Looking to get out of the big city, get a little land, and just learn to relax in the country? Maybe have some cattle, or a horse or donkey or two? If so, this is a column that will interest you.

Maybe you’ve always dreamed of your own place in the country. Here’s how to buy rural land.

Determine how you intend to use the property and what features you desire, such as ponds, trees, or easy accessibility to main roads. Consider area amenities such as grocery shopping, banks, and hospitals. Narrow your search for the perfect spot by driving through rural areas, searching classified ads in newspapers or on the Internet, or contacting real estate agents about rural properties for sale. Walk over the property and obtain topographical maps of the site from the U.S. Geological Survey to learn about the terrain and features of the land.

Contact local government offices to find out about rights and restrictions that could affect your use of the desired property, such as zoning ordinances, historical restrictions or environmental regulations. Obtain prices of other, comparable land sales in the area from a local real estate agent. Ask the current owner for a professional survey of the property to determine boundary lines. Arrange to finance the land purchase through a private lender or the current property owner. Consult a real estate attorney or agent about contract terms before making your offer on the rural land.

To make full use of the property in the future, find out about all government restrictions or regulations on the land before you make an offer to buy the property. Obtaining financing on undeveloped land through conventional lenders can be difficult; your best bet for financing may be a private lender or the current property owner. Most lenders will require a subordination clause that requires you to pay off the balance of the loan on the land before taking out another loan to build a home or other structure.

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[tags]rural real estate, second home, vacation home[/tags]