Three Questions To Ask When Shopping For A Rural Home

If you are thinking about buying your first rural home, it's important to understand that assessing a rural property is much different than checking out a home in the city. The following are three of the main things that you need to understand when touring rural houses.

#1: Are there easements or restrictions?

Although easements are common in an urban setting, they usually aren't a major concern. Rural easements can be much more invasive. For example, if the property you are looking at is only accessible through someone else's private property, then you are dependent upon an easement to allow you to have a drive to your home. Easements may also be granted to other companies, such as an oil line passing under your property or power lines arching over it. Restrictions on use of your own land can also be an issue you need to know about. For example, you may not be allowed to disturb wetlands if they are protected -- even if you own the property that holds the wetlands.

#2: What type of water and septic does the house feature?

In the city, water and sewer are usually provided by the municipality. Although it's occasionally like that in a rural home, more often you will have your own well for water and septic system for sewage. The real estate agent should be able to provide you with the capacity of both the well and septic system, so you can make sure they fit your needs. It's also important that the owner shows proof that both have recently been serviced and that the septic system has been pumped. An inspection of the septic system and its drainage field are also important prior to finalizing a purchase, since problems with this system can be very expensive to fix after you buy homes.

#3: Is there any concerning service limitations?

One thing often overlooked at rural properties is an issue with limitation of service. The two most common limits are on cell phones and internet services. Some homes are in "dead zones," which means you will be unable to get cell phone service. You will need to have a land line in order to take calls at the house. More alarming for many is that not all rural homes have dependable internet access. Slower DSL service or expensive satellite service may be an option. Cable can also be limited to satellite TV as well. Knowing what to expect when it comes to these services can save you frustration later.

For more help, contact a real estate agent near you.