Demand for rural properties is pushing prices to record highs and straining schools, roads and water supplies. As land prices and the cost of living skyrocket, it has become clear that simple country living is now a way of life for those who can afford it.
Think you can hack country life? If you’re looking to ditch the city for extra space in rural North Texas, buyers and realtors alike, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
Know what you are looking for
Make a list of what you are looking for in a property that successful buyers recommend. Are you ready to buy land with a homeowners association agreement? Will the land be large enough for backyard activities?
Before you start looking, establish your real estate priorities.
âYou can settle down a bit, but I wouldn’t settle down if you’re potentially unhappy,â said Derek Ogburn, who recently built a house in the Aledo school district.
Look at several different areas
âEach region of Texas has different attributes,â said Tim Clark, president of the Clark Real Estate Group at Weatherford.
Realtors advise keeping an open mind when exploring different places.
In addition, the faces of small towns in Parker County are changing rapidly due to development. What looks to be a quaint country town in 2021 could be very different in 2031.
Know your spending limits and don’t buy too much
Real estate agents warn you that you may run out of housing when spending a large chunk of your budget on land.
âIf you’re paying that much for a piece of land, you’re very, very limited on what you can build,â said Laura Bradley, real estate agent with Fathom Realty in Denton County.
Some subdivisions set a minimum square footage requirement and other guidelines for the type of home you are allowed to build.
âYou always want to have the money to go out and do things,â Ogburn said.
Discover a potential land purchase after a big storm
Some rural counties don’t have the money to bolster stormwater management infrastructure to keep pace with rapid development, said Renee Harvey, owner of Century 21 Harvey Properties in Paris.
To avoid buying land with potential flooding issues, visit the property after a heavy rain.
“If you’re going to have water pooling in the backyards, things like that,” Ogburn said, “that’s something that you potentially have to deal with.”
Hang tight. Everything changes
Every real estate agent can tell countless stories of buyers being snubbed by competitors who overpay cash.
Prices continue to climb, but buyer disappointment dampens the feverish market slightly, said Shelby Kimball, Fort Worth real estate agent and former president of the Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors.
âI think we’ve seen a decline in buyers,â he said. âSome were put at a price. Some just decided to wait.
Experts believe that new construction in the Metroplex next year will help increase the housing stock and stabilize the market.
âTexas subways are currently among the top cities in the United States in terms of construction relative to population,â said George Ratiu, director of economic research at Realtor.com. âWe’re seeing Dallas, Austin, Houston seeing an influx of permits and startups into the market. “
“This, for me, is promising.”