The benefits and drawbacks of owning a small home with lots of land vary based on whether your property is in city limits or in a rural area. When you live in a community jurisdiction, there are usually more rules and regulations you must follow. However, some common advantages of this type of property ownership exist wherever it is located.
You cannot control what happens outside your property lines, but one advantage of a lot of land is the ability to plant lots of trees and create a scenic surrounding. With effective tree planting and creative landscape and design, you can often insulate your home from roadways and other properties. This can make your home a comfortable and relaxing place to live or to get away on weekends if it is a second home. You also have plenty of space to plant gardens and grow your own vegetables.
One of the main reasons people buy a small home with land is to live privately, according to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension at Lancaster County's "A Place in the Country: The Acreage Owner's Guide." They prefer to avoid the closeness that comes with living house-to-house in a downtown area or subdivision. Having a small home surrounded by lots of land helps you hide away from the world around you. Fenced in property or single driveways with gates or other barriers can add to the privacy. Where your house is positioned on your property is important. A house on the corner of your land may put you closer to the property next door.
Some savvy property owners actually use their extra land to earn income. A pumpkin patch, apple orchard, wildlife habitat or other recreational businesses are possibilities. If your land includes several acres of open prairie, you could sell bails of hay to farmers that use them to feed livestock. Growing corn, soybeans, strawberries or other foods and selling them at a market or a street corner stand is another option. You could also raise chickens for fresh eggs to use or sell.
When you buy land with a small home you leave yourself plenty of room to expand your home to your liking. You can add extensions to increase the livable space, build a greenhouse to grow plants and vegetables, build a spa, add a pool or put on a new deck. A large attached or detached garage or workshop is another idea.
Owning more land than home sometimes carries property tax advantages. Undeveloped land, especially when separated from your residential plot, does not incur much in the way of taxes, so you typically pay less with a smaller home and lots of land than with a big home on a smaller plot. Smaller home improvements and repairs usually cost less too, according to Heather Levin in her MSN Real Estate article "5 reasons you should buy a small house." You have less exterior to patch up or paint and fewer shingles to replace. Your utility bills are less to heat smaller rooms as well.
- Living the Country Life: Buying an Acreage: Covenants and zoning
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln: A Place in the Country: The Acreage Owner's Guide: Making a Plan:
- MSN Money: 5 Reasons You Should Buy a Small House
- The Wall Street Journal Online: Is a Bigger Lot Better When Buying a Home?
- Stearns County Minnesota: Property & Roads
Neil Kokemuller has been an active business, finance and education writer and content media website developer since 2007. He has been a college marketing professor since 2004. Kokemuller has additional professional experience in marketing, retail and small business. He holds a Master of Business Administration from Iowa State University.