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Practical guide to buy a farm property

Idea of owning a farm is very romantic. But you should reconsider your decision to buy a farm property if you believe that any of the following holds true for you.

  1. You won’t be able to give necessary attention to it. It needs commitment like any other serious relationship.
  2. Your family is not too excited about spending time at the farm. You want your farm to be a platform to bring you all closer, and not farther apart.
  3. You need to borrow to buy.
  4. You have money but no inclination to being closer to nature / getting your hands dirty.  Considering Mother Earth as one of the investment tools can be the worst disrespect.

Read on if you have crossed above hurdles.

Buying a farm property can be an overwhelming task, especially, if you are the first timer. Last thing that anyone wants is to have one’s hard-earned money getting stuck into some disputed property.

But following some basic steps can make your farm property buying experience smoother.

The information presented here is based on my personal experiences & observations. Some of them are contextual – pick what is relevant to you.

What are your objectives?

Note down your objective(s) behind buying a farm property. Consider inputs from stakeholders – your family members.

This will help you decide property size & have clarity about how you want to grow your property into a place of abundance.

For example, you may not need more than few gunthas (Ares) if it is not going to be visited too often.

Starting small is always a better choice. It makes you more agile and confident.

What is your budget?

Never borrow. Turning your property into a place of abundance takes time & money. No short cuts.

As a general rule of thumb, consider half the amount of your budget to turn property into a  place of abundance. Remaining half to buy the property.

Begin your hunt…

Finding a trustworthy property dealer is not easy.

Leverage available channels (friends, family, internet, etc) to get leads. We found our lead from property listings on internet before visiting many locations around the city over weekends. I believe, we were just lucky…

During your property visit, try to spend some time alone there. Feel. Listen. Touch. Ask yourself if this is the land that you wish to partner with, to meet your objectives. What does your gut tell you?

Understand that you don’t select land, land selects you.

Are the stars aligned?

Let’s say, you have found a property that seems to meet your objectives & fits your pocket.

That’s halfway through…

I’m sure that you will hire the best property lawyer to get due diligence done on property papers.

In parallel, you should start your on-ground due diligence to stay away from few traps.

On-ground due diligence

  1. Visit the property along with the seller, the intermediateries / dealer can also join – ask them to carry an official land demarcation document / map of the property. During the visit, you want to achieve following objectives
    • Physical marking of the property on the ground as per the official document / map – use cement or bamboo poles. You can hire a private surveyor if you don’t mind spending few bucks – it’s worth it.
    • Meet your immediate neighbors & convey your interest in the property – listen what they have to say, observe what the seller / dealer has to say. Anything fishy, and you will catch it.
    • Take contact details of the locals you meet. You will need it later on.
  2. Visit the property alone this time. During the visit, you want to achieve following objectives
    • Observe if the physical markings are intact. Any intentionally done damage tells a story to notice – someone doesn’t agree with property demarcation, may be.
    • Meet the locals again and try to find out following information
      • HFL (High Flood Level) mark if the property is closer to a waterbody – this will tell you if any part of your property may get flooded during HFL events.
      • Water table levels in surrounding waterbodies like ponds, dug wells, bore wells, etc – this is important to know what to expect in terms of water at the property
      • Through Access – Traditionally, land was considered commons like water, air, culture, language, knowledge. But that has changed, recently. Check if locals have been using the property as through access. Some may not like the idea of others using their property as through access. But a problem can be an opportunity – consider that as an opportunity to meet the locals & build trustful relations with the community.
      • Past usage of the property – if you care about healthy organic food, it is important to start with minimal chemical residues in your soil.
      • Any litigation on the property
  3. If you have patience, visit the property during different seasons.

Not so common insights

  1. Road touch property has it’s advantages and disadvantages. Noise pollution, dust pollution, unwanted attention unless you like it – don’t let your seller make you pay premium for road touch property.
  2. Mountain top properties may offer you beautiful views but water may be a challenge there. Also, taking anything uphill means a lot of energy inputs.

Legal & transactional considerations

  1. Review the agreement multiple times.
  2. Invite immediate neigbhours as witnesses for registration of sales deed.
  3. Pay digitally or by cheque – that way you have records for any possible future disputes.

Very few have an opportunity to own a land. If you happen to be one of those, you have a responsibility to take care of the Mother Earth. Fulfill it. Make it count. Be grateful. Respect existing life at the property – be a good guest.

Mother Earth will return you in abundance.

All the best!

3 responses to “Practical guide to buy a farm property”

  1. Seemantinee Khot Avatar
    Seemantinee Khot

    Very well written ! All aspects are well covered. Good guide to a whole lot of urban youth turning to green fields rather romantically! This article will make them.think deep and then decide. You are a model for them!

    1. Maulik Dave Avatar

      Thank you, Tai.

      You’ve been instrumental in supporting the transition.

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