Ever dream of owning a quiet place located away from the hustle and bustle of town? Perhaps your rural dream home sits on an acreage or is part of a larger farmland property.
Either way, there are a few special considerations that should be addressed before you jump in and purchase rural land and homes. These properties come with a different set of factors, both economic and sentimental, that determine their true value for both sellers and buyers.
So, before you jump in and catch up on local listings for rural property in your area, let’s go over some tips that you need to keep in mind as you start your farm home search.
1 in 5 Americans live in rural areas
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 1 in 5 people in the United States, lives in rural America. Now, not all of these people live on farmland, of course. The Census Bureau’s definition of rural is a sparsely populated area with low housing density that is also far from urban centers.
Still, this stat shows that there is a significant draw for many Americans to live away from large cities. Living on a rural acreage – what most of us in this region think of as rural – just takes that desire to the next level.
It’s that desire for a slower pace of life with a decent amount of privacy that acts as such a powerful draw for homebuyers who are looking into rural acreages and farm properties.
Identify good rural home properties
What’s true in town, though, is true out in the country: Not every home is up to par. There are good deals and bad deals.
Potential buyers must know what they are looking for in a rural property before they begin making offers. Here are some tips on what to look for in the properties that come up in your search.
1. Understand rural accessibility
Just because a home is located a few (or more) miles outside of town, doesn’t mean it can’t be accessible. Sure, the drive into town for groceries, supplies and other services is a bit more of a commute, but some homes located on farmland are simply too far out there.
For the most part, a home that still has an easy drive into town is a plus. However, this can go the other way, too. If you are looking for a home with maximum privacy, then you will no doubt see being further off the beaten path as a definite plus for some homes.
2. Know the neighbors
Many rural home and farmland property owners value good connections with their neighbors. They may not be able to see their neighbors’ home from their front porch, but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to stay in touch with neighbors.
If you are looking at rural properties, be sure to ask about neighbor relations. If you plan on farming the land, then this is even more important as neighboring operators need to communicate for reasons other than what traditional residential neighbors need to.
That neighborly connection is valuable even to people who want added privacy. There is plenty of community get-togethers and other forms of fun to be had with country neighbors. There’s more space for all that, after all.
3. What’s the cost of ownership?
As pointed out by Land.com, it’s very rare for a property to be bought and the costs stop there. New owners may need to arrange for getting electricity and rural water to the property.
Insurance, gravel for the property’s entryway and utility bills are other costs that will need to be planned for upfront.
After that, though, there are even more potential expenses. Is the land purchase large? Then you may want to invest in a better lawn mower and perhaps an ATV and storage shed. Anything else that falls into the land care property needs to be accounted for.
If the purchase comes with farmland to be operated, then that opens up a whole other world of expenses that need to be planned for and managed.
4. Ask what’s included in the sale
All parties involved in a potential real estate transaction – buyers, sellers, real estate agents – need to know what is all a part of the sale. This should be in writing, too.
Check any list of what’s for sale for the following:’
- Existing farm or hunting leases
- Fence posts
- Livestock panels
- Portable sheds
- Other miscellaneous equipment on the property
- Anything that can be moved
5. Look around at other properties
Just like buying any home, it’s important to look around and get a feel for amenities, pros and cons that make each rural property unique. It could be a better price that you finally find, or a home with all the amenities you want. Either way, searching and not settling will pay off.
Also, don’t skip property inspections. Much of this may come down to what you will use the land for. Is it a small acreage or a large property with a home and farmland? You’ll want to not only have a home inspection, but also look into pasture quality, boundary lines, soil productivity, timber age and quantity – and so much more.
To be honest, there’s a lot to track, which leads us right into the final tip.
6. Work with a realtor
An experienced realtor is invaluable when it comes to searching for and evaluating rural residential and commercial land. This is another tip that comes from Land.com, but one we at Advantage Realty and Land Management cannot stress enough.
Truly, these tips only scratched the surface of all that goes into finding good rural land, no matter your needs or intended uses. A realtor has access to information found in records and within local knowledge bases.
A realtor also provides someone to trust when it comes to handling some of the other, more involved steps in the process of buying any type of property.
Get the Advantage for your rural home search
Start your rural home or land search with an undeniable advantage. By working with Advantage Realty and Land Management, you’ll be working with a realtor who is committed to your goals from the very first step of the search process – all the way to closing.
Let’s talk more about what Advantage has to offer.