What to consider when buying rural land

If like me you’ve always dreamed of owning a plot of land out in the sticks then you’ll need to think carefully before making this sizeable investment.  Finding the ideal property is quite a daunting task with so many different factor to take into consideration.  Even with access to the internet, the vast amount of information and NO1 property guide this journey can be time consuming and not to mention stressful.  Of course, a worthwhile amount of land will be considered differently depending on who you are.  For some, an acre or two can offer a whirlwind of opportunities, such as running a smallholding, growing your own fruits and vegetables or simply have space for the kids to exercise and play, but careful consideration into how this land is maintained should not be underestimated.

rural land

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Homeownership and maintenance can be a full time job when you have a reasonable amount of land, especially if you want to create beautiful surroundings.  So it’s important to take care of this space to the best of your ability.  Landowners have a particular responsibility to cater to the elements and ensure that their property is well protected at all times.  This takes work, particularly if you hope to use said land for the examples given above.  However, this process can be an enjoyable one, and may teach you plenty about home management and planning in the long term.

Here are few ideas that will get you thinking about restrictions and responsibilities when buying rural land for development.

Property boundaries

Property fencing is an important means of keeping your land protected.  Ensuring that your property markers are well established and then protected can prevent a range of issues.  Firstly, the issue of trespassing through ignorance can be resolved.  Second, it can allow you to prevent other farm animals or farmers from interfering with your land.  In rural environments, property lines may not be marked or may be vague, and so this could be your first important priority.  Oak posts with wire fencing can be a solid option.

Weather & flooding protections

Flooding can cause no uncertain amount of damage to your land, and heavy flooding may even damage minor, smaller drainage ways.  This can lead land to become extremely wet and sunken, requiring years of maintenance to resolve.  Ensuring your drainage pipes are in good condition is important, as is utilising flood defences well ahead of your constructed property line.  For example, poor drainage can cause nearby roads to sink depending on the rural setup, so seeking advice from your local councils as to best practices on flood prevention and elevation is something not to be ignored.  Research into flood maps is very important before making any large investments into property. 


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Land accessibility

Refining accessibility to your land can be important in some rural environments.  This is because access to power lines, oil pipelines or water networks may require a written agreement with certain companies or national services before any work is carried out.  They may need immediate and safe access to your land for a range of reasons at any time, so be sure to check this and consider  the detail in the lands deeds.  

Landscaping and construction

Not all land is suitable for construction of properties and in almost all cases you’ll likely need planning permission before any structures can be erected.  You can check online to see if any previous planning applications have been submitted for the land in question.  If planning has been refused in the past, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it won’t be accepted moving forwards but you need to be prepared to meet strict guidelines and rules should you wish to build.  This can be a lengthy process.


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Likewise, any landscaping work you wish to carry out will need sufficient planning and investigation into what kind of land you are purchasing.  Is the ground suitable for your planned work?  What type of soil and rock exists?  Are there any old mine shafts or other obstructions that will prevent you from creating your dream land?

The key to success here is research, research, research.  Make sure you have done your diligence before investing or you could find yourself in money pit of a situation.

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