G'day and welcome; with these Notes & Ideas gained from our experiences, we hope to help you to move on.

FOR YOUR MOVE TO YOUR RURAL LIVING DREAM - We hope to help you develop a solid CRITERIA that will help you keep on track and buy using the HEAD and not to buy with the HEART.

You may then be more able to work out if you can really afford the move, many buy what they can afford to buy just to live the dream, and most end up living the nightmare.

With this presentation we hope to help those who have RURAL DREAMS to steer clear of the pitfalls of that DREAM!
For those who aspire to dreams of "Self-Sufficiency" - "Sustainability" - "Permaculture" or just simply want to acquire "Peace & Solitude", we hope to help you develop a criteria to lead you to your dream and happiness.

So to get started you need to disenfranchise your thinking pattern from suburbia and gardens and lawns, as buying and owning a rural piece of property has little relationship to your current habits. Most think that anything bigger than what they currently have situated in rural is a big move, we would think that after you develop this criteria you will get the opinion shared by many rural devotees, and that is "Any parcel of land under 10 acres is TO SMALL to do anything with and TO LARGE to develop as gardens and lawns", and too littel to do much with, so anything in that range then becomes rural suburban land and should be treated as such.

One of the better known dreams of people is they want to run a couple of horses for the kids, but they give scant regard to what is involved in that seemingly simple idea!!

At the end of the day if you buy badly it is your costly mistake.

It is NOT the job nor responsibility of REAL ESTATE to sell you quality land. Let the "buyer beware or be warned".

Don't buy land if zoning laws and regualtions are going to impact on what it is you want to do. understand the zoning regulations BEFORE you sign on the dotted line, don't take anything for granted, ask Real Estate their opinion then talk to those who will govern you life. it is happing more often now people buy with the heart and rush in where angels fear to tread only to quickly find out that they may not even be able to reside on their own land. Again have a written criteria so that no point is forgoten.

By and large rural communities are no longer those country spirited communities that did exist, where everyone helped each other willingly.

They are more and more city folk who want their hole in the wall for whatever reason.

We would go as far as to say "A BAD NEIGHBOUR IN THE BUSH IS WORSE THAN THE WORST NEIGHBOUR IN THE SUBURBS".

The common saying in developed rural is "If it aint bolted or welded down it will walk".

Distance on rural roads is often downplayed in thinking patterns ie.,. store/post office/schools, could be 6 or 10 kilometers away? Doesn't sound much does it? But when you go there you HAVE to drive, the option to walk or ride a push bike isn't really there is it? Unlike suburbia a 6 kilometer drive to the store for a needed item is a 10 minute round trip minimum by car.

Time and distance is often underestimated when the love of buying a rural plot is in vogue, remember 6 kilometers becomes 12 kilometers, 30 minutes becomes 60 minutes etc.,. etc.,.

So if you decide to live somewhere that is say one and a half hours (150 kilometers app') from where your roots are ie.,. extended family, friends & relatives may soon only visit seldom, once the novelty of your new dream property fades in their minds, and the reality of high fuel prices and time and distance kicks in.

A one hour drive on the highway at 100 kilometers and hour is probably equivalent to a three hour relaxed drive around the 'Burb's on good sealed roads

Your family and you must be self reliant in all matters of transportation and communication.

So depending on the age groups in the family, and whether the land you buy or its situation is such that it is imperative to have at least one 4 wheel drive vehicle?
One good reliable vehicle for those shopping and emergency trips, and possibly an older but somewhat reliable small truck for carting necessities eg.,. fodder hay and bags of grain etc.,. etc.,.

If you are 30 kilometers/25 minutes away from Emergency services, and major stores for your weekly shopping purchases, and you forget something needed on that shopping day, simple math will tell you what is involved in rectifying the error.
For an ambulance to come to attend to an emergency can take 45 minutes from the time of the call, in dire emergencies you may have to consider beginning the transportation of the person involved yourself and meet the ambulance along the way (keep in mind there may not always be a safe place to stop and transfer the patient on our predominately single lane highways).

