Land Or No Land? Choosing Between Large Acreage or a Smaller Plot
There is a growing movement for people to leave the cities and move to smaller towns. The rural life has many allures, lower crime, small community, and less restrictions on how you use your land. Many like the idea of having large amounts of acreage so they can garden and possibly have farm animals. However, having a larger piece of land means more responsibilities. How do you know it’s the right choice for you?
In general, living rural means living quietly. There are not as many local activities, so you usually spend evenings at home or as a guest in a friend’s home. Schools have fewer extracurriculars which means less time running around to the next event. Also, you are farther away from larger shopping complexes, so shopping trips need to be planned. The same is true for contractors and others you might need to hire. A plumber may not be able to fix that leak for several days or charge extra for the travel time. These are all things to consider if you are thinking of moving from a larger city to a smaller one.
Buying land comes with its own set of considerations. If you are buying a piece of land with nothing on it, you have to determine whether it has water. Even if you are using the land for farming or herding animals, you need water to keep everything thriving. You can check with the landowners around the parcel you are looking at to see how deep their well is and if there are any concerns with your land and it’s potential for a well. Also, local well-drillers can be very helpful in giving you an idea of how deep they might have to go to find water.
If the land you are viewing already has a well, check into the quality of the water. Wells are known for having great water, but just like any other body of water, they can become contaminated. Have the well tested just to be sure the water is safe for you, your crops, and any livestock you might want to raise.
Country living is known for being less restrictive on what you can do with your home. However, there are still laws regards what you can build and how you can use your land. Check on local city and county zoning ordinances. They may have a few restrictions on the types of animals you can have, or what kind of home or building you can have there. You don’t want to begin building only to find out you have to stop, or worse, tear it all down.
Natural hazards can also be a concern. Check to see if there are natural occurring dangerous substances, such as asbestos. It could also be a protected habitat or a fire hazard! You can request a disclosure which lists any and all hazards on the property. This ensures you know exactly what you are getting into and what you need to work around while owning that particular parcel.
These are just a few of the concerns when you think about buying land. Most of these are not a concern if you buy a property which already has a house or is inside a small town. Usually things like the water supply and zoning have already been determined by previous owners, so you can use the property and home you buy without worry. However, it’s always good to check on things before remodeling or putting up a new building.
Whether you are buying a residential property or open land, think through the pros and cons carefully. Both require maintenance and care to keep things running smoothly. While making a decision, check these articles from The Balance and HGTV. Next, talk to your real estate professional and give them an idea of what you want to buy and what you want to do with your property. This helps them find the right place for you! Enjoy finding your next adventure!