• Home
  • Video
  • No Permit Required! How to Buy Land for Your Log Cabin or Tiny Home

No Permit Required! How to Buy Land for Your Log Cabin or Tiny Home


Find out how to find and finance a property with no permit requirements and very low taxes. http://myselfreliance.com/no-permit-required-where-to-build-your-tiny-home/

I found my solution in the form of an unorganized township in Ontario, Canada. Here, I am unencumbered by government oversight. With no building permit requirement and very low annual property taxes, I am free to build what I want, where I want and when I want. Without oversight, I am free to build another log cabin. This one is 10 feet by 20 feet - 200 square feet plus a 70 square foot covered porch and a back deck overlooking the stream, which will eventually be screened in.

How to find a property in an unorganized township

1. Search Realtor.ca in the area that you are interested in.

2. Contact real estate agents in desired locations and asked for a list of unorganized townships in the area.

3. Ask realtor for a list of properties for sale in an unorganized townships. Include already developed properties - sometimes the building is not suitable for habitation but beneficial infrastructure is in place, such as driveway, well and septic.

4. Visit http://www.gisapplication.lrc.gov.on.ca/CLUPA/Index.html?site=CLUPA&viewer=CLUPA&locale=en-US (Crown Land Use Policy Atlas) to see what public lands are located near your property. Ideally, a large park of public land should be within walking distance.

5. Spend time on Google Earth to get an idea of what surrounds the property - lakes and rivers, landfill sites, other developments, mines, quarries, etc.

Tags: Cabin,log cabin,off-grid,self-reliance,self reliance,tiny home,small home,shelter,bushcraft,survival,living off the land,homestead,woodcraft,pathfinder school,dick proenneke,cabin living,alone in the wilderness,joe Robinet,shawn james

Video Transcription

why are people so attracted to the image of the log cabin in the woods is it an innate powerful drawback to nature and natural materials or is it that the log cabin is a symbol of the simple life a life free from modern stress noise pollution overpopulation crushing debt and information overload for me it's the thought of working for decades at a job that does not make me happy disconnected from nature surrounded by concrete buildings and too many people and dependent on an employer the government the system and powerful and efficient but noisy and unnatural machines when I was 21 I was already tired of society and wanted badly to move off grid to live off the land and to live on my own terms

fortunately a couple of years earlier I had earned and saved enough money working in construction during summer breaks to buy some cheap land with help from my parents the property consisted of five acres in central Ontario Canada directly across from a lake and surrounded by public land I thought it could easily live off that land supplemented with a large stockpile of oatmeal rice and canned vegetables unfortunately I didn't last a year the township started harassing me to remove the trailer that I was living in while building the cabin and I had to get a job to pay the property taxes I couldn't believe it I own the land why couldn't I build a cabin or live in a trailer or a tent for that matter it didn't make sense but when I looked into it further I found out that that was the way it is in most of Ontario and throughout the u.s. and Canada 25 years after building that first cabin things have only gotten worse land prices have skyrocketed while wages have stagnated owning a house especially one with land may not be an option for my kids and most others in their generation on top of that governments have increased rules regulations and fees previously unorganized townships have amalgamated with their neighbors and are no longer safe havens for offgridders in Canada municipalities regulate residential and commercial construction based on the minimum set out by the National Building Code some provinces such as my home province of Ontario have more restrictive regulations set out in the Ontario Building Code municipalities can add further restrictions regulations including things like minimum maximum plan view dimensions and Heights setbacks etc a standardized development fee is an example of a local intervention development fee which is the right to develop a building in the township is ten thousand dollars or more and many of the municipalities including most in Muskoka so which is central Ontario and in the townships around in the township that I live in property taxes are high unorganized townships are cheap just one hundred to two hundred dollars in our case including the education and the road portion you

