Mothering Forum banner
1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My husband and I are going to look at a country property. It is a long-shot since we'll have to find alternate employment, but the mortgage is very cheap. It's 50 acres, house a converted barn, with another smallish barn on the property.

I've lived in the country before, but I am trying to think of everything I should remember to check out. What do people wish they had looked at before buying their country property?

Also, it has a dug well and I don't know what shape the septic is in. Has anyone else used alternates, like composting toilets? What were the advantages/disadvantages. I think I could buy a good composting toilet for about the same as it would cost me to build one - any thoughts on which works better?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,553 Posts
Most of the things I would look for are obvious--space for animals, nice sunny areas for gardens, space for fruit trees, and so on.

But the biggest thing I would look for now is privacy. We live in the country but on the highway and we are *constantly* being harassed--even persecuted--because we live in Klan country and we're dreadheaded hippie types. We've dealt with death threats towards our kids, even. It's fucked up and there is nothing we can do about it because the police are not much better than the people harassing us.

Make sure, if you have neighbors, that they are decent people, country folks who keep to themselves. If your property is visible from the road make sure you can handle that. You would really not believe the lengths that, in America in 2009, people will go to to drive out those they deem undesirable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,441 Posts
We just felt really happy when we found our property. Both dh and I felt it. We had been several other places, and they seemed to carry other people's baggage, and then we went out to our land and it just felt clean and nice and happy. Neighbors were another big factor. Our immediate neighbors are two young families with young kids - one a police officer. We feel pretty safe. It's also an area with some racial diversity - although we didn't look for that, we've found people to be more tolerant and friendly when there is a mixed population.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,558 Posts
Sasha girl that's terrible! I'm so sorry to hear your experience-it must be really frightening. I can't imagine people threatening others, especially kids. Will you stay there or move because of this?

OP, I would have the water tested if you are planning to drink it, and get a good assessment of the well-dug or drilled, see if the actual pump is in good shape and find out if any repairs have been done on it. Re: the septic-I don't know if you need a mortgage or not, but I believe the septic has to pass inspection or be repaired for a mortgage. If it's the type that needs to be pumped I would pay to have that done and have an inspector check out the septic at the same time. You'll have to do this regardless of whether you do a composting toilet.

If the wiring is old I would get a seperate electrical assessment-I think you really need a qualified electrician to do this well. If schools are important to you I would take a good look at the local school and any alternatives there might be. Nice to know your options.

I know there's lots of other stuff, but that's what comes to mind right now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,769 Posts
We've just begun saving for our property so we won't likely be looking for a couple years. But we'll be looking for size, quality (is the soil rich or would we have to buy a bunch of compost and dirt to make it work? Are there already trees and plants on the property?), whether it is hooked up for phone/internet (not a problem, really, as we intend to get satellite internet), an already constructed home (no problem improving a home but don't want to build one from the floor up), if we decide we want ducks a pond would be helpful. It is definitely what you want depending on what you want your property to do for you.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
12,839 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
We just felt really happy when we found our property. Both dh and I felt it. We had been several other places, and they seemed to carry other people's baggage, and then we went out to our land and it just felt clean and nice and happy.
We had the same experience
. We had been looking for years and when we saw this place, it just felt right.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by karne View Post
Sasha girl that's terrible! I'm so sorry to hear your experience-it must be really frightening. I can't imagine people threatening others, especially kids. Will you stay there or move because of this?

OP, I would have the water tested if you are planning to drink it, and get a good assessment of the well-dug or drilled, see if the actual pump is in good shape and find out if any repairs have been done on it. Re: the septic-I don't know if you need a mortgage or not, but I believe the septic has to pass inspection or be repaired for a mortgage. If it's the type that needs to be pumped I would pay to have that done and have an inspector check out the septic at the same time. You'll have to do this regardless of whether you do a composting toilet.

If the wiring is old I would get a seperate electrical assessment-I think you really need a qualified electrician to do this well. If schools are important to you I would take a good look at the local school and any alternatives there might be. Nice to know your options.

I know there's lots of other stuff, but that's what comes to mind right now.
Yes, I really worry about septic systems. It really makes me angry that I have to have one by law when a good composting toilet does as good a job with less water. It makes no sense to me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,077 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't all the household water go through the septic system? It would need too wouldn't it? Clothing and bath water can possibly be soiled with fecal matter.
At my parents house (in the country) the laundry and bathwater (greywater) drained separate from the toilet/septic system.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,042 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by HeatherAtHome View Post
At my parents house (in the country) the laundry and bathwater (greywater) drained separate from the toilet/septic system.
All of this will depend on local codes. Check your local codes.

Raw land:
Perk test
septic system needed
water quaility
easements
mineral rights
local coding

You don't want to buy your dream property and have a feed lot operation open up next door. Check the city and county codes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
371 Posts
Find out what needs to be approved to get the mortgage. We had to get a "certificate" for our septic or in lieu, title insurance, without either the septic would have had to been uncovered and inspected. A composting system may need special approval. The dug well might be a problem, they prefer drilled. All these things wouldn't be an issue when a person buys a house outright, but who can afford that these days?

What kind of pump is available? A manual pump is always good insurance for power outages and electric pump breakdowns. Does the well have a history of going dry in the summer? Windbreaks are good to have. Fruit trees, fencing, outdoor lights, power to the outbuildings? How much land is cleared? Is there a woodlot (hardwood vs softwood)? Look at the driveway, how will it fair in the winter? Too steep or curvy when icy, wash out in the spring? Snow removal? Is the property on a main road (good in winter - better municipal plowing)? How much road noise is there at night? How far away is the closest neighbour? There is a balance between privacy and possible help in emergencies. Does the neighbour have loose dogs (problem for livestock)?

hmm... that's all I can think of for now...

Sasha girl, that's terrifying, like a scary movie...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,569 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by 2bluefish View Post
Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't all the household water go through the septic system? It would need too wouldn't it? Clothing and bath water can possibly be soiled with fecal matter.
It depends. In some places it is allowed to have a seperate greywater and blackwater system. It actually makes more sense, because greywater is hard on the septic system.

Not all composting toilets produce a liquid residue. Many are designed to evaporate liquid, and it is mostly the kind that use water as a carrier that produce much liquid. Then in must go into an appropriate system. But the kind that add no water are pretty dry.
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top