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Norm Geddis
Norm is a contributing writer at Online Land Sales, LLC.


By now, most people who own property anywhere in the United States feel to some extent that the local government parents them on the use of their property. Restrictions abound! You can do with it what you want if mom and dad say ok. Even in small towns, it is a matter of public debate to put a fence around your property or build a shed.

Cities are worse. You pretty much get to leave a property as-is. Try adding an extension or a second floor in suburban developments. The HOA will grant permission posthumously after they have driven you to an early grave.


Are you thinking of putting a fence up around your property? Many new owners, for whom privacy is a significant motivator, look to construct a boundary fence. For most properties, the covenants permit barriers, though some height restrictions may apply. The boundaries of a property can be determined in several ways.

Most land dealers will provide their prospects with subdivision maps and surveys. Our listings at OnlineLandSales.com offer subdivision maps that outline every property in a subdivision. The listings also contain surveys. See towards the bottom of the listing. The survey contains the exact map coordinate lines of the property.

The physical property itself will have survey stakes that follow the survey map. The stakes may not be easy to find. Surveys oftentimes have been done years ago. The brush will grow over the stakes, obscuring them under the scrub, so you may want to bring a GPS along with you. With a GPS device or app, and the survey, you'll be able to find the stakes and know the exact boundaries of your property.


Why move to the rural countryside if you're going to find the same kind of limitations as in covenants for a condo complex in suburbia? We understand you don't want to get permission to hang a flag or build a chicken coup.

The restrictions on rural properties are extremely low. Most prohibitions have to do with keeping the rural but neighborly character of the area intact. For example, prohibitions typically exist for pitching a tent for an extended period (usually more than 21 days). However, provisions make it acceptable to use a trailer, portable cabin, or other portable building as a residence. This type of dwelling will often be present when the property owner is constructing a more permanent home.

Hunting and the keeping of livestock are some of the biggest attractions to owning ten or so acres. Few restrictions exist on these practices. Hunting is allowed if you have the proper permits and hunt in-season.

Prohibitions may keep you from using your property for the commercial raising of livestock, but if you fence your property, you can raise cattle, pigs, and horses for personal use.

The responsibility is yours for the cleanup of any problems or accidents that affect the local roads or streams. You will need to be mindful of seepage from livestock waste into any streams that may bisect your property. The same holds for bringing in any heavy equipment using the access roads. It's a 'you break it, you bought it' kind of situation.

Subdividing Seller Financed Land

Most lots from OnlineLandSales.com have been subdivided recently. Subdividing the lots further is a case by case issue, with the larger lots having more opportunity for further subdividing than the smaller lots.


Energy and utility options abound in today's world. When you're purchasing a property in remote areas, far from small towns, much less than cities, you'll need to think about providing heat, water, and electricity.

This issue can be complicated and will be influenced by the proximity of utility lines to your property. Perhaps you plan to use solar for power and dig a well, which is almost always permissible. In that case, the utility company proximity isn't an issue. But if you expect to access utilities, you will want to look for a property with access to power lines and other services. The Internet is often a challenge in rural areas. The nearest cabling can be hundreds of yards, if not miles, away.

You can arrange to run power lines from the nearest source. If you are the first to do so in your subdivision, new neighbors will want to access your lines.

If your neighbor has already run the lines, you may be able to access them from the neighboring property. You'll have to work that out with your neighbor like you will with many other rural living issues. People who live nearby tend to rely on each other in these types of communities.

Just keep in mind that it's all about kindness to your neighbors. Most people in rural areas are of the same mindset. They want the freedom to use their land as they see fit. If you’re mindful to keep sound, waste, and appearance from degrading your property, you probably won't be breaking any rules, and you'll maintain cordial relationships with your neighbors. It's all about looking out for each other in these areas. When everyone is mindful of this, everyone in the neighborhood enjoys the good life they envisioned for themselves and their families.