A provincial real estate catalogue showed us which regions had properties we could afford. We spent many hours in the library doing research. The history and travel sections had helpful books of photos, but the gov't publications were most useful. We pored over climate statistics and economic forecasts. The Cariboo, where we eventually bought land, had a harsh climate, but not so harsh that we couldn't live there and grow our own food. The main industry was logging and sawmilling, which doesn't produce particularly toxic pollution. The economic forecast was very poor, so we wouldn't be forced to leave in a few years because of high taxes, or find ourselves living beside a shopping center or golf course. Land was very cheap. We'd found our destination.
Twenty years later, I still think we made the right choice. Sure, there are things we're not crazy about. It would be nice to have fruit trees and be able to grow tomatoes outside the greenhouse, for example. Still, the benefits outweigh the drawbacks and we've been happy here.
MARION'S RULES FOR CHOOSING YOUR LOCATION
1. Think both short- and long-term.
2. Research the climate.
3. Visit at the worst time of year before deciding.