If you are looking for a home with acreage, you may soon realize that your options are limited. Browse the MLS listings in most areas, and you may soon realize that most properties have far less land than you desire. Don't let that dissuade you! There are homes with acreage for sale out there — you just have to think outside the box a little to find them. Here are some ways to find more homes with acreage for sale.

Check with local auction companies

Many homes with land are either active farms or old farms. And farmers have a tendency to sell things at auction — including homes. Reach out to any auction companies that are active in your area, and ask if they ever auction off homes or land. They may alert you to any upcoming auctions and put you on an email list so that as new homes go up for auction, you find out about them well in advance. Buying a home at auction can be a little nerve-wracking, but it is a good way to score a great deal on a home with acreage.

Talk to local farmers

Another way to find homes with acreage is to simply talk to local farmers directly. Visit your local farmers market, and strike up some conversations. If you let everyone know you are looking, someone might contact you when they, their friend, or their neighbor decide they want to sell their home with land. In some rural communities, landowners try to sell to friends and acquaintances before formally listing their homes. Many homes are bought before the owner has to even think about listing them — and by making contact with farmers and landowners, you can become one of those pre-listing buyers.

Consider leasing to own

Have you looked for homes with acreage that are available for rent? Sometimes the owners of larger properties are not ready to sell outright, but they will lease to own to the right person. This is a common approach when the property owner dies. The person who inherits the property may not be ready to sell because they have a lot of legal paperwork to handle related to the estate and the death — but renting allows them to make some income while they sort all of that out. If you're willing to pay rent for a few years before buying, this can be a good way to find a home with acreage.

If you have struggled to find homes with acreage on the MLS, then it is time to venture outside the MLS and use the strategies above. There are large properties for sale; you just have to put some effort into finding them.