We have hit a bit of a snag in our dream it seems. One of the reasons for doing this blog is to show the trials and tribulations of doing this, so that others will learn from our mistakes and perhaps we can learn from others as well, since this is all new to us. When we went for a loan on the property we couldn’t get a bank to give us a loan because in the banks eyes they viewed our property as land only, since the cabin wasn’t hooked up to running water, nor did it have an alternate heat source. We ended up going through a private loan which basically financially raped us at 8.99% when the going rate for the year was around 3.5%. But we figured we would take this loan for one year and in the meantime talk to other banks and find out what the cabin would need in order for them to view the cabin as part of the property and therefore worth more.
What was decided is first and foremost, we definitely need a well. Running water is a plus… besides I can’t take running back and forth to the creek and filtering the water every time I want to make a tea, or do the dishes. I live in a country where running water from faucets is everywhere and here I am considering it a luxury. Since we live on a solid granite rock, they would have to drill down quite a ways to get to any water at all. And because of this, we can add even more $$$ to the total cost. So far we have been quoted at about 10,500 for a guarantee drill. What that means is that if they don’t find water (which they should) I don’t have to pay. I think its worth the money, besides, we are so far up, the amount would be pretty close to that anyways, so its no great loss.
The other thing that we have to do is have an alternate heat source. As of right now we are using a wood stove and the wood that has fallen around our acreage, which leaves us nice and toasty warm. But since we have to comply with the bank’s wishes, we are installing base boards. Now personally I can’t stand the look of baseboards, they are huge and ugly and not to mention, they are a huge drain on energy. But not anymore. Now you can get them in small sizes that look just like a panel on your wall and they use just pennies an hour. Our cabin is hooked up to a generator right now so we can have it hooked up to both generator and solar/wind later on down the road, we’ll just have them on different circuits. Its always nice to have the generator as a back up, just in case.
They are pretty clean looking, although I have read both good and bad comments on them, we are going to buy one to see how it works for us. http://www.econo-heat.ca/product_packaging.html
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Our home on Blueberry Hill.
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At the end of August 2009 we purchased a small 20×30 cabin on 40 acres of land. (Click on pic above to see a small portion of it) We are between North Bay and Sudbury. We spent many years looking for some property and originally looked around Huntsville, but found that not only was the land incredibly overpriced, but the taxes were a lot too. For 10 acres of land, with no view, no water , just forest you would be spending 50,000 – 70,000. It was for this reason I decided to take my search further north and try my luck there.
I found I didn’t have to go much further to get a better deal. There were better deals 45 minutes away, but we really liked the look of the land on our property, and it already came with a brand new cabin that was winterized, perfect for use all year round. For the land and the cabin, we paid 63,000 Can. Not bad considering 2 hours down got you 75,000 for 10 acres of forest and no clearing, or very little. The cabin came without running water, or hydro but our goal is to go off grid, so we don’t need hydro anyways. Right now we are running off a generator and plan to drill a well in the spring. Our cabin sits on top of a granite hill. There is a valley below with a creek running through it and another granite formation in front of us. But the best part about being there is the stars in the sky. Being a city girl all my life, I have never seen so many stars just smeared across the sky and on a full moon the land has this magickal glow. Its truly a beautiful place to be to raise your kids and let your dog run around. We absolutely love it here.
There have been some things we need to get used to, like chopping wood from the trees that have fallen already, to make heat in our home, and especially getting used to no running water. So far we have a filtration system that we run the creek water through to do the dishes in. We also use bottled water at this time since our filtration system keeps clogging. We also purchased a solar shower, which works really well. We can do a shower in about 5 gallons of water, when the average shower takes up 12-25 gallons every 5 minutes. I use a little more water, because I have very long hair, but no where the amount I would use at home. Certainly puts things in perspective when we see how wasteful we can be with free flowing water, that’s for sure. And taking a shower outside under the stars, is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have in your life!!!!
Right now we are using a chemical toilet, but I hope in the new year, 2011 we can add an addition to the house and put in a washroom with a good compost toilet. I think the day we have running water and a functioning toilet will just absolutely make our day. But right now, our little piece of heaven is perfect just the way it is.
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