6 Things to Know Before Buying a Rural Property

Have you ever thought about buying a rural property?

Country living isn’t for everyone, but if you think it might be perfect for your family, then there are definitely some things that you should know.

If you’re ready to get serious about your search for a home in Florida’s countryside, contact Florida’s Choice Realty today.

In the meantime, take a look at the following tips to make finding a rural home much easier and more rewarding.

1. Work with a Realtor Who’s Knowledgeable About Rural Property

Most Realtors excel at helping their clients buy and sell property. However, only a smaller number of them understand the heightened complexities that may come with buying a rural property. This is why it’s sensible for people who want to buy a country house to work with a Realtor who has experience with these transactions.

Buying a rural property can come with extra rules, regulations and paperwork that just don’t apply to homes that are purchased in a suburban or urban setting. Moreover, it can be really helpful to have a professional at your side who has already participated in dozens of similar transactions. They will be able to answer your questions and help you to avoid many of the most common pitfalls that are associated with buying a rural property.

2. Get Guidance from a Local Mortgage Lender

Did you know that when you buy a property in the country, you may have additional financing options that are not available to urban and suburban properties?

For example, the United States Department of Agriculture, or the USDA, actually provides financing for families who want to live in the country. USDA home loans do have some eligibility guidelines of which it’s helpful to be aware, but an experienced lender who frequently deals with this type of loan will be able to provide the guidance you need.

As a matter of fact, USDA home loans are incredibly popular for people who want to buy rural property. However, there are other options available to you. If you want to ensure that you get the mortgage that is best for you, then it’s wise to consult with a local mortgage lender who can lay out all of your choices for you.

3. How Much Property Is Enough?

Before they begin taking a closer look at the marketplace, many people who are interested in rural properties think that all parcels in the country must come with acres upon acres of land. This might even deter some people who think that country living is right for them because they just don’t want a parcel with 15 acres of land.

The reality is that there is a great deal more choices than you might realize. Some country properties have quite small parcels of land, just enough to give you a large yard compared to what you’d have in a suburban setting. On the other hand, you could opt for a property that has two or three acres or one that has 20 or more acres. The choice is really up to you.

How much land is enough for you? It really just depends on what you want to do with that land. If you’re looking to keep your neighbors at a good distance from you, even a small parcel could be perfect. Those of you who are considering options for development or other land use will want to do some additional research. How much “usable land” comes with the acreage that you’ve got your eye on? Land that is completely undeveloped takes a great deal of time and money to turn into something, so it’s wise to know what you’re getting into before making the leap.

4. Consider the Utilities

When you purchase a home in the city, you don’t have to think too much about utilities. Most of the time, everything is hooked up and more or less ready to go. You’ve got city or county water and sewer connections as well as electricity.

The country can be different. Many of these homes have a septic system rather than being connected to a commercial sewer. Having a septic system can save you money on property taxes, but it could potentially cost you more if it needs to be maintained or replaced. Before buying a property with a septic system, have it inspected by a professional to determine its age and condition.

It’s also possible that a rural home will have a well water system instead of being connected to public water. The water in the well is free, but the well does need to be maintained. Once again, it’s smart to have a well system inspected before you buy the property.

The same is true if you are contemplating buying a home with an oil or propane heating system. Weigh the cost of fuel and maintenance, and be certain to have a thorough inspection performed before you close the deal.

5. Location, Location, Location

Not all rural properties are surrounded by farmland. Some are located in wooded areas. Some don’t have a farm for miles around. You might find a piece of land with a lake or a pond.

Additionally, you don’t always have to go that far outside of the city to find a beautiful piece of property that feels like it’s way out in the sticks. Staying close into town means more convenient access to stores, gas stations and other services. On the other hand, maybe you want to be far removed from larger communities. That is certainly an option as well.

Before buying a parcel of land, thoroughly explore the surrounding countryside and determine how long it will take to reach ordinary destinations like grocery stores and your doctor’s office. How far are you willing to drive? Everyone’s answer will be different, but this is critical to helping you find a home that you’ll love.

6. Zoning

  • What are you wanting to do with the property?
  • Does the current zoning allow for those activities?
  • Can you get a variance to conduct those activities on the property?

These are all very important questions to understand because even as something a simple as building a home on a piece of land could be against current zoning for many different reasons.

Calling the local zoning office can start the process of getting the answers you need to make sure the property you want is the property where your vision can come to reality.

