Many people, particularly crowded city dwellers, have thought at one point or another that they would like to pack up and move to the country. Maybe it’s to enjoy more room, fewer people, or even a lower cost of living. In fact, since the pandemic began, nearly one in five adults currently living in rural areas are newcomers. If rural living is calling you, and you’d like to trade the sound of sirens for the song of cicadas, read our article about how to build your own home in rural Louisiana and Mississippi.
Find a Plot
Not sure where to start looking for your perfect homesite? We have a couple of great suggestions.
Land.com is a search engine for rural properties with listings throughout northern Louisiana and Mississippi.
Talk to an Expert
Many rural properties sell through word of mouth. As a result, the only way to hear about one of them is to start talking. Rural land experts like the team at your local Southern AgCredit office may be able to help.
Southern AgCredit’s VP of Lending, Stephen Bass, advises that “there are plenty of ways to find properties, but I’ve found that word of mouth is one of the best ways. Many properties are never listed for sale with a realtor. Often I learn about these properties through my network of landowners, forestry consultants, and people in the timber industry.”
Many rural homes in Louisiana and Mississippi are at risk of flooding. If the area you want to build in is below a floodplain, you can still build on the lot, but you must elevate the home. One way to do this is by using dirt to create a higher building area. If you wish to avoid significant lot preparation prior to building, consider purchasing land with a higher elevation.
To find out if your potential property is a flood risk, search the address within the FEMA Flood Map Service Center.
Some rural properties have access to a local water system. For properties that do not have local water access, the property owner may consider digging a well. It is legal in northern Louisiana and Mississippi to drill a well on your property. However, the installation must come from a licensed contractor. Look at data for groundwater sites and springs in the National Water Information System to see the depth of wells near your tract.
Rural properties often use a propane gas delivery service for cooking, hot water, and heating your home. In order to have a propane tank installed, your property must be easily accessible for the large delivery truck.
A licensed propane company must install your system. During installation, they will either build your tank a concrete pad that sits on the ground or dig a hole and bury the tank at the same time as your septic system installation.
Septic & Wastewater
If your lot does not connect to the local sewage system, you must install a septic system to handle your waste. The Louisiana Department of Health and the Mississippi Department of Health require new, on-site wastewater systems to complete an application. Both sites also offer lists of licensed septic system installation professionals for hire.
Hire a Home Builder
Your home builder can help you with the many decisions that go into building a country home.
The recent construction boom has resulted in a high demand for home builders, and ongoing supply chain issues have caused building delays. Be patient, stay vigilant, and plan for your home to take longer to build than you anticipate. When doing research on your home builder, consider the following:
- Properly vet your builder by asking for references, touring some of their homes and speaking to the owners. Learn about any subcontractors they may use.
- Read all the fine print on your contracts carefully.
- Get all communication with your home builder in writing, and document every deposit, check, and sign-off.
- Carefully watch for markups on the construction. Builders add a markup to each expense (materials, labor, permits, etc.). Find out what they are buying and at what price.
- To avoid upcharges, check that your products are the ones you ordered.
Finance Your Rural Home
Southern AgCredit offers financing for rural land homesite purchases and home construction. If you are interested in buying a homesite or building a home on your rural property in Louisiana or Mississippi, we can help. To receive more information from a loan officer, fill out your information below.