As we found a lot of neighbours (that is if you know their phone numbers) don't routinely answer their phones in the middle of the night, so getting outside assistance may be difficult, and in the bush a neighbour 100 meters away may not respond to your screams for help, surprisingly they may not even hear you. You can work out all the other logistics that can work against the needs of the patient.

There is less property work overall on larger properties from 40 acres and larger, than what there is on properties of 10 acres and smaller.

If you want to graze larger animals, and not have your hand in your pocket all the time buying fodder to keep them alive, then you have to look for suitable grazing type land. And what cattle will happily graze on may not be totally suited to grazing horses. So as an example if you determine that in a bad season the grazing rate for a property you are looking at is one beast to 6 acres, then that is the formula you use to detemine the suitability of that property, and on the same block of 1 to 6 if you run horses that could be taken out to 1 horse per 10 or 12 acres.

You may then say well then we will look for land that will graze at a much higher rate ie.,. 1 beast per 2 acres (horses could still be 1 per 4), then this land will be more fertile land in generally higher rainfall areas, it will be the pick of the land so to say. And it won't be cheap so this comes back to your budget, and if you aren't cashed up with money being no object then you won't even be able to play in that field, and if you are cashed up I guess you won't be reading this.
Paying top dollar does not guarantee good land, you may be paying for infrastructure or someone elses failed dream? but buying cheap because that is all you can afford will almost always mean poor quality land in very low rainfall areas with a big distance as well.

Lusher Higher Rainfall areas can have down sides, and overlooked one is parasites in particular the 'TICK' which causes problems to animals and humans alike.

So if you can find a property that has sufficient rainfall and is tick free, then you have a fighting chance to realise your dreams of why you moved to rural.

Generally better rainfall land is found in a belt no more than 40 kilometers sometimes up to 50 kilometers from the coast, so in South/East Qld the dividing line can be determined by the M1 highway. Then east of it is the best place to start looking, only going marginally west of it if you realy know what you are looking for. To pick the better rainfall land you need to be able to identify between eucalypt or scrub type country, usually the drier area belts, and wet scarrion, riparian rainforest land usually in the better rainfall belts. Yes there are areas further west and beyond the range that get good average rainfall but almos assuredly the only land that will be for sale when you want to buy will be a farmers reject. Remember in less than good rainfall years that rain comes in belts of rain, not general falls across teh whole district, so you might see and smell rain a 10 minute drive away and you may never get that rain.

In hard times when farmers start carving up and selling off their land, they are doing so to get rid of low production land, they are never likely to be selling their prime land, well probably not at a price most can afford anyway.

Scrub country is generally always poor soils, of the shaley types ones that won't retain water/moisture, where dams can't be built because they won't hold the water once the rain stops, this is the land that if you go to a bore will yield at worst and often salt water at best and seldom brackish usable (for watering stock purposes)water. On the other hand the wet scarrion/rainforest type soils will respond to good management and grow good pastures, they will retain rain moisture in the structure, and if you go to a bore they will supply nearly always fresh drinking quality water, and be suitable for good water holding dams. It can be that a property on one side of a road can be the ideal and the other on the other side can be the least desirable.

There is much evidence that is on the increase of the outcomes of buying "with the heart", people seem to be falling in love with some aspect or other that has nothing at all to do with impacts from the local environment about the properties they are buying. There is an ever increasing amount of chat online from people who have bought badly and now seek answers, by that i mean they have bought in the middle of farming ventures ie.,. fruit orchids, corn fields, you name it, and in very short time they realise (too late of course) that there are some nasty impacts from living in agricultural areas. That is the overbearing impact of residual overspray from these agricultural operations, they are suffering contamination of rainwater tanks, vegetable gardens(you can't grow an organic garden with spray contamination from a nearby farm), and their general living atmosphere in their homes. When buying open your eyes! That top deal might have some very bad aspects, it doesn't take a high IQ to figure farmers all use sprays, so if you don't want to live with that aspect don't buy there, and don't count on being able to change the farmers habits he has right of way.

