“Oh give me a home where the owner can roam, and the dog and children can play”
Are you dreaming about your own private rural acreage? A place where you can roam with your dog off leash, where you won’t see anyone but the birds and squirrels and trees? If you are having these rural land dreams, you’re not alone. Living where you have privacy, and can be more self sufficient, is a plan that is being discussed over many urban dinner tables during this lock down. And there is nothing wrong with that! The last three weeks have seen many Lower Mainland residents realize that they may be restricted to their homes for a relatively prolonged period of time.
Covid19, is called a “novel” virus, meaning new, unknown, and it is this unknown that has all of humanity in this differed state of limbo. We are all waiting to see how much of our lives will return to normal, and how much will be permanently changed forever because of this global health crisis. The fact is, how long we will all have to live with the current social distancing measures is again, unknown.
Suddenly, that prepper friend, who lives off grid on 20 acres and grows his own vegetables doesn’t seem so crazy!
It makes sense that city dwellers and even suburbanites are itching to flee urban areas! Even before being told to shelter in place, people were panic buying, hoarding and now chronic line-ups & human congestion plague grocery stores and places where people must all go to get food and the necessities of life. Will this be the new norm? The anxiety and fear of living shoulder to shoulder with thousands of other people dependant on what is left on the shelves when you get your turn in the store is not a comforting thought. The bottom line is, for some, what used to be appealing about living in the city, its crowds, culture and public events no longer count as pros but as cons.
Urban citizens are at a disadvantage when it comes to being able to stay socially distant and continue to remain active outdoors away from others. Urban lot sizes do not leave allot of yard and green space for the average family, and a condo has even less personal space. Many fled to their cabins and secondary residences away from the city, to wait out this lock down, even though they were being asked to stay away from small rural communities with limited services. Many lake side communities in the Cariboo are reporting arrivals of summer residents who believe it is their right to travel to isolate, no matter what the Provincial Government recommends.
Rural living has never looked more appealing to people, the security and the mental and physical health benefits of a rural lifestyle is a natural choice now that we are faced with the somewhat draconian measures of lock down in the city. One can imagine the comfort that comes with knowing that your home, your food source, and your way of life is sustainable by your own hand and hard work, no matter what happens to the job market or the economy. A way of life that sees you using your own land resources to create a self-sustainable habitat on your own property. Going to the root cellar to choose a jar of your own canned goods instead of going out to a restaurant, was old school only a month ago, and now a skill you should have to save money and increase food security.
Going rural sustainable, doesn’t mean you need to have a huge acreage. Even a half acre of land gives you enough sanctuary room for a home, a shop, a chicken coup, a large garden and room to play. There are countless rural subdivisions across the province with .5 to 5 acre lots. Rural subdivisions can offer a range of services, some have paved roads, most have hydro at the lot boundary, and you would have a well and a septic system. Some large rural subdivisions, that have over 100 lots like the 108 Mile Ranch in the Cariboo Region offers natural gas, a community water system and even have garbage pick up, but each lot must have its own septic system for waste water. Only an hour’s drive east to the Interlakes area, there is the Deka Lake Subdivision that offers lot choices from .5 – 10 acres, mountain view, lake view and waterfront lots with gravel side roads, and hydro to the lot lines. Both of these rural subdivisions are in the within an half-hours drive of shopping, hospital and all essential amenities. Even the grocery stores in the area are taking online orders and doing home deliveries during the pandemic to help. Lock down on a fully stocked sustainable acreage, is more like a relaxing time out at a private retreat.
When your home and location are no longer providing a great quality of life, it may be time to consider a lifestyle move. If you are wanting to list and sell your urban residence this spring and make the lifestyle move to a rural town or acreage I urge you to forge ahead with your plans, this decision can only increase your safety and future security as land as a hard asset will always retain value. Again, research all you can about the areas you are seeking property in and always work with a knowledgeable tech savvy realtor.
This months surge of rural property enquiries is just the beginning, and we expect to see many more urban homeowners follow suit, with planned lifestyle moves in 2020. If you own property or land for future investment income, now is the time to list and sell it. Market fall, in some form, is inevitable as the Canadian economy is treading water with the infusion of federally printed money and stimulus offerings. We don’t know what challenges will face us all, if the economy fails to restart. Your return on a land investment is at the peak of the cycle now and this needs to be considered in land sale strategies. If we reach a point of zero or negative interest rates, the money printing will stop, and so will the issuing of new mortgages. The market fall could take years to cycle up again and if you need to see your return on investment in the next few years, now is the time to take advantage of the high benchmark prices being set in B.C.
Stay safe, stay home, and stay well,
Freddy & Linda Marks