Starting A Life As A Farmer: Four Things To Consider When Purchasing Farmland

Whether you've dreamed of raising cows and sheep or you want to grow crops in the rural countryside, making the switch to a life of farming can be very rewarding. The success of this endeavor greatly depends on the farmland you invest in. Before you start looking for property, here are a few things you'll want to take into consideration.

Soil Testing

Not all soil is equal, and the condition of the soil on your farmland can greatly impact your success at growing crops. Ask your real estate agent for access to any soil tests that have been done on the property, or request that one be performed as part of the pre-purchase inspection for any land you are interested in. You may also want to ask if the current owner has records of crop rotation. Growing the same crops on the land year after year without a break can potentially strip the soil of valuable nutrients. Even if you aren't planning on growing crops, it's important to have this information to determine the resale value of the land.

Access To Water

No matter which type of farming you choose, access to water is critical. Determine what your available water source will be, as well as what the average rainfall is in the area where you want to purchase a farm. Some land may already have irrigation systems set up, which can be included in the cost of your purchase. This is ideal as it takes one large task off of your plate when you take ownership. If the farmland uses well water, be sure to have the wells tested to ensure the quality is appropriate for human consumption and watering crops.

Building Conditions

If there are silos, barns, and pole buildings on the property, you'll want to make sure each one is inspected before you make your purchase. These buildings are where your livestock and equipment will be housed, as well as your harvests. Repairing or rebuilding can be an expensive undertaking, and it can seriously impact your ability to make a profit in those first few years. If your farmland will also have a home for you and your family, it will need to be inspected as well.

Property Line Verification

Property lines for farm acreage can be difficult to determine by simply walking the perimeter of the property. Be sure that the land has been surveyed recently, and check public records to see if there have been any property line disputes with neighbors. If there is fencing, verify that it is situated on the line and not too far over one way or the other. As you look at the survey results, check to make sure that the land includes a path for you to reach access roads from the property.

Contact a real estate agent like Gloria Jones - Re/Max Real Estate Experts for more information on buying a farm.