What to Look For in Your Rural Escape



by Laura Mueller

There’s something magical about the hustle and bustle of the city. But live there long enough and you might find yourself craving a change of pace — and a change of scenery.

With the pandemic in March came the Great (and impromptu) American Migration of 2020, which saw a surge of city dwellers opt out of their cramped urban spaces for the fresh air, privacy, and personal space of rented or owned rural homes. And even notwithstanding a virus that thrives in overpopulated areas, people have long seen the appeal of ditching bright lights for big sky.

There are lots of good reasons to invest in your own personal rural getaway from the city, and thanks to historically low interest rates, there’s never been a better time to do it too. Here’s what you need to consider as you seek out your countryside escape.

1. Know your market

With any increase in demand comes higher prices, and in many states, that appears to be the case with rural land and properties. That doesn’t mean that you can’t score a great deal, but it does mean that you’ll want to do plenty of research to ensure that you have accurate expectations for your budget.

Hire a local real estate agent in the rural market you’re interested in purchasing in, instead of opting for an agent who works out of the city. A local agent will have the most insight on market trends and what constitutes a good deal, and they’ll also be able to help you better navigate the purchasing process.

2. Focus on infrastructure

It’s one thing to escape the city, and a whole other to escape the grid entirely.

When deciding how remote you want your property to be, keep in mind that the further out you go, the less access you’re likely going to have to certain amenities. In some cases, this may include things like indoor plumbing, trash pick-up, and road service, so it’s important to understand exactly what you’re getting into.

Go into your search with a clear idea of what infrastructure you’ll need. And if you find a rural property you love that doesn’t offer the basics, contact the local building and planning department to find out whether it would be possible to bring those services in — and what it would cost.

3. Look up zoning rules and building restrictions

If you’re buying land to build on, then you’ll need to have a complete picture of what the zoning regulations are on your desired property and whether they allow for your vision. It’s also a good idea to do some research on how the area around a property is zoned, since you don’t want to buy a secluded oasis only to see a massive residential or commercial development go up around it a few years down the line.

Your real estate agent should be able to assist you in securing the information on zoning and restrictions that you need, but contact the town board yourself too to inquire about any possible upcoming projects that could affect your investment.

Ready to say “so long” to the big city? Check out our land listings to browse rural land for sale and find the perfect place to escape to.

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