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Tips to Purchase a Home in the Country

Updated on May 21, 2017

Is Living In A Country Setting For You?

Things To Consider When Buying Rural Property

Doing your real estate homework upfront before you consider the purchase of a home is one of the keys to ensure you get the best possible deal you can. That is true whether you buy a loft downtown, a home in the burbs, and especially true if you are looking to purchase a house in the country.

Knowing what is available and what you can do to both the property and land will help guide your decision. If after considering your options, you are still excited about the prospects of living in the country, here are some key tips to give you food for thought as you consider moving to a rural setting.

Know What You Are Buying

It sounds like common sense, right? In reality, do you know who owns a hidden resource that may be found on your property (especially if the previous owner was not aware of the resource)? How about any equipment on the premises? Access rights? Use of shared resources via easements? Harmful soil or land issues?

To avoid legal drama and a contentious dispute, ensure your contract lists out and has specific details on what you have ownership or rights to and what you do not. Knowing what you are entitled to upfront can save a lot of grief and expense after you setup home in the country.

Zoning Rights

Another key thing to consider when looking for a country home (or land) are the zoning laws and whether or not your intended use of the land fits with what the local zoning jurisdiction has determined for the area. For instance, if you want to have a farm it is a good idea to find out if the land is zoned for agriculture.

Other zoning options may include some type of industry or even a recreational zone. It is an easy check and well worth the time to find out how local authorities have zoned the area and whether or not you can petition for re-zoning.

Zoning also directly affects public services such as water, sewage, and electricity. Are those services already available? If not, what is the cost feasibility of obtaining them? A reasonable assumption may be the land should be lower priced if those services are not readily available, which could drive a lower offer on the land.

Whatever you do, do not take any aspect of zoning for granted or assume because a neighborh can do something you will be afforded the same opportunity. Knowledge is power so know what the zoning is for the property and land you intend to purchase and put yourself in the best possible position to make an informed real estate decision.

Talk To The Neighbors

You will find that putting on your walking shoes and visiting those you will be living around can be an enlightening experience. You may hear about possible disputes or issues that otherwise may not have come up until you are getting ready to close on the property or even after the closing.

You will also be able to gauge how receptive your future neighbors are to what you intend to do with the land. Knowing you have their support can alleviate hurt feelings and conflicts before they occur. If it looks like there may be problems, you have the ability to resolve them quickly or possibly even move on from the purchase if it looks like a long drawn out dispute is likely.

How else can local be helpful? They can provide history on previous land use, frequency and type of natural disasters, and even get you started (or put you in contact with great resources) who can assist with your intended purpose once you own the land.

While owning rural property is an advantageous proposition for many buyers, it is smart to know some of the key things to look out for and consider before you jump into such a big buy. If you have considered the facts and are still comfortable moving forward, ensure you engage with an experienced real estate agent who understands all of the nuances of buying rural land. Happy house hunting!

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