From the open spaces, to the views to the quiet of nature — acreage living provides a breath of fresh air for homeowners looking for country living with easy access to the city.
Whatever direction you travel away from the city, whether it be the mountains to the west; the foothills to the south, the lakes to the east or the rangelands to the north, there are acreage properties fitting for families looking for space for little ones to roam or couples looking for some peace and quiet.
When looking for your acreage home it’s important to keep a few things in mind as suggested by Deer Creek Land Developments Inc. located in DeWinton.
“Make sure the development you’re looking at properly balances your (and your neighbours’) right to create a home site that suits your tastes and the needs for your family,” said Deer Creek’s website. “Many acreage developments don’t allow barns, workshops and horses. Make sure you know what’s allowed.”
Other things to consider include water sources, sewer, garbage and schools. CREB® Town and Country recommends having a REALTOR® who knows the area well and can provide solid information and guidance.
On that same thread, there are some tips potential homeowners can use when preparing financially to purchase an acreage.
“Make sure you work with rural experts — mortgage advisor, REALTOR®, lawyer, appraiser — when you purchase a new acreage property,” said Candace Perko, mortgage advisor, Countryside Financial.
Other financial tips offered up by Perko include making sure you are pre-approved for your mortgage and making sure you understand all costs involved including septic pump-outs.
There’s a growing trend in the Calgary area of people making the move to spaces outside the city but close enough to make the morning and evening commutes back and forth from work.
Home sales in the surrounding towns of Airdrie, Cochrane and Okotoks outpaced sales growth within the city itself during 2012 increasing by 21 per cent.
“The surrounding towns, in general, have done well, and that’s because people are looking for affordable alternatives,” said Ann-Marie Lurie, CREB® economist. “In the surrounding towns, you can get more home than what you would get in the city. The homes are larger and usually less expensive, and, with a tighter supply of single-family homes in Calgary, the surrounding towns are just more attractive to home buyers.”
One of Alberta’s newest provincial parks, Glenmore Ranch is 1,300 hectares of Alberta grasslands and foothills. Purchased by Eric. L Harvie in 1934, the land remained a private ranch until 2006 when the Harvie family along with the Alberta Government created the Glenmore Ranch Provincial Park. The park is still, in part, a working ranch and includes pathways and stunning vistas of the surrounding lands.
You can’t get much more homegrown than the Chuckwagon Café in Turner Valley. Owner Terry Myhre raises his own beef ensuring both cut and freshness for a menu including the likes of steak and eggs, house burger and chicken club. The bright red barn style restaurant has recently been included on the likes of the Food Network’s You Gotta Eat Here! and Avenue and FFWD magazine.
Cross Iron Mills
Just east of Balzac, Cross Iron Mills has become one of Calgary’s most sought after shopping destinations. More than 250,000 people celebrated the opening of the mall including special guests Kelly Hrudey of Hockey Night in Canada, Olympic medalist Melissa Hollingsworth and country singer Paul Brandt. The buildings 200 stores and restaurants encompass 1.4 million sq. ft. of building area on more than 280 hectares.
Check out the current edition of CREB®now on stands and online, including ads for some Southern Alberta acreages : CREB®now Real Estate Newspaper