5 Things To Look For When Buying Land for your Homestead or Farm

The homestead life is calling to you: you want freedom, space, and buckets of sunflowers and tomatoes. Who can blame you? Here are the practical things you need to know before buying land for your dream.

man and woman on gravel drive in country scene

When buying land, it’s easy to think that the main things you should focus on are price and space: but there’s so much more going on that you need to pay attention to, to ensure you get the best property possible. From the history of the land to the health of the soil and codes, you must do your research.

These are five vital pieces of information to know before you make a purchase and why they matter!

1. Level Land That Doesn’t Have Major Obstructions.

All land buyers should check if they’re buying untouched land, which is how many obstructions will be in their way when they’re moving forward to get the ground in shape. For example, are there tons of trees you’d have to uproot? Is there no water, meaning you’ll have to make your own lake if you want one? Is the soil full of large rocks and stones you’ll have to take the time to dig up?

Getting new land into a workable state can be rewarding: but it’s extremely time-consuming and will leave you feeling like it wasn’t worth it by the end of it. So make sure you know what you’re getting into.

🧑🏻‍🌾 Related: Vintage-Inspired Farmhouse Home Plans

2. Healthy Soil That’s Been Worked Before

If you’re farming or raising livestock, the physical land matters. It would help if you looked for soil that’s healthy, moist, and full of good things that will allow plants to grow. This is important even if the land will just be for livestock since growing your own feed for them is far cheaper than buying and shipping it every month.

You can use several soil testing kits that will go into the soil’s information in far more depth with you, don’t be afraid to use one of those before you sign on the home. This will allow you to have a crystal clear view of what you’re getting into, so there won’t be any nasty surprises about the land.

3. Possible Income History of Whatever Business Was There Before

man with hogs

What businesses have worked this land before if any? Has this been a farming site? If so: it’s important to try and gather information, like if it was profitable, why they’re looking to sell land fast, what type of clients they had, how good their output was, and if there were any years where profit was impossible because of the land or the weather. This will be a frustrating thing to look into because not every area offers this information, and it can pop your hopes for a property you were in love with: but it can help you set realistic expectations for what this land can do.

4. Price Changes of Nearby Properties

Have any of the properties nearby seen any major price changes? A price change can be a good thing, like if you see the value go up, implying that your property’s value will do the same: or it can show more questionable issues. For example, if you’re looking in an area near a water source or in a state that’s prone to fires, look at the property tax history of this piece of land (if there is any) the year after a flood or fire, you’ll see a property value drop.

Many states require this information to be given out before you purchase, but it’s still important to do your own research and determine what makes sense to you. Moving onto land that floods every time it rains isn’t useful and could leave you wasting hundreds of thousands of dollars.

5. Codes and Restrictions on the Property

man with sheep

Unfortunately, there are different codes and restrictions from city to city and state to state: so you must take the time to research which might affect the land you’re looking at. Is it zoned for agricultural work, or is it set up to be used only for residential housing?

The best way to find the codes for your jurisdiction is to look through your city or county’s website. They should have information on what property is coded and which pieces of land have zoning restrictions. If you can’t find anything on it there, look for websites with .gov addresses that offer the codes for your city.

You should never be changed while trying to find this information; if someone tries to get you to enter personal information into a website to gain access to this: it could be a scam, and you should be careful.

Buying A Farm or Land Property Could be a Fresh Start

When anyone buys workable land, they’re doing it either to get a fresh start or to invest in land that interests them. Because of this, it’s a good idea to take every piece of the land seriously when you look at it. Consider each of the above thoughts: and find the perfect location for yourself. You can also check this guide on How To Lay Out Your Homestead So It’s Beautiful and Efficient.

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