10 things to consider when thinking of buying a rural or lifestyle property
June 2023

10 things to consider when thinking of buying a rural or lifestyle property

For many, their dream life is living on a block of land. And whether you’re looking to buy a farm or lifestyle property, the prospect of finding the right place to set up ‘home’ is an exciting one.     

But while the property buying journey is often an idealistic one (why not dream big?), all of the practical aspects must be considered too. So when looking for a rural or lifestyle property to buy, there are several important factors to consider. And here are some key aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Location: Consider the proximity to essential amenities such as schools, hospitals, supermarkets, and recreational facilities. You should also look at each property’s accessibility to major roads, transportation networks, and the nearest town or city. This can help you begin to build a picture of whether the location suits your lifestyle preferences and daily needs (will the kids need to travel far to school each day, will someone be commuting for work etc).

  2. Size of the property: Evaluate the size of the property in relation to your requirements and intended use. Think about factors such as the amount of land available, the layout of the property, and the presence of any natural resources like water sources, native bush, or agriculture. This will help you understand if the property offers the space and features you have on your list of ‘wants’ or ‘nice-to-have’.

  3. Zoning rules and activities: Familiarise yourself with the zoning regulations and any specific land covenants that may apply to the property. These can often dictate the types of activities allowed, as well as identify potential development options, and provide guidance on limitations of building structures. It’s important to check that the property can be adapted to meet any intended uses and future plans you have.  

  4. Infrastructure and utilities: If you’re looking at buying a rural or lifestyle property, you’ll want to assess the availability and quality of essential utilities such as electricity, water supply, septic tanks, and internet connectivity. 

    Rural areas may have varying degrees of infrastructure development, so it's important to understand what services are already in place and what additional costs or efforts may be required to establish or improve these utilities. If you’re unsure of how to do this, call in a professional who can help.

    If there is infrastructure already in place, check for resource consents and other relevant council requirements. 

  5. Natural environment: Consider the natural surroundings of the property. This means considering the landscape (including any water bodies, bush, or hills) as well as the overall climate and weather patterns in the region. Will the natural environment align with your plans for the property and also your desired lifestyle? 

  6. Access and road conditions: Check the accessibility of the property, particularly the condition of the roads leading to it. Rural and lifestyle properties may have different types of access, such as gravel or dirt roads, and it's important to consider the ease of transportation, especially during different seasons and weather conditions.

  7. Potential for income or activities: If you plan to generate income from the property or engage in specific activities, assess the potential for such endeavours. Consider factors like agricultural opportunities, the presence of out buildings or barns for livestock, hunting or fishing possibilities, or any other recreational activities that align with your interests.

  8. Financial considerations: Evaluate the overall costs associated with the property. This includes the purchase price, property taxes, insurance, maintenance costs, and any ongoing expenses related to utilities, repairs, or improvements. Determine if the property fits within your budget and financial capabilities.

  9. Community and lifestyle: Check out the local community and the lifestyle it offers. Consider the availability of social amenities, community events, and the overall atmosphere of the area. Determine if the community aligns with your values and preferences for a rural lifestyle.

  10. Future potential and resale value: Lastly, bear in mind the long-term potential and resale value of the property. Evaluate any planned developments or infrastructure projects in the area that may impact the property's value. 

Purchasing a rural property or lifestyle block requires careful consideration and due diligence. Take your time to thoroughly work through each of these details and where needed, use the services of professionals - such as real estate agents, lawyers or other experts - to help you make an informed decision that aligns with what you’re looking for.

Bonus: We’ve created a quick checklist to work through when you’re looking at buying a rural or lifestyle property. Don’t forget to cover off all of these elements each time you view a listing. 

Download ‘Your checklist for buying a rural or lifestyle property in New Zealand’. 



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