What To Look For When Buying Land In Heavy Snow Areas


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Now is a great time to be in the market for purchasing land. However, all prospective land purchasers need to be aware of certain things when they are in the buying process. This is especially true for those purchasing land in heavy snowfall areas such as the midwest. Snowfall can heavily affect those that own land, primarily because of the lack of development in the immediate vicinity. So if you are looking for land in an area with heavy snowfall, keep the following things in mind.

Road Access/Quality of Roads

One of the first things that is important to look for when buying land in a heavy snow area, is the road access to and around your land, along with the quality of those roads. If you’re buying land with an existing home structure on it, you’ll want to drive the roads to and from it. Keep an eye for problem areas such as unlit sections, bridges, and other things. The more remote the property, the more likely you are on the lower end in terms of plow services should a heavy snowfall occur. You may even want to budget for an SUV or truck that can attach a plow to the front so you can clear your own path.

Additionally, you’ll want to determine the quality of the roads that provide your land with access to the rest of the metropolis. Heavy snowfall can easily damage country back roads that aren’t made or maintained by municipalities.

Total Work to Maintain the Property

Another thing to look for when buying land is the total work to maintain the property. Conventionally this means maintaining your land for whatever purpose you are using it whether that be residential, farming, or your own personal hunting lands.

However, in areas with heavy snow, it also means cleaning debris and plowing snow in the winter. Even with a plow this can often be time-consuming and strenuous work. The heavy snowfall can claim tree branches which can end up obstructing your route.

Power Outages

Another major thing to look for when buying land in an area with heavy snow, is the power outages. Now you probably won’t be able to test this yourself while in the purchasing process but you can ask questions. Rural areas are often the last places to be served if power lines go down. This can be days or weeks without power, whereas a metropolitan area can be back up in hours.

This makes owning a rural land property dangerous if you haven’t planned for contingencies. One of the first contingencies is to have water on-hand. As we’ll discuss in the next section, most rural properties run on wells. Many of those wells have electric pumps meaning that if the power goes out, the well goes out too. In this situation, you’d want to have bottled water for reserves. You should also have backup source for electricity. Most rural landowners should purchase a back-up generator so that you can still run the heat and lights in your home. Having backup water, food, and heat can actually save your life, even in your own home.

Water Source

Many rural properties run on well water, which was just mentioned. This is another factor to look for when buying land. When purchasing a home in a neighborhood you typically are using the municipals water which rarely affects you in terms of decision-making. Well water should be tested because treating and softening water can be fairly costly. Testing the water can show you what type of contaminants, chemicals, and sediments are present.

Similarly, rural homes often use septic systems instead of a city sewer system. This is important because the number of occupants can affect how well the septic system works. Both the water system and wastewater removal systems are important in areas with heavy snowfall since you may not have access to get fresh water or get someone out to your home to fix wastewater systems due to road conditions.

Trash Removal

Trash removal is another thing to look out for when buying land. The reason this is important, is again due to road conditions. Trash removal in a rural area can be much different than in a metropolitan area. Residents of cities and towns usually leave their trash on the curb in bins. Rural residents can’t really do that since trash collection often doesn’t travel out to them.

If you are buying land you need to look into nearby town dumps. Unfortunately you will be driving your trash to that dump. Alternatively some rural areas allow you to burn your trash as long as it is not toxic waste.

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