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VIDEO: Windsor mansion catches worldwide attention after property listing goes viral


Listing ‘puts us on the map’

WINDSOR, N.S. – You’ve probably seen the Facebook post. A historic home on King Street in Windsor is close to being sold, after hundreds of thousands of people have checked out the listing from all over the world.

Della Marie Jay, owner of the home, said she had no idea it would garner as much interest as it did online.

The post on Facebook has more than 2,000 shares and has been viewed by more than 100,000 people.

Jay moved to Windsor with her late husband after seeing the listing in a real estate magazine for approximately $250,000 in 2005, which Jay said they still considered an incredible price at the time.

Jay said the home was in a state of disrepair when they purchased it, but they made several improvements.

“It’s a house with really good bones,” she said. “Couldn’t be more pleased with how that all turned out.”

Johnathon Benedict, a Realtor with the Benedict Group, and home owner Della Marie Jay stand inside the Lawson House. Both said they were shocked to see how far the real estate listing went.

My grandkids used to call it Windsor Castle,” she added with a laugh.

But for Jay, it’s time to downsize and head back to the city.

“I love the community of Windsor; I’ve never had more friends in my entire life as I do right now,” she said. “It’s a very welcoming place.”

Realtor Johnathon Benedict, with the Benedict Group - Royal LePage Atlantic, said he’s never had a listing go viral quite like this one.

“Typically we would let a Facebook post run for a day, and then do a sponsored post, but there was no need with this one,” Benedict said. “Within two hours we had already reached 10,000 people… The next day it was 100,000 reached.”

He said they received multiple offers on the home after the first day.

An offer was accepted less than a week later, he said.

I think it’s an eye-opener, especially to people who live in other areas. They just can’t get over the fact that a piece of real estate this glamorous and this size, that offers so much, could be priced at this level,” he said. “This house in Toronto, you’re looking at $3 million without question. To get that at a sixth of the price is mind boggling.”

The 5,000-plus square foot home was designed by architect William Critchlow Harris in 1898, and built for a banker named Walter Lawson. Harris also designed the Catholic Church in Windsor, which shares some of the same unique design features.

The house replaced an earlier structure that was destroyed during the Great Windsor Fire in 1897.

This is not the first home in this area to sell after going viral online - The Mounce Mansion in Newport Landing was also shared widely on Facebook, catching the attention of urbanites who couldn’t believe a house of its size could sell for such a low price.

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Benedict says the Annapolis Valley and Nova Scotia in general is attracting more buyers from abroad, who are frustrated with the inflated prices of urban areas like Toronto and Vancouver.

“It puts us on the map,” he said.

“We started getting lots of calls last year from people from Ontario, B.C., Alberta, people looking to move back, just because of the real estate pricing,” he said.

“My team have helped close to 12, 13 families (this year) relocate from away into Windsor, West Hants, the Valley and outside of Halifax,” he said. “This province is starting to become a very attractive place for people.”

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