If you are sick and tired of the chaotic city life and are in the market to purchase a new home, then now may be the right time to start thinking about rural living. Rural homes have the advantage of being quiet and peaceful with large properties. However, if you have never lived in the country, then there are a few things you should consider before you start looking at homes.
If you are used to turning on your faucet and experiencing a neverending flow of water, then you may be surprised to learn that not all homes have access to municipal water services. Many rural homes have wells that provide water instead. In fact, there are 15 million homes in the United States that rely on well water. Water wells are supplied with water from the ground through aquifers, and this water is far from clean. It contains bacteria, viruses, lead, nitrates, selenium, arsenic, and other natural elements and microorganisms. For the water to be safe to drink, it must be treated and filtered. This is not particularly a bad thing since municipal water is also treated. However, if you buy a house with a well, you will be responsible for testing the water, periodically shocking it with chlorine, and maintaining the well and the filtration system.
While well and filtration maintenance may not be confusing or difficult, it can be expensive. A water-well filtration system alone will need sediment, chlorination, activated charcoal, resin, reverse osmosis, and UV filters. The well will need a pump and a holding tank, and all of the parts of the system may need replacement. This includes the well casing.
If a well has not been well maintained, then you may be looking at thousands of dollars in repairs when you purchase the house. Make sure to make arrangements with a licensed water well specialist to inspect the system thoroughly. If you work with a real estate agent who specializes in rural homes, then your agent can arrange for the inspection.
Many rural properties have combination zoning that allows each plot of land to be used for multiple purposes. This means that your new home, as well as the ones nearby, may be zoned for commercial, agricultural, and residential purposes. If you intend on boarding a horse on your property or building a small chicken coop, then the property will be zoned in a way to allow this. You can also start a small business inside or outside your house. This also means that the properties near you can do this as well.
You should specifically pay close attention to whether or not the area is zoned for agricultural purposes. Areas that are combination zoned are usually done that like to meet the actual needs of the residents in a given town or city. An agricultural zoning allowance indicates that there are probably farms nearby. Farming communities are extremely important when it comes to supplying the country with food, but this does present some challenges when you live nearby.
Pesticides and insecticide chemicals may be spread near your home. If the air catches the chemicals, then something called pesticide drift can happen where the sprays come into contact with your property. Farming can release a great deal of dust in the air as well, and you will probably smell fertilizers throughout the growing season. Pesticides, dirt, and fertilizer smells can travel quite far, so make sure to scope out the area for several miles in all directions so you know whether a farm is nearby.
If there is a farm in the area when you find a new home, consider talking to neighbors about their experiences with the local agriculturally community to see whether there are any major drawbacks that you need to be aware of.