Property Finders Advice: Buying a rural property

Published Dec 21, 2018 – 4 mins read

Are you looking to buy a rural property? For many of us accustomed to living and working in or near the big cities, a rural idyll-type property is instinctively appealing.

As expert property finders, Garrington can assist you to realise that dream.

There are a few points to consider though before deciding to purchase a property that really is an escape from it all.

Rural life

If you listen to people who have had extensive experience of living in truly rural locations, you are likely to get a very balanced view. On the positive side, the attractions are obvious and might include:

  • Peace and quiet;
  • A clean environment with little by way of air and indeed other forms of pollution;
  • Broadly speaking, a relatively safe environment in terms of crime;
  • Likewise, most rural environments are still comparatively safe for children;
  • Quite often this type of living provides access to the freshest of food produced locally;
  • Some cost of living prices in rural areas may often be cheaper, on average, than in the city centres;
  • Lower property and land prices;
  • Great opportunities for children to grow up having easier access to nature, wildlife and perhaps even livestock in the case of smallholdings.

The summer dream vs. December reality

Inevitably though, people who have lived in the countryside will tell you that some other factors need to be considered by way of balance:

  • Amenities and entertainment such as restaurants, shops, cinemas and sports facilities might all be unavailable in the immediate local area;
  • Very rural locations can be near idyllic in the spring, summer and autumn but will look and feel very different in the depths of a wet and stormy British winter;
  • In most rural locations there will be little by way of public transport and road access and lighting might not always be up to the very highest standards;
  • You are likely to be some way away from advanced medical services;
  • If the property is particularly isolated there won’t be neighbours for some distance.

Is it for you?

Only you can really answer that question but it is perhaps worth noting, with apologies for some sweeping generalisations that are about to follow, that “rural” in the UK can mean different things to different people.

For example in parts of Scotland, the word rural can mean total isolation and wild countryside, with possibly no neighbour for some miles around you in any direction. Even the nearest small village might be a fair drive away.

Sometimes the delivery of goods and post can be an issue and your costs might rise considerably for things such as the delivery of appliances from major providers.

Truly isolated rural living in the United Kingdom is now largely confined to parts of Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Northern England.

By contrast, in central and southern England, many rural locations are within relatively easy reach of major cities or larger towns and their character is often preserved by planning restrictions rather than the fact that nobody wishes to live and work there.

Some villages within a relatively easy commuting distance of London actually give many flavours of true rural living but they’re sometimes referred to as “dormitory villages” for London or the major cities in the south.

Your particular requirements may incline you to look at one type of property or the other.  Whether you wish just a sense of rural life or true rural isolation, our expert property finders services will assist you in identifying both the areas and the properties that will be suitable for your needs.

Other considerations for rural properties

As part of our property finding service, we will, of course, highlight all of these factors should they apply to a property you’re considering.  However, by way of an indication, some of the following things should be looked at:

  • Some very rural properties are not connected to the mains sewer system and may have septic tanks. Whilst that is not necessarily a problem, it does involve certain routine maintenance issues;
  • Easy access to major centres of schooling and education is not always easy from very isolated locations;
  • If you are buying a property with land, as opposed to a garden, it’s important to understand all access rights and entitlements that may be applicable to third parties;
  • Significant numbers of rural properties are older and built using ancient materials and techniques. A survey report should highlight any issues to you but keep in mind that those types of properties can have a higher overhead of maintenance than more modern builds;
  • High-speed fibre optic internet access is still not universally available in the UK and some rural areas may have little or no access to such services at all. Mobile phone “dead spots” are also not unknown in very rural areas.

Rural retreat

The United Kingdom is fortunate in still having some truly beautiful and unspoilt countryside which offers the potential for true rural living.  As stated above, even some locations close to major cities offer a flavour of rural life that many would envy.

It is important though to think carefully about what you are trying to achieve by looking at very rural properties and be sure that you are purchasing with your head more than your heart.

Our team of rural property finders have experience in sourcing and acquiring rural property on the behalf of private clients. If you’d like to learn more about how our services would work for your unique property search please, contact us.