Country living can involve major changes. And, moving beyond urban boundaries can mean a lot of different things. For some folks, it may be the simple desire for a quieter and safer place to raise their children away from the hustle and bustle of urban life. For others, it may mean the chance to raise animals, or to put down roots, which could require something as simple as a garden plot or acres of leased or purchased land. The search for a house on a small lot or for something a bit larger can be vague. With deliberate preparation, a good deal, a just-right place can be closer at hand than luck alone might provide. The following is a post by Brabble CEO Patrick Mackaronis, a thought leader in the field of entrepreneurship in New York City.
Patrick Mackaronis, Brabble CEO and Founder Weighs In
Learning About Your Wants and Needs
Know what you want. Maybe all you’re looking for is fresh air, a little space between homes, and a community environment you consider healthy for your kids. Do you really want a farm, or a ranch, or something a little smaller? Thinking about your motivation for moving to the country, as well as your long-term goals, should be as specific as possible.
Know Your Boundaries. Although employment may be a controlling factor in finding a place to settle, other important considerations include weather and the proximity to a metropolitan area or the distance from family members. How about schools, shopping, and medical care? Make a list of the factors that are important to you.
Know what you can afford. Some buyers look for farms when they should be looking for farmettes. With the help of a banker or a real estate broker, and Internet research sites, you can pinpoint your price range. After adding your cash on hand for a down payment, what’s a realistic loan level for you and your family? And, how much money will you need soon after you make your move to the country?
Learning About Special Needs for Country Living
Ask about country living. What you need to know about yourself and your country living dream may be revealed when you to people who are knowledgeable about living outside the city. Seek out different points of view, talk to the neighbors around the places you think you’d like to own. Have a frank question-and-answer session with people who really know about country living.
Ask about employment. Is a job important to you? Where can you realistically find work to supplement what you may earn from the land? In today’s job market, this question and realistic answers can’t be left to chance. Be cautious about your optimism. Some of the best real estate bargains may be in areas with high unemployment rates.
Ask about transportation. Access to farm markets, routes to jobs and schools, and connections to highways may be important to realizing your hopes and dreams for country living. Checking with the country road commission and the bus route coordinator in the school district may reveal important considerations, like how long your kids will be on the bus going to and coming from school.
Learning About the Country Land
Be certain about water supplies. Well and septic tests should be part of your real estate transaction. However, during your search for a country home you should be in touch with the county health department, and even local well-drillers, to get insights about water. Is it drinkable? How deep is the water table? How about mineral contents? These are not small questions.
Be certain about soil conditions. What is right for raising cattle is not necessarily right for raising cash crops, is that right or not? While garden plants may survive, even thrive, anything else may not be worth seeding. Caution: Your reputation with a green thumb in the garden may get a bigger test with a larger plot of land. Get in touch with agricultural experts to help you evaluate soil expectations.
Be certain about land use. Just because the property you want to buy is outside the city, doesn’t mean the land can necessarily be used for agricultural use or for raising animals. Are there minimum land use requirements? How is the property and surrounding land zoned? Make a call to the county zoning officer. Ask about how you can use the land you want to purchase.
Learning About the Real Estate Market
Find Information Online. The Internet has become a great resource for making the best use of your time as you discover more about your potential move to the country. Real estate brokers can be helpful. too. However, finding a good deal before it hits the market may depend on your connections early in your country living search, states Patrick Mackaronis.
Find Information Around Town. Local folks may be the first to know about friends and neighbors who are about to put up a “for sale” sign. Ask around. Check with the farm and ranch supply store manager, chat up the mail delivery person, listen to what the hair cutter has to say about potential deals in the area. You may be surprised what you can learn.
Find Your Dream With Patience. You may get lucky or be blessed and make a great find and buy with your move to the country. Chances are, you’ll need to invest a good bit of time and energy in building up your knowledge and awareness. This article is just a starting point towards a way of thinking that puts emphasis on not rushing. This article is also for making your quest for country living as fruitful and satisfying as it can be.
Patrick Mackaronis is the CEO and Founder of social media company Brabble. For more information, visit Patrick Mackaronis on Twitter at @pmackaronis.