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The Best Tips for Finding a House in the Countryside

If you’re looking for a place to call home in the countryside, you may be wondering where to start. There are many things to consider when choosing a home in the country, and it can be tricky to find the right one. In this blog post, we will give you some tips on how to find the perfect house in the countryside. Keep reading for more information!


The first step is to choose where you’d like to buy or rent a house in the countryside. The country has so many regions – each has its advantages, so it’s essential first to consider where you want to live. Deciding what type of housing you would rather live in is also important.

Location is always the number one factor. It’s no accident that real estate experts have a maxim:  “location, location, location.” The right location for you will depend on your objectives and circumstance.

Some of the questions you might want to consider are:

  • Do you want to buy or rent a home in a very rural area? Or somewhere that is semi-rural?
  • Do you prefer to live in a city, small town or village?
  • Do you want to be close to a city or not?
  • Do you want to live in low-density housing (one or two houses per acre)? Or high-density housing? And do you prefer detached or semi-detached? Or row housing (like terraces). Or even a farmhouse?
  • Do you need to sell on later? What is the trend for a residential rural property in the area?
  • Do you want to live by a lake or river? (Think of lakes and rivers, not necessarily the ocean). Want rolling hills?
  • Do you need road access or not? Do you want to be near motorways and main roads? Or do you prefer a quieter location away from traffic and pollution?
  • Are there good schools in the locale for the kids?
  • Do you want isolation or a strong community around you?
  • How much land do you need? Need farmland? Does the house have to be on its land? Are you prepared to share the land with other people?

The countryside takes many different forms, so it’s worth considering practical factors and lifestyle factors when thinking about the type of countryside you would like to visit.

Look for The Fringes

Sometimes it’s a good idea to buy on the fringes of where you can afford it – this can sometimes mean that you can live in a better area than you might have expected by being strategic about the precise location of your future countryside property.

Imagine the joys of predicting a potentially better area than what you find. This can be a real boon!

Setting a Budget Range

Buying or renting a home is always an emotional choice. The moment you start to look at places, emotions will start to sway your judgment!

Therefore you need to set a range of initial prices that you are prepared to pay. This is important because you will have to show your financial flexibility, and the sellers will want to know what price range they should have confidence in when negotiating with you.

The best way to do this is by researching the average house prices in an area, for example, $200,000 – $300,000 per acre (or whatever it is in your area).

That’s why it’s a very good idea to carefully consider your budget before looking. It will also put you in a stronger negotiating position because you will know the point at which you were not prepared to compromise.

Set a budget range for yourself. At the lower end of the budget range would be ‘great deals,’ and at the upper range would be ‘dream home.’ Below the bottom of the range would likely be not good, and above the top would be unaffordable.

Age and Condition of the Property

When you go to visit a place, try to look beyond the decor. It’s about the structure and the spatial potential of the house. The structure of the building is very important.

You can tell the age of a building by looking at its outside. If you can see corrosion, weathering, or gaps in the brickwork, then the property is probably much older than it looks.

Consider the following when assessing the options:

  • Look for ‘vintage’ properties that have been well cared for.
  • Commissioning a professional survey will be a must. The good thing about an old house is that problems reveal themselves over time. Meaning that anything structural will usually have happened to the house by the time you consider it.
  • The repair costs of older homes can be very high – so you don’t want to buy a house in disrepair. Unless you are specifically looking for a ‘fixer-upper.’
  • Also, country houses tend to be larger than urban houses, so the cost of renovations (both inside and out) will be higher.
  • The land surrounding the house is also very important in this regard. It could also have some impact on the value of the property.
  • Make a careful assessment of the garden and land. What is the level of maintenance required?
  • Which utilities do the house and land have? Are they in good condition? Things like telephone cables are often exposed more to weather and, therefore, more prone to fraying.
  • Ventilation and weatherproofing are essential in the countryside. Including any outbuildings. The worst thing you can do is buy a property that needs to be re-roofed immediately.
  • Think about the longer-term implications of buying a property that needs a lot of immediate work. It could be cheaper to rent for a while until you save enough for renovations.

Heating Systems

Understanding how a countryside home is heated is extremely important. There is a huge range of options, including oil heating systems, gas furnaces, propane, wood burners, etc.

The most common option in the countryside is oil. Oil heating systems are very reliable, but it’s a big expense because you have to pay for the heating oil on top of your gas or electricity bill. Also, oil systems don’t heat the water for your tap or shower – so there is a separate system. These days, houses usually have high-efficiency condensing boilers installed.

Propane and wood burners are very common in rural areas as well.

The best way to get estimates of your potential energy costs is by getting in touch with your utility companies. They can usually provide you with a detailed list of the energy usage in your area, and they can tell you how much it will cost for an average household over 12 months.

When considering whether you should heat your house using oil or propane, consider the following:

Propane heating is much more expensive than oil heating, but there are some really good deals if you shop around and negotiate well.

There may also be an energy efficiency certificate for the home. This will help estimate energy costs and what you may need to do in terms of renovations or repairs in the way of insulation to reduce the energy consumption for heating.

Oil heating will provide you with heat and hot water – so it’s cheaper to heat your home with oil than electricity, even after you have factored in your energy costs.

Remember that you will need to allow regular inspections of the central heating system and gas boiler if one is present.

