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Old 06-16-2013, 06:25 PM   #1
metallicat
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Hi, I'm just wondering if you can give me some basic ideas as to what I have to do. I am looking at a piece of land in a rural area. It is totally undeveloped parcel that has forest areas, some water on it, some flat spots...etc. Before I buy something like that, I would need to know if it can even sustain a house (IE is the ground stable enough?) among other things I'm sure. Can you point me in the direction of things to consider? Thanks.
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Old 06-16-2013, 06:58 PM   #2
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^^My uncle bought some land up near Sundre which is undeveloped, if your not looking for something really close to the city.

I'm lookin for 4-6 acres near the city too build a house, or if their is an acreage with an old house I can tear down.
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Old 06-16-2013, 07:05 PM   #3
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Sorry, I should clarify that I have found something I may want to purchase, but I want to do my due diligence and make sure it is feasible for what I want.
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Old 06-17-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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There are many things to consider. Ground stability is one, but not likely to be an issue unless you are trying to build on a swamp or steep hillside. The most important thing to consider is your water supply, check with locals and get a feeling for quality and quantity of ground water that is in the area. A bad water well is the biggest pita that you will come across. Next. What is the road access like? If you have to build a road on a road allowance you have to build it to provincial specs and it is very expensive. Distance to power and gas mains is another potentially expensive exercise. Lastly if you are planning to build in any environmentally protected area, you may be restricted on the type of sewage system you install, ie. you may not be able to use a septic field which is the easiest, lowest maintenance system you can have.

Hope that helps. How many acres are you looking at?
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Old 06-17-2013, 05:33 PM   #5
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38 acres I believe? I'm just in the initial stages of looking at it, not even sure when I'll be able to buy. But if it isn't this piece of land, it'll be something else down the road so I want to make sure I know what I'm doing.

Can the realtor generally help out with figuring this stuff out or should I get someone independent right off the bat?
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Old 06-18-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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I had looked at a rural property, and with a legal land description Fortis was able to give me a rough estimate for getting power run to the site.
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Old 06-18-2013, 10:05 AM   #7
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If we go this route we're going to look at the cost of that and also going solar and as well using well water.
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Old 06-19-2013, 07:46 AM   #8
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I would be cautious in trusting a realtor for advice on what you can and can't do in this instance. You need to start at the RM office and find out what and where you can build, and they will provide you with contact information for the engineer they use for building permits. That is the person who will be able to give you the most help. They will (should) know the area, what you can do, etc.

Like was stated before, you probbaly won't have an issue building a house unless it's a swamp. your biggest issues are;

water supply - are there wells in the area, has anyone drilled there before, is there a water line (water coop) nearby that you can tie into?

Sewage - Can you put in a septic field, you do not want to be stuck with a storage tank and having to pump it out every week. If you can't have a field or lagoon don't bother unless it's a cabin that you barely use.

Gas - How far away is natural gas, electric is expensive for heat, find out where the gas line runs and how much it will cost to bring it in. Alternatives are oil, but that can get expensive, electric, or geothermal (great option as the extra initial cost will probably be less than bringing in a gas line. (8 years ago I was quoted 15K to run a gas line 1.5 miles across bald ass prarie)

Power - Again, where is the main lne and how much to bring it in. you need power.

Phone/internet - Phone lines aren't that big a deal if you have cel service, but internet is a tough one. I am on WBB and it is expensive and slow. Also you need line of sight to a tower. Internet over cel is really expensive. Can you handle going back to dial-up?

All of these items are best found by talking to the untilities and the engineer responsible for building permits in the area. My realtor had told me that gas line ran right by the property and would only cost a couple thousand to hook up. Needless to say, when Saskenergy told me the truth I changed my plans.

I have an acreage with Power, Gas, Phone, Water, and a septic system. I am truly blessed as I have not had to change my living habits in the slghtest. Trust me, any one of those items can make living in the country a huge adjustment, so you need to consider it before you do it.
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Old 06-19-2013, 01:09 PM   #9
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When we bought our 1/4 section, we got very good advice from our realtor.

For one thing, she highly recommended that we put on a condition that had to be met before the sale could be final....and that condition was finding potable water in a large enough quantity to at least be adequate for a family of four. We had 2 months to find someone to drill and find well water.

She also got the owner of the 1/4 section to build our driveway, and when water was found, trench it to our house site.
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Old 06-24-2013, 10:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speede5 View Post
I would be cautious in trusting a realtor for advice on what you can and can't do in this instance. You need to start at the RM office and find out what and where you can build, and they will provide you with contact information for the engineer they use for building permits. That is the person who will be able to give you the most help. They will (should) know the area, what you can do, etc.

Like was stated before, you probbaly won't have an issue building a house unless it's a swamp. your biggest issues are;

water supply - are there wells in the area, has anyone drilled there before, is there a water line (water coop) nearby that you can tie into?

Sewage - Can you put in a septic field, you do not want to be stuck with a storage tank and having to pump it out every week. If you can't have a field or lagoon don't bother unless it's a cabin that you barely use.

Gas - How far away is natural gas, electric is expensive for heat, find out where the gas line runs and how much it will cost to bring it in. Alternatives are oil, but that can get expensive, electric, or geothermal (great option as the extra initial cost will probably be less than bringing in a gas line. (8 years ago I was quoted 15K to run a gas line 1.5 miles across bald ass prarie)

Power - Again, where is the main lne and how much to bring it in. you need power.

Phone/internet - Phone lines aren't that big a deal if you have cel service, but internet is a tough one. I am on WBB and it is expensive and slow. Also you need line of sight to a tower. Internet over cel is really expensive. Can you handle going back to dial-up?

All of these items are best found by talking to the untilities and the engineer responsible for building permits in the area. My realtor had told me that gas line ran right by the property and would only cost a couple thousand to hook up. Needless to say, when Saskenergy told me the truth I changed my plans.

I have an acreage with Power, Gas, Phone, Water, and a septic system. I am truly blessed as I have not had to change my living habits in the slghtest. Trust me, any one of those items can make living in the country a huge adjustment, so you need to consider it before you do it.
Excellent post.

I would also recommend that if one is financing a larger parcel of acreages you investigate how much money you will need down. CMHC or Genworth will not typically support larger parcels of lands for builds.

A lender may also require more down if you are not going to have potable water to the site. Anything that reduces marketability will reduce the LTV% that they will want to do on the property.
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