Buying a home in the country is an exciting move but you need to take amenities and services into consideration. These tips will help you make the right decision.
1. Natural gas
A natural gas service is unlikely to be available on a rural property, but gas delivered to a holding tank is often a good alternative.
Check on local availability, as well as the costs and reliability of supplies in the area.
2. Phone connection
The cost of connecting to the telephone network may be costly compared to other options.
The cost of running a cell phone may compare well with the cost of connecting a conventional phone, but be certain that there is good cell network coverage in the area.
Alternatively, you might prefer to use a satellite phone.
3. Garbage disposal
Rural properties rarely have garbage collection services. Your household may have to learn new recycling and waste reduction habits.
Find out the location of the nearest garbage dump, what you’ll pay for tipping fees and if there are recycling facilities.
It is likely that properties you inspect will rely on a septic or recycling sewage system.
- Satisfy yourself that the system is functioning properly.
- If you need to install a septic system, look for possible sites for absorption trenches. This means you can avoid the need to have the tank pumped out. It’s important that you find out about local municipal regulations affecting sewage disposal.
5. A place to build
An undeveloped property is not desirable unless it offers at least one good building site.
- Favour land that has views and a gentle slope towards the south or southeast, natural shelter against prevailing winds and potential for a dam. Keep in mind that slopes of more than 1:5 may require expensive excavations when house foundations are laid.
- Ideally, you should be able to incorporate views as well as energy efficiency into a workable house plan. Beware of too-steep sites as they can escalate building costs considerably and lead to drainage and erosion problems.
- Other questions to ask yourself might be: is the soil stable or is there evidence of erosion that might require expensive rectification measures?
- Can a rocky outcrop be incorporated into site design as a feature or will it need to be removed?
- Do trees need to be removed in order to build? When fresh vegetation grows will existing views be obscured?
Top tips for buying a country property
Living in the country can be a welcome change from city life. Follow these tips for a successful choice.