question to ask when buying a rural home???

We are considering buying a home in the unincorporated county. We have no experience with these issues and wonder if someone can advise us as to what we should be checking.
I'm pretty sure the well and septic system must be tested by county health dept. prior to sale. How big a septic system? Just the wife and I as we are now empty nesters. How much should the well produce? How do we determine the water hardness? How big a water tank should there be? (I'm assuming big enough but not to big to be cost effective)
Please and thank you.
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FireBrick wrote:

(I'll leave the well and septic to others more qualified.)
Do some GOOGLE searches related to buying rural property. Go to library; there are excellent books on the subject. IOW, do the research.
Some things I can think of: Probably no zoning laws. That can be a plus or minus, depending on your mind set. Tax structure. Maintenance of public properties, like roads. Who does it and how well. Who will the neighbors be? In the large sense. Industries? Vast chicken farms or horse/cattle operations? What is the likely growth potential for the area? Could somebody come in and gobble up all the ground water (as one example)?
What's the odds of flooding (or tornado)? Just some random ideas.
Jim
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Note: Also ask your questions on misc.rural (Good well, septic, and rural living advice on that group...)
Contact the county health department about where to get the water tested. You may be able to get a sample container and take the sample to the testing facility yourself to save money. If they come out and take the sample, it will cost more. I would do this yourself so you are sure the water sample came from the house you are purchasing.
Find out how many people are currently living in the house. If you will have the same number or less, then the well/tank should be adequate for your needs.
If the house is in a cold area, ask if there is anything the current owners do for the well/pipes when the temperature gets below freezing. They may let the water run or plug in a heat strip. Ask where the well is located and ask about what type of pump, pressure tank, etc. they have. May want to take notes. Ask where the circuit breaker for the pump is and ask if the pump is on a separate electric meter. (Some pumps are wired so that they will still have electricity when the electric power to the house is shut off [for fire fighting])
A septic tank should be "pumped out" about every 5 years. Find out when it was last pumped out.
Important: Find out WHERE the septic tank is located and mark it or measure the distance from the house/landmarks and write it down. You will need to know where it is when it is time to get it pumped out.
More: What should I know when purchasing a home with a well? http://wellwater.orst.edu/realestatearticle.htm
More: Septic system do's and don'ts http://www.mchd.com/septic.htm
"FireBrick" wrote in message

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Let me add one more bit of advice on rural living: are your lawn care tools up to the job? How about snow removal? Long driveway? Is it high maintainence? What shape are trees in? Pruning/removal is pricey. Underground electrical service? If not it may be beneficial to change over. Need emergency power? Priced generators lately? Have you asked about local handymen? Vital for country living when things go wrong. HTH
Joe
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"When was the last time you checked this house for snakes?"
Seriously, the mother of a friend of mine, moving into an ownerless rural US house, found a 3-foot rattler in the bread bin. zemedelec
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On Fri, 9 Apr 2004 11:17:53 -0500, "FireBrick"

Drink a 16 oz glass of the water. Wait exactly 10 minutes. Take a piss. Now grab a tape measure and measure the lenght of your dick. That figure is how hard your water is. The harder your dick, the harder your water. If you got soft water, you will also have a soft dick.
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I'd recommend a really good home inspection, including walking the property looking for junk piles or dumps where the previous owners have thrown what wouldnt burn in their burn barrel. The EPA is really cracking down on this and if you buy it and have to clean it up that could get expensive. Also talk to your potential neighbors, the couple who bought my father's farm, spent 150K+ turning it into a really really beautiful house then landscaped the yard and restored the barn, invested alot of money. Then the neighbor across the street put in 2 industrial hog barns, they both hold several hundred hogs each. Now unless the wind is blowing really hard you cant stand to have any windows open or be outside of the house the smell is so bad. Where your well is located is also important. Is it downhill from a large field with lots of run off? If so you are going to get alot of chemicals the farmer is spraying on that field. How good are the roads in the area, alot of outlying counties dont have funds to fix the roads when they start to go bad, and pretty much wait till they are shot before they spend the money to fix them. Also the farther out you are the farther down the list you are to have snow removed, can your vehicle make it through the snow to get you where you need to go? What age bracket are you in? If you are older or just accident prone, you really need to think about Emergency response times. Where I grew up it was about 6 miles to the nearest firestation but when we called it took 45 minutes for them to respond. They were volunteer and had to get up, get ready, drink coffee, drive to the station, drink coffee, warm up the trucks, drink coffee, make a bathroom break from too much coffee and then drive out. I love living in a rural setting, cant stand having another house right on top of mine but its a trade off, and its not for everyone.
Tom

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wrote:

Ya know why they drink so much coffee? So they can piss on the fire !!!!
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The septic system is designed for the number of fixture (sinks, toilets, tubs, showers, washer drains, etc) and not how many people live there.
Find out how many gallons of water per hours the well produces. If the rate is very low you may need a cystern or a tank. These are things a qualified well expert can answer. You should hire someone to test your well anyway.
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