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Buying a home is exciting. For many of us, the dream of homeownership at some point involves living outside of town in a quiet rural setting.

Now, how far away from town is definitely a personal preference that will vary from individual to individual, but no matter how rural we’re talking, there are tips you need to keep in mind when buying a home in the countryside.

Why rural?

First, let’s think about why you want to live in a rural home out in the country. Sure, it sounds great – and for many it is absolutely living the dream – but it’s not right for everyone.

Many people think that it sounds nice to live in the country where traffic is little to nonexistent and nextdoor neighbors are more like a mile away instead of a few steps. But this kind of living means that you will likely need to travel further to reach places like grocery stores, church, school and your job.

Plus, it may be harder to get information about a large area that only has a couple of homes rather than a neighborhood with dozens or more homes where everyone knows the ins-and-outs of the area.

Finally, you may have to build a new home, as existing homes are fewer and further between and will not come onto the market as readily as homes in town. Either way, it could mean being patient and waiting for the right house, whether you build it or not.

None of this is meant to make you turn away from an opportunity to consider a rural home or even take pause. As with many real estate decisions, it’s just useful to come into the situation with all the information possible and a level head to assess that information.

Now, onto tips for finding the best rural home or property to build on.

1. Build or buy? Know your preference.

Like we just mentioned, rural homes are just more rare than those in a town or a city. With that in mind, you need to know whether you want to take the time to build a rural home that fits your family’s needs not only now but also in the future, or wait for a home that meets those same needs to come onto the market.

It could be a waiting game, and the waiting period may be even longer if you wait for an existing home. It will happen eventually, but it definitely takes patience on your part and the willingness to be open-minded.

On the other hand, you can start working with a real estate agent to find suitable land and a contractor to design the home you need whenever you are ready. But still, building a home takes time.

2. Get to know the area

No matter your choice, you will want to get to know the area surrounding any potential rural property.

The best way to do this is to drive around and even get out on foot to walk portions of the property. You will want to see for yourself how far away the property is from amenities located in town – work, school and entertainment. Be sure to consider whether this extra travel time is something you can fit into your budget and daily schedule.

You will also want to research what government bodies, likely a county government, rural water district and rural school district, your property falls under. This way you can determine whether those entities have good reputations and will be a good fit for you and your family, especially if you have kids who will be attending school.

3. How do you get onto the property?

This is a factor of buying a rural home or property that’s often overlooked until later in the process. But how easy is the property itself to enter? Are there already existing roads or drives that lead up to and into the property. If so, then how many?

Don’t be surprised, especially if you intend to build a new home, that you will also need to gain permission to connect to a private drive to a public road, or multiple public roads depending on the size of the property.

4. Ask about utilities and water access

Most rural properties with existing homes will have access to utilities and water. However, it’s still worth investigating as some improvements may need to be made if the current set up does not meet your needs.

As for new builds, you will need to get in touch with utility providers about gaining access and talk with a representative with the local government about a septic system and a well.

5. Maintaining the property

More space means more work. When it comes to a rural home, you will likely be dealing with increased responsibility for property upkeep.

Although some rural counties may have laxed regulations, there can also be more requirements for keeping on top of certain types of vegetation, mowing and clearing debris. You do still want to keep everything looking nice, after all.

And then there’s the no small matter of winter. How easy will a private road be for you to keep clear of snow so that the property remains accessible?

6. Work with a local real estate agent

Just as with any home search, you will want to work with a local real estate agent who is knowledgeable of the area and will be aware of the right questions to ask landowners or the seller’s real estate agent.

A good real estate agent with experience in selling and buying rural homes will also be able to get you the best financial deal that makes the most sense for your family. They can be honest with you about whether a home or property is worth the asking price and what a competitive offer may be.

Contact Advantage

Don’t dive into your rural home search without having the Advantage – Advantage Realty and Land Management. Contact us today to begin finding the best home or rural property for you and your family.

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