Industry News

Urbanites nab more country real estate

Part 1: Real estate boom eats up farmland

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In this three-part series, Inman News examines America's shrinking farm real estate. Urbanites tired of crammed city living, along with population growth and sprawling development, are a few trends affecting farmland. Some farmers are finding themselves on the edge of developed areas, whereas they used to be located in much more remote regions. See Part 2: Farmers take a stand to preserve land and Part 3: Rural land shrinking at rapid rates.) Lower costs of living, lush countrysides, friendly faces and less traffic are some of the magnets pulling urban dwellers all over the United States to relocate to the country, if two families, one in California and one in Alabama, are any indication. "We couldn't save enough money to cover our mortgage payments after we retired," said Helen Learn. With her husband Jim, she moved in 2000 from Walnut Creek, Calif., an upscale city in the San Francisco Bay Area, to Weimar, Calif., population about 1,000. "Any time we tried to go outside of Waln...