After being cooped up in a city apartment or a small home, you might be ready to make your big move into the wilderness. There, you’ll finally have access to fresh air and some of the most beautiful landscapes you’ve ever seen—whether that be near forest, mountain ranges, or lakes. But before you move your entire life into the wilderness, make sure you know exactly what you’re signing up for.
Finding the Right Location
There’s a lot of gorgeous land up for sale, but that doesn’t mean you should buy it. A secluded property may be quiet and romantic, but it may also be far away from hospitals, schools, supermarkets, and filling stations. You may have limited access to mobile reception, cable, or high speed internet as well. Taking a break from the grind to enjoy the outdoors may be just what you envisioned in the spring and summer months, but could become a problem in the bleaker weather, when the property might be snowed in or flooded.
Check with the realtor to see how accessible the property is in the winter, as well as how long power outages last, whether the water is safe to drink, and if the property has adequate sewage. Even though you’ll be somewhat secluded, remember that you’re still part of a community: consult with nearby neighbors to get a more accurate representation of what it truly means to own property in the area.
Owning a rural property will no doubt provide opportunities to see and get up close with the local wildlife, but it may also pose restrictions on exactly what you can do with the land. You may think the property has a ton of recreational value, but if you are restricted from clearing brush, harvesting timber, or adding buildings, the property might not be as attractive as what you may have first imagined.
Establishing a Budget and Closing the Deal
When you’re determining your final budget for buying a wilderness property, keep in mind its hidden costs: maintenance and property improvements. Your new investment may require a good deal of cash up-front in order to pave or maintain roadways, build new infrastructure, or do basic landscaping. You should have a comprehensive insurance plan that includes property insurance and liability insurance, as your property may be prone to flooding or fires and/or you may be held accountable for the clean-up of environmental contamination that occurs on your property.
Depending on how you’ll use the land, you may need vineyard insurance, crop insurance, or equine insurance as well. Look for a realtor with considerable experience in the purchase of wilderness properties to answer your questions and guide you through the process of price negotiations. When you’re finally ready to purchase your new property, do some comparison shopping to find the best mortgage rates in Canada: paying low interest on your big purchase will help relieve some of your long-term financial stress.
Michael Edmondstone is a freelance personal finance writer.