Buying Rural Land in VA?? This Is Everything You Never Knew, You Needed to Know!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with State Wide Realty Co.


Tips to Buy Rural Land

Whether you're wanting to escape the city or find the perfect retirement spot – the rural land around Farmville, VA can have an appeal as being peaceful and reasonably priced.  However, for the average person buying land can be a confusing process with many hidden expenses.  So here's how to get your dream spot but avoid some of the pitfalls of buying rural land in South Central VA.

Buying Rural Land:

 -More Open Space
 -Lower cost per acre
 -Cleaner Air
 -Scenic and Peaceful
 -Low crime rate 

 -Lack of in South Central VA can be an hour away from the nearest city.
 -Longer commute to schools or work

Purpose:  First define what you plan to use the land for.  Once, you have this settled then the search can  begin.

Size and Shape: Obviously the amount of acreage is important. But don't forget to focus on the shape of the tract. Irregular size may be good if it offers more road frontage or a large backyard. But having odd shapes could prevent you from building your dream home.

Zoning:   Make sure that the tract you're interested in is zoned for your purpose, some of these may include A1: Agricultural w/single family home, C: Commercial Business, R1: Residential Single Family. R2: Residential Multifamily. Of course, your agent can assist you in determining the zoning for a tract.

Soil & Elevation:  The type of soil and elevation can affect the cost of building a home on a tract. For hillsides you may want to check if you have the potential of a landslide.  Expansive soils can cause foundations to crack…you want soil that is a balanced mixture of clay, sand and some organic matter….don't worry your agent can help…just ask to be sure you get what you're looking for.

Utilites:  Determine if there is already a water connection if not you will need to determine water availability and water depth for a well. Check for other services as well that could create hidden cost such as electricity, telephone, natural gas and cable.

Waste Removal:   Determine if the tract has a sewer connection. If not, a perculation test should be done to determine if a septic system can be installed.

Surface Water:  Rivers, streams and lakes can have big appeal when purchasing a tract of land; however, be sure to check your flood zones to make sure you will be able to insure any home you may build.

Easements:   Make sure you clearly understand any easements that are attached to the property and make sure there is a legal right of way giving you access to the property. 

Restrictive Covenants:   These guidelines are set up to protect your property value but restrict usage.

By now, you may be ready to back away from buying land but rest assured, as real estate agents, we can walk you through the process just make sure to ask questions.  Most important of all, make your contract contingent upon any condition that you feel uncertain about.


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Gwen Fowler-864-916-2019 SC Mountains Lakes Homes
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc - Salem, SC
Gwen Fowler Real Estate, Inc.

Very good list.  You omitted survey.  In our area this is one of the first things we do: re-establish the property boundaries.  Especially if it is family property and has not been surveyed in 20 years.  Property boundaries can have a gain in total property or a loss. 

Jan 19, 2011 12:07 AM #1
Larry Atkins
State Wide Realty Co. - Farmville, VA

Gwen, this is very true....thanks for adding such an important step!

Jan 19, 2011 01:07 AM #2
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Larry, buying land sounds like a great way to start to build your dream home!   Good luck on sales of your land listings!

Jan 19, 2011 01:32 AM #3
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Good information for those that are thinking about a land purchase. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

 The colors of winter in Maryland. Life is good in Montgomery County!

Jan 19, 2011 11:17 PM #4

There seems to be a lot of land in South West/South Central Virginia that has been cut back by forresters.  Other than the obvious cosmetic issues, are there any drawbacks to buying land that has been cut?

Mar 22, 2011 02:47 PM #5
Larry Atkins
State Wide Realty Co. - Farmville, VA

Tully, the answer would be depend on the intended use of the land but generally speaking the biggest drawback is cosmetic. I'd be to assist you further with determining the best type of land for your interests.

Mar 23, 2011 08:57 AM #6
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Larry Atkins

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