If you dream of moving to the country to start an organic farm, then you'll want to find the ideal land to buy. Even though farmland is pricey, you can often find good deals when you work with a knowledgeable real estate agent. However, when it comes to buying farmland, you'll want to consider more than just the price. Here are some things to know about the land you buy.
The Condition Of The Soil
The health of the soil is one of the most important considerations when it comes to buying land for a farm, especially an organic farm. You'll want to see recent soil tests or have testing done yourself. You'll also want to know the history of the land to know if it was managed properly with crop rotation, organic practices, and to prevent erosion. You'll also want to know if the ground is contaminated by runoff from other farms or industrial operations in the area. Even if you plan to put in a hydroponic farm and not utilize the soil, you may want to rent the land to other farmers in the future, so you want the soil to be healthy without having to spend a lot of money getting it into shape.
The Availability Of Water
You'll also want to see water tests on wells, ponds, and streams that are on your property. Learn about the condition of the wells to see if they are near the end of their lifespans. One important thing to know about rural land is your water rights. There may be a situation where there is water on the land but you don't have the right to use it. This includes the ability to get a permit for a well in addition to using the water for agricultural use. It's also a good idea to check records for past flooding and to inspect the land for improper drainage. Property near a river may not flood every year, but a bad flood every five or ten years could be enough to destroy your crops and cause serious financial hardship.
The Rights To The Land And Leases
You'll want to make sure you understand all rights that come with the land that involve water, mineral, wind, and gas rights. Check for leases in place that could limit your ability to use the land in the way you want. This even applies to access roads. Rural land might be locked inside other privately owned lands. In this case, the land can't be accessed by a county or state road. Instead, you'll need a contract with another landowner to cross their land on a private road. You'll want to learn about the terms of an existing arrangement and make sure the agreement will transfer with the sale so you don't end up going to court just to access your property.
When you look at farmland for sale, it's a good idea to let an experienced real estate agent help, especially if it's your first time buying rural land. Buying farmland is a little more complicated than buying a home in the city and since you'll have a huge financial investment at stake, you don't want to make any decisions that you'll later regret.