Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Reviewing The Situation

Now that we have had time to think of just how that farm will NOT work out for us and now that we know both of us would have a difficult time living in a city we have had to rethink our plans. Back to the drawing board. When we first learned of this impending relocation almost a year ago now we thought of buying a piece of land and putting an RTM (ready to move) home on it. There were some acreage properties available but the costs were staggering.

That area is reported to boom soon due to oil and gas so the prices were starting to creep up in response to the news. Now living on a highway that leads to an oil and gas plant is not our idea of quiet country living. In fact, we live on a highway that has not one but two Potash Mines within a 20 minute drive. It is also on the same highway that take one from Saskatoon to Calgary. It is very busy and very dangerous. Lots of fatalities. Lots of near misses. So as you can see living north of North Battleford is not in the plan for us. That leaves us with west, which is also out as that highway leads to Lloydminster and on to the Alberta Oil patch. Also out. East is a possibility but there is nothing there for sale. South is the only place to look. The road south leads to nowhere anyone has to go in any sort of hurry. My kind of road. All of which is to say that we found some property out that way. A short 15 minute commute for Paul on a quiet country grid.


We like lot 13. It has a lot going for it. It is almost 10 acres, it is fully treed, has power, gas and telephone to the grid you see in front of it as well. The MR2 line you see behind it is a Municipal Reserve. It has trails for hiking and cross country skiing as well. The other larger properties run in just over the $100,000 mark but lot 13 is only $59,000 and the agent says they will take reasonable offers. Another plus is that the developer already made a road going up to the building site.
There is another block to the west of it. I like lot 6. Again, the big ones are way too expensive. Paul is not so much a fan of lot 6. It is 7 acres and is the same price as lot 13. It has a lot of trees and a few building sites as well. What he doesn't like is that it isn't as secluded as the other lot. I concede. Lot 22 is available and he likes it but I don't. That is a steep embankment that you see on the edge. Signifies unstable ground to me.
These "estates" have a building code that can add up in costs. Home must be new construction, at least 1400sq feet and have a double or triple attached garage. Asphalt or cedar shingles. (This code I like as Paul likes the sound of rain on a tin roof and I don't like the way a tin roof looks. :))
We are told it takes about 6 months from the time you commission an RTM until it can be moved onto the property. There are some already done that are for sale. We are thinking something like this:
but with a garage attached as per building specs. The thing about this house is everything is already done. Finished. Complete. And I for one would find it a NIGHTMARE to have to pick out things I don't care one bit about. Lighting, drawer pulls, towel bars, switch plates, counter tops. My head spins thinking about it. Paul is going to check out this house on Thursday. I hope it is satisfactory. It is 1650 sq ft. It has opposing walls of windows so the sunshine can flood through. It has an attached master ensuite with a double shower. The master bedroom is on one side of the a-frame and the two other bedrooms are on the other.
Of course there is a lot to consider and plan and finance for a venture like this. Water reports,(which he is able to decipher as he is in the groundwater business!) wells, septic tanks, pump outs. Basements. Getting gas, power and phone up to the house. Co-ordinating all of these things to happen in a timely manner. THAT will be up to Paul. He is so good like that. He takes care of all of the logistics all of the time. I LOVE that about him.
So he will be off to Battleford next week to check on those two properties and possibly make an offer on one of them if he likes what he sees. And I will stay at home and go through all of our "stuff", deciding what to keep and what to give away. Purging, organizing, cleaning up in order to get our house ready to sell. Unfortunately I can't spend time with my seed catalogues and put in a huge order. I may have to rely on Farmer's Markets this year for my produce. No matter what I hope that I can at least plant a few tomatoes. How can one live a whole summer without tasting a ripe, sun-warmed tomato?
Oh, and did I mention that the land is zoned for chickens? Yes, yes it is!!


Madcap said...

CHICKENS! Yee-haw! I'm so happy you've found a solution that works! You're going to have so much fun!

Sarah said...

This looks and sounds wonderful!

And I'm with you- if somebody made me choose lightswitch covers and cupboard door handles, I think I'd climb back into bed and pull the covers over my head. I don't even like choosing paint colors and carpet, I can't imagine the details people have to think through when they build something from scratch.

Tara said...

The property looks beautiful!

Your chickens are going to be very happy :0)

Dawn said...

This sounds great. :) I'm happy that you'll be able to have your chickens, and a new house!