Many Kansans in our area have a desire to construct a home on real estate lying outside of a city and outside of a “platted” subdivision. The country can lend peace and tranquility to the setting and offer some of the Flint Hill’s most gorgeous views. Additionally, living in a rural area can offer the freedom to pursue rural hobbies like raising animals, having a large garden and having s’mores by a bonfire. However, there are a few things to take into consideration when moving forward with this dream.
Location of the real estate
Where is the real estate? Finding the right mix between rural and city dwelling is a common issue future homeowners must weigh. Although rural life may be the goal, it is necessary to determine how far you want to live from modern services. Is the real estate located on pavement or gravel? Does the county have any plans to pave the gravel? How well maintained is the road? Is it passable in all weather?
Another question regarding location is applicable zoning. If you are not purchasing an entire tract of real estate are you allowed to divide off a portion to be purchased? (Keep an eye out for next week’s blog where we will discuss issues regarding dividing real estate from a larger tract.) Are you allowed to construct a single family dwelling? Do you have the requisite acreage for a septic system or lagoon? Will the ground support a foundation, septic system, driveway, etc.? These questions will need to be addressed prior to beginning the construction process.
Access to Land
Believe it or not, lack of access can be an easily overlooked issue. Simply put: how does one access the purchased tract? It is important to look into the zoning requirements for a driveway or travel easement. Oftentimes an easement will be needed to cross neighboring property to access your building site. Also, does zoning allow two addresses to use the same driveway? Will the county allow you to create an access point to your real estate where you want it? It is important to address access concerns, because, if there is a lack of access, and no one is ready to give an easement, what is the point in purchasing the tract?
Access to Utilities
An often overlooked issue is the access to modern utilities like water and electricity. In town it is easier to bring city water and electricity to new build cites and for the new sewer lines to tap into the city sewer system. However, in the country, it can be more difficult. Here are a few common questions to answer:
- Is electricity available at the site? Is it a rural electric cooperative or an electric company? How much will it cost to run the electricity to the divided property?
- Is water available? Is there a rural water district? How far is the closest line? Is there adequate capacity for a new structure? If rural water is unavailable is a well an option?
- How will sewer waste be handled? Is a septic tank or lagoon an option?
As you can see, the simple rural life could prove to be confusing during the acquisition and build process. Luckily, we commonly deal with these issues and are eager to assist in answering these questions. It’s our job!