Remember if you buy a problem it may take a long time before you find someone like yourself to buy that problem off of you.

SUGGESTED CRITERIA ITEMS

foremost research the zoning, building codes and governing rules that abide over the land you want to buy, and don't forget the endangered species rules as well.

1.. Distance from your roots - start with a minimum distance then have an absolute maximum point.

2.. The Why and Wherefore - this will help you decide where you can look to buy and the size of land to suit your needs.

3.. Price per acre that you have budgeted for - but keep in mind look for land to suit your needs if it comes down to buying just because it is cheap enough - our advice is DON"T.

4.. Learn what to look for in good land - that took us 18 months of driving around nearly the whole of South/East Qld and asking a lot of questions of farmer types and listening to what was said and observing.

5.. Your prefference for either buying vacant land, or land with a suitable home or room to build another more suitable home - If you buy lots of infrastructure then you can be buying someone elses bad planning?

6.. When you know what to look for buy land that has at least 2 sources of "good water" on site, with the potential to further develop more.

7.. If you want to supplement a good portion of your food ie.,. vegetables, fruits, nuts and livestock (beef, pork, chicken etc.,.), then think larger acreage other than smaller acreage. Your necessary infrastructure including dams, gardens, orchids and building can easily account for 10 acres. So you will see if you want to graze some stock and have a good spread of habitat then something in the order of 50 acres ++ is going to be needed to achieve your aims.

8.. Tree safety, those pretty statuescue looking forest trees need their own space, the general rule of thumb is the maximum growing height of tree + 50%, that is an absolute minimum of 60 meters from those trees and your overhead utilities and buildings, for us make that 100 meters. You have a duty of care whether in suburbia or in rural - that duty of care is that you are responsible for any damage any trees on your property may cause to any other person or their property. For the main, property owners are working toward app' a 40 meter clear zone around the boundries where those boundries meet with public space ie.,. road reserves, and adjoining properties where a tree could cause damage to a neighbour or their buildings or stock.

9.. Buy where the school bus passes your gate or very nearby.

10.. Try to locate withing 10 kilometers of a local store, fuel station & rural fire service.

11.. Aim to be no more than 30 minutes good surface (prefferably sealed) drive from you supply centre, medical & emergency facilities.

12.. Consider the distance you may have to drive on dirt roads or single ribbon bitumen strip roads to get to the major highway, we would suggest around the 6 kilometer mark.

13.. Be prepared to forget the DREAM and stay put or do something else.

14.. Always look to purchase properties where the boundry fences are intact, it may not matter that the fence boundry needs some maintenance, so long as it is there and in place. No fence in place may make it difficult to get a full appreciation of the property boundries, and if you buy you could need the services of a surveyor to determine the boundries.

15.. General security & impacts - we had 300 meter + distance from our structures and the roads involved, we were also 300 + meters away from all our neighbours. this meant it was a lot less attractive for anyone to venture in and maybe help themselves to possessions, it also meant the impact of road noise and associated dust was minimised, it also meant that we did not impact on the neighbours nor they on us.

THE BUDGET

Ok you have to allocate a percentage of finance to buy the Property and to build or add necessary improvements. But outside of that there are many other factors to put into the formula, we'll try and cover some of the more prevelant ones.

A.. Shed(s), fences, water tanks, a tractor/slasher, a general purpose vehicle ie.,. small truck.

B.. Water pump(s), fire cart, pool (comfort & emergency water), on site vehicles ie.,. quad-bike(s), or old un-registered vehicle, trailer, guest accommodation eg.,. old caravan (23 foot) or cabin.

There are of course many other things that individual needs may need to factor, after all to some degree handyman skills are going to be needed, unless you have won LOTTO of course and you can afford to pay others to do the job for you.

A Property Buyers - Must Read
RealEstate BLOG
The Real Estate Information Centre

If you are about to venture out to buy any real property my suggestion is to read the above BLOG/Information Centre and learn some of the pit falls of dealing with the Real Estate Industry

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