Friday, October 21, 2011

Coming Around

   It's funny how sometimes things come full circle.
   When we first began actively looking for property in the Thunder Bay area, our first choice was a very secluded private lot on a small lake near my in-laws.  It wasn't actually listed as for sale, so we approached the owner and inquired if they were willing to part with it.  They weren't, but briefly considered severing a portion for us.  We were excited about that idea until it came to light that we would have been required to undergo a very, very expensive survey of the shoreline of the lake before the severance would have been granted.
   Discouraged, we gave up on that option, and headed instead to the real estate papers.  We scoured the real estate listings, and I gradually created pages and pages of bookmarks for realtors in the area which I would check every few days over the next few years.  There were a few properties that jumped out as being good contenders, but they generally ended up having one or more fatal flaws, and being priced just a bit higher than we were prepared to pay.
   Then, my father-in-law remarked that a logger had approached him about the possibility of getting an easement across his property, for the purposes of logging the property directly north of their land.  It seems the owner of that parcel was feeling out the possibility of parting with her 160 acres which we believed at the time was land-locked.
   My in-laws, to their credit, said that they were not prepared to grant an easement for loggers, but they would certainly be willing to do so for us if we could get the property!  I pulled up a few maps of that area, and saw that the section in question came very, VERY close to the road, so I began exploring the possibility of obtaining a tiny easement for the purpose of obtaining a driveway.  Imagine my surprise when I submitted my proposal to the MTO, and was told that according to the current survey, the property actually had 30 metres of frontage on the road!  And the MTO only required 15 metres of space - we were double the amount we needed :)!
   We were more than happy to contact the owner of the lot, and confirm that she wanted to sell, and at what price...  It was close to our guestimate of how much we thought it was worth (to us...), and after a bit of discussion with my wife and her parents, I called her back and offered 10% less, which she accepted and we roared off to our lawyer to have an agreement of sale made up!
   It's a little surprising just how much paperwork is involved in a sale of this nature, but I suppose I had to deal with the twin situations of the road access, as well as the purchase itself...  Thank goodness for email!  I did quite a bit of scanning and zipping of documents after we returned to Kitchener, and the final sale didn't occur until about a week after we were home, but at last - we had a place in the woods!
   Next post, I'll try to relate our little adventure in building an entrance from a provincial highway.
   And the first lake we wanted to be on?  Our property backs onto three and a half acres of it!