When buying a rural property, farm or homestead there are a lot more details involved in the buying and contract process. I want all of my clients to be well protected and informed when buying this type of property. Because there are a lot of properties around the Texas Hill Country such as Tierra Linda Ranch, this is an important topic.
Whether you are buying a farmhouse, equestrian property, working ranch or some other type of rural property, there are different addendum and contracts than with a simple single-family house. Here are some of the best ways to protect yourself when buying this type of land or property.
Understand the tax information.
Different counties around the Texas Hill Country have tax and land information right on the county website so it’s important to understand where you are buying and the different County rules when it comes to taxation. It’s important to find out what are the yearly taxes, do taxes change significantly throughout the years, understand the land and zoning classification, and if you change the usage of the land will taxation be different?
Find out about your neighbors.
Find out about the neighbors of the property. Your closest neighbor maybe 5 miles away, but they are still your neighbor. It’s important to find out if they have a criminal history or if they plan on developing close to your property. It might sound a little stalker-ish, but it is your land, your property, and they will be your neighbors.
Find out if any of the property is classified as wetland or protected land. Many people don’t even realize that property has a wetland classification and this can be a big shock when you choose to make some major renovations to your property only to find out that you can only use half of it. Calling your local DNR is an important step to finding out different land classifications for the property.
Ask about Township or city ordinances.
Just because you are 10 miles outside of the nearest city doesn’t mean that you are immune to certain ordinances. Building permits, weapon restrictions, and pet registrations can all be applied to your property so it’s important to understand these rules before agreeing to buy the land.
there are a lot of details on a large property that can greatly affect your homeowner’s insurance. A wood-burning fireplace or stove could increase your rate and how far you are away from fire hydrant access. The age of the house and any outbuildings, barns, or silos can affect the rate. Livestock, equestrian equipment, and water features can add to the overall cost of homeowners insurance.
Many of these large farms or homesteads will have several outbuildings such as barns, silos, stalls, garages, or hangers (if you live on Tierra Linda Ranch with airport access). Don’t forget to have a home inspector review the integrity of all of these buildings as well. This will usually add to the cost of the inspection, but it is well worth it. It’s also a good idea to hire a home inspector that specializes in farms or larger properties as they will be well aware of what to look for.
Some of these older homes in larger properties may have oil heat, which could be very costly in the winter time. It’s important to have a good understanding of the energy costs for the property so you know what you will be up against when you own the home.
Of course, there will always be unknown issues that come up with every property because each home and land transaction will be different. As a Texas Hill Country real estate agent I have helped hundreds of buyers and sellers a larger property, farmland, and ranches and can definitely answer any questions you might have about the property. Regardless of the issue, your solutions are close at hand.