As we approached the house from the road, it looked much like it did in the MLS photos, except it was now early spring and there was patchy snow over the dead, soggy brown grass. I would suggest to anyone that this is actually a good time of year to look at a house - there is no being charmed by lush greenery or bright flowers. The house and yard was clearly at its ugliest, and we could see immediately that the roof was in terrible condition and that the shingled exterior badly needed a coat of paint or three. The other thing that was immediately jarring was the fact that the front door (which wasn't visible in the MLS photos; it suddenly became apparent that the small deck in the photos was actually at the back door) had no porch or steps leading up to it; there was no way to enter the front of the house. Hmm.
We parked the car and got out, walking around and around and trying to see in the windows. Not much was visible beyond what we could see in the pictures we'd already seen. The lot seemed somehow smaller that I'd imagined, and was a distinct wedge shape. A line of tall spruce trees ran along the back of the property, and in all directions was farm fields and trees. The place had a derelict air about it, that was certain. But I wasn't scared away, yet.
We got back in the car and did some exploring of the immediate countryside. At the end of a road about a kilometre to the north was an old pier that looked towards Lennox Island (one of the Island's native reserves). We found out later that this was where the ferry used to cross over, before they built a bridge in another spot. About three kilometres east of the house the road gradually disappeared over a hill into a farm field, but we deemed it too muddy and impassable at that time of year, even for the Outback. To the northwest of the house, about a two-minute drive, was the entrance into Green Park, a provincial campground, museum and beach. Straight west was the charming village of Tyne Valley, complete with hospital, small grocery store, liquor store (bonus), post office, and famous for its annual oyster festival. We definitely liked the home's location. It was off the well-beaten tourist path, but still near interesting and scenic Island attractions. Five minutes from Tyne Valley for quick grocery and booze runs, and about 20 minutes from Summerside for big grocery stores and all other urban conveniences.
We trundled back to the cottage and anxiously awaited the official showing and inspection the next day.