Ask Florida’s Choice Realty First

Are you considering buying a rural home in Florida? If so, then speak with the real estate experts at Florida’s Choice Realty. With our experience dealing directly with rural properties, we’ll be able to answer your questions and help you find the new home of your dreams.

Need help with Rural Property?





    4 Must Know Horse Property Ownership Tips

    If you own a horse and are thinking about buying a property that would allow you to give up rented stable space, then it is critical for you to choose your new property carefully.

    Of course, buying real estate always requires time and careful reflection. It is important to consider the condition of the house, its location, how much storage space it has and even the suitability of its kitchen.

    However, if you are considering keeping a horse in Ocala, or even several horses, then there are even more factors to consider. When you are ready to become a horse property owner, contact Florida’s Choice Realty first. In our expert Realtors, you will find knowledgeable guidance and advice that will help you locate the perfect equestrian community and property.

    Consider the Type of Barn

    Many horse properties already have a barn on site. This can be a huge advantage because it saves you the trouble of having a barn built. Many horse owners recommend wooden barns because these are more convenient to insulate. You also may encounter a property with a metal barn. These can be quite practical, durable and easy to maintain. However, metal barns also can be very loud, especially during thunderstorms, and you’ll want to consider this before you buy.

    While you’re checking out the barn, take some time to count the number of stalls so you can be certain that all of your horses will have a place to call home. Check to see if there is a loft where hay can be stored. If so, how many bales can fit into the space at once? Is there other storage available for all of the miscellaneous equipment that goes with horse ownership?

    Just like the house, the age and condition of the barn are crucial considerations. Be certain to ask the Realtor how old the barn and stalls are, as this may help to indicate when they may need to be repaired or replaced. Also, be certain to ask about and review any drainage systems and waste management systems. Have an inspector look at these and other factors before making a purchase decision.

    Land Type

    When it comes to land, you probably need to look for some specific attributes for your equestrian property. If the acreage is quite extensive, then chances are good that some of it is wooded and some of it is pastureland. Make certain that there are no steep slopes where you will be keeping your horses as constant time on a pitching slope can be damaging to tendons and ligaments. It also is helpful if there is plenty of land that’s not covered in dense vegetation as this protects both the horse’s hooves and his eyes from tree branches. Accordingly, your horses will have plenty of room to roam without fear of hurting themselves.

    You’ll also want to be aware of any marshy areas on the acres where the soil doesn’t drain well as this similarly is not conducive to the health and safety of your animals. Areas with standing water are mosquito breeding grounds, and these pests can spread diseases that are harmful to horses. Spend some time examining how rocky the soil is too. Severely rocky soil can hurt the soles of the horse’s feet, which can be surprisingly tender.

    Another critical consideration is water supply. Keep in mind that horses drink between five and ten gallons of water every day so it is helpful if the property has a deep, reliable well that can easily meet these needs.

    Check the Perimeter

    Next to the barn and the type of land, a perimeter check is an equally critical factor to consider. What kind of fence surrounds the property? Has it been well maintained? Will you need to replace it or perform extensive repairs on it within the first two years?

    Why is this so important? The health and safety, perhaps even the life, of your horse depend upon it. More than one horse owner has had a nightmare experience when a horse is injured or killed after escaping through a poorly maintained fence. Breaking a leg in a ditch and being hit by a passing car are just two of the possible scenarios.

    Because you want to avoid this, you have to ensure that your property’s fence is well-maintained at all times. If you see barbed wire fence anywhere on the property, bear in mind that you will have to remove it and replace it before your horse moves there. Many horses are severely injured after becoming entangled in this dangerous type of fencing material.

    You want to ensure that the fences on your property are highly visible so that your horses can easily see them. Resilience is another critical characteristic. This refers to the fence’s ability to properly react to the impact of a horse running into it. Will the fence have a little bit of give but not shatter into sharp splinters that may cause further injury?

    Ask lots of questions about the maintenance requirements for the existing fence. Some really high-quality fences that cost a great deal at installation require very little hands-on care. Other fencing material may be cheaper to install but requires constant vigilance to ensure that it’s still functional and safe. Which kind does your horse property have?

    Also, take a look at how tall the fences are. Most equine experts recommend perimeter fences that are at least five feet tall. It is possible for some horses to jump a fence of this height, so if you have a particularly athletic animal, then you may want to opt for a fence that is even higher.

