A dream of setting up a little hobby farm or your own personal homestead begins with the acquisition of land. You will need the perfect spot to build your home and tend to your crops. As someone new to this type of real estate, it can be easy to overlook some important aspects of the land. The following are some questions you need to ask as you tour properties.

What is the quality of the soil?

It's possible to build up good soil, but it takes time and money to start soil building from scratch. Ask for a recent soil test before making an offer, or make it a contingency of the offer. You need to make sure there is ample nutrients in the soil and that there is sufficient topsoil to actually grow plants. A farm sitting an inch above bedrock or with hard, clay soil will require a lot of time and expense to turn it into working farmland.

How many tillable acres are there?

Weigh the amount of tilled acres versus those that are simply tillable but undeveloped. The amount of tillable acres you need depends on what your plans are. If you simply plan to homestead – grow enough for your family – then an acre or two may be sufficient. If you want to also raise food for market, then you will need more space for additional crops. It also depends on what you are raising – livestock can graze on un-tillable acreage, for example.

Is there water access?

Water rights can be a touchy subject. Just because you see a well or stream, doesn't mean you have the right to use it for irrigation. Find out what water access and irrigation rights come with the land. If you have access to irrigation ditches, wells, or other water sources, verify how much water you can expect to draw per month during the growing season. Water can make or break your success.

What does the sale include?

It may seem obvious that if you are buying the farm, then you get all the things on the farm. Sadly, this isn't always the cases. Owners often auction off many items, from outbuildings to livestock and farming equipment. Get in writing everything that is included in the deal before making your final offer. You don't want to close on your new property only to find that you need to rebuild your entire fence line because the posts and gates were auctioned off.

For more help on finding the perfect farmland for sale and navigating the deal, contact a real estate agent in your area. Contact a business, such as Re/Max Blue Chip Realty farm land listings, for more information.   

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