Hitching Post: 5 Tips for Buying a Rural Property to Turn into a Wedding Venue

If you're looking for a way to create a stream of income with your own rural property, turning it into a wedding venue can be just what the doctor ordered. But, you need to purchase the right home with the right features in order to make it work well. Here are 5 tips for finding just the right piece of real estate. 

Choose a Main Building. If you're buying a property with existing buildings, you may be able to save time and money by converting one or more of them into the wedding venue alongside your own personal home. However, this can also result in a ballooning renovation budget. So, look at the potential venue buildings with an eye to how much it will cost to bring them up to code, to provide electrical and plumbing access, and to add in some basic wedding needs like a prep area or small kitchen.

Learn About Permits. Permit and zoning requirements vary from place to place, so do some research on your chosen city and/or county before buying. Learn the history of any home you're thinking of buying, including any liens, past renovations and additions, historic determinations, and permits on file. This will help guide you in deciding how much of a remodel project you're taking on and what you can change about the property.

Have Space Options. To host weddings, you'll need more than just one main venue space. You'll also need lots of easily accessible parking, additional spaces for the wedding party to use, and possibly other small venues for different scales of ceremony. Even if you don't plan to have some of these added amenities right now, be sure to buy a property that provides room to grow.

Hire Professionals. When buying real estate for specific needs like this, it's vital to work with professionals in various fields. Start with a professional real estate agent who has experience in the local area and in business properties. You'll probably also want to discuss with a professional remodeling contractor, architect, or civil engineer any concerns about existing buildings and unusual land features.

Talk to Neighbors. You don't want to create unnecessary problems with your neighbors before you even begin, so meet with them even before you buy. Talk about what you plan to do with the land and buildings, how it may impact them, and what benefits you will be bringing to the table. Invite them to early functions so they stay informed. Show them how you plan to deal with potential issues like noise levels, added traffic, and changes in the historic appearance of the area.

When looking at your future rural wedding venue with your real estate agent, keeping these things in mind as you go will help you find the right home for sale.