Real Estate

Anyone move from the suburbs to an acreage?

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[OP]
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Dec 23, 2015
2124 posts
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Newmarket, ON

Anyone move from the suburbs to an acreage?

I am toying with the idea of selling my house in the suburbs, and buying an acreage somewhere. Basically I just want more peace and quiet, things are always bothering me in the suburbs, ie neighbor playing loud music, dogs barking, kid across the street always bouncing a basketball, etc. I don't want to do any farming, I just want a property large enough so that when I sit in my house I can't hear noise from other people. My budget is about 600k and it looks like there are many properties that fit my criteria in the area just west of Barrie or just west of Peterborough. Has anyone done this, and what was your experience? Obviously there would be more grass to mow and a bigger driveway to plow, but that's a small price to pay for the peace and quiet. Commute is not a problem as I work in a field where telecommuting is generally allowed, though a reliable high speed internet connection is a must.
41 replies
Jr. Member
Nov 10, 2010
120 posts
20 upvotes
Barrie
Maybe you're just living in the wrong neighbourhood. I'm not sure which stage in life you are, but if you're in an area with starter homes, then there will more than likely be kids and noise. If you want peace and quiet, then maybe a different neighbourhood, or even different city. Living in a rural area, you'll have other problems as well. Like you said, more grass to cut, and driveway to plow. But theres things such as how close you are to amenities, or even if you mind more wildlife in your backyard. Do you mind not being on municipal water and sewers? I'm in the Barrie area and there are neighbourhoods here that are noisy, but some within the city that are quiet, you just have to find the right one thats right for you.
[OP]
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Dec 23, 2015
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Newmarket, ON
The stage of life I am in is that I'm a cranky old man trapped inside the body of a young guy, and I'm sick of all those young punks who need to get off my lawn.

I doubt there is any neighborhood within a city that doesn't have noise. Where there are people there is noise, the only solution is to buy a property big enough that I can't hear people from my house. That means something outside the city. I don't mind noise like distant traffic or a distant tractor plowing a field or something like that, but in a city the noise is too close.

Can you explain what's meant by municipal water and sewers? I don't want something too rural, just semi-rural, eg no more than 20-30 minutes drive from grocery stores, Walmart, etc.
Deal Addict
May 18, 2015
1627 posts
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Ottawa,Ont
BeapChastard wrote: The stage of life I am in is that I'm a cranky old man trapped inside the body of a young guy, and I'm sick of all those young punks who need to get off my lawn.

I doubt there is any neighborhood within a city that doesn't have noise. Where there are people there is noise, the only solution is to buy a property big enough that I can't hear people from my house. That means something outside the city. I don't mind noise like distant traffic or a distant tractor plowing a field or something like that, but in a city the noise is too close.

Can you explain what's meant by municipal water and sewers? I don't want something too rural, just semi-rural, eg no more than 20-30 minutes drive from grocery stores, Walmart, etc.
When you live in the city you and your neighbour drink the same 'city water' brought to you through underground pipes and your sewage travels to a treatment facility through the underground sewer lines.

When you live 30min away from a Walmart you likely will not have those services. Instead you will have your own drilled well to provide water and a septic tank that you will need to have emptied every few months.
[OP]
Deal Addict
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Dec 23, 2015
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Newmarket, ON
Is it so bad to have a well and a septic system?
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2808 posts
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Newmarket
BeapChastard wrote: Is it so bad to have a well and a septic system?
No it's not, many people live like that, you empty septic every 2 or 3 years, costs 300 or so.
Deal Expert
May 30, 2005
45476 posts
5989 upvotes
Richmond Hill
BeapChastard wrote: The stage of life I am in is that I'm a cranky old man trapped inside the body of a young guy, and I'm sick of all those young punks who need to get off my lawn.

I doubt there is any neighborhood within a city that doesn't have noise. Where there are people there is noise, the only solution is to buy a property big enough that I can't hear people from my house. That means something outside the city. I don't mind noise like distant traffic or a distant tractor plowing a field or something like that, but in a city the noise is too close.

Can you explain what's meant by municipal water and sewers? I don't want something too rural, just semi-rural, eg no more than 20-30 minutes drive from grocery stores, Walmart, etc.
You don't necessarily have to look outside the city.

