Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Buying A Country Home

Things to consider when buying a home in the country moving to the country be prepared for some changes you may not be aware of. Here are some helpful insights to think about.

1. On site well and septic

Well water quality and quantity. Some dug wells will go dry in the summer.

Older septic. What is in the ground? Is it a concrete tank. What is the field bed? When was the tank pumped last?

2. Homes built longer than 17 or 18 years ago were 2"x4" framing R12 and R20 insulation. Newer homes are 2"x6" framing R20 and R40 insulation.

3. Things to note: Age of roof, windows, plumbing and wiring. Size of electrical service. Some older homes may have a 100 amp panel but still have a 60 amp service. Older toilets use 3 or 4 gallons per flush. Newer low flush toilets only use about ½ a gallon. Important with a dug well where there may be quantity issues.

4. Black flies and mosquitoes can be thick in some rural areas. Near a farm? Manure will be spread spring and fall.

5. Exposure to weather. Long driveways may drift in the winter. Some winters we can get a lot of snow. Don't under estimate the difficulty that comes with that. May be lovely in the summer but be pre-pared for winter.

6. Wood heat. Is the stove CSA approved and is the installation W.E.T.T.

Certified? Will be an issue with insurance. Most insurance companies have a 50% surcharge if you burn more than 2 chords of wood. Fire wood in the area averages $200 per chord delivered ready for the stove. The average home with a wood furnace will burn 3 to 6 chords a season.

7. Watch for formiculite insulation in older homes as it may contain asbestos.

8. Know where the schools are and where the school bus stops.

9. Allow extra time for traveling in the winter. 25 minutes to work in the summer could easily become 45 minutes on slippery roads.

10. Where is the closest church of your denomination? What is available for recreation and minor sports for the kids.

11. So you want to farm a little. Does the zoning allow for that. Make sure there are no restrictive covenants against it.

12. Horses your pleasure. Some municipal governments have specific by-laws like 1 1/2 acres for the first horse and 1/2 acre for each additional horse.

13. Secondary roads may not be plowed as quick as main roads.

14. Garbage and recyclable. Ask how they are handled and if pick ups are scheduled.

15. Lots of grass to mow? Don't expect that push mower and your back to handle it. You will need a ride on.

16. Be ready for any extended power outages. A home with a generator could be something to think about. If not have an emergency plan in place.With today's extreme weather don't be caught unprepared.

17. Last but not least. If you don't know ask. I love living in the country but even an old pro like me has been caught unprepared from time to time when I under estimated mother nature.

Just some tips based on my 38 years in the real estate business



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