Tips for Buying a Homestead
Are you dreaming of buying a homestead? What does the perfect homestead look like to you? Is it secluded in the countryside, with acres of land for farming and raising livestock? Or is it a small, suburban oasis with a garden and chicken coop in the backyard? Whether you’re just starting your search or you’ve already found your dream home, these tips for buying a homestead will help make sure that the purchase goes as smoothly as possible.
Homesteading can be a hugely rewarding experience, but it’s important to do your homework first.
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Sometimes in order to purchase a homestead without breaking the bank, you have to look past what’s right in front of you to find the potential. If you have to visit the property a few time do it!! Bring a seasoned homesteader with you if you are looking for inspiration.
Buy UGLY and put in the work!!
Consider your Future Goals
Define what exactly you’re looking for in a property. Do you need a lot of space to spread out, or would you be happy with something smaller that’s closer to town? How many bedrooms and bathrooms do you need? What kind of amenities are important to you (a pool, barns, pasture land)? Once you have a good idea of what you’re looking for, start browsing online listings and narrowing down your choices. Need help narrowing down your goals? Our Homestead Goals and Project Planner does exactly that.
When buying a homestead having access to your homestead is important. Consider if it is easy to get to, or if you will have to build your own road. Building and maintaining a road can get expensive.
Make sure your new homestead has a good water source, whether it be from a well, natural springs or nearby rivers. Trucking water to your homestead on a daily basis will get old and will take up valuable time that could be spent doing other things.
A homestead with no running water will need a septic system to accommodate the use of toilets and showers. Make sure that your new homestead has approved plans for building a septic system.
When buying a homestead, consider what will be needed to power your home. Will you need electricity, or do you want to go off-grid? If you do decide to go off-grid, remember that this involves putting up additional infrastructure like solar panels and wind turbines.
Not all homesteads have great soil. Before buying a homestead, consider what the land is like, and if you will need to bring in additional soil for things like farming or gardening.
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When buying a homestead, it is important to consider your neighbors and what they are like. Will they be friendly and welcoming? Do they have animals or livestock that may cause problems for you?
Consider the growing season of your new homestead. Will there be enough sun and rain to grow your crops? If not, you may need to bring in additional water or invest in things like greenhouses to extend the growing season.
Are there any zoning restrictions? Covenants? HOAs?
If you’re planning to build on your homestead, make sure that you know what the zoning laws are. Likewise, if you plan to raise livestock or live off-grid, check and see if there are any covenants or Homeowners’ Associations rules in place that will prevent you from doing so.
How far is it to town?
Will you or your spouse still be working in town? If so, factor in time and gas money– it adds up fast!
Is it in my price-range? How much will any improvements cost?
We are huge fans of being debt-free. Even though we did take out a mortgage to purchase our place, our property payments aren’t extravagant, and we are shooting to pay off the mortgage very early. Even if you are looking at your dream property, I encourage you not to over-buy and put yourself in a bad place financially.
What other possible hazards should I be aware of? Snakes, wildlife, tornadoes, blizzards, floods, drought, hurricanes, etc…
Buying a homestead is an exciting time, but also a huge undertaking. With a little research and preparation, you can increase your chances of finding the perfect piece of property to call your own. By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying all that homesteading has to offer. Get your Homestead started today with our Homestead Goals and Projects Planner.
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