Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Search Begins

I'm sure I have mentioned several times that PeterC and I look forward to the day when we can own a large parcel of land where we can build a homestead. A place where there is plenty of room for horses, dogs, cats, chickens, goats, sheep, and maybe even a cow. A place where we can build a modest home and still have room for workshops, a proper studio, and a garden big enough to feed us for the year. A place where we can live out our days away from a large traffic route and where we can invest in solar and wind power.

Looking at our minimum requirements we know we need 5 acres of land. That will allow us to create a comfortable home for us and the animals. Five acres would even allow us to let a small portion of the land return to brush to create a home for the many species of wildlife we hope will take up residence.

The search finally began for that homestead. We've always kept our eyes on the various real estate listing but the search began in earnest this past weekend. We spent all day Saturday and Sunday driving around the area, within a 50 km radius of Cornwall, looking at the various listings for residential and vacant land. Some of the places were planned and some were nothing more than side trips when we saw a For Sale sign.

What we have found so far is rather discouraging. All listings that included a house were being sold for $200,000 with little to no land. Any place with a house and enough land to do what we want was hovering around the half million price range. That pretty much means we will never be able to buy a piece of land with a house on site already.

Even the vacant land sales were disappointing. Ninety percent of all the listings and even private sales were for less that 5 acres of land. Most of the listings that were for 1-5 acres of land are being sold at about $10,000 per acre with a few selling for a whopping $35,000 per acre. The few listings and private sales we were able to find that were for a reasonable price were usually under power lines, swampy, or straddled a river that prevented us from doing any of the things we want., nay need.

So the search continues. Hopefully within a few months we will find a farmer with some land he wants to sell because he is getting to old to work it. With luck he will not be asking an arm and a leg, expecting to sell it as a "rural estate", but looking to sell it to someone who wishes to become stewards to the land and live out their lives there. Knock on wood, cross my fingers, and spit into the sea we'll find that place soon.

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