Your Easy Guide to Purchasing Affordable Land in Ontario

By : Nick Marr

Seeking your very own slice of heaven? You could do worse than to purchase land in Ontario.

Then again, Ontario is a huge province with seemingly unlimited supplies of untouched land. How do you know you’re buying the right property for your needs?

Head North

The amount of land for sale in Ontario boggles the mind. Since it’s farther from the bright lights of Toronto and Hamilton, land also tends to be much cheaper up here. If you’re looking for a vast spread suitable for hunting, fishing, riding, or other outdoor activities, the north calls your name.

Understand Your Rights to the Land’s Resources

Keen on making a buck or two off the mineral wealth beneath your feet? Willing to pay a premium for mineral-rich land?

Not so fast. Before you assume that you have the right to exploit your property’s subterranean resources, bone up on Ontario’s mineral rights statutes — particularly the procedures governing the withdrawal and opening of mining rights in Ontario.

Study Access Roads and Paths

You can’t enjoy your land if you can’t access it. Before you buy, study access roads and paths to ensure that you can safely and speedily reach the property. Many plots in northern Ontario are best accessed by 4×4 or ATV — your typical passenger car won’t do the trick.

Familiarize Yourself With Key Land Features

Streams, ponds, lakes, marshland, outcrops, meadows — all these features are worth noting. If your property hasn’t had a proper survey, use aerial photographs and small-contour topographical maps (where available) to paint a clear picture. Look for properties with features that have natural value to you — meadows for hunters, lakes for fishermen, and so forth.

Ascertain Ideal and Permitted Uses

Evaluate each candidate property for ideal and permitted uses. For instance, not every property suitable for a vacation cabin is permitted to house one. Check with local and provincial authorities where appropriate.

Verify and Plan Improvements, Where Permitted

Once you verify that specific improvements are permitted, begin planning them before you take possession of the property. The easiest way to render a manageable project overwhelming (and over-budget) is to wait until the last minute to plan it.

Examine Liens, Deed Restrictions, and Other Title Issues

Confirm that the property has no liens, covenants, easements, or other title issues that could affect your investment in or enjoyment of the land. Refer to applicable Canadian real estate law or consult a real estate attorney for more.

Conduct the Requisite Inspections

If you’re required to conduct any environmental assessments, you’ll need to do those before you take possession of the property. Same goes for inspections of any improvements, such as old wells or roads.

Line Up Cash or Financing

Financially speaking, paying cash upfront is a better deal for buyers, since it avoids potentially costly interest charges. If you lack the requisite cash to pay for your property outright, shop around for the lowest possible rate at area lenders and put as much down as you can.

Do you have your eye on a particular plot of affordable land in Ontario?