In recent years there’s been a large movement of people leaving cities for more rural living. Instead of the rush and noise of city life, people are craving the quieter and slower pace of less populated areas. Unfortunately, besides the quiet, most people don’t know what they want from rural life.
The property is cheaper outside of the city: but there’s a lot more to consider than just price. Here are the top things to think about before you make an offer on any land.
1. How Much Property Do You Need
How large will you want your home to be, and how much land do you want to surround it? The average American home sits on less than an acre of land, but many rural homes can sit on many acres. Although an acre may not seem like much space: it takes only six to build up a football field. So when shopping for land, consider how much you'll be willing to maintain and work on.
2. What Repairs Does the Property Need?
Even if there's no building on the property yet, the land itself may need work. This could mean leveling out the ground itself or clearing out tons of trees and natural plant life. Is there a lake or river that touches the property? Is it near the wetlands or marshes?
Consider how much work each plot of property will need: and if you'll be capable of doing it. A farm/land developer can help you figure out what's required for the land and if any structures on the property need repairs or renovations. In case there is any structure in the property, have a thorough inspection to find out what needs to be repaired or changed. This will give you an idea on how much money you will need to shell out. Look out for structures that require a huge budget like roof replacement or foundation repairs.
3. Should You Work with a Property Professional While Shopping?
When looking around in a rural area, you may assume that you don't need a realtor or real estate agent: but this could be a huge mistake. Like you wouldn't take on building your own house without a home contractor: don’t buy rurally without a realtor or agent on your side.
Not only would they help lower the price of the property even further for you, but they could also help you navigate which properties suit your needs. Realtors and agents see listings sooner and can get you out to a property faster than you could get by calling the buyer and heading out on your own. Don't take this step alone.
4. How Close to Town and Emergency Services Should You Be?
This is up to personal tastes, but most people try to stay within fifteen to twenty minutes from the nearest emergency services. If you feel self-sufficient and you want to get further out there, you can, but there are some things you should consider first.
If you’re planning on starting a family, or you already have small children: it’s a good idea to be closer to town. Children represent 30% of all emergency room visits, despite being less than 18% of the population. If your child falls off their bike or gets harmed in some way, you'll want emergency services as close as possible to help.
This should also be a consideration for aging individuals over 65, specifically those who want to live alone. Having your freedom is fantastic, but you should get to be safe while you enjoy your land.
5. Do You Mind Paying to Put In New Internet and Electricity Lines?
Many areas don’t have any internet, electricity, water, or gas hookups. These can each cost between two to ten thousand dollars to put in, depending on the distance. The closer to town you are, the less you’ll have to pay to have them installed since there may be another connection you can jump off of. Although the right place can be worth paying for these: they’re an expense you shouldn’t ignore.
When looking at properties, ask what it has access to now, and then call local companies to get a quote on what they think it will cost to get services out there.
6. Are There Any Local Zoning Laws in Place?
Even in rural spaces, some areas have zoning laws for what types of homes and buildings can be made on a property. If you want to build a two-story house with a large workshop you can use within your yard: it's good to know whether or not that's allowed in the area you're considering. Look around at local zoning laws, consider how they may affect you down the line: and then make an informed decision.
A Rural Home Is the Dream for Many
Escaping from the noise of city living and enjoying the serene peace of rural life can sound like a dream. The idea of getting to breathe and make your own space can be freeing: and the lower price tags mean you could build an enormous home for the same price as a condo in the city. However, don't let this dream blind you to what you have to research. The decisions you make will affect your life in the long term, so don't be afraid to be picky about this.