Can't speak of other parts of the city, but the houses in Cachet are extremely quiet, each house is on a multi-acre lot, and there are no pass-through traffic like there is in Bridle Path, for example. The houses here also don't cost 10's of millions - the average house is only 2-3M, which is rather standard for houses of this size. The pros are that there are tons of amenities nearby.
Sr. Member
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Apr 21, 2004
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Pickering
I think you missed the "My budget is about 600k" where you can get stuff in Bomanville and Clarington still in that range with a large lot.

If you have a 70-100' wide lot, it will be an older neighborhood that is fairly well treed and will be quieter so you should focus on that style of house.

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... 7-Courtice

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... owmanville

Actually, I kind of like this one:

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... -Newcastle
Deal Fanatic
Nov 24, 2013
6214 posts
2965 upvotes
Kingston, ON
I don't miss suburbia at all. We're very happy out on 10 acres.

But I'm also <10mins to work, so I don't have the stress of a long commute. That's the tail that's going to wag the dog in this conversation.
[OP]
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Dec 23, 2015
2124 posts
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Newmarket, ON
Regin8r wrote: I think you missed the "My budget is about 600k" where you can get stuff in Bomanville and Clarington still in that range with a large lot.

If you have a 70-100' wide lot, it will be an older neighborhood that is fairly well treed and will be quieter so you should focus on that style of house.

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... 7-Courtice

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... owmanville

Actually, I kind of like this one:

https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... -Newcastle
None of those appeal to me. The lots are too small and the houses are too old/small. I was thinking more of something like this:
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... rio-L0M1S0
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... rio-L9W0K6
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... gton-North

I am also intrigued by the idea of buying an empty lot and having a custom home built on it. The problem with that is that the bulk of my net worth is in my current house and the only way I could buy another house is by selling my current one first, so in order to secure financing to buy vacant land then have a house built on it (which would take at least a year), I'd have to sell my house and rent for a while while waiting for the new one to be built and I don't want to do that.
Deal Addict
Feb 2, 2011
1616 posts
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Ottawa
We live on 3/4 acres and we still hear kids, dogs, music, etc. You're going to need to with Mike15's situation of 10 acres to get real peace and quiet.

As for maintenance, lots of grass cutting (riding mower is a must), snow removal (depending on length of driveway truck+plow or tractor+blower).
Deal Addict
Feb 2, 2011
1616 posts
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Ottawa
BeapChastard wrote: None of those appeal to me. The lots are too small and the houses are too old/small. I was thinking more of something like this:
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... rio-L0M1S0
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... rio-L9W0K6
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... gton-North

I am also intrigued by the idea of buying an empty lot and having a custom home built on it. The problem with that is that the bulk of my net worth is in my current house and the only way I could buy another house is by selling my current one first, so in order to secure financing to buy vacant land then have a house built on it (which would take at least a year), I'd have to sell my house and rent for a while while waiting for the new one to be built and I don't want to do that.
We looked at getting land and custom building. Depending on your equity, you could potentially pull it out through a HELOC to buy your land and finance your build.
Deal Guru
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Mar 31, 2008
11866 posts
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Toronto
I figure it can't be too hard to imagine. Just confirm the basics which is water, and sewage. You'll obviously need a rider mower for lawn and large snowblower. The biggest is internet. Maybe there's a reason why most people living there do not come on line here... spotty internet. I think you can check with the internet provider? And given the wide arrange of options, it'll vary alot depending on area. Maybe a realtor can help you out with that question too?
Deal Addict
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Dec 8, 2010
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Lots of factors to consider.

In town, everything is hooked up - natural gas, water, etc. Your residential street will be ploughed.

Having a well and septic means more expensive maintenance and ongoing costs, and sometimes crappy tasting water or nasty tasting water because of the stuff you put in the water (salt). It does mean no water bill, but you have to run the pump for the water.

I believe you pay more for electricity - the delivery charges are higher.

You will need more time for maintenance, or pay someone to clear the drive. If you don't want just loads of grass you'll be paying more, possibly, for landscaping and/or plants.

Deer will eat your plants anyway. Unless you have a shotgun or dog or fence.

