Whether it’s a rural area ora secluded spot in town, buying a home with acreage is many people’s dream – a special place with plenty of room to call home. But the very things that make it so attractive often bring special problems, not least of which is the bigger price tag. So you need to make sure you do the requisite research and look at all sides. Here, then, are 5 things you should know about buying homes with acreage in Alameda County.
1. Zoning and Ordinances Matter
Many people who buy homes with acreage in Alameda County do so with the intention of making improvements right away. They might, for example, plan to add on to the house, put up an outbuilding, or build a big shop.
If you’re among them, you need to make sure the zoning and associated ordinances will allow it – before you make the purchase. Zoning and ordinances dictate what you can and can’t do with the property, even such things as adding a shed or installing solar panels. Some structures in some areas are simply not allowed, and sometimes there will be square-footage requirements/limits.
These rules can be very different in different states, counties, and municipalities, so be sure to check before making an offer. Your local agent can also be a great asset here. To find out more about how your agent can assist you in finding out about zoning and ordinances, just call (408) 893-1866 .
2. Maintenance and Upkeep Will Multiply
Owning even a small home on a postage-stamp lot smack in the middle of town, usually means you’ll have plenty of maintenance and repair chores to keep up with. But when it comes to owning homes with acreage in Alameda County, the maintenance and upkeep only increase.
“It may seem romantic to own a property with many acres of land, but the reality can be tough work. You’ll be responsible for mowing the lawn, clearing debris and plowing snow in the winter, among other strenuous tasks. Make sure that you’re up to the challenge, or that you’re able to afford help with more difficult jobs.”
3. The Septic System Must Be Adequate
Although not always the case, homes with acreage very often have septic systems. And that septic system needs to be properly functioning and able to meet the needs of the number of users – if, that is, you don’t want hefty expenses later on. This is a particular concern if you intend to build onto the house.
Here’s some good advice from the pros concerning homes with acreage in Alameda County that have septic systems . . .
“When a house is constructed in a rural area, a leach field is built to collect sewage and water waste, with its size depends on the size of the house. If an owner builds an extension, he must also extend the leach field to make sure the septic system can handle the number of people living there — so if you’re interested in a house that’s had an addition built on, make sure the leach field is the proper size to avoid costly construction bills in the future.
4. You Need to Look at the Details
Another important thing to know is that the contract details matter immensely. So you should make sure to include in the sales contract a detailed list of everything that goes with the home and the property. Whatever can be moved and isn’t contractually listed as part of the sale the seller will likely take with her – such things as fencing, outbuildings, pens, ornamental structures, and so on.
It’s also a good idea, when it comes to important details, to have your attorney check for things like easements and encumbrances for such things as power lines and roads. Again, your local agent can provide some valuable assistance here.
5. The Right Agent is a Must
With respect to buying homes with acreage in Alameda County, you should also know that having the right real estate agent is paramount. Ideally, your agent will be one who specializes in such properties, has plenty of experience in this area, and has a demonstrated track record.
Here are just some of the valuable services such an agent can provide:
- “Access the multiple-listing service in your area to give you the widest possible choice of properties”
- “Share expertise regarding valuations and locations, schools, amenities and other important background”
- “Share experience of other deals, and help you make the right moves in negotiations”
- “Negotiate directly with other real estate agents, who probably have a lot more experience than you do”
In short, you need an agent who understands and can help you navigate the complexities of buying a home with acreage. So if you’re among those looking to buy homes with acreage in Alameda County, don’t take a chance: contact us today at (408) 893-1866 to find the right agent.