Many people who buy property in rocky areas unknowingly also purchase the fossils those rocks contain. But if you are a dedicated hobbyist or interested in the financial potential of fossil-bearing rocks, choosing the right location for your home may be just as important as the basic amenities. Not all rocky outcroppings hold fossils, and not all fossils are valued equally. In order to maximize the potential of your investment, follow these four tips to find a home for sale on fossiliferous land.
Checking State and Federal Laws
In general, fossils procured on private lands may be extracted and sold as the owner sees fit, but some states reserve the right to seize particularly valuable specimens for scientific research. These provisions are typically limited to vertebrate specimens and especially those of land-dwelling creatures, which are much rarer than marine invertebrates. Check the laws in your state regarding the collection of vertebrate fossils for a better understanding of what will be legally feasible on your future property.
Making Sense of Geological Maps
The US Geological Survey is a government entity devoted to understanding the rich geologic resources of the United States, and it has commissioned publicly accessible maps of the geologic features in most counties around the country. These maps are a good place to begin your research, as they will tell you where specific rock formations can be found on the surface, as well as the age of the rocks in question. Comparing these maps to homes for sale in that region can help you narrow down which properties are likely to intersect with a fossil-bearing formation.
Inspecting the Prospects of Likely Properties
Once you have found a listing that seems promising, you should begin the inspection process like you would with any other property. This includes checking that the house itself is appealing to you and an adequate living space for your family, but it also means walking the property to examine its geologic features. If you have experience searching for fossils, you may be able to spot likely sites or even find a few fossils without assistance. Otherwise, it may be beneficial to enlist the help of a professional surveyor or geologist to provide an objective and experienced opinion.
Balancing Geology With Your Needs as a Homeowner
Of course, you will also need to examine any potential property you buy from the perspective of a homeowner, and you should not settle for any real estate that does not meet your basic standards of living. In order to strike the best compromise between comfort, style, and geologic value, you should share your priorities with your real estate agent and work with him or her to identify the perfect property for your needs. With the right agent and a little extra homework, you may be able to enjoy your hobby unrestricted from the comfort of your own backyard, living every fossil collector's dream.
To find a home for sale, contact a real estate agency such as The SRQ Duo.