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AKRISONER

Moving North? Things to consider

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Hey guys, 

As most of you would know, I am a city dude, own a condo in Toronto and cottage in Pointe Au Baril most weekends at my parents place.

A recent change at my work has resulted in me now working remotely and at home which subsequently allows me to spend far more time at the lake. Ive begun to realize that the only reason I still live in Toronto is because 1. my girlfriend works here (she lives in her own condo) and 2. I play hockey here.

As the months pass I am starting to realize that I find myself nearly every week waiting for my wednesday night hockey game to finish so that I can get up early thursday morning and head up north. I easily work from home up there and find myself in much better spirits for the rest of the week. I may not always get to fish, but the ability to tinker on the boat, snowmobiles, fishing gear etc, and simply do yard work is something that I really enjoy and that I do not get to do at all while living in a condo.

Added to all of this, and maybe I am just being a wimp? but the city itself is getting big, and the violence seems to be getting worse as the population grows. Shootings are becoming somewhat of a regular occurrence. Just last month one happened across the street in broad daylight 15 minutes before I was about to walk my dog to the exact spot where the shooting occurred, 2 weeks prior to that a building down the street was absolutely lit up with automatic gun fire and the icing on the cake was the shooting that occurred in the lobby of my building earlier in 2018, where the front doors were riddled with bullet holes.

I know you must all think that I live in the projects...sadly not at all. I live in a 2 year old building of high end condos at the corner of dufferin and lawrence. Not the greatest neighborhood in the city, but its whats affordable, and shootings in a building filled with half a million dollar+ condos just shouldnt be happening.

So all things considered, I am heavily considering moving to a small house with a big garage up north. Heres where I need some help, ive been a home owner in the city, its simple, the sewage goes down the drain, your heat and hydro come from lines that are attached to the grid. I know that being 15 minutes outside of a place like Parry sound would be far different. So what should I be considering when thinking about living up there?

Im guessing most things would be on a septic system, if so, whats the approximate cost of keeping one running? 

What about a well? How much should I be expecting to spend to keep one going

Heat? To what extent does gas service reach the area? What about if I went to a propane system? Or is a woodstove the best way? Maybe a pellet stove?

Property Taxes? What do they typically look like for someone living in the country side? Your services are limited but the population base is much smaller, what is to expect?

Surprises, is there anything else that I am totally oblivious to that I should be considering? I know I would need a damn good snowblower, or perhaps a quad for clearing the driveway? 

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Spent may a good night at the Dairy Queen, Harvey's and Burger Barn along that stretch of Dufferin. To bad it's gone. down.

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The well is a big issue. You have to make sure you have good capacity throughout the year. Nothing worse than having the well going dry. There should be a record of this somewhere. Probably need like 7 gallons/min output. There shouldn't be a huge cost to keep it going if you have a good quality pump and pressure tank.

Septic systems vary, so make sure it has weeping tiles and not just a holding tank. otherwise you will be paying to have that pumped regularly. Low maintenance cost unless the weeping bed gets plugged and you have to redo it. Have the septic tank pumped every 5 years. That's my opinion on pumping.

You probably won't have gas lines. I would recommend a good wood stove/pellet and a high efficiency propane furnace. Some insurance companies won't cover you if you have a wood stove as your main heat source, so you will have to look into that.

Taxes are different in every municipality, so you should definitely check that before even looking at a house. Who wants to pay $10,000/year for taxes. Mine in the Kawarthas is around $2,800/year.

Lots of toys to deal with snow and outdoor stuff. lol

You can expect a much quieter life.

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Exciting times! Do your research, you're not in a rush.

I like being on a well, septic bed and wood burning at my cottage. My only fixed cost is hydro and property tax. 

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Well records can be obtained for a fee through Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks.  2 Imperial Gallons per Minute will provide a household supply adequately.  Obtain analyses for basic water well parameters through a private lab and review results against Ontario Drinking Water parameters to determine whether treatment is required.  Bacti analyses can be obtained at no charge through the local health unit.  Well construction should meet Ontario water well standards.  see link for useful info https://www.ontario.ca/page/wells-your-property

Septic system construction records can be obtained through the local approving agency (many cases it is the Health Unit).  Conventional systems(tank and bed)have a life of 25 years.  Frequency of tank pumping is dependent on tank size and number of occupants.  Health Unit can provide recommendations.

