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Downside of Owning an Acreage – The Cost of Living in the Country

If you are like a lot of people, you probably have considered the possibility of buying an acreage. Acreages can be a tempting dream for many; a chance to take charge of your life and land, a chance to get away from neighbors, busy streets, and the hustle of even small towns. Owning an acreage is not all beautiful landscapes and front porch swinging, as there are several downsides to consider when thinking about owning an acreage.

Financial downsides

Land used to sell cheaply in rural America, but this is not the case anymore. Land everywhere is at a premium, and this includes plots in the country. If there is cheap land available, make sure that you check it out –including engaging the services of a surveyor- before you make a deal. A lot of land available for cheap is actually useless. For one reason or another, it can’t be built on or used in any way. You will be able to say that you own acres, but it is the real estate equivalent of owning a garage full of cars that will never run. Looks good on paper and in conversation, but in reality worth nothing.

In fact, owning useless land can actually cost you money. In some cases, property taxes will still apply. Also, there may be leans or rights of passage on the land; or in a worst case scenario it might be a party or recreational hotspot where someone gets hurt and sues the owner over the injury. Don’t get involved with land that can never be developed.

Service downsides

Even if you do get yourself a nice chunk of land and build your dream home on it, there are costs that you might not consider. Living far away from the noise of the towns will mean a lot of quiet, but it will also mean a lot of inconvenience.

  • In an emergency, no services are close by to help on an acreage. You will have to drive yourself or whoever is sick or injured to the nearest town yourself. These valuable minutes may have a serious impact on the outcome of the incident.
  • Phone lines and cable services to acreages are often much more costly than those in towns; sometimes as much as ten times the monthly fees. The number of satellites and digital technology is slowly brining these costs down, but even so you can count on incorporating substantially more money to these costs in your budget.
  • Further away means, well, further away. Young families will find that their kids might suffer on a plot of land far from town. Bussing to schools can be a real drag for kids; sometimes it will add as much as an hour and a half to an already busy day. This will tend to tire a lot of kids out, meaning that not only their social lives but also their studies will suffer. In addition, you might find that driving to and from our job (if that is the case) is not the breeze you imagined it would be. Shopping is also something that will have to be approached with a little more care; it will no longer be easy to run out to the corner store when you are low on an item.
  • Property in the country lacks a lot of the conveniences that people in a town take for granted. This includes things like sewage and water hookups. A lot of acreages require a well for their water; you will have to make sure that the well contains a plentiful supply of good water before deciding to buy the property. Wells can also be a lot of work as well as a potential hazard.

You might have an entrepreneurial spirit that tells you you can turn an acreage into a money making investment. This is certainly true of a lot of plot owners; what you need to realize, though, is that this will require a lot of work. In many cases, it will also require a lot of inconveniences. Farms, developments, and small tourist businesses require the proprietor to put in a lot of hours, often for little profit. Make sure that if you are counting on making money off of your property, you are prepared for the work!

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