3 things to look for when buying rural property

July 29, 2015

Buying property is an exciting endeavour, but there's lots to consider when it comes to services and amenities. Here are a few to keep in mind.

3 things to look for when buying rural property

1. Accessibility

  • People in the country often have to build their own access roads to get to their properties.
  • Your initial assessment should include the likely cost of building and maintaining an access road, track or front drive.
  • If you're buying a farm in a new subdivision, find out who's responsible for providing access roads.
  • If you have to build a road, there may be a cooperative neighbour who's willing to help. They may even have some of the equipment you need.
  • In rugged country, a planned road may include steep gradients or creek crossings. If it has either, be sure to include the cost of a four-wheeled vehicle in your assessment.
  • For creek crossings, a simple causeway is best. If a bridge is necessary, budget for one that will be suitable for heavy vehicles.

2. Water

  • One of the most important considerations is access to an adequate supply of fresh, potable water.
  • In most instances, a water system can be developed. But it's more ideal if one's already in place.
  • If town water is available, ask about the cost of connecting.
  • Besides town water, you may need water for crop irrigation. Research which sources are most reliable for each particular property.
  • Find out about the quality of the water and ask neighbours about the frequency and levels of floods in local creeks or waterways.
  • You may be allowed to construct a dam or draw water from a creek, but check with authorities first.
  • At least one roof-water collection tank is a bonus for a rural property. You'll want one especially in areas prone to forest fires.
  • Ask neighbouring property-owners whether there's subterranean water, and how far down the water is. If you must sink a bore, the depth will determine the cost.

3. Electricity

  • Rural properties aren't always connected to the conventional power grid.
  • The cost of installing a power line may be prohibitive, especially if you're a long way from the nearest grid. In such cases, finding alternative power sources may be more economically viable.

Buying rural property is very different from urban homes. Take these key considerations to heart when you're looking at a place in the country. That way, you can avoid any surprises later on.

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