so as you know I'm 47 now this is the second property actually that's the third property I've owned in my lifetime and I'm in a position now where I've worked hard over the last 20 years especially owning my own businesses that my wife and I were able to buy this property cash but what if you're not in that position as I wasn't when I was younger when I bought my first first two properties first when I actually bought when I was 17 I bought it with some money that I earned working in construction and then two years later two and half years later I sold that property for two and a half times what I paid for it and bought this second property one that I built that first log cabin on I bought that property with my sister and using a and and had it mortgage so this is exactly the position I was in back then so this is gonna be relevant what I have to say next so how can someone who's just starting out in life buy a property like this one let's use my let's use this current property as an example so the purchase price was fifty thousand which ironically he's pretty close to the price of the property I bought when I was 19 that I built that cabin on so the problem is that banks don't like to finance vacant land it's harder for them to sell they can't manage it they can't rent it out to earn back the in lost income if you're to default on the mortgage so so most of the time the banks will charge a higher interest rate but they also want a 50% down payment which is obviously just not possible for most young people so in the case of this $50,000 property they would want a $25,000 down payment and then they would advertise the remaining 25,000 over up to say 25 years so there's a couple of things one thing is I suggest raising at least $5,000 of your own so save that up work hard make some sacrifices do whatever you have to do to raise $5,000 to put down on a mortgage the show of the bank and another private lender that you're capable or that you're serious about home ownership and that you're capable of of saving that kind of money so the option is to get a cosigner or a second mortgage private lender family member or somebody who's willing to finance or give you $20,000 or land you 25 or lend you $20,000 towards that purchase price so what you would do is you take that $20,000 apply it to the 50,000 that brings it down to 30,000 plus your 5,000 that you raise that your deposit and the bank gives you a twenty five thousand dollar mortgage you're gonna pay a higher interest rate than you would if you had a house so your interest rate could be let's say 6% compared to what three and a half percent on a house Street now so if you had a mortgage of about twenty five thousand at 6% and then the private lender family member whoever gives you that second mortgage might charge a higher interest rate say 10 percent because it's higher risk they're taking second position to the bank so in the event that you stop making your payments the bank wants to take ownership without property first they sell it off or whatever they can get and then the balance goes to the second lender the second mortgage position so using those numbers your $5,000 deposit $20,000 loan from a second mortgage holder plus a primary mortgage from a bank your payments over 25 years at a combine interest rate of 8% it's going to be about three hundred and forty three dollars if you can reduce that down to 6% by paying off that second mortgage lender and just dealing only with the bank after a few years or some other method to get that interest rate down the payment goes down to two hundred and eighty eight dollars per month which is actually very reasonable that's cheaper than you pay rent anywhere so what happens is even that numbers out of reach you can't afford $300 a month which you should be able to keeping in mind that you're going to be living in a rural area there's not as many jobs and not as many ways to earn income but there is ways to earn income including things such as YouTube now we'll get into that in another video this property this $50,000 property is completely paying for itself and like I said I'll get into that into in a future video but imagine home ownership without having any any out-of-pocket expenses so here's here's a couple of options for you this property in an unorganized township has no building restrictions has no building restrictions no building permit required there's no primary residence and accessory building permits and all that garbage you can build as many residences on this land as you deem fit or as you feel like so on my twenty acres that 20 acres that my wife and I own 20 acres and it's fairly long property can easily have two or three cabins on that property and they would even be within sight of each other could have separate driveways you can come in one driveway and go off in separate ways or just walk in so you imagine let's say let's say three people then so three people get together by this property you have to come up with $1,500 each as a downpayment and your monthly payments your and your monthly mortgage payments are like a hundred dollars a month that's like so cheap so reasonable building the cabin building these buildings on the property can be done as cheaply as free and I'll show you how to do that another video or a very low cost at a minimum so the cabin I'm building right now I've decided I'm spending some money on it because I'm making it a little bit bigger a little bit nicer than I anticipated originally but still very cheap and there's lots of things I'm going to show you how I could have cut two corners or it could have accessed cheaper or free materials so that cabin could have been free so that's one option is to comply operate with other people second option which is even better because you get into homeownership or you because you get an ownership with partners and you have a falling out or something that's a little bit of a hassle to deal with later a better option is to build second third fourth whatever number of cabins you want on that property and rent the boat you list your cabin on Airbnb and cabins of this nature or going going for 150 to 200 dollars in some cases eight hundred dollars a night for rental so you imagine two cabins on your property then one or two nights maybe three nights you can have that mortgage payment paid by the renter's like I said tune into the rest of the videos in this cabin series in particular learn how to build a cabin cheaply and you can always start by building one cabin then as you're there start building a second and third cabin likely going to need to bring in building materials for that but like I said it's going to be paid when your cost of homeownership when your monthly costs are so cheap because first of all your mortgage is cheap two three four hundred dollars a month your property taxes in an unorganized Township or like a hundred to two hundred dollars per year so that's insignificant you're not connecting to the utilities so you don't have electricity costs a hydro bill you don't have a water bill so all of these savings can go towards building that's second and third cabin or start saving up money to add those utilities later like we will so start off with no utilities and then a solar system for example for electricity and then you can do a drilled well ten thousand dollars get you a drill well in this area so you can draw freshwater septic system nice to have you know full plumbing in your in your cabin of course those internet costs and there's cellphone costs and things like that fuel your truck with your costs are so low your cost of home ownership that cost of your host the cost of your place of living it's so cheap you can earn money in so many ways and I'm going to get into that in other videos as well like like how YouTube for example is paying for this property of mine I'm gonna get into how to earn money in a rural setting and show you how this property can not only pay for itself but pay for your complete lifestyle allowing you just to live the life that you want to live so so stay tuned to the next section next section let's get into how exactly my wife and I found this particular property using a few online tools

