Friday, April 26, 2013

What to look for when buying land for the Self Sufficient Lifestyle


More and more people are making the move from the concrete jungle to a simpler and more sustainable life for their families. And it is not uncommon these days for many families to pack up and move to the middle of nowhere and declare unparalleled happiness without the modern creature comforts our society has come to rely on.

Romantic images of misty Sunday mornings with nothing more than the sound of the content cows mowing the grass in the fields around you, with nature’s orchestra a perfect backdrop to your farmhouse breakfast of homemade bread and organic eggs from your chickens that morning, intoxicate stressed out families to the point that they can no longer fathom another day in the city.

But picking the right piece of land, in the right area, being surrounded by the countryside but still having access to civilization is a difficult combination to achieve. If you are looking to purchase land to start out a new life in the country for your family, here are some important considerations one might want to take into account before jumping ship completely.


The thought of never ever seeing another human being other than a fellow countryman once every 2 months or so may sound extremely appealing to a stressed out corporate executive with an exhausted family. But as alluring as that initially sounds, it may start to crawl into your soul with frustration after a while.

Picking a location that is so very remote, where you are 3 hours from the nearest town may be enchanting for a weekend, but if your sick child needs a doctor or you run out of milk – it will become rather less enchanting almost immediately.

Have a look at just how remote your location is. Draw a circle around the location and sweep out within a 20km -120km radius – have a look at what is there, how easily other areas are accessible in comparison to yours and how long it would take you to get to things like emergencies services.

Decide just how remote you want to go – the further away from amenities you are, the more peace, tranquility and good value for money you are going to get. But isolation still comes at a price. If your kids want to see friends when they are older you are going to spend your life commuting – take this all into account.

Sometimes you can really just travel an hour or two away from the city and find yourself in total paradise – without the serious commitment to the raw countryside. And you could still commute to work if need be – keeping the finances afloat.

Land Restrictions

Find out beforehand from your real estate agent about what kind of land you can buy. There may be laws and restrictions preventing you from ever using the land for farming or agriculture- ever – and you may find you are restricted in building other properties on your land as well.

In some cases, people think they will be able to sub divide their land and sell off sections to other people later on, making some money and reap the rewards, only to find out that because of the zoning restrictions sub division is not allowed under any circumstances – ever. Take the time to read up on the laws of the land, tax liabilities in the state you plan on buying in and information pertaining to access rights, otherwise an uninformed decision to buy a piece of land that you dream of building cottages on for all your children and their families could go up in flames before its even started.


Water is one of society’s most precious commodities and it has never been more apparent until you move out to the country. Water is scarce and many land owners struggle to get the quota of the water that they need with adjacent land owners sometimes using more than their quota – it’s a sticky situation with no municipal meters measuring out everybody’s portion. It can turn into a bit of a bun fight if there is not enough water for everyone and might be the reason the previous owners or sellers want to move.

Find out everything you can about water availability, who gets what and from where? Are there rain water harvesting systems to supplement a short water supply? Does everybody rely on one dam for their main water supply and what happens in summer when the water is short? Don’t be afraid to approach business owners in the area or neighbors to find out everything you can about the water situation. It will have an adverse effect on your quality of life for you and your family if you can’t even get enough water for your household let alone your land.

Plans in the neighborhood

Have a look and see how far away you are from your closest neighbors? Are they right on top of your house and are you looking at purchasing land that is downwind from the new pig pen they are about to build? Ask as many questions as you can about what plans are in the pipeline for your neighbors and what development is being considered for the area.

The tranquility base will be destroyed and the value of your land go down along with everything else if there is an electrical power plant or mobile phone tower gearing to proceed with construction in 2 years’ time. Once they have started to build it will be too late – you can forget about trying to recoup the losses on the investment you put into your land and your view will be spoilt by unsightly towers and the like.

Small town neighbors love to chat and they may give you a totally different scenario on the area than your real estate agent who is trying to get a sale. But don’t buy into all the stories – small town chat is full of plenty of stories as well. Just aim to get as much of a comprehensive look at your investment as you can before you make the decision to purchase.

Author bio: Korah Morrison, writer on that helps students achieve their academic goals.

1 comment:

  1. Internet and phone service is another thing to consider. Not available everywhere.


Tell us what you think.

The Blog List