A beginner's guide to buying a rural property

July 29, 2015

With careful planning almost anyone can turn the dream of owning a small farm or a few hectares (or acres) of country land into a reality. And with some effort your land could provide a significant proportion of life's amenities: wood for the fireplace, fresh produce for the table, a waterhole for fishing or swimming and even waterpower for generating electricity. But as with any major purchase, you should proceed cautiously.

A beginner's guide to buying a rural property

1. Setting goals

That little place in the country, the idyllic rural retreat that so many people dream about, can become a reality if you set firm goals and a realistic price range. Fix a timetable, list your requirements in order of priority and visit as many properties as possible. In time you will be able to assess the potential of even the most unpromising site.

2. Decide what you want

The first step in your search for suitable land is to have a strong notion of what you want. Those desiring nearby water for fishing or swimming will obviously have different priorities from those wishing a woodland landscape. Prospective farmers will look for one kind of land, while weekend sojourners will look for another. Whether you enjoy isolation or prefer neighbours nearby is something else to consider. And, of course, there is the matter of money; your choice will be constrained by what you can afford.

3. Make a list

Focus your search by scribbling down your needs and wants.

  • Decide whether you want to develop virgin land or whether you want to renovate an existing property and its buildings.
  • Have clear objectives.
  • Think about whether you expect to live a self-sustainable existence, working your farm full-time, or intend to supplement your needs with income from other employment.
  • Settle on the type of climate you want to live in and make sure that it is compatible with what you want to do with the land.

With careful planning, your dream home in the country could become a reality.

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