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2 hours ago, ketchenany said:

Spent may a good night at the Dairy Queen, Harvey's and Burger Barn along that stretch of Dufferin. To bad it's gone. down.

its not just here ketch if anything the place is actually on the up and up as property prices soar...its the whole city that has a gun violence issue. Gangs and the drug trade arent going anywhere anytime soon, and as long as people are doing drugs, the gun violence isnt going to stop. This is how its done elsewhere in places like the United States and Jamaica etc. so unless somehow those places stop (never going to happen), then the problem will only grow.

2 hours ago, jimmer said:

The well is a big issue. You have to make sure you have good capacity throughout the year. Nothing worse than having the well going dry. There should be a record of this somewhere. Probably need like 7 gallons/min output. There shouldn't be a huge cost to keep it going if you have a good quality pump and pressure tank.

Septic systems vary, so make sure it has weeping tiles and not just a holding tank. otherwise you will be paying to have that pumped regularly. Low maintenance cost unless the weeping bed gets plugged and you have to redo it. Have the septic tank pumped every 5 years. That's my opinion on pumping.

You probably won't have gas lines. I would recommend a good wood stove/pellet and a high efficiency propane furnace. Some insurance companies won't cover you if you have a wood stove as your main heat source, so you will have to look into that.

Taxes are different in every municipality, so you should definitely check that before even looking at a house. Who wants to pay $10,000/year for taxes. Mine in the Kawarthas is around $2,800/year.

Lots of toys to deal with snow and outdoor stuff. lol

You can expect a much quieter life.

ill have a chat with my old man about the well at the lake and how that is managed. Luckily I also have 2 civil engineers in my immediate family, plus an additional chemical engineer that specializes in "water" so I have some good resources to consult that way.

What are you running on Jimmer? or what would your preference be for heating?

I am astonished that your taxes are actually so low, considering the fact that I live in a condo and pay close to that, mind you property values are ridiculous, hence high taxes.

The toys thing, yup, snowblowers, quads, skidoos, my boat all things id love to have a nice space to store and work on if need be, funny enough living in my condo beside a park my life is fairly quite as it is. But nothing beats the silence of the north. At least for me that is. I also like the idea of "it takes 20 minutes to drive there" and low and behold, no matter what time of day it is, it actually takes 20 minutes to drive there. Funny how that works, for me to get to hockey on weeknights it can take upwards of 20 minutes on what should be a 5 minute drive. 

1 hour ago, chris.brock said:

Exciting times! Do your research, you're not in a rush.

I like being on a well, septic bed and wood burning at my cottage. My only fixed cost is hydro and property tax. 

exactly...this would be a big transition and one I would definitely get all of my ducks in a row before locking in on. Looking at real estate in the area, I could be very close to mortgage free after cashing out of the Toronto housing market. Pretty good for a 30 year old.

9 minutes ago, mitch seguin said:

Well records can be obtained for a fee through Ministry of Environment Conservation and Parks.  2 Imperial Gallons per Minute will provide a household supply adequately.  Obtain analyses for basic water well parameters through a private lab and review results against Ontario Drinking Water parameters to determine whether treatment is required.  Bacti analyses can be obtained at no charge through the local health unit.  Well construction should meet Ontario water well standards.  see link for useful info https://www.ontario.ca/page/wells-your-property

Septic system construction records can be obtained through the local approving agency (many cases it is the Health Unit).  Conventional systems(tank and bed)have a life of 25 years.  Frequency of tank pumping is dependent on tank size and number of occupants.  Health Unit can provide recommendations.

any idea if this type of thing can be done prior to buying the home i.e. in the purchase of sale agreement?

Also, the cottage we are on is a septic bed system, which we recently just had to redo...i think it cost around $10,000?

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Cant add more then whats been suggested here. Propane or oil is typically what you see installed in rural homes, and they are more costly to operate then natural gas based on fuel costs, so if your used to natural gas pricing you will be in for a bit of sticker shock.... alot of folks (including myself) go on a budget plan so you have a fixed monthly bill against your fuel deliveries..

Make sure you get the flow rate for your well from the previous owner and get the water tested every 3 months through your local health unit, this is a free service.

