How To Buy Eagle Idaho Country Property!
If you’re unfamiliar with country living, the following five-point checklist will help you to ensure that your country dream doesn’t turn into your worst nightmare.
Many (most?) country properties will depend upon a private well to supply drinking water.
You can’t assume that all properties will have an adequate supply of good water.
If the property you’re considering has a well, you should test it for both quantity and quality of the water before buying the property.
A potability test will confirm that the water is not contaminated and that it’s safe for human consumption.
Most lenders will require a potability test before lending on country property.
Other, more extensive testing can be done to check for the presence of nitrites, nitrates, arsenic, and mineral content.
If you’re considering the purchase of a property without a proven water supply, you’ll have to decide if you should drill a well prior to closing. That’s risky because you’ll be drilling a well on someone else’s property at your expense with no assurance of a good outcome.
Be sure to get a copy of the well driller’s report.
This document will show the types of soils encountered while drilling, the depth of the well, the depth at which water was first observed, the gallons per minute of water produced by the well, and other important details.
Understand that the cost of drilling the well is just the beginning. You’ll still need to install a pump and pressure system to deliver the water from the well to the house. This can easily cost several thousand dollars, depending upon the complexity of the system you choose.
If you’re moving from the city, you simply flush your toilet without considering where everything goes.
When you live in the country, you’ll probably dispose of sewage with a septic system.
That system will include a large concrete vault connected to a network of perforated pipes called leach lines that allow your sewage to be absorbed (leached) into the ground.
If you will be financing your purchase, expect that your lender will require a septic system inspection and certification before lending on country property.
Septic system inspections usually include a visual inspection of the area around the system to look for obvious leaks.
Septic system failures can often be detected by visual clues of seepage and the accompanying malodorous stench.
The inspection will include pumping the contents from the tank and a visual inspection of the inside of the septic tank after the pumping is completed.
If the system is in good working order, you should receive a written certification stating the results of the inspection.
If you’re considering the purchase of vacant land, you should perform soils tests to determine the feasibility of a septic system on the property.
Those tests vary from area to area, depending upon the requirements of the local public health officials.
If the land you’re considering is located in an environmentally sensitive area, such as near a year-round stream, plan on meeting additional, stringent requirements.
Soils testing will reveal what kind of soil you have at the depth where your septic system will be installed. Septic systems require soils that are capable of absorbing the waste from your septic system.
If the soil is too porous, or sandy, waste materials will pass through the soils too quickly for nature to purify them.
The opposite extreme, such as rocky soil or hardpan clay, will not permit waste materials to pass through quickly enough to be purified.
Prior to approving a building permit, health officials will require satisfactory results of a percolation test to verify the rate of absorption for the soils where you intend to place your septic system.
Protect yourself by making your purchase offer contingent upon obtaining satisfactory soils test results.
3) Power & Phone
If you’ve lived in a city, you’re used to turning on your lights and talking on the phone.
If you’re planning on relying upon cell phone service at your country home, check to make sure your service provider has a tower nearby. Cell service providers tend to develop their infrastructure closer to more populated areas.
If you’re buying undeveloped land, check on the availability of power to the property.
Most utility companies charge a small fortune to extend service to distant properties. It’s not uncommon to hear of someone spending thousands of dollars to extend power to their building site.
You may also need to obtain easements from owners of adjacent properties to extend power to your property.
If you can’t obtain the necessary easements from your new neighbors, you won’t be able to bring power in, even if you’re willing to bear the costs.
If the property lacks power and/or phone, be certain to research the costs and details before you purchase the property.
4) Road Access
There’s a road to the property, so there must be access – right?
As logical as that may seem, it may not be true.
If you lack legal access to your property, you’ll be the proud owner of a piece of landlocked, inaccessible property.
There are many types of access, some of which can be problematic.
Property fronting on a public road is desirable because it helps avoid issues arising from private roads and easements.
However, your life will become very interesting if you purchase that beautiful, secluded parcel of land that’s tucked away in a scenic little valley that’s thousands of feet from a public road.
In that situation, your property will almost certainly be accessed by crossing over surrounding properties.
That can lead to some very nasty access problems.
To avoid such problems, verify that the property you are purchasing has deeded access.
Ensure that owners of surrounding properties have signed and recorded deeds granting access to your property.
After you’ve determined that you have access to the property from a private road, ask yourself “Who’s going to maintain the road?”
Unless you are the only one who owns property on the road, you probably will need to share road maintenance expenses with neighboring property owners.
If your access is via a private road, make sure there’s a written road maintenance agreement and get a copy of it.
5) Property Corners
When you ask “where’s the right rear corner?”, think twice when the seller answers “I think it’s down there by the crick, but I don’t know for sure”. 🙂
Consider the consequences if you later learn that the barn, garden, white rail fence, or home straddles the neighbor’s property line.
You should hire a licensed surveyor to identify the property corners before you finalize your purchase.
Looking for Eagle Idaho Country Property?
I live in Eagle and know the Eagle Idaho country property market.
Give me a call at (208)938-5533 or e-mail me and let’s talk!
I can help you avoid potential pitfalls of buying Eagle Idaho Country Property.