Owning a rural property may be your dream, but in order for the purchase to be the happy and satisfying experience it was meant to be, you need to ensure that you are financially and mentally prepared for the responsibilities that come with it.
Some people have a notion that rural property ownership is no different than living in the city, but with the responsibilities of property maintenance, wells, septic systems, and animal husbandry it is quite different and requires some education. Maggie is always available to answer your questions, refer you to appropriate service providers, and guide you through these responsibilities. Preparing for rural property ownership requires you to take critical stock of your finances and your expectations.
Questions for Prospective Homeowners
Are you ready to buy?
Owning your own rural property is about more than just being able to decorate any way you like and enjoy the country landscape; it’s about being prepared to maintain your home over the years, realizing that part of your income and time will go towards repairs and maintenance. It’s about being willing to take the risks of property ownership with a realistic expectation of the rewards.
How much can you afford?
It can be discouraging to find that your salary won’t stretch as far as the property you want to own. However, sacrificing a huge part of your income just to pay the mortgage can very quickly make property ownership a burden rather than a point of pride. It’s better to buy a more modest property now with the intent of updating it over the years or look at purchasing your “dream property” in a few years.
What is your debt-to-income ratio?
This is something that lenders take very seriously. Your overall debt should not be more than 40% of your income, and your housing debt should not be more than 32%. What 32% of your income will buy depends on where you want to live.
What do you want?
A rural property is so much more than JUST a home. What other features are important to you? Do you need a barn for animals? A workshop? Privacy acres? Open workable land vs treed land? Water feature? Conservation regulations, permissible uses for your property, and regulations regarding the building of outbuildings are all things you need to consider when buying a rural property. The answers to these questions can help you narrow down the search for the right type of property for you.
We Can Help
- You need a good agent who is knowledgeable and will work hard for you. Maggie is dedicated to helping you find the right property to suit your needs, at the best price. I want you to find the home that will make you happy and successful in real estate ownership. When you hire Maggie to help you buy a rural property, we want to know what you want and how much you can afford. Then we’ll find a way to merge these two priorities and find a property that you’ll enjoy owning.
- Keep your objectives in mind when visiting a property. Sometimes the idea of owning a rural property can overwhelm your practical sense, so keep your feelings in check. Keep a list handy of the features that you need and want in a property, and judge each property you visit by the list instead of by details that could distract you from your goal. When you’re alone with your agent, you can go over the pros and cons of each property. Maggie can help you stay on track while still keeping her eye out for a great property.
- Engage the services of a good real estate lawyer. We can recommend several lawyers in the area who might be a good fit for you. Interview them to ensure that you get someone you can work with. The legalities of transferring land ownership can be dodgy, and a lawyer can be your best defence against future legal troubles. A good lawyer can charge several hundred to over a thousand dollars for his/her service, but the thousands of dollars saved in problems later on makes this a good expense.
- Make the offer. This can be a maze of “buyer”, “seller”, “chattels”, “deposit”, and “completion”. Maggie will prepare the paperwork and go through it with you before submitting it. Remember, the seller may reject or counter your offer. Maggie will counsel you on how to proceed. You’ll probably have to write a deposit check to the seller’s broker that proves the seriousness of your offer.
- Get all necessary inspections done. A home inspector will check for signs of harmful materials like asbestos, lead paint and mould. They’ll also check for structural problems such as evidence of pests, faulty wiring and leaks. This is a crucial part of the home purchase. Similar inspections should be done to inspect the well and septic systems on the property. Specialists can be also be brought in to evaluate the outbuildings. Not getting such inspections done, could mean that you could be faced with significant and expensive repairs in the future. Inspections will cost a few hundred dollars, but again, this is more than worth it in the end. There are several inspectors in the area that Maggie would be happy to recommend.
- Do a final walk-through before closing the deal to make sure that everything agreed upon is completed prior to taking possession of the property.
From the first interview that determines your requirements to the moment that you receive the keys, Maggie can help you with the complicated process of buying a rural property. Don’t hesitate to contact Maggie to find out more about how she can make the home buying process easier!
Investing in a farm or large acreage property is a very different experience than buying a residential home for sale. Using a knowledgeable Realtor® who is familiar with the process can make the entire experience as seamless as possible. Maggie Horne has helped her clients move into country homes for many years and will be sure to dedicate the same time and knowledge needed to help you make the right decision.