Irrigation and Drainage Systems

Water is an extremely important aspect of a country home. First, it needs good sanitation and drainage systems that are well-maintained.


Countryside homes can vary from homes in urban or City environments in that they may have septic systems rather than sewage systems.

A septic system is attached to the main drain in the property and works by converting household waste into sterile waste that does not require treatment.

In some rural areas, there is just one kitchen sewer outlet in the main wall of the home, and part of the building may be higher than the rest.

If moving to a place with a septic tank, make sure that any contract to exchange considers an inspection of the system. It can be expensive and time-consuming to fix, and it’s certainly not something you want to face when moving in.

Leaking Pipes

It is a major problem and should not be taken lightly. You cannot just go into the country and expect it to be filled with no problems. The problem will come up sooner or later, and it’s essential to make sure that you know exactly what to do when this happens.

A leaky pipe can cause many problems:

Pipes can become damaged by frost, heavy rain, tree roots, earthquakes, or regular use over time.


Again, the water supply may be critical in a very rural area. Is it reliable? Is it clean? Does it need filtering? You could spend a fortune importing water if the water supply is unreliable. Make sure to ask these questions and ensure that you don’t have a load of expenditure you never knew you would spend.

You may have a well water system rather than a direct supply in a rural area. Again, this is something that you would want to have inspected by an expert to know it is safe and well-maintained.

A swimming pool is a great feature, providing that you consider what is involved in its upkeep (and heating, if in the UK).


Your house has to be accessible if there is no community in the immediate vicinity. This means doing all of your shopping by car, during daylight hours, because some countryside shops are usually only open between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. Consider carefully how long it will take you to get to the nearest urban areas.

If retiring to the countryside, consider whether local transport services would suffice, should you be unable to drive for any reason.


It’s really important when moving to a home in the countryside that you consider your immediate neighbors. If possible, try to meet them, even briefly, before committing to buy or rent.

Also, ensure you have checked the area’s local planning applications and permissions. The last thing you want to face is the perfect open field next to your house being turned into a housing estate shortly after moving in.

Keep a weather eye out for any signs of disrespectful behavior. Things like littering, graffiti, or anything like that would be red flags.

On the other hand, you may see signs of respectful behavior. Well-maintained gardens, well-maintained cars (which does not necessarily mean being washed in the deep countryside!)

Although it might sound odd, you might consider inspecting the area in the evening or even at night. To monitor for any excessive noise. You don’t want to find out shortly after moving in that you have unfortunately moved next to a party house.

If considering moving close to a farm, remember that they are working environments and will be noisy.

Home Finding Apps

Many different services, like apps or websites, can help you locate potential properties. In the UK, two of the most popular are Zoopla and Rightmove.

One of the most useful features of property-finding apps is that they allow you to draw the boundaries on a map of the area in which you are interested and then find the properties available in that area. It’s a very quick way to assess the available properties and the price range for which day typically sell or rent.

These apps enable you to find homes while driving around an area.


Although you may be able to find a place to buy or rent more cheaply through direct contact with the existing owners, don’t forget to register with local estate agents or realtors.

It’s worth getting on the books and establishing a good relationship with a real estate agent. Quite often, when a property is listed on the apps or the internet, especially at a time of high activity, the properties may already have been sold, and you will miss out. Suppose you have a good relationship with the local realtor. In that case, they may give you a heads-up on the upcoming availabilities of properties in the area in which you are interested.

Due Diligence

The decision to buy a house, and relocate to a countryside area, is probably one of the most important you will make in your life. It’s well worth doing what in business is called due diligence to ensure that you have done your level best to cover all of the factors and risks.

Fortunately, it’s amazing these days how much information you can find with a thorough Google search.

Some terms to use in searching are ‘issue,’ ‘problem,’ ‘history,’ ‘reputation,’ ‘planning permission’, ‘planning application,’ ‘flooding,’ ‘insurance risk,’ etc. Remember to use speech marks in your searches to make them more precise, for example:

“Little Potter Village” “planning permission”

I typed into the search box like that.

Make good use of Google Maps. If considering the UK, I would also take an annual subscription to Ordnance Survey maps. It’s only £25 per year.

Both maps give highly detailed information on the immediate surroundings of a house and sometimes will flush out problems or opportunities before you commit.

For example, we live now in a cul-de-sac, and therefore it has almost no traffic. Which makes it a peaceful and beautiful environment in which to live. We are also literally 3 minutes away from a beautiful woodland, where we walk most days. This makes a tremendous difference to our quality of life. We knew about both of these things before committing to move here.

Ask Around

When you start to zero in on an exciting area, ensure that you take full advantage of the local services and shops as an intelligence source on what is going on in the area and the particular place you intend to buy or rent.

Therefore, take the time to visit the local library, and look at the notice board. Pop into the local pub (or bar in the States), buy a meal and a drink and get a feeling for the atmosphere. Take the time to have a chat with the person behind the bar.

Keep an eye out for flyers in the shop windows, and make sure you pop into the local newsagents to get the local newspapers. All of this may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many people don’t do it and therefore lose out on the opportunity to learn more about the area and the receptiveness of the community into which they plan to move.

It’s Not Just About the House

Buying or renting a new house, and moving to a new area common, especially in the countryside, is a huge life and lifestyle choice

It’s a big decision; therefore, it pays to do the research properly and know why you picked a certain location.