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November 18, 2014

Rural Property Guide: Buyer Tips to Ensure an Intelligent Purchase

Investing in rural property for recreational or investment purposes

Investing in rural property, whether for recreational or investment purposes, is more popular than ever. Though in vogue, it’s important, as a buyer, to approach the process cautiously to avoid impulsive, regrettable purchases.

To make an intelligent purchase, here are some quick tips:

  • Do your homework: Research the market and do price comparisons to make sure the property is not over-priced. Listed prices do not always reflect what properties are really selling at. To ensure you’re getting a fair deal, involve a local realtor in the process.
  • Know the infrastructure: Rural land comes with challenges. Often, these properties are without access to city water and sewer services and may have limited or no access to electric, phone, cable television, and high-speed Internet services. Be sure to look into the ins and outs of the property, including road maintenance, trash pickup, and school bus routes.
  • Identify potential improvements: Are there existing structures on the property that could be restored economically rather than building new, costly structures? Do you need to install septic systems and wells? Connect with a local contractor and also, consult your neighbors to determine standard well depth and septic system requirements for the specific soil conditions.
  • Investigate codes/restrictions: Make sure you are aware of any restrictions on the land. If there are restrictions, determine if you can deal with them and if so, how you will deal with them. Ask yourself: How will these restrictions impact this rural property and a future sale?
  • Determine insurance rates: It may be harder to receive the coverage you need for your property outside of city limits. To get appropriate coverage, contact your local realtor or ag lending company for help.
  • Know property details. Know your surroundings. Make sure there aren’t potential issues neighboring the property that may impact a future sale. Consider environmental factors. For example, know whether or not you are in an endangered species zone. Also, look into any previous environmental contamination from former owners. Bottom-line: Know EVERYTHING about your potential land and the land neighboring it.
  • Consider ALL costs: Aside from purchase price, consider costs for maintenance and enhancements like fencing, ponds, outbuildings, new appliances, landscaping, equipment, furnishings, and general repairs when you begin to budget and finance your land.
  • Consult the experts: Lending companies that specialize in agricultural land loans like AgAmerica understand the intricacies involved in rural land purchases. We can determine an ag loan type specifically for your rural property purchase. For more information on agriculture land loans by AgAmerica, contact us.
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