When you are buying a small homestead
Are you ready to begin homesteading? You’re joining a growing number of Americans who are returning to our roots and living off what the land provides.
So how do you get started? It’s kind of obvious but you need land.
The good news is you don’t need thousands, or even hundreds of acres, to have a fully functional homestead. Indeed, you can homestead on less than ten acres. But it’s not something you should take lightly or do quickly.
As you begin, there are several factors to consider when you are looking for your perfect homestead.
What size property do you need?
The first question you need to ask yourself is what size of property you need for your homestead. And the key word is ‘need,’ and not necessarily ‘want.’ My focus is on smaller homesteads, those less than 10 acres, but there is still a significant difference between an acre or two and 10.
On a small property, it will be tough to have room for cattle to graze, particularly if you are using the property for anything else. You would likely have room for a family milk cow, but not a lot more.
So just spend time considering what your homestead will look like. And what you want it to look like in the future. Have those plans drawn out so you don’t overbuy or underbuy.
How far out do you want to be?
You also need to consider location. Homesteading on a decent sized piece of property is generally not something you do in a subdivision. That means you will likely be moving out of town. The question is, how far out can you be, or do you want to be?
Do you want neighbors? For some, they want to be as far away as they can be. That usually works well because prices would tend to be less the more rural you get (in most places). But think of life’s basic necessities. Are you okay with having to drive 30 or 40 miles to a drug store? Maybe 15 or 20 miles is more your liking. Just make sure you are happy with the location before you sign the dotted line.
Do you want to live off the grid?
For some, the beauty of homesteading is the ability to be totally self-sufficient. You can do that.
Others don’t want to take it quite to that extreme and want electricity, water, relatively accessible roads. Keep this in mind when you spot that dream piece of land.
How much do you want to spend?
As with any real estate transaction, you need to have a budget. You don’t want to make go broke homesteading, but it’s more than just the final price tag of the property to pay attention to.
How much work needs to be done? Not just to the house, but to the property. Does it have outbuildings, or will you need to build them, or at least put money in repairing them? Does the land need to be cleared out? It stands to reason you will need to put some money into making the property right for your needs.
What kind of land do you need?
When you think about the plans for your homestead, consider what you need the land to provide. If you are relying on a wood stove to heat the house, do you have sufficient trees for your needs? If you will have cattle, does it have open land for grazing?
These are just a couple examples of questions you need to ask. In most instances, you can work the land to make it right for you, but that might not be preferable.
How much work do you want to do in preparing the land?
As a follow up to the previous question, think about the work you want to put in. One response might be that you just want to purchase a small farm or homestead that is being used in a fashion similar to what you envision.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can start completely new. You can buy property that you need to clear, build a house and any outbuildings and bring in water and electricity. This will allow you to have a homestead drawn to your exact specifications but will be time-consuming and costly.
Is the property appropriately zoned?
Make sure you can have chickens, cattle or other livestock on your property. In some instances, you need to make sure you can have outbuildings. The further out you go, the less of an issue this will be. But do make sure you check this off your list.
What about Internet access?
If you are running either a full-time or side business from your homestead, or maybe just a blog, you want to have reasonably fast Internet speeds. Unless you want to spend all of your free time on your computer.
Does it make sense for your needs?
By purchasing a homestead, you are committing to a new lifestyle. It can be a great experience and something you can pass on to your children.
But, you want it to work for you. If you want to be close to school, be close to a school. If you want to be close to town, be close to town. If you have no need for a hundred acres, don’t buy a hundred acres.
This property needs to meet your needs. The previous questions served more as a checklist or bullet points to ponder as you find a property. This is a little deeper. This is about finding a property that is right for you and your family.
You don’t want to make a purchase and regret it. By thinking about these questions, you will be off to a great start in your new life on the homestead.
If you want even more in-depth prepping and homesteading information then please check out my best selling 176-page book “How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It – Gear, Skills, and Related Know-How. It’s available in paperback and well as Amazon Kindle.