Lonely Planet Writer

Fancy buying a holiday home in both the USA and Canada? This house straddles the border

Fancy having breakfast in one country and dinner in another? You could do that every day as a house that stretches across the US and Canadian border is up for sale. Be warned though, it probably won’t be quiet living.

The flags of USA and Canada
This could be your new flag. Image by simon2579

The ‘Old Stone Store’ house straddles the US-Canadian border across the communities of Beebe Plain, Vermont and Stanstead, Quebec and has an entrance in each country. There are five apartments within the structure and it even has two postal addresses. The tax on the property is paid to the two governments proportionally, with more of the structure being on US soil.

The house was originally built as a means to sell to farmers in both countries easily, and in times of Prohibition was used as a convenient smuggling post. The DuMoulins family have lived here for 40 years but now the house is now in need of some serious maintenance and the couple simply don’t feel they’re able to give it the attention it needs.

But despite its unique location – or perhaps because of it – it’s proving difficult to find a buyer. While the border house used to be a delightful quirk, in the post 9/11 world of tighter border controls, it’s a unique challenge and the couple believe this is putting potential buyers off.

The line in the middle of the street divides the two countries
Neighbors on Causa Street in Beebe Plain, Vermont and Beebe Plain, Canada hold the US flag and the Canadian flag up with pride. Image by Bob Krist

Life used to be a little simpler in the border town but now it’s monitored closely, which can lead to misunderstandings. Just last year, the DeMoulins were ordered to report to the border post when a new Canadian border agent saw them standing on the driveway on the United States side of their house.

There are advantages to having one house across two countries though. Aside from the fun of one person being in Canada while the other is in the USA, it’s also an extremely safe location, being guarded by armed officers around the clock. Both Canadian and US citizens are eligible to buy the property and it could make a quirky B&B for someone willing to restore the old house to its former glory (and to iron out the formalities with the border agents).