Buying a ranch property with a large amount of acreage is very different than buying a home in a master-planned community. In fact, while you are concerned with finding the perfect house when you by in a developed neighborhood, you are mainly concerned with the land when you buy a house. You know that houses can be altered, but land cannot.
1. Access: When you consider ranch properties for sale, you need to think about access. Are the roads leading up to your property maintained by the county year-round or are they only seasonally maintained? Do you have to access the land via an easement over a neighbor's property? Does a river cut off access during the spring after heavy rains?
2. Perc Test: A perc test, or percolation test, is a test of the property's soil and how well it drains. If the soil does not drain well, it means it failed the perc test. The results of the test determine whether you can use an underground septic tank and leach field or whether you need to create an engineered field. This does not mean building on the land is impossible, just more expensive.
3. Utilities: While one of the more desirable aspects of a ranch property is its remoteness, that same remoteness can make access to public utilities difficult.In rural areas, there is rarely access to municipal sewer and water services or to natural gas. Electric service is more commonly available, and cable usually involves a satellite dish. Make sure you know what you have access to and what you don't before making an offer.
4. Conservation: Many lands are part of or border conservation areas. This may be one of the more enjoyable aspects of the property is you are a wildlife photographer, but too prohibitive if you wanted to hunt on your land. Talk to your real estate professional about any limitations due to conservation acts.
5. Environmental Hazards: Knowing the past history of the ranch property you are considering purchasing is vital to your property hunt. It's important to know if there are any environmental hazards, like an old pit mine or gas station with underground tanks, especially if you do not want to end up being the one responsible for cleaning it up.
When you buy a ranch property, you need expert guidance from an experienced real estate agent to buy the piece of land that best suits your needs.