matter where you are purchasing a home, do your homework first:
a drive out of the city; decide how
far away is far enough. Look at acreages to see how homes are
positioned on the land- do you want a place with lots of trees
so you can’t see the road- or do you want a place surrounded
by a field so everything is wide open. Do you want a creek or
other natural water nearby? Or do you want to get away just far
enough to have even half an acre and be in a rural subdivision
where you still have city services like sewer and water or would
10 acres be more your style?
your family’s needs and current lifestyle. Do the kids
have daily extra curricular activities like piano, hockey and
karate lessons and is the drive limiting? Or are those same
activities in the area you want to move to? Are
you ready to help your children adjust to not having a lot of
kids their own ages nearby and will they need to change schools? (We
have found this not to be an issue, on the contrary, it’s
always been a positive move for all of us!) Make
a list of the amenities you absolutely need and those you can do
without. Are you ready for the extra grass cutting
and snow removal? (Sometimes the job takes the same amount
of time as on a city lot- only it is easier, since you are not
pushing a lawnmower or shovel…) Does anyone have medical
issues that need to be considered?
cites will have rural subdivisions close to the city, where the
drive to get home can be a shorter timeframe than living right
in the city. The only difference is you are putting on
more miles while spending less time at stoplights! We have
lived in several rural places, where a major shopping mall and a
Tim Horton's were 4-7 minutes away! Currently, it takes me 17
minutes to get from our home to downtown in non- rush hour.
Many people will tell you that the few extra minutes it can take
to get home helps to allow you to unwind, so that by the time
you arrive you are already feeling less stressed.
then take a look at things like churches and schools and
shopping. Chances are they are almost as close as where
you are now in the city.
city hall and check on the zoning for where you want to be and
what you want to be doing. Just because you have a couple
of acres does not automatically mean you can have a horse!
And ask about future zoning. You do not want to find out a
year down the road that there is going to be an
industrial/commercial plaza next to you. Call the Ministry
of Natural Resources and ask where the flood plain is, ask about
environmental issues and environmentally protected areas nearby.
And make sure you walk the area of the acreage/ lot you are
considering. Look to see if you can find the boundary markings
for the lot. See
what the soil is like and how much standing water is on the
property. Stop and ask neighbours what their soil is like
and what they can tell you about the area. Ask
if there are any easements or rights of way. Ask
if there is a survey. You
may want to consider having one done, just so you know where the
boundaries are. Check on the utilities- does it have
municipal water or a well? Is the water potable and
tasty or will you need a treatment system? Are
there any known abandoned wells? Are
there sewers or septic systems? What kind of heating is
there? Who looks after the roads- the municipality or a
home owners association- and are there extra fees for that? And
are there power poles/ lines that you might be responsible for? As
well, check to see if there is cable or high speed available –
Yes, there are still areas without cable or high-speed internet!
Check with your insurance company, as the rates may be a bit
higher (remember to locate the nearest fire station and hydrant,
your insurance rate will depend on the distance they are from
down any extra expenses you may incur by being on a larger lot-
do you need to buy a lawn tractor or snowblower?
Perhaps a generator for back up during power outages.
Maybe you would want to contract out for snow removal and lawn
service. Do you need
a sump pump or a backup? There are many things to consider.
you are longing to see a sky full of stars or if it is more
space you want, then “Green Acres” just might be where you
want to be! Many
times those who have always lived within the city on a typical
lot can not even imagine living away from the
"action". To many, rural living appears like
living in the "boonies", where ones whole existence is
shoveling snow or cutting the grass. But most cities, and
is no exception, have rural subdivisions where the commute to
get into town is generally less than getting through town!
Many are on city water and sewers and have gas lines for forced
air gas heating. The only difference is- you have space
between the homes. And yes, your driveway will
probably be longer and your lawn will probably be larger
than it was in the city- but that's what a riding mower and a
snowblower are for!
of us who live in a rural setting know the joy of looking
out the back door at a bit more grass and maybe a few
trees rather than someone else's dining room! We're
not anti -social, we just enjoy a bit of room between the
neighbours and ourselves! Try it- perhaps you’ll
love it too!