Land purchase and planning!

It’s Friday, July 19th and we (myself, Brian, and friends Leung and Dave) are now the owners of 1/3 of an acre of recreational real estate on the Link Lake Road just outside of Princeton.

Yup. It’s done. And I’m excited about it even though it’s a daunting new project (or especially because). Tomorrow we are driving up there to measure, sketch, and flag and figure some things out before the work starts. Tomorrow we will be standing on a piece of land that we outright own.

So of course, like with every new thing I embark on, I’ve been doing research. Lots of research. I’ve got library books, I’ve got magazines, I’ve got websites flagged — and I’ve got lots of ideas. Ideas! And friends who seems excited to help us get started. So that’s a good combination.

So far this is what we are thinking – no final decisions made, but lots to discuss:

  • Single communal cabin on the site for hanging out, kitchen, deck-space, wood stove – and with a sleeping loft for us in the interim, guests in the future. I’m leaning towards prefab/click-lock options of which there are plenty. In particular, I’m fond of Bavarian Cottages in Kamloops and the prices for the kits are very reasonable. We plan to hook this cabin into the grid which comes to the lot-line – power is a nice thing to have – though we might eventually go solar. 
  • Private sleeping quarters for each owner of 2-300 square feet maximum. These are the responsibility of each party and I expect will come later on after we have the main structure built. For the interim Brian and I are planning to build a platform on which we can put our walk-out tent which is 140 square feet and plenty sturdy enough for 3-season living.
  • An outhouse. Or maybe a composting toilet. But probably an outhouse which is one of the first things we must build.
  • A rainwater collection system. Since we do not have water on the property, and we do not want to spend $20,000 drilling for a well, we will bring in drinking water and otherwise use rainwater for washing up and so forth. There is a great tutorial here and I think I would like to do something like this, with the barrels situated under a supported metal roof at the top of the property. Keeps them out of sight, and we have a good slope for gravity-fed water to the main cabin area.
  • A woodshed, a storage shed, a sauna, a solar shower, a wood-fired hot tub. These are also on the list of things we would like. Wood and storage sheds in the short term, other stuff over time.
  • Also – an outdoor kitchen on one of the decks that can be sheltered and screened for canning. Keremeos is right down the road after all!

Obviously this is not going to happen overnight but I believe we can bring most of it to fruition in the next five years. This gives us time to both do the work and also come up with the money for each stage.

Since we got the land for so cheap, I envision being all-in at the end of the day for 100 k (split three ways) which is quite possible from the cost projections I have done so far. That’s a pretty good deal for a piece of recreational real estate within four hours of the city, and although sharing might have some challenges, I am more than glad to split the cost, work and creativity with other folks.

It’s a new grand project to be sure – but what is my life without things to work on? De rien. I am at my most fulfilled when I have something to work on, and this looks like it will be it for the next little while.

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