    Storage

    A great deal of equipment is needed to provide proper care to your horses. Does the prospective property that you are considering have adequate storage space? For instance, you’ll need a tack room where you can keep all of your equestrian gear. You also might need a separate feed room. This is a horse-proof area where you can store your horse’s grain so that she cannot break in and overfeed herself. Further, consider whether or not you need a designated area to keep a manure spreader, horse trailer, tractor or arena equipment. Does the property have enough storage space for all of that equipment, or will you have to add more outbuildings?

    Remember, horses need plenty of space, and so does the equipment that goes with them.

    Join the Equestrian Life in Ocala

    Ocala is widely recognized as an excellent place to live if you love horse culture. If you feel that the time is right for your family to bring your horses home, then talk to Florida’s Choice Realty today. The guidance of an experienced Realtor is just what you need when you are considering the purchase of a horse property.

    Ocala’s World Equestrian Center

    Newcomers usually aren’t here long before they hear a lot about the World Equestrian Center. In fact, some people actually move to Ocala just to be closer to this famous facility.

    Even if you are not part of Ocala’s rich equestrian culture, you’ll probably want to visit at least a few times. That’s because the World Equestrian Center is a main gathering place for all sorts of festivities, conventions and events. An elegant resort is located on site, and you may want to enjoy some upscale shopping and dining. Or, perhaps you’d just like to enjoy an indulgent day at the spa.

    As you’ll soon discover, the World Equestrian Center has something for everyone.

    What Is the World Equestrian Center?

    As the name suggests, this is a world-class facility at which various horse-centric events are held every year. With a variety of shows and competitions, the Center is a popular gathering spot, especially since spectators can attend competitions for free.

    The facility in Ocala attracts competitors from across the country as it boasts more than 300 acres, 22 outdoor rings and four indoor arenas. This makes the facility a true four-season attraction.

    In addition to a variety of equestrian events, the Center also hosts many conventions and tradeshows, canine shows and even weddings. Several sporting facilities also are on site, including arenas that are suitable for volleyball, basketball, soccer, martial arts, dance, cheerleading, lacrosse and many others.

    What Can You Do at the World Equestrian Center?

    Whether you visit to take in some dressage competition or for some other purpose, you’ll definitely want to reserve some time for the shops. The on-site luxury retail complex spans an elegant 13,000 square feet, encompassing a wide array of goods and services. This is the place to find the perfect equestrian boots and riding gear, but this retail area also provides many boutiques boasting art, fashion, home décor, jewelry and much more.

    If shopping works up an appetite, then explore the Center’s dining options. Enjoy authentic Mexican fare at Filo’s followed by an indulgent ice cream cone from Miss Tilly’s Lollipops. You also have the opportunity to catch up with friends at Ralph’s Burger & Sandwich Shop or share a meal at Viola & Dot’s Italian Kitchen & Pizzeria. New dining options are being made available all the time.

    Whether you’re visiting Ocala for an equestrian event or just to get away, be certain to schedule at least one appointment at the Day Spa at World Equestrian Center. The combined salon and spa occupies a 7,000 square foot space, giving everyone plenty of opportunities to relax and indulge. From facials and massages to stylish cuts and updos, this spa and salon does it all.

    Did you know that the World Equestrian Center is one of the best places in the region to get married? Start your big day off right with a customizable bridal package at the spa, then head to the elegant on-site chapel. Complete with breathtaking landscaping to provide you with the perfect backdrop for photos, the chapel can seat more than 100 guests, and an oak canopy is located nearby for hosting large receptions. Even catering is available to help put the ideal finishing touch on your celebration.

    Conventions and tradeshows are big business at the World Equestrian Center. If your organization is seeking a high-quality event center that boasts plenty of capacity, then your search is done. A total of five exposition centers, totaling more than 600,000 square feet of indoor space, is available for an incredible range of events. The exposition centers have already hosted national, regional and local events for countless organizations and industries.

    The exposition centers also are appropriate for hosting an array of indoor sporting events. With plenty of versatility and flexibility, the expo centers feature loading docks, oversized LED screens for scorekeeping and advertising, built-in concessions, audiovisual services and much more. Outdoor fields for sporting events also are available, and the cross country trails offer the ideal facilities to host an event.

    Whether you are attending an event at the World Equestrian Center or just want to enjoy an elegant getaway that’s close to home, book a stay at the Center’s hotel. The Equestrian Hotel is stylish and elegant with 248 well-appointed suites and rooms. Many of the rooms even overlook the open-air grand stadium. Located just a few minutes’ walk from the Center’s other facilities, the hotel is the perfect place to relax, shop and dine. Vacation rentals and an RV park are adjacent to the hotel.

