There’s been a steady increase of people moving away from bigger towns and cities and landing right here in Collingwood, Clearview, Meaford, The Blue Mountains & Wasaga Beach. It’s really no surprise – what’s not to enjoy about all the great features this region has to offer, including the natural beauty, year-round activities and great home values? However, the appeal of rural living in particular has a lot of folks eager to leave their concrete jungles and take on the ‘country life’ – cleaner air, closer to nature (and farther from neighbours), and all the other joys that quiet, rural living has to offer.
As experienced REALTORS® who live and work in this area, it’s important that we share the ins and outs of some of the finer points to consider when purchasing a rural property or farm; it’s our job to help make sure there are no surprises when it comes to your home purchase.
Water, sewage & septic systems
Rural properties can’t access city water or sewage systems as they are usually too remote. This means that property owners oversee their own water, wells, sewer and septic systems. When purchasing a home, it’s important to get all these things inspected and ensure that they are up to code and working properly. In most areas, water potability and septic certificates are required before the home sale is finalized. Regular maintenance of these components is always a top priority for rural property owners.
In this region, we get a lot of snow, which is great for winter enthusiasts and the local ski businesses, but it’s not always easy on rural homeowners. For example, winter accessibility for roads and laneways may be restricted at times of particularly severe weather, meaning you may not be able to get in – or out – of your home if you don’t have winter road maintenance available. Further, with occasional road closures or hazardous driving conditions, it’s always advisable to stock up your home with food, water and other essentials in cases where you can’t get to a store or neighbour’s home.
Zoning & conservation
If you’ve purchased your country home or property with the hopes of adding on a pond, hobby farm or ATV-riding tracks for example, it’s important to first check with the zoning officials to see if any by-laws exist that may prevent that from happening. The conservation authorities will also have to be notified of any additions or changes to your property; some areas are designated as ecologically or wildlife- protected.
Although most people move to the country to enjoy the quieter lifestyle, growing vegetables, stargazing in your own yard, or sitting by the fire (using wood you’ve harvested from your own land), it’s not always suited for everyone. For example, households with multiple kids in sports or other activities may find themselves busier than when they lived in the city, due to all the extra driving time and scheduling. It’s also more challenging to socialize regularly when living in some rural areas, it could mean that ‘popping over’ to a neighbour’s for a glass of wine is a 20-minute walk through unploughed snow. However, unlike many big city suburbs, there’s often a strong sense of community in rural areas, with lots of great camaraderie, support systems, and local town spirit to take advantage of. Although it may be slower than city living, that doesn’t mean it’s any less exciting.
If you’re considering the rural life, then you’ve picked the perfect region here in the Southern Georgian Bay area! Our REALTORS® are very knowledgeable and can help you find the perfect country home, acreage, or farm you’ve been dreaming of! We understand the unique considerations involved when buying or selling a rural property, so call on the experts at Clairwood Real Estate at 705-445-7085; we’re here for you.