Buying your rural acreage

Most of us probably dream about that little place in the country but don’t see a way for that to happen.  Believe me, it takes some dedication in finding that place.  We also had to wait until our two kids were out of the house because they were both on Select Soccer teams and  school soccer teams through high school and we were constantly going to practices or games it seemed. They also were near to all the facilities and on  good teams that they would not have had opportunities with had we lived further outside of the big city (Dallas).

We thought we had found our spot in 1995 and custom designed and built our “forever” home on 3 acres.  But once they were off to college we decided we needed more property than 3 acres to do what we wanted (raise alpacas and have a larger property). So the search was on.  In a previous blog I recommended writing up a list of what you want to achieve in moving to the country.  Put everything you can think of on that list and think about how remote you want to be (close to medical facilities, close to a particular livestock vet, close to a university, close to a mall or a grocery, nearby schools or bus routes, etc).  This list is VERY important.  Otherwise, you will be looking at properties but not considering their true appropriateness to your situation.  You must not start looking until you make your list. 

Read up on buying rural property so you can also include features about the property that you really want or avoid (a barn, a pond/tank, a large or small house, an all weather road or a high maintenance/can’t go anywhere in bad weather road,  flooding in bad weather, etc.)  Remember  that some missing features can always be added later (a pond, trees, a paved driveway, a barn, etc.)  Just be realistic with your budget and consider how quickly you want these things added, or can you stand to space them out over several years?

It will not be an easy process or a quick process.  We did not rely on any realtor to find it for us.  I did all the legwork by researching online using several key search terms and we did lots of driving on weekends and narrowed down our area of searching based on several criteria.  It took two years of looking before we got lucky and found our 104 acres with a house that happed to be the same age of house we would be moving from.  We had originally been looking for 10-25 acres.  We just lucked into this opportunity.  Everything fell into place for us.  It will take lots of your time and a whole lot of patience, but each trip out searching was an adventure in itself and was not a waste of time.  We did have fun looking but it all came back to the list we made, and if some place did not fit our list of requirements, it was easy to move on. 

If you would like a starting point in the process, please e-mail me ( alpacaspirit at for some considerations in buying a property, with a house or without.  I have put together a kind of  check-sheet that you can add to, and some links to articles to read.  Enjoy your journey.


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