I'm sure sites like this exists in other jurisdictions like the US Australia Europe if you guys could let me know comment below everybody here would really appreciate having these resources to check out to find this kind of property and to understand the rules and regulations in different areas so I'd really appreciate if you guys could do that it'd be awesome I'll take that information they'll give you credit and put it on the website as well so we cannot refer to this information for further to help other people get into this lifestyle so yeah like I said stay tuned but we're going to start by going to realtor.ca and the crown land use policy atlas for Ontario Canada you

well this is the method my wife and I use so we went to realtor.ca first use the drop-down and select vacant land any acreage for now you can fine-tune that later

settin up a price limit we set 50,000 for one of our searches and then a hundred thousand and we ended up finding a property for over fifty thousand but we were able to get it for fifty thousand

okay so choose the general area that you're looking for in Ontario for us we want to stay within three or four hours of the GTA and we thought west of Algonquin Park was ideal for us and for anybody want to visit the property it's a nice area and it's a reasonable distance to drive and once you get into the upper limits of you know three to four hours away from Toronto the prices come down but in particular these areas across here just say with Lake Nipissing and to the west of Nipissing or unorganized townships or there's a few unorganized talent ships in that area so this property here benefits the criteria it's ten acres you can see that it's nicely treed it's a decent Road and they provide a lot of information like this map that shows the actual property the dimensions of it the shape of it and it also shows a Crown land parcel which is really helpful because it's going to help us in the next segment of what we're doing here but when they provide that that's ideal and it's valuable to have that current land such it's close proximity so anyway go through the pictures take a look at it see if you like it says here that it's what 13 acres ignore the ten to forty nine that's just the category that it falls into there's a good description here or not every real estate agent does that but you can see that they talk about the excellent game and hunting for moose deer small game like this in particular living in an unincorporated Township what are the benefits such as no building permit required that's significant that's exactly what we're looking for it's a number of criteria we're looking for your ground access is one of them the unincorporated Township for us is something we absolutely needed to have and we want to have water on the property as well this property doesn't show water so we'd want to do some more digging look into it more detail for one thing you can start by looking at the map here which is great but if you click on the satellite icon

it'll show you a Google Earth image satellite image and from that you can see that the PAS grafite can see the type of vegetation you can see the coniferous trees there and then that opened brown areas since this photo was taken in the winter this image that brown area through there which is actually Crown land is hardwoods without leaves on it so those are likely hemlock spruce and Pines down in those other areas so the property you can see goes back to that hardwood Ridge in the back and then it shows you all along through this area the access onto this 100 acre parcel of Crown land so you can actually actually access that lake in the back it's saved by the topography there that's probably a low spot on the property that would have some water in it but you don't know until you do some digging and that might mean visiting the property so just take a look at again where the property is specifically geographically in relation to things like town of Arnstein in this case so it's great that the realtor provided this map and shows the Crown land parcel but we want to verify that using another source and that source is the Crown land Atlas the Crown land use policy atlas for Ontario so if you click on that just click on the blue button here that's going to take us to this site just accept that that I'll show you the legend in a minute but this is the Crown land designate this is the land use policy for Ontario so it shows you what the land is and what it is that designated for all the grey areas our private property

we can see here in the legend so click on that ledge and take a look at it primary land use area so orange is an enhanced management area force reserve all of those are Crown land or public land designations but the general use area is what we're looking for and all of that general use area is Crown or public land that anybody can use so in this case you can see just northwest of earn steam which is where that property is located it shows that 100 acre parcel just north the property and that the back corner of the property for sale backs on to that so you can access it so that's got some advantages it's not significance only 100 acre parcels and we want to see what else is in the general area so that if we want to hunt this land or or explore this land in more detail how much public land we have access to and you can see outside of all the gray airs there's quite a bit in the area but it's hard to access so it's a good property it's not ideal we wanted more crown land directly accessible from our property so we ended up with something different but I'll get into that into in another video for now that's how you use these two resources and that's how we found the property that we bought so if you have any questions just comment below and I'll get back to you you







