Escaping the city is the goal of many people, but buying property in rural areas is much different than urban homes and condos. With so many different things to consider, it’s recommended that you make a detailed initial assessment of any properties you like. The assessment should include projected costs that you may need to pay once you buy. Here are three such costs to which you should pay special attention.
As a rule of thumb, rural properties are a little bit behind their urban counterparts, which means the electrical system may not be up to your usual expectations. Always have the electrical system assessed before buying, and pay close attention to how many plugs are in each room. Taking a closer look at the electrical panel could be a good idea too, just to see how old the entire system is. If the property currently doesn’t have electrical access, look into how much it will cost to connect and add that to your initial assessment.
One of the biggest problems facing rural property owners is access to clean, potable water. Many are too far off the grid to have access to plumbing like an urban or suburban home, so this requires certain considerations that need to go into your assessment. Look into what the neighbours are using for water, whether they truck in their water or have a well. If they have a well, then inquire about how far down the water is. The further down it is, the more expensive it’ll be to set up. It may also be a good idea to have a roof water collection system, which is a good thing to have in forest fire-prone areas like central Alberta.
Access actually has two expenditures that many people searching for rural property often overlook in their assessments. The first is road access, the second is necessary vehicles. Many properties actually lack the roads needed to make the property viable, so when you’re looking at a place or piece of land, think about how you will get from A to B. If a road needs to be built, account for the projected cost of building one into your initial assessment. Take into account that the shortest distance may not always be the cheapest either. Often, going around a water feature, for example, is much less expensive than building a bridge over it. Also, if the existing road is quite rough, think about whether you’ll need a four-wheel drive vehicle for wetter or snowier days. If so, factor the cost of that vehicle into the initial assessment.
If you’re looking to leave the city and move to the country, be sure to pay attention to any things that may cost you money later on. These costs can include road access, the availability of water and electricity, and even the vehicle you use to get out of your new driveway. Write all these considerations down in an initial assessment and think about them before you make a purchase.