But it seems like internet is the biggest issue. My MIL went from a 3g stick to using her phone with a large amount of data use. Works ok, if you can get enough data, but it sounds like you need 'proper' internet - which is going to dictate where you move to. You need to find out where the nearest CO (I think that's the right term; in the UK we'd call it a telephone exchange) is - and not be too far from it - else you'll be on 3-5Mbps. If that's what you need, you're fine. If you need 15, you might be in trouble.
Deal Addict
Feb 2, 2011
1616 posts
265 upvotes
Ottawa
at1212b wrote: I figure it can't be too hard to imagine. Just confirm the basics which is water, and sewage. You'll obviously need a rider mower for lawn and large snowblower. The biggest is internet. Maybe there's a reason why most people living there do not come on line here... spotty internet. I think you can check with the internet provider? And given the wide arrange of options, it'll vary alot depending on area. Maybe a realtor can help you out with that question too?
Around here, even middle of nowhere places have access to LTE speeds through the likes of Xplornet.

Well water is fine depending on the area and well type. Some wells do not replenish very fast during droughts which can lead to having days with little to no water. Ask the realtor/neighbors about their water source.
Jr. Member
Nov 10, 2010
120 posts
20 upvotes
Barrie
BeapChastard wrote: Is it so bad to have a well and a septic system?
As Homerhomer said, you have to get your septic pumped out every 2-3 years. But you also have to consider any repairs and maintenance on your system which can easily cost more than a few years of water fees from the local utility. Also, you have to be mindful of what you flush down the drain where it would be less of a worry in a municipal sewage system. Examples would be feminine pads or even specific types of soaps and detergents. Using too much water could also overload the system. I recently moved into a home with a septic and I worry about washing paint brushes in sink.

The well water should be tested every years as well to make sure there are no contaminants in your water. You would also need a water softener. You also have to be mindful of the flow rate of the well. If your well dries up, then you may need a new one dug, which means $$$.

There are a lot things to consider when moving out into the country, especially when you're used to living in the city. It seems like you're set on a property that has a large lot and large house. You would more than likely find that outside of the city. Up this way, (just outside of Barrie), you can still find homes like that in your price range.
Deal Addict
Feb 2, 2011
1616 posts
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Ottawa
Kubu wrote: As Homerhomer said, you have to get your septic pumped out every 2-3 years. But you also have to consider any repairs and maintenance on your system which can easily cost more than a few years of water fees from the local utility. Also, you have to be mindful of what you flush down the drain where it would be less of a worry in a municipal sewage system. Examples would be feminine pads or even specific types of soaps and detergents. Using too much water could also overload the system. I recently moved into a home with a septic and I worry about washing paint brushes in sink.

The well water should be tested every years as well to make sure there are no contaminants in your water. You would also need a water softener. You also have to be mindful of the flow rate of the well. If your well dries up, then you may need a new one dug, which means $$$.

There are a lot things to consider when moving out into the country, especially when you're used to living in the city. It seems like you're set on a property that has a large lot and large house. You would more than likely find that outside of the city. Up this way, (just outside of Barrie), you can still find homes like that in your price range.
Just FYI, I'm on city water and I still need a water softener because the water is crap.
Deal Addict
Feb 5, 2009
2808 posts
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Newmarket
Just like OP I would prefer not to hear the neighbours, but more so I don't want to put in the time, effort or money into maintaining such a large property, so I compormise, small property in a very quiet area, hopefully neighbour;s teenage kid moves out soon ;-)
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Aug 11, 2008
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BeapChastard wrote: None of those appeal to me. The lots are too small and the houses are too old/small. I was thinking more of something like this:
https://www.realtor.ca/Residential/Sing ... rio-L0M1S0

THIS! THIS is exactly what I am looking for! That is awesome and now you have just put a bee in my bonnet to move somewhere like that.
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[OP]
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Dec 23, 2015
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Newmarket, ON
Thanks for the info guys.

The water/sewage thing doesn't seem like a problem. Slightly more expensive than municipal water/sewage when maintenance is taken into account, but still not bad. I don't mind extra mowing/plowing, I like doing that type of work.

What about garbage? Does the garbage truck come right to your property or do you have to take your trash to the dump yourself?

The internet thing is tricky, I don't want to rely on satellite or cell phones because they have bad latency and the data caps are usually really low. I would want cable or dsl, at least about 15 mbps. I was under the impression this wouldn't be a problem in most semi-rural parts of southern ontario but maybe I was wrong.

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