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.
- 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.