Do you want to be as close to the city as possible, without actually being in the city? Just off Highway 1A on Calgary’s northwestern border is the perfect place – the charming rural area of Bearspaw, full of rolling hills and prairies. 5,500 residents have great views of open skies and faraway mountains – and you could too!
Beyond its natural beauty, Bearspaw also houses numerous small businesses and shops that cater to its residents – and you can enjoy it all from a true “home base” of a custom-built house. If you’re curious about building a home in Bearspaw, here are some great things to keep in mind before you make a final decision.
1) Wildlife in Bearspaw
Since Bearspaw is out of the Calgary city limits and more open to the prairies, building a home here requires more careful consideration of the local wildlife. You’ll love glancing out the window while sipping your morning coffee and catching a herd of deer or a majestic moose grazing nearby – but remember that other animals, like foxes or coyotes, are probably not far behind!
While most wildlife will avoid humans, it’s good to do your part with things like motion-activated lighting, properly secured garbage cans, and sufficient fencing that won’t harm any animals.
2) Utilities in Bearspaw
A modern home requires a lot of different systems, all working together – water, septic tanks, natural gas, electricity, telecoms, and so on. Since Bearspaw is a more rural area, homeowners will need to look into what utilities are available for their particular property, as some have more options than others. Installing these systems typically requires obtaining the right permits from the county and ensuring that the work is done up to specific codes.
Water and Gas Services in Bearspaw
For water and gas in Bearspaw, homeowners can go through local co-ops, such as the Cochrane Lake Gas Co-op (electricity is through your choice of provider). It may also be necessary to drill a well near the home site. It’s always a good idea to research the available options and understand the costs involved – not just for the initial setup, but for ongoing maintenance, too.
3) Bearspaw Property Taxes
They say taxes are one of the only things in life that are certain – but if you have to pay them, they may as well be as low as possible. According to the property tax comparison calculator on the Rocky View County website (which is not perfect, but it’s a good benchmark), it has one of the lowest municipal tax rates in the area.
Of course, this will depend on exactly what’s around your new home, the availability of services, and other factors, but it’s still likely to be far less than what you’d pay within Calgary or one of the other nearby suburb communities.
4) Road Maintenance for Bearspaw Homeowners
The County of Rocky View, which is the surrounding county in which Bearspaw sits, maintains the roads within its borders – but branching off from that, you can add your own driveways, approaches, and entrances in order to make a suitable parking setup. You’ll have to get permits and an inspection from the county, but that’s fairly easy to do online through their website.
This means if you’ve got a lot of vehicles, a big RV, a summer fishing boat, or you just want to make a big looping driveway around your newly built custom home – you can make the space to do so! You’d be in charge of that part of your land, but the county’s fleet of graders and trucks will make sure the connecting roads are kept in good condition (and relatively dust-free through a complementary annual dust reduction application near residential driveways).
5) Bearspaw Parks and Nature Trails
Living in a custom home in Bearspaw means a lifestyle that embraces the great outdoors. With an abundance of nature trails and parks scattered throughout the area, Bearspaw offers endless opportunities for outdoor adventure and exploration – especially in the warm spring and summer months. Whether it’s evening walks on a tranquil path or heart-pounding mountain biking in the hills, Bearspaw’s natural beauty is always at your doorstep with fresh, clean air and inspiring views.
However, with those beautiful summer days also comes the winter weather. Just like anywhere else in Calgary and southern Alberta, you’re likely to encounter heavy snow, chinook winds, and periods of extreme cold in the winter. Building a home that can withstand these conditions is crucial. Make sure you use high-quality building materials from the foundation all the way to the roof, complete with well-insulated windows and doors and modern, reliable heating system. It’s probably a good idea to upgrade the snow shovel to a snowblower, too!
6) Bearspaw Building Bylaws
As tempting as it may be to strike out on your own and build the biggest, most incredible house you can imagine, there are multiple levels of consideration for any structure going up in Bearspaw. Compliance with local building codes, zoning regulations, and provincial and federal standards is an important consideration when building a custom home in Bearspaw. For example, there are limits to how high your house can be, how many structures can be on the property, what kind of home business you can have, and so on. These exist to ensure the safety and security of anyone who lives in or near the property.
If you’re envisioning total freedom over your lot, it’s not quite as simple as that. That doesn’t mean you can’t open a home business or build a workshop, since many people do with no problems – just that it pays to plan in advance! And the best thing to help with that? The advice and guidance of a professional builder that knows the regulations and can ensure that your custom home is perfect for your needs.
Design Your Dream Home in Bearspaw, Alberta
Bearspaw offers the best of both worlds you’re after – small-town feel with the big city just minutes away. If you’re ready to create and build the perfect place for your family to grow in this inviting part of southern Alberta, our team at Thomas Built Homes can guide you through the entire process of designing your dream home. We’ve done it before and we’ll happily do it again!
From the initial sketches of your concept to the final coat of paint on the cabinets, we’re here to craft a Thomas Built Home that is beautiful, functional, and ready to serve you and your family for years to come. Let’s bring your vision to life in Bearspaw!