Land Hunting Update

When I last wrote, we had gone to view a property that we’d passed up on several weeks ago because the slope of the land was rather steep. After weeks of looking for other options we were starting to feel it might be our best bet after all. We had decided to put in an offer when we found out one had just been accepted.

I was feeling quite discouraged as nothing else was available and new listings weren’t coming up very often. Turned out our realtor did some digging and learned that a family just up the road from the place we missed out on was looking to sell off 2 acres of their 10 acre lot. They are a family of builders who are well known locally with a good reputation for quality work. They hadn’t listed their lot, but were wanting to sell to someone who would use them to build the new home.

We went to view the lot last week and it is lovely! It is a wide rectangle oriented West-East so even though there is a slight slope running North-South it doesn’t affect the property much. It also has a great southern exposure due to the owners having cleared most of the property directly in front (it’s a heavily forested area with tall trees that tend to block much of the light). We decided this was the place we wanted, and hoped the builders wouldn’t mind doing a small house that could fit within our budget.

That doesn’t appear to be a problem, however we’ve learned of a potential setback. The lot has been surveyed but there has not, as yet, been an official application to the District to subdivide the land. There are no potential hurdles there other than the snail pace of bureaucratic processes. The lot we’d been looking at before was part of a four-lot subdivision that, as of the one year anniversary of application, had still not received final approval. Hopefully the fact that there were four of them may explain the delay, but if our guys can’t start building before the permit is granted we could be looking at well over a year before we gain occupancy.

We’re going to meet with them this weekend and hope someone can clarify these details. I am really anxious to get out of the suburbs and onto a small acreage. One possible suggestion we’ll put forward is regarding the mobile home currently on the land. The city will require it to be taken down but that may relate to the “one dwelling only” rules in that area. So, perhaps we could move in there when the worst of winter is over. That, plus our trailer, could provide us with enough living space to make it through the rest of the time required to complete on the place. We’d save tons on rent, be in our new neighbourhood, and hopefully be allowed to at least start a vegetable garden or make other small improvements to the place (like fencing) while they are building and waiting for subdivision approval.

So that’s where we are right now. Here’s hoping it all goes smoothly. It’s the best deal we’ve come across so far, especially given we’d have more control over final cost by being able to dictate house size and design. We’ll have to just wait and find out!


6 responses to this post.

  1. I just found your blog, and I am glad to hear that things are looking up for you. I hope that this new piece of land works out. If you can clear the hurdles, it sounds like it could be a great thing for your family.

    I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you! πŸ™‚


  2. Good luck on this! We’ve been looking forever, too, it seems with no end in sight. The latest wrinkle is the owner of the house we rent asked if we wanted to buy it. I told her I doubted we could afford what she’d want but she does know how much work it would need to sell. We haven’t heard back from her re whether she was serious or not and what kind of price she’d want, so we’re assuming it’s not an option. 😦

    We originally wanted a couple of rural acres like you but have decided to stay in the city and are looking for 1/4 acre currently.


  3. This sounds like really good news, I will keep my fingers crossed for you πŸ™‚
    I hope that the mobile home is in good condition because living there sounds like a sensible course of action with many advantages as you have mentioned, not least of which is the ability to start your veggie garden.
    Many experienced gardeners advise living with your garden for four full seasons to get a really good grasp of how the weather affects it, where the best sunshine is likely to fall, where the frost lies, any spots where water pools etc. This helps enormously with the bigger landscaping plans and also gives you a real feel for, and connection with, your new home.
    Here’s hoping……


  4. Posted by ruralaspirations on November 18, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    Thanks everyone! We’re meeting them this Friday, so I will post an update. Good point, Scribhneoir, about getting to know the land through a full year of seasons!


  5. Posted by myriadthings on November 19, 2009 at 8:57 am

    It sounds promising alright – I hope your meeting tomorrow goes well!


  6. […] that I was entertaining the idea of being in a brand new home. There was the condo fiasco, and then the chance to purchase bare land that would require a house to be built upon it. The first didn’t pan out because, you know, I […]


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