellar with stone walls. He also chose to furnish his home with pieces from the period in which is was built; they’re for sale with the house, along with some of Hines’ game hunting trophies.
The Tradewinds listing also notes that the house is 3,800 square feet with three bedrooms and two and half baths. Though Hines and his wife raised their children in the home, he told CBC that it might be well-suited to be a winery or a museum.
In choosing to invest in history, rather than the convenience of an already updated home, Hines may have been well ahead of the curve. Just last month, The New York Times reported that the popularity of purchasing historic residences in Europe, has grown so much that one real estate firm recently added another division to focus specifically on
these types of homes.
“I have clients who say it doesn’t matter where a property is, as long as it has history,” said Jelena Cvjetkovic, one real estate agent told the Times. “Such property is not expected to depreciate over time as other investments might.”