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You’re there. You’ve made the decision to invest in a rural property and are in the process of finding out everything possible. A combination of excitement and anxiety are natural. There’s financial planning and logistics, research and to-do lists, plus your personal motivations all bundled in. To help you on your journey, below are the main rural property types. Check which one is best suited to your needs.
Lifestyle / hobby farm
The growing appeal of lifestyle properties, especially to city residents, is having the ‘farming experience’ without dedicating as much time and resources to its operations. Lifestyle farms are generally between 5-10 acres and are established without the expectation of it providing the main source of income for the occupants. Many have small-scale agricultural operations, such as fruit and vegetable crops, as well as animals like cows, pigs, chickens and horses.
Weekender / retreat property
A weekender or retreat property, often called an “acreage”, is a place of relaxation and escape from your day-to-day life. Many investors use these regional properties to enjoy leisure pursuits in surrounding areas, such as fishing, hiking, riding or visiting wineries. Similar to a lifestyle property, they often include elements of farm life, like a veggie patch or a small number of livestock. If visits are irregular, organising upkeep and feeding may be necessary.
A working farm is a well-established commercial operation purchased with the intention of it providing the main source of income. This might include large areas (100+ acres) for cropping and grazing, where plants and livestock are used in the production of grains, dairy, wool and meat products. Infrastructure such as silos, sheds, dams, water pumps and feeding stations are usually included in the sale price, whereas heavy machinery and equipment may not.
Although this takes a large amount of planning and commitment, many investors with backgrounds in sustainability and farming practices are drawn to self-sufficient properties.
A truly self-sufficient property will generate its own energy for electricity, hot water, heating / cooling and cooking. Food production also takes place on the land, with involvement in local farmers’ markets and co-ops providing any shortfalls in day-to-day needs.