Building in rural areas is one of the most cost-effective and exciting things anyone can do.  Not only is the land often available for less than $50,000, but you can also build your dream home on your budget and enjoy the beautiful views that rural areas have to offer.  

If you’re heading into a big project like this, you should know some important details.  Follow this advice, and you’ll be ready to take on anything.

Don’t Try To Show Up The Neighbors.

Many people move into rural areas and immediately build a home that looks nothing like the homes in the area.  Although this can be fine if your home is buried out in the woods and will emerge separately as a particular image if you’re close enough to your neighbors that you can see through their windows when looking out of yours: try not to go too off the wall.  Having your taste is important, but there’s an expectation of architecture in areas that matters. 

This problem isn’t just in rural areas; in Miami, there was recently an uproar when homes were suddenly being built in older neighborhoods that ruined the look of the older homes.  This is because, by comparison, your home could lower its property value or cause people not to want to buy at all.  

The general rule is that if it’s not visible from another property, it’s safe.  You can customize your home down to the metal studs, but you need to ensure your neighbors won’t try to sue you for your creativity.

Get Familiar With The Area’s Weather and People

When you’re building, it’s a good idea to get to know the people in the area.  Although you might be moving out to a rural area to avoid socializing as much, relying on your neighbors is a must in rural areas.  

If there’s an emergency and you can’t leave your home, it’s a good idea to have someone who notices you’re missing so that they can get help for you. 

Getting to know the weather in the area will inform how much insulation and weather-blocking items you’ll need.  Whether you’re building a small barndominium or a massive mansion, if you don’t create with the weather in mind, you’ll go broke from the cost of heating or cooling the property.

Consider What Resources You Can Get Out There

Not everything is available in rural areas.  Two percent of homes in the United States still rely on dial-up internet because of the distance from any available coax cable and the lack of ability to connect to data. 

 If the internet, natural gas, or any other resource is vital to your quality of life: ensure that it’s available before you build.  Although you can pay to put in a line, the cost of running coax can cost upward of $20,000 to install and bury, and there’s no guarantee that what you’ll get will be a good speed or connection.  

When you build your property, you can make it with these resources in mind and ensure you don’t have to go offline every time you go home.

Ensure That Your Zoning Is Correct

What many land buyers forget is that a lot of land is only zoned for specific things.  If your dream has always been to own a bed and breakfast in the mountains, it’s a good idea to ensure that commercial properties are allowed, or you may start building and realize you’re just creating a giant home you won’t want to use. 

To look at how every property is zoned, you can contact the municipality’s government or talk to an official in the area.  Even if there are other businesses or homes nearby, it’s a good idea to get clearance before you start to build.

Keep In Mind Emergency Help Is Further Away

The largest issue with rural living is that hospitals, fire departments, and other emergency services will be further away.  When building your property, you can help protect yourself by considering what materials would stand up the best in an emergency. 

Fire-resistant roofing could buy you time until the nearest firetruck can arrive, which would then ensure your property doesn’t collapse on itself if it bursts into flames.  Ensure that there’s access to your property for emergency personnel and that your address number is marked so that they can find you without having to use latitude and longitude.

Everyone Wants a Slice of Country Living

There’s nothing as good as getting out of a busy city and slipping away to somewhere with more space to move around and breathe.  Although this isn’t a fantasy for everyone, for those who want it: it’s everything.  The most important part of building in rural areas is ensuring that dream is there.  

If the property is too cramped or too close to other properties, it’ll pop this bubble, and possible buyers may assume that there’s no difference between this and city-living.  Choose your land carefully, and build with clear intentions.

Andrea Erickson is a contributor to Innovative Building Materials. She is a blogger and content writer for the real estate industry. Andrea is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that increase property value, maximize energy savings, and turn houses into homes.


Andrea Erickson

 Real Estate Editor for
Innovative Building Materials

 A source for the latest innovative products and trends within the architecture, construction, interior design, home improvement, and building materials industry.