Another consideration is the availability of high speed internet, many in rural areas have poor access to decent high speed and have to rely on companies like explorenet etc... this is costly and generally not well liked by their customers...but they have little to no choice in many areas.

 

Just some thoughts in my experience of living rural most of my life

 

G.

 

 

 

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38 minutes ago, AKRISONER said:

its not just here ketch if anything the place is actually on the up and up as property prices soar...its the whole city that has a gun violence issue. Gangs and the drug trade arent going anywhere anytime soon, and as long as people are doing drugs, the gun violence isnt going to stop. This is how its done elsewhere in places like the United States and Jamaica etc. so unless somehow those places stop (never going to happen), then the problem will only grow.

ill have a chat with my old man about the well at the lake and how that is managed. Luckily I also have 2 civil engineers in my immediate family, plus an additional chemical engineer that specializes in "water" so I have some good resources to consult that way.

What are you running on Jimmer? or what would your preference be for heating?

I am astonished that your taxes are actually so low, considering the fact that I live in a condo and pay close to that, mind you property values are ridiculous, hence high taxes.

The toys thing, yup, snowblowers, quads, skidoos, my boat all things id love to have a nice space to store and work on if need be, funny enough living in my condo beside a park my life is fairly quite as it is. But nothing beats the silence of the north. At least for me that is. I also like the idea of "it takes 20 minutes to drive there" and low and behold, no matter what time of day it is, it actually takes 20 minutes to drive there. Funny how that works, for me to get to hockey on weeknights it can take upwards of 20 minutes on what should be a 5 minute drive. 

exactly...this would be a big transition and one I would definitely get all of my ducks in a row before locking in on. Looking at real estate in the area, I could be very close to mortgage free after cashing out of the Toronto housing market. Pretty good for a 30 year old.

any idea if this type of thing can be done prior to buying the home i.e. in the purchase of sale agreement?

Also, the cottage we are on is a septic bed system, which we recently just had to redo...i think it cost around $10,000?

We heat strictly with wood unless we are away for more than a day. We have baseboards as the heat source for those times, so that's why I recommend a high efficiency propane furnace an top of a wood stove. I definitely wish we had propane now that I am getting older. Might be happening in the near future.

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I lived on a bush lot for many years.  Septic.  Oil Furnace.

There is to much to type right now.  I think we need to go fishing together and chat.!

 

I highly highly recommend moving though.  I can assure you, that if you find the right place, you will enjoy a much higher quality of life know how much you enjoy the outdoors. 

 

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3 hours ago, ketchenany said:

Burger Barn

I remember that place as a kid

2 minutes ago, NAW said:

I highly highly recommend moving though.  I can assure you, that if you find the right place, you will enjoy a much higher quality of life know how much you enjoy the outdoors. 

What Nick said

 

 

To add

 

I will ask now for permission to hunt on your property. I am willing to chain saw trees down and share my harvest. :canadian:

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50 minutes ago, jimmer said:

so that's why I recommend a high efficiency propane furnace an top of a wood stove. I definitely wish we had propane now that I am getting older. Might be happening in the near future.

My parents heated with wood. Chopped and stacked many a cords for them. Now it,s a bit to much, so they have gone to propane. They love it.

 

They also have a generator that powers up the whole house.

Edited by misfish

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1 hour ago, misfish said:

They also have a generator that powers up the whole house.

I think an automatic stand-by generator is one of the best investments a person can make when living in the country and was one of the 1st things I bought when we moved here 9 years ago. Nice to know when the power goes out the Genny will fire up and run pretty well everything in the house which is especially important when you rely on electric pumps for getting water into the house and more importantly getting it back outside.

We usually lose several times a year, sometimes for a day or more, and it's very reassuring to know  when it does go out you've got nothing to worry about.

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Well I live up North and it's still not quiet enough for me. 🙄

That's why I will be retiring to me cabin on the lake EH!!!  :D

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A good real-estate agent from the area you are looking should know all of this and help you with any questions. Don't get someone who is a friend of a friend etc unless they know the area well.

Also, I hope your job is very secure and that you can keep working from home. Really think about this before you move. You could get stuck in a bad situation. Hopefully your girlfriend feels the same way (or is that soon to be ex-girlfriend? lol)

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" I am astonished that your taxes are actually so low, considering the fact that I live in a condo and pay close to that, mind you property values are ridiculous, hence high taxes. "

Akri, I live in a rural township here, a move to the nearest small city would almost double my property taxes for a home of equal value. The township is run by elected trustees and they are basically part time employees, we don't have to pay taxes for a full time mayor and things like that. Our police protection is contracted out thru the county sheriff and our fire department is volunteers.

