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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Looking for 15+ Acres Unorganized Township South of Nippising, ON
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# Posted: 29 Oct 2021 22:49 - Edited by: CozyGetaway

I've been looking for a property of this type for about 2 years now with no luck. Am I being unrealistic or are there any properties in this area still available? I feel like there's been a high demand for off-grid properties in the last couple of years, especially since covid.

I have about 50k cash available. I've been looking on MLS listings mostly (Redfin, etc.) but then in the last 2 weeks found out about the following websites:

Land Store
Recreation Land

I have seen 1 or 2 available on these sites but none in Southern Ontario. Only in northern Ontario closer to Timmins, Kirkland Lake etc which is too far north from where I am.

I'm just currently living in East Gwillimbury so driving up to these areas and searching in my car as others have suggested isn't very realistic for me. Nipissing is 3 hours north of me. Even that's pushing it buts it's doable.

Has any bought land recently in this area with this price point. Any suggestions would be really appreciated.

# Posted: 29 Oct 2021 23:16

Check in the South River area , if you want to be around highway 11 ,times are changing and the prices are rising but you can still find a bargain at this time of year .

# Posted: 29 Oct 2021 23:37 - Edited by: CozyGetaway

Thanks for the quick reply Bruces

South River would be awesome if there was a listing there! I don't really want to be too close to Hwy 11. I'm looking for tranquillity and my sensitive ears pick up everything

I haven't seen anything in the website listings I mentioned above in South River.

Is there a better way to check for properties available besides those? Are there any links you have recently noticed that you could send me?

I am looking for something completely off-grid, no water, hydro, but accessible from a road without having to negotiate and cross a neighbour's property to get to and without having to cross Crown Land to get to.

Times are definitely changing. Right about that

# Posted: 30 Oct 2021 06:08

When I searched for my property, took 1 year, 15,000kms (viewing & searching) till I found my spot up here near the Algonquin. At first I was searching South of Hwy 1 and very quickly realized anything below that demarcation road is too much $.

For $50K and wanting 15 Acres you are looking North of Haliburton, Bancroft going N-EAST because anything below there will COST thanks to the Urbanites escaping Hogtown & Environs.

Now there is also a HUGE GOTCHA which you obviously haven't hit upon yet either. The closer you get to any large Urban Containment Zone the rougher/tougher the building requirements and rules of the assorted townships/counties. (Urbanity infected Rural Life) and you get things like Minimum Square Footage requirements (Big Houses only for Big Taxes) and all sorts of other Urbanistic rules & regs over septic, water wells and even where & how to install solar... Yeah, some are really THAT Stoopid ! STILL ! (remember there are dimmies who convinced Ford to tear down a windfarm at Great Public Expense... )

So taking a Step Back, consider the size of place you want and the things you'd like and see IF you can even build that in the Counties you are looking at... Imagine how Pissed you'd be to find the "Perfect Plot" buy it, only to discover you need a Minimum 2000 Square Foot Shack on there first before anything else... Unhappy to put it simply !

BTW: I ALMOST Got Nabbed on that ! Found the perfect spot, right price, everything I wanted BUT that county wanted a Minimum 1700' house on land. And they mentioned the "must" have Hydro etc...

I was Fortunate as I bought in 2014, started building in 2015. But ever since Covid hit, land prices have started to climb and increasingly as folks look to escape urbanity. Places (raw land too) are selling Over List price around here - some, pretty significant too.

TBH, @ 50K for 15 Acres, you are looking at Barry's Bay but not Dwight or Hunstville, maybe out towards Harcourt and Bancroft. Even then I think you'd be hard pressed now. You also only have a couple of "Looking Weeks" at best as the snows are coming and there is not much point in looking at Snowbanks, not when seeking Raw Land.

BTW: I dunno if they still have it, but KIJIJI used to list real estate and often there were good deals as "For Sale by Owner" which may be another option, of course regardless of source, you'll want a good Real Estate Lawyer to do the paperwork and title stuff, especially with a FSBO things can be odd.

Hope it helps, Good Luck

# Posted: 30 Oct 2021 09:04

Hey Steve, thanks for all that juicy info!

Yeah, I had been down the road of trying to find vacant land but was quickly educated that in order to not have to conform to municipality minimums (like sq. feet and other things like clearing a lot/ putting in a driveway before applying for permits, as well as very strict rules on dwelling, wells locations, septics systems and foundation code, etc etc, ad nauseam) that I would have to abandon that path and decided to go completely off-grid and understood that an unorganized township is what I need.

Are you saying that in unorganized townships permits are still required? If so is that new? I was under the impression that being in an unorganized township would allow you to build for instance a 15' x 20' log cabin, with no setback rules and not forced to be on electrical grid and many other benefits of course.

I don't mind going north of Haliburton in fact I would prefer it just not north of Lake Nipissing, or if north just not by too much. I didn't think that the unorganized townships were as south as Haliburton. Isn't that all municipal land?

I tried looking in Magnetewan and found a great property but found out that's it's also municipal.

