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I once put a contract on 22-acres of the most beautiful pasture you’ve ever seen. Rolling hills, $2,800/acre,  500ft of creek frontage a mere 100yds from the main channel of the Coosa River. The price should have been my first indication that something wasn’t quite right. This experience was early in our education buying rural property, and it would prove an invaluable lesson that every potential land buyer should avoid at all costs.

Up to that point it hadn’t occurred to me that the property might be in a floodplain. A friend who lives on Logan Martin happened to mention in passing one day that his lake house was in a floodplain, and suddenly it clicked: in all of our due diligence, that’s one factor we hadn’t even considered. I immediately started reading on the subject and my heart skipped a beat… actually, I think for a few minutes it may have stopped all together. Our property was well within the 100-year floodplain, and it was never going to perc without an incredibly expensive engineered septic system.

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This entry is part 4 of 6 in the series Buying Land in Alabama

In the last installment of Buying Rural Property in Alabama, I talked about a number of factors to consider when determining if a property is even worth visiting. In this article I want to cover my five favorite free online tools you can use when evaluating those factors.

Tools to Help You in Your Quest

These are the online tools that I have found to be absolutely essential to evaluating property both prior to a visit and during the due diligence phase. It is amazing to me how much information can be amassed in a few minutes with these tools. I often found myself teaching the listing brokers about their property during my initial inquiries as a result of these tools. Continue Reading…