Buying a rural property: how to check the land and neighbours

July 29, 2015

For many of those looking to buy a house, emphasis is placed on the structural integrity of something that has been already made. When it comes to buying rural property, you will likely have the flexibility to build your own home as well as develop the farm around it. Here are some tips for checking rural land and neighbours, before you purchase a property.

Buying a rural property: how to check the land and neighbours

Readiness for farming

  • Have a livestock expert estimate the type and number of animals that a parcel of land will be able to support.
  • Assess existing vegetation to get an idea of what grows best on the land: if certain plants are thriving, others that have similar characteristics should also do well.
  • Look at what is being cultivated on neighbouring properties or ask the local agricultural authority for advice on what crops might be suitable to grow on the land.
  • Rundown farms or old properties may have inadequate or derelict and hazardous old fencing and other farm debris. Anticipate the effort that may be required to make the land suitable for raising livestock or sowing crops.

Checking the neighbourhood

When looking at land, assess not only the particular features of a property, but the area in which it is located.

  • Do established farms coexist well with hobby farms? Are so-called rural developments in truth actually intrusions by city commuters seeking suburban living on massive land parcels?
  • Enquire about development plans for the region to help ascertain the social, economic and environmental stability of the region.
  • How friendly do the local citizens — those who would be your neighbours — seem?
  • Try to envisage how, over the next few years, the area might develop. Will it still be an area in which you want to live?

You will have a better feel for a property if you see it in as many of its moods as possible. Inspect promising land in different weather conditions, at different times and, if possible, in different seasons. You should also get to know your prospective neighbours to find a property you'll enjoy farming and living on.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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