20 questions to ask before buying rural land

20 questions to ask before buying rural land

Posted by Jonathan Goode on September 14, 2015

A land agent who specializes in rural land sales explains what to know before buying land, reviewing questions you need to ask before purchasing your property.

What to ask when buying rural land? It all depends on the objectives the buyer has in mind.

The list below would need to be tweaked a little depending on the objective for the purchase. For example, a person considering developing a tract into a subdivision on a river would have some significantly different questions to answer than a person buying a rural retreat for their family. For even more ideas, watch Jason Shearer explain key questions landbuyers should ask in this The Rural Rules video.

Questions to ask when viewing land for saleWhat to know before buying land:

  1. How is the property accessed? Is there road frontage, a deeded easement, etc.?

  2. Are there any water features on the property, such as rivers, creeks, a lake, or springs?

  3. Are utilities available to the property?

  4. If there is timber on the land, what is it like? For example, what are the stand types, what is the age of the timber, is it planted or natural?

  5. Has the property been surveyed, and are boundaries marked?

  6. Who are the neighbors surrounding the tract?

  7. Can I get a clear title to the property with title insurance?

  8. Do the timber, mineral and water rights convey with the sale?

  9. Are there any easements on the property for adjoining owners, conservation, utilities, etc.?

  10. Are there any known environmental concerns or latent defects with the property?

  11. How is this property zoned? Is it agricultural, residential, commercial?

  12. What are the annual property taxes?

  13. Have the owners received notice from any governmental agency about possible assessments or actions in the near future that would affect this property?

  14. Will the property be conveyed subject to covenant and restrictions? If so, what are they?

  15. How does the land lay? Slopes, bottomland, elevation change, etc.?

  16. Are there internal roads and trails?

  17. Do all of the improvements to the property convey with the sale, such as gates and fences, shooting houses, out buildings, etc.?

  18. Does the land drain well or does it stay wet for much of the year?

  19. If I had to sell this property again in a year, is it desirable to other potential buyers?

  20. Can I pee off my porch in privacy?

3 Steps to Buying Rural Land with ConfidenceFrequently asked questions on how to buy rural land for crops:

  1. What is the corn grain yield per acre?

  2. Is it possible to irrigate with a center pivot?

  3. Is an irrigation permit available from the Army Corps of Engineers?

  4. What is the soil profile of the property?

  5. Where are the nearest grain processors?

What to ask when purchasing rural property for timberland investments:

  1. What is the site index of the land?

  2. Is any of the timber merchantable now?

  3. Is more than 70% of the property sloped suitably for growing and harvesting timber?

  4. Where are the nearest wood outlets and mills?

The list could go on indefinitely for developers, hunters, farmers, investors, and survivalists. The point I am trying to make is that you need to know what your objectives for owning a rural property are before you can even know the right set of questions to ask. This is one reason a buyer should engage the help of a competent agent when purchasing a rural property. Having someone working for you that knows the right questions to ask can save you thousands of dollars and make your transaction much safer and pain-free.

Are you ready to begin your search for the perfect rural property to suit your needs? Raydient Places + Properties features country land for sale throughout the South from Florida to Texas at raydientplaces.com.

New call-to-action

Jonathan Goode

Jonathan Goode is a land broker with Southeastern Land Group, helping people buy and sell land across Alabama. He has earned the prestigious designation as an Accredited Land Consultant (ALC) and enjoys helping educate people about many topics related to rural land ownership. Jonathan, his wife Whitney, and his children live on a 75 acre farm in Perry County, Alabama. They enjoy living the simple life in the country. Whitney grows much of their food in their large garden and tends to the chickens and other critters that inhabit their place. You can keep track of some of Jonathan's follies and exploits on his webpage, Jonathan Goode - West Alabama Land for Sale.

Want more from our blog? Subscribe to Rethink:Rural here

Subscribe to get all of our latest content sent directly to your inbox, or contact us directly with any questions you have.

Subscribe Here