Living the Country Life: 5 Things to Consider When Buying Acreage
Living on acreage is a dream come true for many who have moved away from the congestion of traditional neighborhoods found in city limits. While living the country life is appealing in theory, there are practical issues many first-time acreage owners didn’t realize until after they purchased their land. For those who have never lived out of town, these five things need to be considered before buying acreage.
Owning a home on acreage often comes with higher expenses than owning a house in town. For example, consider electricity. In town, the electricity bill covers the house, and maybe a garage. This is also true of homes out of town, but also often includes utilities for outbuildings. Advice from homesinchapinsc.com suggests those shopping for a new home figure out how much higher utilities are for the property they’re interested in versus what they’re used to.
Electricity is often already available to out-of-town properties, but not all services are. City water and sewer services, garbage collection, and natural gas services typically aren’t available in the country. This means being prepared for things such as maintaining a well and a septic system, using a propane tank, and/or hauling garbage to the dump. Some people are prepared for this extra work to live out of town, but for others, these things are a deal-breaker.
Length of Power Outages
While electricity is typically found on most rural properties, these areas are often the last to have service restored during outages. When considering a rural property, a potential buyer should ask how long power outages typically last, including what the longest outage was. It’s not uncommon for homes in rural areas to go a day or more without electricity.
Road Maintenance & Accessibility
Homes located out of city limits are often on private roads, which aren’t maintained by the county. According to HGTV, this can mean homeowners paying for plowing and maintenance themselves. If there are other landowners on the same private road, it may also mean splitting this cost with them, even if your property is at the beginning of the road. For places with heavy snowfall in the winter, these factors are especially important to pay attention to. That property may be beautiful in the spring, but will you be able to access it in the winter, or be able to pay someone to maintain access?
Being surrounded by acres of green fields sounds great, but the reality of maintaining a large property is that it’s a lot of work. Homeowners with acreage must maintain that land or be able to pay someone to do it. There are a variety of reasons land must be maintained, but one of the most common is to lessen fire danger. Ready for Wildfire states that property owners maintain a 100-foot defensible space zone around their home. This space is meant to slow or stop the spread of wildfire, with grass no taller than 4 inches.
One of the best pieces of advice on buying acreage out of town is to consider the practicalities of living there during every season. Living in the country can be wonderful, but homebuyers need to know what that means before deciding that country living is right for them. These tips can help them make that decision.