Posted 17 Jul 17

Acreage, it’s a lifestyle choice

Rural landscape or a coastal outlook, acreage is in demand for those seeking a slower pace. But there is more to purchasing acreage then beautiful views.
City-dwellers are being lured by rugged acreage that offers a blank canvas to build a dream home complete with a lifestyle that forces you to slow down. When looking for your private sanctuary, as hard as it is in the moment, take the emotion out of the equation and look at the practicalities and do your due diligence.
Have a clear strategy on why you are purchasing land and what you want to do with it. This will guide you in size, terrain and what limitations and regulations may be imposed on you. Buying acreage is different to buying a subdivision block, consider the services and connectivity, such as garbage collection, road maintenance, gas, water, electricity and internet connectivity.
The adage of “location is king” in real estate applies equally to acreage – what are your views? what is the road access like and what is the distance to schools and shops?  If you plan on living on the land and working remotely, what will your commute times be?
The size, shape and gradient of the property will affect the overall design and cost of your home, as will the soil, trees and orientation. If the area is prone to natural disasters, such as flooding and bushfires, then precautions such as firebreaks will need to be considered and insuring the property may be costly. When building you need to consider resale because that will happen and your dream may not be the next persons dream.
Having more space to connect with your greener side means more commitment to property maintenance with time and money. For example, ride-on mowers make mowing lawns easier, but depending on the property’s gradient, rainfall and grass type, this may not be the best option, and bringing live stock into the equation offers different challenges.
Explore all costs and do your due diligence. Speak with the local council about zonings, what their regulations are for residential and what is planned in the area that may affect your views. If you are in a rural setting, consider the industries in the area and understand the farming practices that are part of those industries and how this will affect you.
Whilst living on acreage is a great lifestyle, you need to consider the realities of living on the land. If you are a first-time buyer, have an open discussion with your real estate agent who is experienced in dealing with acres to ensure that the land you’re looking to purchase is a secure investment.
Words by Margaret Quilter