How to Buy Farmland, Even If You Think You Can’t

Dream of starting a farm? Here’s a guide to what questions to ask and where to find reliable answers, plus resources to help you obtain a farm loan.

| October/November 2012

  • How to Buy Farmland
    Sometimes, it only takes an afternoon drive down a country lane to find the farmland of your dreams.
    Illustration By Elayne Sears
  • Buying Farmland
    Your potential neighbors can give you firsthand information about the area where you’re interested in buying land. 
    Illustration By Elayne Sears
  • Map Out Your Land and Your Market
    Star the locations of your off-farm job and the market where you plan to sell your farm’s products. Draw a circle around each star as wide as you’re able to commute, and look for land where the circles overlap. 
    Illustration By Elayne Sears

  • How to Buy Farmland
  • Buying Farmland
  • Map Out Your Land and Your Market

For those of us who were born to farm but, alas, not born on a farm, the ache to have your own land can be so intense you feel it in your belly. I thought it could never happen for me.

But now, after 20 years of farming and 15 years of interviewing farmers, I’m pretty sure that almost anyone can find and buy farmland by doing four things:

1. Be clear and realistic about the budget you’ll need to support yourself and your farm, and about how you’ll get the income you need.

2. Do your homework on the neighborhood and the land you’re looking at to make sure it suits you and the type of farming you want to do.



3. Think outside the box: Be open to different options and timetables for buying land.

4. If you apply for a loan, find out what mortgage lenders require from borrowers and get those requirements in order.






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