The Good Life With Homework

BUYING rural land to build a country lifestyle for yourself requires more specialised knowledge compared to purchasing a residential property.

If you buy an established rural property with an existing house and other structural improvements then a thorough expert inspection of each is recommended – just as you would if buying a residential property in a metropolitan area.

One of the challenges confronting people looking to purchase a rural property is to find out if the sale price is a reasonable figure.

You can research the value of a rural property in a few different ways.

One is to choose the area you wish to buy land and then monitor the asking prices of similar district properties and compare the types of improvements built on each.

As the turnover of rural property is not as frequent as metropolitan or suburban house sales you will need to be patient to track this information.

If you find the sale price of a bare block of land in a rural area you want to live then you are in luck as this figure will allow you to calculate a base figure per acre or hectare to use to compare the values of other properties with, or without, buildings.

Another step to consider is to look for a commercial database of sold prices of rural properties in the area you are interested in.

In Australia there are private companies that collect rural and regional property sales results and record the results in databases. These are commercial operations so trawl the Net and see what rural property sales research websites you can find.

Government departments in Australia record property sales results so this is another avenue to explore to research rural property sales results.

There are also a number of other practical matters to be aware of when purchasing rural land to build on as previous uses could have affected the land significantly.

Land that has been used to graze sheep can present the unsuspecting buyer with weeds they never new existed.

In winter inspecting a property grazed by sheep may present as land with short grass and sheep. In spring the same ground could turn into land with metre high weeds and grass hiding the same sheep.

Livestock will try to eat virtually anything to stay warm and so weeds and plant seeds can get excreted right across a property.

It could take years to control a weed-infested property especially if you are against using herbicides or if the ground gets saturated.

If you intend grazing livestock then think about getting a block of land that has high and low country.

One advantage of having higher and lower paddocks is if floods occur then you have got somewhere to put stock. A high point on your land offers more wide ranging the views too.

In summer lower country with some strategically located mature shade trees can offer stock some comfortable places to camp.

In Australia giant red gums growing on rural land indicates an abundant source of water is occasionally available on that land.

Red gums need plenty of water to survive whether it is flood water or subterranean. So if you see mature red gums thriving on a block of land you know this is a property where plenty of water is going to occur above or below ground sooner or later.

Tree plantations in strategic spots across a rural property are beneficial for the land and stock. Mature trees located to deflect prevailing harsh wind and weather will improve growing conditions on a rural property.

When you purchase a property in the country do what the early Australian pioneers did – camp on it for all four seasons before you choose where to build any structures.

After you have owned your land for a while you will get to know the prevailing wind directions, different soil types, identify boggy ground and springs and learn if any other natural phenomenon occurs on your new property.

You can then get a reasonable idea on where to build sheds, form laneways, situate rainwater tanks, dig dams and locate essential services such as underground power cables.

Do you want to buy a property near a forest? Forests are lovely to walk through and admire but when there is a drought they are fuel for bushfires. Forests are also havens for vermin. Foxes, feral cats and dogs kill livestock.

Australian forests can become havens for native fauna and in some areas mobs of kangaroos will compete with livestock for food. Wombats can dig huge burrows on a property and undermine roads.

If you want to live next to or in a forest be aware you will have to protect any trees, vegetables or flowers you plant with suitable fences. In Australia many kangaroos can jump 2 metres vertical from a standing start!

So ask people who are already living in an area you are researching so you can get an idea of what to expect and what to avoid it if you choose.

A parting thought for some of the more senior members of our society who may like the thought of going country.

People inevitably get physically affected as they age.

This should not discourage people who are mature from owning and living in a rural environment.

Instead you should ensure you are within a reasonable driving time to a larger regional centre that can provide various services including health care.

Tips for Choosing a Good Custom Home Building Service

There are many advantages to choosing to build a custom designed home rather than buying an existing property; these include the possibility to create a space that caters to all your unique needs and wants. This does not have to be an exceptionally expensive option either – another benefit is that you will have complete control over your budget.

To make sure that you get the best experience out of your home building experience it is very important to find a good custom home builder to help bring your dreams to life. Here are a few important guidelines to follow to find the best professional to entrust with creating your new home.

Firstly, do not underestimate the power of recommendations; the best way to choose between a selections of custom home builders in your local area is to find out which ones have the happiest clients.

As with any service, people are always keen to share their positive and negative experiences, so seek out independent reviews websites which may provide useful information to help you make your decision on the best building service.

It is also worth looking on the company websites of the custom home builders you are considering. These best ones will not be backwards in coming forwards with the testimonials they have received from satisfied clients who have created their dream home with the help of the company.

It is also a good idea to ask the builders directly if they can put you in touch with their former clients. You may even in some cases be able to visit one of the properties that the custom home builder has created and speak to the owner. This will provide you with a valuable insight into the experience that you can expect if you work with them.

After you have found a few highly rated and reputable services, the next thing to do is to have a look through the portfolio of properties that they have designed and built. This will give you an idea of the types of property that they are used to constructing and designing.

You may be looking for a very modern, energy efficient and eco friendly home, and there are many custom home builders that deal often with this kind of building project, so you will benefit from all of their experience in this field if you choose to hire them.

On the other hand, you may like a more traditional looking home, in which case it is a good idea to find a custom build service that is experienced in creating this particular type of home. Either way, look carefully through portfolios to find a service whose previous projects appeal to you and are similar to what you have in mind for your own home.

Another thing that you absolutely must be aware of when you are looking for custom home builders to help you create your dream property is that there are many different aspects to such an enormous project. As you are taking care of every single large and tiny detail of the project you will need to find a service that can assist you with this.

The best service for those who are likely to find themselves overwhelmed by the enormity of such a project is one that guides its clients from start to finish of the build. This includes finding a good architect, creating an accurate budget, installing home video and audio systems, installing security systems, choosing finishes for both the home interior and exterior and much, much more.

The best way to make this kind of project a success is to find a professional that can help you every step of the way and one who is experienced enough to offer excellent advice on every single aspect of your project. Bear all of the above points in mind and you will be well on your way to finding the best custom home building service for you.