    Real Estate near the World Equestrian Center

    Did you know that it’s even possible to live adjacent to the World Equestrian Center? Each lot features three plus acres on which you can build the home of your dreams. A variety of English and French country designs are currently available. All residents benefit from 24-hour security, an on-site veterinary practice and laundry and dry cleaning services. It’s also possible to garner VIP memberships for golf clubs, equestrian events and the clubhouse.

    Additional properties that are move-in ready, including single-family dwellings and condominiums, are available in the adjacent Golden Ocala Golf & Equestrian Club.

    Learn More with Florida’s Choice Realty

    Are you interested in the equestrian lifestyle? If so, then you’ve got to check out real estate near the World Equestrian Center today. The center is one of the city’s main attractions as well as being a major gathering place for entertainment and commerce.

    Living here is just the icing on the cake, so contact us about local real estate today.

    4 Most Popular Community Types in Ocala

    Growth in Ocala

    In the last few years Ocala has grown in multiple ways. With many large companies moving into the area, it has brought with it growth in all areas. Recently the brand new Hilton Garden Inn opened in Downtown Ocala, which has brought what was already a very active downtown life to the next level. With many well known companies opening distributions centers and/or headquarters such as Chewy, FedEx, AT&T, AutoZone, & Hello General to name a few.

    More and more people are moving to Ocala each year, since 2010 there has been a 10% growth and 2.3% job growth in the last year. That may not seem like a lot but U-Haul ranked Ocala third in growth cities in the US for 2019.

    Ocala is the place to be for jobs, fun, incredible housing opportunities, equestrian lovers, ages of all kinds, those that love outdoor activities and those that simply love being at home with their families and loved ones.

    It’s the growth and opportunity that are driving people to Ocala but it’s the variety of community options that make people love the area.

    World Equestrian Center Estates

    Ocala, Florida literally has something for everyone especially the horse lovers. The World Equestrian Center is nestled among some of the most beautiful horse farms in the nation. It has the distinction of being the largest equestrian complex in the United States. So if this is your vibe, you might be interested in the gated community, Saddle Wood where you can have the neighborhood experience along with your very own land and farm. If you’re looking for a majestic masterpiece standing tall among 50+ acres of rolling hills, The World Equestrian Center in Ocala has just what you are looking for.

    Historic District Homes

    If Historical stately homes your style, then look no further. The Ocala historic district has some of the most amazing history. This residential neighborhood covers 172.5 acres that is only blocks from the happening downtown. This incredible district developed as a residential neighborhood between 1880 and 1930.

    There are many Queen Anne Revival style homes built prior to 1910. The following two decades revival style homes were all the fashion. Bungalows and vernacular style homes round out the typical home styles in Historic Ocala. Regardless of your style you’re guaranteed to be in awe as you drive these streets and see history at its best.  

    New Construction in Ocala

    New construction communities are sprouting up to meet the demand of all the growth in the Ocala area and if new construction is what you are looking for, Ocala has it all. With new subdivisions and new homes being built in multiple areas throughout Ocala and Marion County, ranging from the mid 100’s and up, there is no doubt that you will find your new home.  Get in on pre-construction and design your new home or buy one that has already been designed and built.

    We have new home lists and special incentives for anyone looking for to buy a new home in one of new communities here in Ocala. Please reach out and let us help you navigate the complexities of a new home build.

    Retirement Communities in Ocala

    Florida offers so many opportunities for all ages but it’s the retirement communities that Ocala has become famous for. The many lifestyle options in these communities have attracted transplants from all over the United States. With more than 55 such communities there is no doubt you will find the right one for your needs and desires. Some of these communities are Trilogy of Ocala, Ocala Run, On Top of the World, Summerglen, and many more. 

    Closing

    Although Ocala has all of this to offer and more, the fact that Marion county covers such a large land mass, it still maintains the small town qualities and virtues that we all love.

    5 Reasons People Choose to Move to Ocala

    Is Ocala a Good Place to Live?

    The central Florida city of Ocala is packed with extraordinary experiences. From natural wonders in the Ocala National Forest and Silver Springs State Park to man-made attractions like the Appleton Museum of Art and the Fort King National Historic Landmark, Ocala is a wonderful place to visit.

    We often get asked “Is Ocala is a good place to live?”. Here are five reasons why people move to Ocala and why it’s more than a place to visit.

    1. Everything You Need with a Small Town Atmosphere

    Ocala’s city planners have carefully managed development over the years. The result is the ideal balance between having access to everything you need and not sacrificing a warm and hospitable small-town feeling.

