When meeting with potential buyers of rural property, I always encourage them to buy with an "exit strategy". What I mean, is for them to purchase a property that other people would find desirable in the event they ever decide to or are forced into selling. In my opinion being able to get out from under a property if necessary is an extremely important consideration before buying.
Formulating Your Strategy- Here are a few key elements to consider when evaluating your purchase.
1. Road Frontage/Access- Does the tract have easy access. The first question I get on many rural properties is, "Does the land have deeded access?" It is not always a deal-breaker to not have it, but it is helpful when you do.
2. Utilities available- Many utility companies will "give" a new landowner the first two power poles at no cost, and then the owner pays $500 apiece for the next two, $1000 each for the next five, and so forth. This can get expensive in a hurry.
3. Water- Almost without exception everyone searching for rural property desires some form of water on their land, whether it be a creek, pond, river front, slough, small lake, stream, or duck hole. Water gives you options, and we all associate water with life. A water feature is desirable to the masses, so having one on your property increases the prospect of attracting a buyer.
4. Price- All of the money is made when buying a property. Getting a good deal on the front-end ensures that you have ability to beat the market when the time comes to sell. If you overpay you will not be able or not want to unload it when the market is in decline. If land prices appreciate, then you can make money on the sale.
5. Other considerations-Timber, trails, pasture, fences, adjoining owners, easements, mineral rights, proximity to civilization, good hunting, National Forest, conservation easements, wetland mitigation, carbon offset programs, REIT's, and 1031 Exchanges all influence the appeal of a property to potential buyers.
Just think for a moment about the people selling the land you are viewing. Chances are good that the current owners purchased or inherited the property with the intention of holding it and passing it down. Land is treasured and is often acquired with the desire to leave it to subsequent generations. Do you think these owners ever thought they would need to sell this land? You want to make sure before you buy that you have an exit strategy in the event you are in that position some day.