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1 hour ago, adempsey said:

Also, I hope your job is very secure and that you can keep working from home. Really think about this before you move. You could get stuck in a bad situation. 

This is the most important consideration of all.  Will your work situation change in the next couple of years, and should it would it be crippling to you.

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Ak I know what you mean. No matter where we are that stuff will follow us.  I was in my 20s. when I lived close to the area  Allen Rd and Eglignton. Yorkdale was there but never  went.  Yes Brian, Burger Barn, but the guys with cars went to Harvey’s. When McDonalds  opened  they went under! 

I have seen lots of Ontrio but with family commitments will stay just outside of the big city. Venturing south of Steels is scary. NOT because of the happenings, Mine is the traffic and avoiding bikes and streetcars. You have to re-educate yourself when you venture there. I have to do it once or two times because of my wife’s medical appointments.

Good luck with your choice. Anything is better that city life with your apportunities and location. 

 

 

 

 

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Many considerations have been well-described earlier in this thread, but here’s a few more:

Hard well water may require a water softener unit/treatment.

Garbage pickup availability?

How far is it to the nearest landfill?

You may also want/need a few additional tools/gadgets that may not be needed in a city home/condo: lawn tractor, chain saw, utility trailer,  snow blower, tree pruner, sump pump, water infiltration alarms, ladders, surveillance/security.

It may turn out that your road isn’t one of the first plowed if homes along the route are sparse or no school buses need to travel along it, but it may be tough to know this in advance unless you talk to would-be neighbours.

Repairmen/contractors may add travel charges if it’s an exceptionally long drive to get to your place from their place.

 

Edited by MJIG
trying to remove odd highlighting

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You can request a wett inspection for a fireplace to make sure the fireplace is safe, clause in offer

You can get the septic inspected for cracks and see the overall condition, they pump it out first then inspect,clause you can put in offer

There are dug wells and drilled wells, some people just pump from the lake, we upgraded to drilled well($9500) depends how deep you need to drill.

We had a propane fireplace the was about 70% efficiency, and installed a propane furnace about 97% efficient

We looked at a place that had a septic installed in 1975 but since that time the basement was finished with two more bedrooms and a bathroom, i don't thi n k it would meet the requirements currently

Lots of people are renting out there cottages to pay for taxes or cover costs of ownership,.

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We looked at places around minden/haliburton last year that would be very hard to access in the winter due to steep inclines

Currently there is a farmer that plows our private road and driveway for about $400 yearly, he does a few places on the road

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We moved from the city to the lake about 3 years ago and haven't looked back. Lots of great advice and the only thing I will add is have your septic, and home inspected top to bottom - and for septics just keep in mind, if it can go in you, it can go in a septic! Otherwise don't flush it down the toilet or drain. 

And CLR makes this blue septic treatment that works really well. 

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Interesting read, born & raised in Toronto, grew up in the High Park area just off of Roncesvalles! Over the year and a number of moves, I have gravitated northwards currently residing in Aurora. I've often thought about heading further north and getting a larger plot of land, now I just have to convince my wife! LOL

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Years ago I saw pictures of Ken Lea camp in PAB in the winter, I would want to be sure who plows the roads and what is on me! Not everyone can handle the isolation that a winter outside of the city or burbs might entail.

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2 hours ago, fisherman7 said:

We moved from the city to the lake about 3 years ago and haven't looked back. Lots of great advice and the only thing I will add is have your septic, and home inspected top to bottom - and for septics just keep in mind, if it can go in you, it can go in a septic! Otherwise don't flush it down the toilet or drain. 

And CLR makes this blue septic treatment that works really well. 

While I agree the CLR product is is a good one so far as regular retail goes I recommend trying Hycura. It is an industrial/commercial strength product used by municipalities etc. For home use a year's supply is $80 tax in with free delivery from Calgary. They even go as far to suggest that it works so well that tank pumping isn't necessary as there is no sludge build up.

https://www.hycura.com/?v=3e8d115eb4b3

 

Cheers

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