What a buyer needs to know
An inspector that does only city properties may not be qualified to do rural. As a REALTORS®, I am expected to be knowledgeable enough to advise new owners of rural land on any number of issues that are important to their property Property inspections are a vital part of the buying process.
There is a trend of city folks flocking to the country to buy ranches with homes, barns, stables, corrals, water wells, and so on.
Let’s take an example of a couple planning to move to a 150 acre ranch. The ranch has a modest 5,000 square foot rock split level home with 4 year old septic system, indoor lap pool, 5 acre lake, hay barn, a 25 x 50 shop with septic, and 2 water wells. They will pay $1.75 million for it.
The home is 25 years old and the other improvements from 4 to 25 years. They have a 20-day option period to have the property inspected for problems and to submit repair requests to the current owner.
The buyers have insisted on calling the inspector who inspected their in-town home 10 years ago. They like him and he has become a friend. Their inspector friend may be very competent, but does he understand rural property?
He maybe knowledgeable with respect to the house, indoor lap pool but what about the hay barn? Does he know what to look for?
Can he verify that the septic system to the house is functional and safe? What about the septic system for the shop? What about the water and electricity systems to the shop and or hay barn?
How about the water wells, does he understand submersible pumps or water quality issues? Does he have the capability or network to test it?
Could there be fuel leakage and contamination in the hay barn or shop? Could there be e-coli (or DDT) contamination in the lake? What about other surface or even groundwater contamination from a neighbor’s water runoff? What about the previous owners’ landfills for their trash and garbage? Do they pose hazards?
Rural property inspections maybe more expensive because of the travel time. The more systems that need to be checked may significantly increase the inspection cost.
Bottom line is be prepared for that expense. Getting an inspection performed by a qualified rural inspector may help you sleep better at night.