Five Tips For Buying a Rural Property
If you have decided to buy an investment property in the country then there are a few things you need to be aware of. It is important you understand that life in a rural area is a lot different from suburban or city life, and that although it may look peaceful and quiet, life in the country can be busier than you may expect.
When buying a property you need to be aware that agriculture can be a noisy and smelly industry. If you think you will be buying a property away from noise and pollution just because you are in the country then you would be wrong. People working in agriculture use machinery, such as tractors, harvesters and stock trucks, so expect traffic noises. Animals, such as sheep, cattle and chickens, can be quite noisy when there are a lot of them, so look at what type of farm is next door to the property you are interested in. If the sound of roosters crowing at dawn is going to drive you crazy then you might not want to live next door to a chicken farm.
Know what action you can take to improve your property. If you have fallen in love with a property but are turned off by what is over the neighbours fence, then think about what you can do it improve your property. To minimise noise, dust or block out an unsightly neighbouring shed, for example, you can plant windbreaks. A farmer is not usually required to minimise impacts from their agricultural enterprise so be prepared to have paddocks next door turned from lush green grass to a ploughed area, for bushland to be felled for more pasture or for windbreaks to be planted that block your view.
Sharing the road in a rural area is different to sharing a road in the suburbs or city. It is common for stock to be moved along the side of a road, or even across it, and it is your responsibility to give way to livestock. Slow down and be prepared to have to wait. Road surfaces can vary in the country too, with unsealed roads being common. Roads are not always in great condition either, even bitumen roads. There are certainly no street lights either, so be careful driving at night and use your high beams.
As a rural property owner you are responsible for managing pests on your property, which includes both feral animals and weeds. Rabbits destroy crops and spread disease, and foxes kill many lambs and even newborn calves. Weeds are a major problem and noxious weeds in particular need to be removed.
When buying a property keep in mind that you won’t necessarily have access to services, such as gas, electricity or even a road. Properties a long way out from town often don’t receive a postal service, and a school bus may not go past your front gate either. You are likely to have a septic tank instead of being connected to the sewerage system, and you won’t be connected to town water either and will need rain water tanks for drinking and washing.