What To Expect When You Move To The Country

I remember the day we moved to our country home, December 16, 1998. As soon as we had unloaded the last of the moving truck, it started to snow. It was beautiful and very peaceful and very quiet, compared to what we were used to.

stress-free-country-livingStress-Free Environment

I would say that is the biggest difference between living in the city and living in the country, the stress level is eliminated when you get home. There are no sirens, no horns, nothing to distract you. In fact, most times you can’t even see a neighbour! I will also say that the first couple of nights, I had a hard time sleeping because it was so silent!

Cooler Country Climate

There is also a different temperature and wind factor in the country. In the city, having those houses, tall buildings, and trees actually creates a barrier that the winds don’t get through. The warmth from the city also heats it up, having so many people in such a small area creates higher temperatures. Both in the summer and winter, the country will be cooler.

Wells & Septic Systems

Let’s talk water, septic, and all those funky things you don’t have in the city. Here’s something you may not know. You must have potable water in order to get a mortgage. Checking out the water system is a must when you move to the country.

There should be 3 water tests with no E. coli in them, and the flow rate should be tested for well recovery.

Ground Source Well vs. Drilled Well

Depending on the age of the property, you may want to do a well inspection! There are two kinds of wells, a lot of older wells are ground source while most new wells are drilled. I know people that have drilled wells, that are 350 feet deep! A ground source well is when you lift the lid you should be able to see the water and


these wells don’t usually cause a problem although there are times when wells go dry and have to be replaced.

***One thing I’ve learned about wells, is there is a pump, usually in the bottom of the well, but sometimes in the house. When your water starts to trickle, it probably means your pump needs replacing immediately. This does not require a plumber but a pump guy! (FYI).

Lastly once you live in the country, you should test your water 4X per year. Your real estate agent will be able to tell you the closest drop-off for water tests and where to pick up the sample bottles.

Septic Systems

This is a US based video, but the principles are exactly the same as in Canada.

Now the septic system is not so scary because it’s designed to work on its own! Depending on how many people live in the home and how big the system is, and how well it works will determine how often it is to be pumped. A lot of older systems have the entrance to a septic pump out about a foot below the surface of the ground. In other words there is no marker to tell you where it is and it has to be dug up to be pumped! Most people will put a marker once they have located it so it is easier to locate the next time.

Now you will probably pump out your septic between 5 and 10 years and the cost of that is about $300.00. If you begin to smell a sewage smell coming from your shower or sinks, you are over due for a pump out!! also never drive on your septic bed, it could cave.

Heat SourcesOctopus-style-heating-furnacejpg

Very few homes in the country have natural gas. That leaves alternative heat sources such as propane, geo-thermal, oil, electric, and wood to name a few. A lot of country homes have at least one wood stove in them which will give you heat and possibly a cooking source when the hydro goes out!

Do You Lose Your Hydro?

Does the hydro go out often? Not really but ice storms can wreak havoc and it can take 5 days to get your hydro back. So, I would recommend that you have a generator set up so you can get through these times without difficulty, because without hydro, you also have no water!

We Know People

It will take some time to get to know the locals and the businesses and services that you will need to fulfill your life in the country but always remember this, Tony and I know a lot of people that do all kinds of jobs in the country. We may be able to help you in your hour of need.


Barb Betts
Barb Betts, Author

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