Purchasing Land Tips and Hints

A brief list of things to consider when purchasing land. Occasionally the most basic things are overlooked.

Are you a high school graduate looking for someplace to call your own?  Do you have young children and want them to grow up in the country?  Are you a retired executive who wants a slower pace of life?  Do you want to purchase a piece of property in the country, but are unsure of what to look for?

Purchasing land of any size is a big decision.  There are many factors to consider when doing so and it is not advisable to buy the first piece of property you look at.

The first thing to consider is size.  How big do you need the land to be?  What will it be used for?  Will you be using it for a hobby farm, market garden or recreation?  Or do you want to make farming your way of life?  Will one acre be enough, or will you need much more?  For anyone considering hobby farming, it is wise to purchase at least 10 acres.  This way, there is plenty of room for your home, animal facilities and pasture.  Less than 10 acres quickly becomes too small when you start adding animals.

The next thing to consider is the land use itself.  Will you be planting crops, raising livestock or both?  Or perhaps you may be planning on operating a recreational facility such as trail riding?  If planting crops, you will want land that is very fertile and relatively flat.  Small hills are okay, but it gets pretty scary in a combine on a steep side hill.  If raising mainly livestock, hills, valleys, trees and water sources are more appropriate.   In the case of the trail riding facility, you will want land with trees, grass, and some special points of interest to attract customers.

If you are moving onto the property, you will need a place to live.  If you require move-in ready, you will need to buy property with a house, a good source of water, electricity and natural gas (or other heat source).  A barn and/or storage building would be a good idea as well.  If it is not necessary for you to move onto the property immediately, you can buy land only and start from the ground up.

Another thing to consider is location.  Where do you want your land to be?  Do you want it within an hour or two of a big city or do you prefer a more remote location?  How accessible do you want it to be?  Will it be alright if a winter storm has you snowed in for two or three days?  These are all things to consider when deciding where you want to live.  Some people are quite content with a place out in the middle of nowhere, while others need the social interaction of friends and neighbours.

Size, intended use, habitability, and location are the most important things to consider when purchasing land.  Also, don’t forget the water and access to utilities.  And, one final note…do not make any final deals on land that is under a blanket of snow.  It’s amazing how many surprises await you in the Spring, sometimes some very unpleasant ones.

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  1. This is helpful. Thank you for sharing. =)

  2. After buying our first property in the winter, I advise anyone to wait until the snow melts. Also, shop around…don’t buy the first property you look at. This was also a mistake we made, but we were desperate and the houses were in short supply where we wanted to be.

  3. Hi D…Land size, fixtures/structures, amenities (water supply, access) and land quality are all important factors to weigh when it comes to deciding what, where and how much to buy…You are obviously sharing through the voice of experience…buying land buried under snow is akain to buying sight-unseen…very beneficial information for anyone thinking about buying a few acres of a quarter section or more…I like this and have cast my vote…thanks and take care…

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