plump at the cabin right now just about to get started for the day it's about 8 o'clock in the morning and just had some thoughts that I want to get off my chest before I got to work talking to talking to some family members on the weekend just a reminder of why I do this and what I think self-reliance is so important especially for you young guys out there so I have three sisters I'm in my mid-40s now and my oldest sister's with 52 that guess this year I'm just disappointed in the quality of the man that they've attracted in their lives over the years and they're not offering my sister as much in the way of of manliness so in and in happiness you know everybody needs love in their life everybody needs to be loved and everybody needs to love you know it's important that we have somebody that's good for us and that we're good for and you know I talked about self-reliance a lot and of course my brand is my self-reliance and I think that might be confusing to some people and they think self-reliance means that at least from my perspective they think that means it's just my self-reliance and self-reliance is about being alone being independent and not needing anybody but that's not true at all self-reliance is just the ability to do things get things done on your own and not depend on other people there's a big difference between cooperation and dependence and if when you're self-reliant when you're strong and capable and proficient and efficient you get things done you can take care of yourself you're less of a burden on other people and that confidence that you gain from being self-reliant and for not depending on somebody else gives you the ability to concentrate or to to become a better person yourself and I'm talking about my sisters of course but that goes for anybody and any anybody in your life whether you're a woman or a man the significant other in your life does some degree their happiness depends on you and your happiness depends on them now the only way now the best way to be in a good relationship is to be a good person yourself and to be a good person yourself you need to be confident you need to be you need to have something to offer have an 18 year old daughter and a just do it 17 year old daughter

and they're at that age where they have a lot we have a lot of boys hanging around and my oldest daughter as a long-term boyfriend and and whether it's this guy or the next or another guy and my youngest daughter whatever guy Center his life I want these people to be independent I want these men to be men I want these guys to be men they need to be able to take care of themselves they need to be able to take care of my daughters and that takes self-sufficiency independence

self-reliance get out there do things learn to do things become a man be confident in what you do and be confident yourself be happy and concentrating on your own happiness allows you to be a better person for the other people in your lives so like I said I talked about my self-reliance but my self-reliance just means that I'm capable of doing these things that build this cabin that I'm here doing right now do all of these things that make me a better man but they also make me a better person and better and a better spouse and a better better father and a better and a better son and a better brother so I'm just putting it out there guys if you're younger guy especially you need to be the best man that you can be and if you're the best man that you can be then you have a lot more to offer my daughter my sisters my my mother every other woman in my life and every woman in your life so that's that's what to me self-reliance is about that's what my self-reliance is about it's about me getting out there and me doing my things and then when I'm not a burden on other people because I'm responsible for my own happiness so my own survival and they don't have to worry about me they don't have to worry about providing these things to me because I can do it on my own to me the worst thing he can be is dependent on other people for your happiness or depending on other people for your survival depending on the government for your income or for your for your medical benefits here or for your health or for your your money you need to get out there and need to earn these things yourself you need to work hard you get up early you need to stay off drugs and alcohol you need to eat healthy you need to get lots of sleep you need to be a man you need to get up and you need to do things you need to accomplish things in your life and you need to get out there and make a difference in society and in the lives of the people around you and that's going to make you a better man and it's going to make you happier person that's what I have to say today guys it's a like I said three sisters a great wife and you know I have a great marriage and the reason I have a great marriage is because I don't count on my wife or my happiness I can do all these things that make me feel like a man make me feel confident and I don't care if you think that's a bad thing that you need to do things to make yourself feel like a man of course you do you have to be a man to to feel like a man so that's what I do and as a result to have a fantastic marriage my wife loves me I love her I attracted a good woman into my life because I concentrated on making me a better person first before I met my wife had already built a cabin I already lived in the woods for for three months so I'd already done a lot of independent things that always made things with my hands I'd I had become somewhat self-reliant for 23 year old doc in the early 90s and and as a result I felt like when I went into a relationship I could just be that man I could be that person that I want to be it could be self-sufficient self-reliant and make yourself a better man you'll attract better people in your life you'll have healthier relationships you'll be a lot more happier so to me that self-reliance just had to get that off my chest or if I offended anybody but thanks for tuning in guys if you like what you're seeing on the channel I ask you to thumbs up and comment that's what drives the channel that's the feedback from you guys to really appreciate that and if you haven't subscribed please subscribe and and stay tuned some exciting things coming up and please let me know what you'd like to see from me so thanks so thanks again guys if you're new to the channel a lot of times at the end of my videos you'll see me rant and rave or or just give my philosophy on life you don't have to watch that if you're not interested just turn it off after the first part of the show and if you do want to hear what I have to say and then stick around off and you'll find this at the end of the video so like I said thanks again for watching and I'll see you in the next video [Music]

About the Author

My Self Reliance

My Self Reliance

Shawn James Canadian outdoorsman, photographer, guide and self-reliance educator. Writer for Ontario Tourism. myselfreliance.com Outdoor adventures, including survival, bushcraft, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, snowshoeing, fishing and camping.

More articles from this author