Nobody should purchase a farm on the spur of the moment. Purchasing farm land requires careful planning and consideration of vital details, which, if left unresolved, could directly hinder your farm’s future performance. Whatever your reasons for owning a farm, you should consider these 14 tips for a successful farm land purchase in 2022.
Before you begin looking for farm land, you should be clear about your goals. Discuss with other stakeholders to determine your priorities, including search areas. Failure to do so may result in complications if it later becomes clear that other stakeholders have diverse ideas. Involving a 3rd party in this deal can be beneficial since they can provide an objective ear and thoughts that change or improve your requirements.
Establish a Budget
Determine how much you are willing to pay for the type of farm land you are looking for. Consider all the costs related to purchasing the farm land, such as the cost of purchasing the land, farm equipment, and any necessary upgrades to make the farm land function for you.
Save For Down Payment
It is also important to save enough money for the down payment. Individual lenders have various loan-to-value requirements, so check with the lender to see how much you’ll need for a down payment on a purchase. Some lenders demand at least a 30% down payment or additional farm land as collateral for property acquisition. Still, it is crucial to speak with a loan representative so that they can examine your situation.
Secure Farm Financing
The next stage is to obtain financing as quickly as possible. Farmers seeking loans from private lenders are best served by contacting United Farm Mortgage as soon as possible so that we can assist you in preparing and gathering relevant paperwork and information. United Farm Mortgage may also supply you with a pre-approval letter, which will give you an important advantage when looking for a property.
Use a Reputable Real Estate Agent
When it comes to purchasing property and farms, what is displayed online is not always the complete picture. Private sales that are not publicly posted may account for 20-25 percent of the market; thus, speaking with agents is also essential. However, many real estate agents are only educated about city property and turnkey house purchases, so look for an agent who is informed about farming and the critical elements such as soil types and water rights. Besides, a good real estate agent will take the time to gather crucial information and advise you on zoning and other complex issues.
Continue Researching the Farm Land
You can look up the land’s previous appraisal value and the most recent sale price. If there are wells on the property, find out when they were dug and how deep they are. Check the county plat maps online and contact the area for zoning information, as well as determine whether there are huge land parcels surrounding the area in issue or if it is broken into many subdivisions. This is essential in predicting whether or not development is planned for the area. Investigate the area’s economy, climate, history, floods, previous wildfires, and so on.
Consider Location and Proximity
Do you want your farm to be close to town, close to an airport, or close enough to the supermarket to pick up an extra item for your farm? Perhaps you want your farm to be far away from the drones or airplanes and the hum of motorways. Consider the benefits and drawbacks of living near amenities. As you get older, you may want easier access to hospitals, agricultural supply stores, mechanics, and so on.
Check Out the Neighborhood
Examine the neighborhood before putting an offer on farm land. If it’s not nearby, spend a week there, read the local newspaper, chat with people, drive around, and make a virtual flyover of the area. A virtual flyover over the area can help you detect any hidden hazards, such as huge mining operations, active landfills, or residential development eating away farmland.
Inspect Farm Infrastructure
The homestead, outbuildings, tracks, fences, water supply, and power supply are all examples of farm infrastructure. Infrastructure should correspond to your farm plans, and if it is not available or adequate, you must consider the expense of implementing or improving it. Understand the building requirements and constraints imposed by the local municipality.
Prior Land Use
If the area was previously used for farming, it is critical to investigate prior herbicide treatments. Certain herbicides have long-term impacts and severely limit the kind of crops you can grow. Other environmental issues may also be of concern; thus, soil testing is essential. The soil may be contaminated with lead, arsenic, mercury, or other toxins that will not produce healthy plants or animals.
Access to the Property
If you intend to operate an industrial farm, you’ll need a lot of entry points, turnaround space, and loading spaces for huge transportation trucks. Is the access road littered with gulley and potholes, or is it in good condition? Is it flooded during strong rainstorms or snow-packed? A good route to and from the land is essential, whatever your future farming goals are.
Contact the Farm Land Sellers
You or your agent will want to contact the farm land seller if you find farm land that you are interested in. It is critical that you ask any questions you may have about the property. When you are ready to make an offer on the property, it is important that you approach the purchase from a business standpoint and not become emotionally connected to a property before it is yours. Properties often sell for 85% of their original asking price. You’ll want to make the best offer for the land but bear in mind that outrageous offers can be insulting to the seller.
Have an Expert Over the Contract
Because the farm land seller is acting in their best interests and you are acting in yours, having the contract evaluated by a third party is a good idea. The seller may even agree to divide the cost with you. Follow up on any contingencies, such as a title search, well inspection, and so forth.
When you are ready to close on the deal, you should have all financing in place and be fully informed of the closing process. At the planned closing, you will gather with other parties involved to sign the relevant documents. Also, check with your lender throughout the process to ensure that all financing documents are ready for your closing.
Keep in mind that farming is a business. You must take it seriously if you want to rely on it for survival. Consider gaining farming experience before purchasing one. Then when you decide to buy farm land, you must work with someone familiar with this type of property.
You can also finance your farm land loan with United Farm Mortgage. Our farm mortgage professionals have unparalleled insight into the requirements of the agricultural loan for farm land purchase, as well as the knowledge to meet our customers’ needs. Contact us today for more details.