Thinking About Buying An Acreage? Here Are Some Things To Consider

There’s just something about those wide-open spaces, especially in Alberta. 

Young families, retirees, and singletons alike often transition from city to country life – and for good reason. There’s plenty of space to roam, and hobby farms with horses, chickens, goats, and other animals are a source of joy for many. 

However, it’s not all clucking hens and early sunrises – buying an acreage is a significant undertaking, and caring for an acreage even more so. 

Let’s dive into the main considerations of buying an acreage.

1.Start Looking In The Warm Months

While this is not always possible, looking at rural properties for sale in Edmonton in the late spring and summer is ideal. The land should be mostly dry, save for a bit of rain. 

If it’s a dry spring day, the land is close to a body of water, and you notice soggy ground – this could mean the acreage is a part of a floodplain. While some flooding is normal, caring for a property prone to flooding can be more physically demanding.

2.Consider Your Household Needs

Rural areas might not have the same internet and cable accessibility that those who live in the city have become accustomed to. 

Rural internet and cable connectivity might be sourced through satellite or only through high-speed connection instead of ultra-fast fibre optic. 

It’s not uncommon for only a handful of companies to serve rural areas, so be sure to research what plans are best for your household.

The first offer that you make is your best chance to make a good impression on the seller. So it’s important that your first offer is your best offer – especially when you are making an offer on your dream home. If you are making an offer and know that you are competing against other buyers, figure out the top dollar you are willing to pay for the home and offer that price.

Family and Schooling:

If you have school-aged children, look into nearby schools and determine whether a bus system covers the rural properties you’re considering. 

In that vein, do a little research on daycares, after-school programs, sports clubs, and other enrichment activities for children and teens. Rural living is peaceful and quiet, but children need to be able to socialize and have access to extracurricular activities.

3.Water Supply: Well vs. Cistern

Most acreages will not have access to municipal water supply and thus will have to draw upon water sourced from a well or from a cistern. 

Simplified, wells are holes in the ground, reinforced with a casing, that draw water from underground springs or groundwater.

A cistern is a large tank, often placed underground, that either sources rainwater or is filled with water. 

Wells and cisterns are both prone to leaks and contamination risks from minerals and chemicals and require different levels of testing and maintenance to ensure the water is drinkable. Flow rate testing and chemical analysis are particularly important before purchase. 

4.Land Maintenance Considerations

Our beautiful, rippling prairies are idyllic during the warm months, but during our harsh, snowy winters – a long driveway and a large acreage can be difficult to manage. 

Do research on the rural properties you’re looking at to determine lawn care options, garbage collection, snow removal options, and tractor options – getting stuck in the mud is just as much of a hazard as getting stuck in the snow! 

Septic Tanks:

Another reason to visit the property on a dry, warm day is to look at the septic tank and the septic field. 

A dry, warm day should mean the grassland by the septic tank is more or less the same colour as the grass throughout the acreage. If the grass is dead or a different colour – there may be an issue with the septic tank. 

Evaluate whether the septic tank has the capacity for your family and ensure it is inspected. Septic seepage can be costly to fix and puts your drinking water at risk.

5.Transportation and Car Maintenance

Another consideration of rural living is the rising cost of gas. While we may see some relief at the pumps as time goes on, even at lower rates, gas is still a significant monthly cost for individuals and families alike. 

Consider car maintenance and vehicle types as well. If multiple people in your household commute to work, evaluate whether your vehicle is hardy enough to withstand multiple long trips per day. Age, vehicle type, and vehicle condition are all factors. 

For example, a small hatchback may do just fine in the city, but a tough truck or SUV may do better in the varying weather conditions rural residents experience. 

Contact Jeneen Today

The bottom line? Buying an acreage can be hugely rewarding, but the search process can be arduous and the physicality of looking after your land can be demanding. However, the peace and serenity that beautiful rural living offers are second to none and totally worth it.

Want to learn more about buying an acreage? I’m here to make the process as smooth as possible! As one of Edmonton’s top REALTORS®, I want to work with you to find your new dream property.

Contact Jeneen by phone at (780) 904-4240 or via email at jeneens@remax.net.

jeneen-marchant

Hi, I’m Jeneen Marchant!

I’m here to help you find you during your next Real Estate transaction. Home ownership is a beautiful thing and I love seeing my buyers happily opening the door to their new home on possession day. I also get great satisfaction from helping my sellers get the best price possible for their home when it is time to move on to another property.