Do you want to find a new home in the Hill Country? You're not alone. Many people want to head into this quieter region for larger homes and lots of land. Buying a home here is not exactly the same as buying an urban home, though; it pays to look for certain features that might not be as much of a concern -- or that might be assumed to exist -- in urban settings.

Good Drainage and Grading

All homes have to have good drainage and proper grading. If they don't, rainwater and even sprinkler runoff can flow toward your home instead of away from it. In the Hill Country, though, it's a little more urgent. The Hill Country got its name because of its hills, and that means that flooding is a more prominent issue for homeowners near the bottom of a hill. When you have the house inspected, have the inspector (or hire a landscaper or surveyor who can do this) check the grading and the drainage system in the yard. You want excess water to have an easy path away from the house.

If you're buying just land and plan to put up a custom home, still, get someone to check the grading. If you're buying land that hasn't been touched, you'll have to ensure you get the yard taken care of quickly.

Community Amenities

Obviously you want great amenities no matter where you buy, but in a more rural area like the Hill Country, it could be a long drive to the next major city with your favorite markets. How close are you to the highway to get to work, and how close are you to a post office, market, and more? Take that into account when you look at homes. Some people don't mind driving a ways to get to a city while others want at least basic amenities within a short distance.

Plots vs. Prebuilt Neighborhoods

Finally, there are a lot of subdivisions opening up in the Hill Country, but there's also open land. Which do you want? With open land, you can put up a custom home and likely not have an HOA to deal with, but in a subdivision, you get city sewer and water services -- and sometimes HOAs are good and do a great job of preserving the quality of life of the residents.

Talk to your real estate agent. When you work with an agent who knows the Hill Country, you'll get a better sense of what else to look for and what really matters.