After checking out the Crown land map on the crown map atlas website and along with a map of organized and unorganized townships it appeared that just 10-20km north of Magnetwan is where the unorganized land begins from Georgian Bay in the west to Algonquin in the east and all the way up to Nippising. I'm trying to find something within that pocket.

I even went as far as creating a huge map like 10' long by 10' high of this area and putting it in my basement workshop on the wall - kind of like an FBI map pinpointing a suspect's known locations, it's pretty crazy. That way I can quickly refer to it and mark potential spots. Took me almost a week to make it but it's a great resource.

I really hope I find something before the snow hits so I can buy it and start clearing some trees either before Dec or at least when spring hits in April.

Everybody is suggesting driving around and after hearing you say you drove 15,000km then I suppose I will have to put in my time and take a few road trips especially if it ups my chances.

Can I ask you Steve, did your property come to you through your driving and locating a property in person or online? I mean initially, how did you end up finding it?

I really wish I had purchased a property like yourself back in '14 now I feel like kicking myself in the butt for not doing it.

I've been checking out Kijiji as well but not necessarily "by owner". Is there a checkbox on Kijiji to isolate that?

Good call on the lawyer, I was considering not getting one but that would be terribly moronic of me. I'm guessing the lawyer will set me back about a couple of G's? Do you think getting a land survey is also necessary? Do the lawyer's fees cover that or are they separate?

Sorry for the many questions. I'm learning so much but I feel like I've only scraped the tip of the iceberg.

# Posted: 30 Oct 2021 10:36 - Edited by: gcrank1

We spent about 10yrs and unknown miles 'driving around' checking out areas within, and even outside of, our designated preferred radius. Much of it was checking out properties we found online that 'sounded good' (many werent after getting there!) and realtor descriptions, and pics, were often 'very creatively crafted'.
We developed our 'preferred attributes list', our 'non-negotiable list' and an eye for the 'approach, drive-by and exit' of a property (ie, we had to like the neighborhood). To me there was no sense talking to a realtor if the place failed the drive-by.
We also had to like the 'ground', the lay of the land so to speak.
Friends and family would tell us about something they had spotted, in fact, that is how we got our property. A friend spotted it the end of Aug, 2019 and we showed up to look at it 8:30 the next morning, made offer by 11:30. Had the money in the bank and ready to write the check right then too. That didnt quite happen but I do think by telling the realtor that helped our case.

# Posted: 30 Oct 2021 11:22 - Edited by: Steve_S

How I got to my property and stuff is a very long story. Simply put life turned LEFT when I got diagnosed terminal and given 5-7 (this is yr 7, not much more to go). So you can say, that after Maggie completely disagreed with my 1st idea, she convinced me into doing the one thing I've always wanted to do, which is to build something like what I have. I was Very Motivated to do so as well.

I hit every realty site, just like you, was actually one of the better ones TBH. I got a LOT of leads and the ones that peaked my interest I drove out to see, from Ottawa. I set a NW Zone out to 300km from Ottawa as my target area. Looked at & walked many properties and along the way, looked for signs etc, even local (town) newspapers, grocery store billboards etc...

I found my property via an OLD Listing on I got the address and drove out here, there were no signs up, no street/rd numbers but with tenacity (walking along the road side), I found the property thanks to a knocked down realtor sign. Called the agent on that sign and I had the right spot ! THE KICKER: It had been listed on/off for 5 yrs, family disputes & other silly stuff. Long Story short I low balled and got it for 1/3rd list price, "Cash Sale" and my lawyers did both sided of the legal work (their lawyer was not a real-estate lawyer, it was an inheritance/estate thing), the transaction was done in 6 days.

Lessons Learned, Have the Cash "on-hand" to make a fast deal. Be prepared to do a little extra leg work. Look for "old listings" they are far more anxious to sell it if it's been lingering.

My legal expenses for the Real-Estate stuff related to that, if I recall was about $1500, which included doing both sides of the legal work. Taxes were paid on purchase value of the property as expected of course.

Surveying: I did have to have my property survey'd as someone had removed some of the survey pins (see family squabbles above). Survey costs are based on size of the property, I got a Lazer/Sat survey for 3 acres, $1800 (and some of it was "hard" like cut up trees and make a path). So now I am staked out and have an accurate survey on file in the township.

Un Organised / Organised. I am not sure which areas are unorganised and so my area references had nothing to do with that... I was thinking in line of dollars per acre And suitable useability. Just because a Township if Organised it does not mean all sorts of dumb things go with it... Some are pretty relaxed (smaller ones with low populations for example) and flexible, especially if there is a lot of recreational, hunt camps and remote places within. Building Inspectors are also not all bad or nasty, I've encountered many over the years and most are quite helpful, especially in smaller areas again.

In Ontario an Owner can Design & Self-Build their own home, of course, appropriate inspections are still required.

My place is classed as a Year Round Recreational / Hunt Camp. I have a 260' deep well (Cable Drilled all banded granite below 20') I have a Grey Water system and use a sawdust composting toilet. No "services" here and likely won't ever be.

Costs etc are kinda moot really, hyper-inflation has booted all costs for everything up to stoopid levels.

Anyways here is a link to a Thread I had running on the build for a while here...

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