A cabin in the woods question
March 29, 2006 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Canadian Cabin/Cottage property finding question.

Does anyone out there have experience finding property (just the land) which has not been developed? I do not know where to start. When I look online or at a Remax type site, all they have are the well developed lake front community properties that cost as much as my house. I am looking for land that I can buy (with no services running to them yet) preferably beside a lake off of a forestry trunk road or something which I can build a small cabin on for me and my family in about 5 or 10 years. not looking for something that is going to be developed. Problem is I do not know where to start looking. The Government? Is it even possible to do something like this, or is it just a pipe dream? Any experiences or advice would be appreciated.
posted by TheFeatheredMullet to Grab Bag (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
It depends on your area.

I know that the MLS system lists undeveloped property.

The other method is to look at the classified ads for your area, which often has ads from local land owners that have begun subdividing.
posted by nkeown at 2:36 PM on March 29, 2006

I think your best bet is to go to the area in person and ask local real estate agents. Every time I go up into Ontario cottage country the real estate agents beside the town grocery store always seem to have a wide variety of properties listed in their front window.

You'll have to go see the property in person anyway, so you might as well head up there. Also, you usually can't get bank financing for undeveloped land. Which sucks, because while $80K isn't much as a mortgage, it's a lot of cash (at least for me!)
posted by GuyZero at 2:45 PM on March 29, 2006

I bought 50 acres of undeveloped land in Ontario two years ago. You track it down through a good rural real estate agent. They usually have a 'farm properties' flyer which is separate from the residential properties flyer. It is listed on MLS too.

One BIG trick with undeveloped land is that in many areas basically all of it is for sale unofficially. So if you see something you like you can get your agent to track down the owner through the township records and find out what their price is. If you choose an agent who has been established for many years, the 'old guy in the back' will often know exactly who owns which piece of land in the area without having to check anything.

Where are you looking? I can recommend agents in the Grey Highlands area.
posted by unSane at 5:11 PM on March 29, 2006 [1 favorite]

Seconding mls.ca as the canonical resource, including vacant land for sale.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:14 PM on March 29, 2006

the way to finance undeveloped land is to remortage or take out a second mortgage on your first property.
posted by unSane at 9:16 PM on March 29, 2006

Some of that type of land is Crown property, which I understand belongs to the government, and can be sold or leased but there may be limitations. So how does one find out about Crown property? Surely there would be no MLS listing...
posted by Gungho at 6:23 AM on March 30, 2006

unSane: Thanks. I guess I will try your method.
I live in Alberta, and am looking north central Alberta or BC. I would imagine that the property flanking the mountains is quite expensive, but I am hoping that I can find something out of the way in the foothills on either side which is not totally flat.
posted by TheFeatheredMullet at 7:45 AM on March 30, 2006

I noticed several listings in a northern area Trader Magazine. You know, like auto trader, boat trader etc etc.

This particular one was free and featured all types of vehicles, farm equipment, appliances, and vacant land.

I'm certain a publication of this type wouldn't be the best resource, just something to consider if there's a stack of them next to some store register sometime.
posted by skinnydipp at 3:15 PM on March 30, 2006

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