An estate in the country can be the perfect place to spend your days, or at least your weekends. Before taking the plunge, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Living in the country may make a pleasant daydream, but be realistic about how rural you are willing to live comfortably. Being completely cut off from neighbors and local services can be isolating for some, while it's relaxing for others. How close do you want to be to the local grocery store? Do you want a nearby small community in which to meet people or go to church? Is a city within an hour's drive necessary for weekend jaunts?
2. Home Age
Newly built homes in the country aren't as readily available as older estates and farmhouses. Fortunately, these can be quite large and well built, but renovations are often needed. If you must have a new home, then you may need to factor in the time and costs of building your own home. Depending on land availability in your area, this may necessitate tearing down an old house first.
3. Property Size
Land must be tended, and how that looks depends on many factors. Large pastures and lawns need to be grazed or mown, while forested tracts need to be managed and selectively logged to mitigate fire risk and to ensure continued forest health. Some estate owners handle these issues by leasing out pasture or woodlots while others utilize these commodities themselves. Another option is to purchase a smaller estate acreage so there is less to manage.
4. Existing Infrastructure
Many estates, even those that haven't been tended to for many years, come with some existing infrastructure. It could be in the form of old barns, sheds, and fencing, for example, which may still be usable with minor repairs. Other examples of country infrastructure are cleared areas for a new build or old orchards that can be brought back to former glory.
5. Utilities and Access
If the estate already has a home on it, then chances are there is at least a well present on the land. There may also be an existing septic service and electricity run out to the land. Consider the cost of inspecting and repairing these utilities, or the cost of installing them if they aren't present, before making an offer on the estate. Access may also be a concern -- verify that there is a road or that the property has been approved for the installation of an access road.
Contact a real estate agent that specializes in country estates if you would like to learn more.