    This makes Ocala a fantastic place to start out in life, raise a family or retire. Whatever stage of life you’re in, you’ll find an abundance of jobs, restaurants, shops and houses of worship. The schools are recognized for the quality education that they offer, and residents are free to discover a wide range of recreational possibilities.

    Ocala features excellent community connection. You’ll probably get to be good friends with your neighbors, which is a rarity in other cities. Plus, Ocala’s quaint downtown district is a favorite place to hang out, dine and shop. You’ll even find several fun festivals on the calendar.

    2. It’s the Horse Capital of the World

    How did a mid-sized Florida city earn a reputation as the Horse Capital of the World? By boasting a surprising number of prestigious breeding facilities.

    When you visit Ocala, you’ll discover that you don’t have to travel far to discover mile upon mile of pastureland. All of it is beautifully fenced in with white or brown lumber. Immaculate barns are seen on the horizon. As you watch, sleek, muscular animals graze in the pastures or are put through their paces by experienced trainers. There’s no mistaking that this is serious horse country.

    In fact, Marion County boasts in excess of 600 farms that raise and train Thoroughbreds, making it one of just four Thoroughbred centers on the planet. Altogether, the local horse farms have produced six Kentucky Derby winners, 20 Breeders’ Cup champions and 45 national champions.

    If horse lovers need even more incentive to make Ocala home, consider that the World Equestrian Center soon will be open. This elegant facility will feature almost 20 multi-purpose outdoor arenas, riding trails, schooling areas, climate-controlled barns and much more.

    3. Ocala Is a Haven for Outdoor Recreation Enthusiasts

    If you enjoy other outdoor recreation as an alternative to horseback riding, then you’re in luck. Ocala is filled with recreational options.

    Water sports are particularly popular in the region, with many locals indulging in kayaking, canoeing, boating and tubing. You might explore along the Ocklawaha River one day and then Lake Weir the next. Or, you could spend a lifetime discovering the more than 600 springs, rivers and lakes of the Ocala National Forest.

    Fishing for crappie, bass, catfish and more is popular with local anglers. You’ll be spoiled for choice with diverse locations like Fore Lake Recreation Area, Rainbow Springs State Park and the Lake Eaton Pier to name a few.

    Hikers love to explore the miles of trails in the many parks, and cyclists find plenty to occupy them here too. Diverse activities like hunting, birding and off-road riding vie for the attention of outdoor adventurers.

    It’s all yours for the asking, and with an average of 233 sunny days every year, you’ll have lots of time for exploration.

    4. An Ideal Central Location

    It’s hard to imagine a more ideal location than the one that Ocala occupies. That’s because the city is situated in the geographic center of Florida. No matter where you want to visit in the state, you’re just a short drive away.

    You can be in Daytona within an hour and a half where you can enjoy the beach or catch a NASCAR race. With just slightly more time in the car, you’ll find yourself in St. Augustine. This ancient city boasts not only the beach but also some of the oldest and most fascinating historic sites in the U.S.

    Larger cities like Gainesville and Jacksonville are found to the north. Gainesville features attractions such as the Florida Museum of Natural History, the Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and the Harn Museum of Art. In Gainesville, you’ll also find the University of Florida, which offers a wide range of prestigious degree programs. Jacksonville boasts popular sites like the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, MOSH and the Cummer Museum of Art & Gardens.

    If thrill rides are more your style, then venture an hour or so south to Orlando. Known as the theme park capital of the world, this is where you’ll find Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and more.

    With equally convenient access to the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean, beach getaways are always on the itinerary. Plus, you’ll have your pick of big-city thrills with a drive of an hour or two. No wonder people say that Ocala is perfectly located.

    5. Ocala Is Affordable

    In recent years, Florida’s cities have acquired a reputation for pricey real estate. However, that’s not the case in Ocala. Compare real estate here with other communities in Florida, and you will be pleasantly surprised. With lower home prices, you’ll be able to get more home for your money.

    Plus, Ocala occupies a large region with acres of land. This means that you’ll probably find a larger lot than you will in other Florida cities, ensuring you a bigger yard and more privacy.

    Even with all of those advantages, you’ll find that your property tax bill remains attractively low. It’s just one more reason that families are coming home to Ocala.

    Are You Ready to Make a Move?

    If you were asking yourself if Ocala is a good place to live and after reading this article are interested in what Ocala can offer your family, then call Florida’s Choice Realty. Our expert Realtors are always prepared to share their love of the local area with families who are thinking about moving to Ocala. Call us today to or fill out the form below to learn more.