Buying a farm is the dream of many people—fresh air, living off the land, and living the country life.
But is it for you?
Owning a farm, like any other property, is a big investment and one that needs to be taken seriously. If you’re a first-time farm buyer, there are several questions you need to ask yourself before you move forward:
Why Do You Want A Farm?
The first thing you need to ask yourself is, “Why do I want a farm?” Is it appealing to you aesthetically? Does the lifestyle change make sense for you? Can you afford it? Farms are a huge investment of time, money, and work, so make sure you’re going into it for the right reasons.
What Will You Use It For?
Next, what are you planning on using the farm for? Commercial crops and livestock or residential living and gardening? Do you plan on making a living off of it? Knowing what you will be using the farm for will help a lot in finding the right land for you.
How Much Land Do You Need?
Once you know what you will be using the farm for, it’s time to figure out how much land you’ll need. For example, if you plan on having cattle, estimate about 1 acre per cow and 2 acres for a cow-calf pair. So if you plan for a herd of 20, expect about 40 acres just for them. Make sure that the land you need will be within your budget. If not, you may have to manage your expectations and make compromises.
You should also determine how the land is zoned.
What Water Sources Are Available?
Farms need water. This is an unavoidable truth, especially if you plan on raising crops and livestock—these require a lot more water than you may think. You also must understand any regulations and restrictions around your water use.
What’s The Soil Like?
If you do plan on raising crops, get an environmental inspection and soil test. This will determine what you can and cannot do with the land, what can be best planted, and more.
Do You Have An Experienced Agent?
Finally, if you’re looking at buying a farm you need an experienced agent on your side. The agents at Merchant of Homes have decades of experience buying and selling rural properties and farms. They will be able to answer your questions and help you understand things like easement rights.
They will also know the market in your desired area and will be able to guide you through the process and answer whatever questions you may have.