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Rural Property: 5 Ways to Give Rural Real Estate the Safety Test

A photo of Victoria GazeleyIt's getting cold here.  The ground is rock solid frozen and we've gone full into 'winter mode'.  Now that we've got livestock (chickens), it adds a whole new dimension to preparing our rural property to keep everyone (and everything) safe and secure through the chilly months.  But it's not just in the winter when things can go wrong.

When you live on a rural property, there are a lot of situations that can put you and your family at risk of injury - or even death.  A pretty dark topic, I know.  But it's my mission to provide information that will really make a positive difference as you make the transition to a rural lifestyle, and sometimes the discussion gets downright serious.  It has to to keep everyone safe.

All that said, most dangerous situations on your journey to the rural life can be avoided, or at least mitigated, by choosing the 'right' property to purchase or rent in the first place.  Here are five things to seriously consider, and questions to ask and analyze, before you purchase a property down by that gorgeous river, or decide on a rental home in the mountains:

Emergency Services

The first time you whack your leg with the firewood axe or the chickens scratch the dickens out of your arms, you’ll want to know that medical help is close by.

Weather and Road Maintenance

Electrical Outages

You can have all sorts of back-up electrical systems in place, but continual power outages are hard on your electronics, your pocketbook and depending on your set-up, potentially your health and safety.  Now, if you plan to set up completely off-grid electrical systems, you can obviously ignore this one!  But you’ll still need to know how to fix and maintain your systems, or at least who to call should you need help.

Natural or Industrial Hazards

All of these things will determine the potential for catastrophe.  And your insurance costs (or if insurance would even be available).  So often we hear of properties being wiped out by floods along rivers with an active flood history.  Don’t be one of those people, no matter how gorgeous the property might be.  The flood might only happen once every 100 years, but you don’t want to be there when it does.

Zoning, Planning & Services

Over and over we hear about city people moving to the country and then wanting it to either be just like the city (services), or they don’t want anything to ever change again, ever (development), or they don’t want to pay for changes already in the pipe.  Ask questions first and be comfortable with the answers you get.  Make sure you’re not one of those folk that rural people love to complain about.

The Wrap-up

So there you have it - five things to consider seriously before committing to a property purchase or rental.  I'm sure some of these things will be obvious to you, but maybe one or two are things you might not have thought of.  I know that I'll be asking a lot more questions should I purchase a rural property in the future.

Do you have any tips or stories to share about purchasing or renting a rural property?  Questions?  Please share them in the comments - there are countless people who can benefit from your wisdom!