For many people, the idea of owning a place in the country is a lifelong dream. Our cities are now so saturated with industry and millions of people flocking in from every corner of the world that it’s no wonder, so many of us are quite literally running for the hills! The countryside poses a welcome breath of tranquility and fresh, breathable air away from the smoke and bustle of the big city. It’s little wonder then that so many investors are ditching the bright lights in favor land and property in a more rural location. Another reason behind this is down to the sheer flexibility that rural land can give you. You may be investing on a personal level – creating your dream home, or a vacation property for when you want to spend some time out of the city with your loved ones. Or, you could be investing for a return, in which case you have many different options available. Vacation properties are common in these dreamy rural locations, but you could just as easily invest in farming property or even commercial real estate such as a factory building. The options are endless, and with a little slice of the countryside on your books, you can be certain that you will have a fruitful investment on your hands. However, if you have only even bought and sold property in towns and cities before, there are a few things you should probably be aware of. Rural property is never as straightforward as a metropolitan property is, and if you are not careful, you could end up making some mistakes that could cost you a fortune. Not sure where to begin? Take a look at these points, so you know what to look out for when making your first ever rural investment.
If you are a developer who is planning to build their vision upon a stretch of land, you might want to hold your horses before you get the builders in. You may think you have found the perfect plot, but rural land can be tricky to deal with and could easily be hiding all sorts of nasty secrets. For example, you would be shocked at a number of unexploded bombs and land mines that are still buried into the hillsides of many rural areas. This might sound drastic, but it is something you need to be aware of, as there is no coming back from a disaster like that. Additionally, the land itself may simply be of poor quality, that will make building upon it quite a challenge. It is clearly always better to find this out before you have bought the plot and hired your building contractors, so utilize a service such as Contaminated Land Management / Investigations | Remediation Services to check the quality of the land before you build. You could end up liable if a family move into your property that has been built on contaminated land, so always perform a full check first before you go ahead with any construction.
Consider the location
Many people automatically look at a rural property and think that the more remote it is, the better. While in some cases many people do want to get away from it all, you can indeed buy property that ends up being a logistical nightmare. Whether your property is going to be residential or commercial, it needs to be situated somewhere that still has decent transport links to nearby towns and cities. Otherwise, you will seriously struggle to find a buyer or a tenant. After all, who is going to buy a factory that is based 100 miles away from the nearest town, where all the workers will be based? Consider public transport options and the nearby road network, as these will be strong selling points for your potential buyers. You will also need to take into account other aspects of the local infrastructure, such as whether you can get a good phone reception in that location, and what the internet signal is like. Very few people would be willing to move somewhere where they couldn’t get Wifi, so clear these things up before you go ahead with your purchase. But, on the other hand, there is no point buying a property that you claim to be ‘rural’ if you are still kept awake by the city’s traffic when you are in said property. Value a plot or location that will truly capture your buyer’s imagination – anything with a dramatic backdrop, and something that is surrounded by plenty of wildlife. More and more people these days yearn for beauty in their homes, so try and get your hands on the best plot you can.
Decide what to keep and what to remodel
If you are buying existing rural real estate, you may need to bear in mind that the property may not have been updated for some time. In some instances, this can prove fruitful. After all, what home buyer doesn’t love traditional period features such as wooden beams in a country home? However, the property could just easily come with a whole host of other, less romantic features that could get you in a lot of bother if you don’t deal with them. Rural properties don’t tend to be new builds, so it is likely your buy will boast a certain amount of wear and tear that it will be your job to deal with. Additionally, take a look at what surrounds the property. If you are buying a farmhouse with the intention of selling it as part of a working farm, make sure any barns, storage areas, and fences are all up to scratch as well. You may want to spend a bit of time introducing yourself and your plans to your rural neighbors, as everyone in these types of areas tend to know each other. If you are new to the rural property market, these people may be able to point you in the right direction and help you with any development ideas you have.
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