Buying an Acreage
Growing up on an acreage myself I see the allure of country life with the amenities of the city close by, a big shop to tinker in and a huge yard for the kids to run around in. Many of my clients want this type of life for their families and I am very happy to be able to guide them to finding their dream home. Before I start searching for a house to make a home, there are a few things I get my clients to consider before making that decision.
How far are you willing to drive to get to and from work? Some people who live in the city commute 45 minutes to and from work, others commute 10 minutes. When looking at houses, it may be a leisurely Saturday afternoon that only takes 25 minutes to get to the city, but at 5pm on a Friday after 10 cm of fresh snow your 25 minute drive could be a distant memory.
Water, you have three choices: 1) Cistern: you will need to pay to have refilled when you run out. 2) Well: you are at the whim of nature (it could be great and you will never have a problem or you could be stuck with shampoo and no way to rinse). 3) City water: some sub-divisions that are close to municipalities may be on city water. Growing up on a Ranch we had well water. In the winter, or a very dry summer, when you were the 4th brother in line for a shower, it sometimes ended up being just a trickle of water.
Septic is always a consideration for an acreage. 1: The most common system found is a Tank and Field. Essentially, you have a septic tank that holds the solids and “dirty water” and a field area that the “grey water” waste drains out to. 2: As with water, some properties may be tied in to a municipal sewage system. 3: a Mound System is similar to the tank and field. These are used when the soil type is not conducive to the standard field. In this case a “mound” is created with the proper soil for drainage. These are fairly rare in the Edmonton area.
In the city, when you want to get your TV and Internet hooked up, you call Shaw or Telus and they come quickly (or not so quickly) to set it up. When you live outside the city, things are not always so easy. Depending on proximity to municipal services you may have to use a satellite service or a smaller specialized service. You want the serenity of the country but who wants to give up the conveniences of the city?
Almost everyone loves space and privacy, but not everyone likes the work that comes with it. This is not a statement to deter anyone from buying and acreage property. It is more as food for thought when considering the option. Right now when you mow the yard it likely takes you 10-15 minutes. Tack on an acre or 2 and might take you more like 45mins. This is just the obvious one. If you have a septic tank, you will need to get it pumped when it is full. If you have a cistern you have to arrange for potable water to be delivered. Again, these are not negatives, just things to keep in mind.
Living on an acreage can be absolutely amazing! These are just a few things to keep in mind. The biggest thing about deciding to make the leap to an acreage is making sure you are informed and making sure everyone in the family is ready for that change. If you have any questions or concerns about acreage life, just let me know!