Have you ever wondered how to find the right property for homesteading and which things you should consider before purchasing your dream homestead property? In this blog post, I’m going to go over the many different aspects you should consider to find the right property for your homestead.
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The idea of homesteading has been on the rise these past few years, but if you’re new to the idea then it can be hard to know where to start with finding the right property.
Well, dear friend, I got you covered with this ultimate guide on how to find your perfect property and all of the many things you should consider before purchasing your dream homestead land.
Finding the Right Property for Homesteading – Understanding Land Use Regulations for Bare Land Properties
The first thing that a person may have to figure out is where they want to live. If a person wants to live in their own home, then they should find a place that has a zoning category that permits single-family homes.
The next thing a person should do is look at the zoning ordinances for the area to see if there are any restrictions on what can be built or what can be done on the property.
If you want to start farming, then you will need a property with agriculturally zoned property, which permits farm animals and farming activities, as well as soils management practices.
However, if an individual only wants to grow vegetables or other food items, then agricultural land or the urban agricultural zoned property may be more appropriate because it does not permit farm animals or slaughtering of animals.
Finding the Right Property for Homesteading – Location Matters
It’s important to have a location that can work for your lifestyle.
When seeking out the right property for your homestead you should consider things like:
- The climate that the region has
- Is it a rural property? Do you want to live in a rural area or not? We live on rural land and enjoy it.
- The distance from your job
- Your budget
- Is the property in a small town? Are there nearby major grocery stores and amenities that you’d like to have nearby without driving 30 minutes just to pick up milk?
- What kind of homestead land you want to buy (whether bare land or one with an existing house)
- Whether you want a rural or urban experience
- What’s going to the property tax price, which depends on the area and what the property is nearby
Finding the Perfect Property for Homesteading – How Many Acres Are Really Enough
Okay, I’m going to dive into a deeper subject now that’s going to take a bit more planning and considering on your end, and that question is, “How many acres are really enough to homestead?”.
Well, first of all, what kind of homestead lifestyle do you want? This is a great place to start!
For example- Do you want a hobby farm, a small farm, or maybe you want a full-fledged running dairy? Whatever path you choose, you need to consider some things to figure out how many acres are truly enough.
Now, again, it really depends on what your goals are for your property, what you plan to grow, and how much space you need for livestock. But at the end of the day, what matters most is how much land you have available and whether it will meet your needs.
So, how many acres are really enough for your homestead property?
This is a total and complete preference and solely depends on what you plan to have, and do on your homestead property.
These next few topics will help you think about the property size you might need.
Animals on Your Homestead
Animals for Dairy purposes
Are you planning on having a home dairy for your own personal use or to sell? Will you keep your dairy animals with other animals
Animals for Meat Purposes
Will you be raising animals for meat? If so, will they be in a separate area away from other animals on your homestead land?
Animals for Wool or Fiber
Where will these animals go? How big of a pasture size and shelter will they need?
Animals for Pets
Yes, this is a thing a homestead too! My goats are literally pets. They don’t provide us with anything right now. If you do decide to keep animals for pets, where will they go? With all the other animals?
So, think about your property size when considering how many animals you plan to have.
Property for Privacy on Your Homestead
I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to hear my neighbors. Let alone, see them. But that could be just me!
I want to be able to be in my backyard with my kids, and not feel like neighbors are peeping over, so for us, choosing a property that was very secluded was important to us.
What about you? Do you care about having neighbors close by? Do you want more privacy on your homestead?
Depending on your answers, you’ll really want to scope out your potential homestead property and its surrounding neighbor’s positions, layout, etc.
Property for Entertaining on Your Homestead
Without a doubt, you’ll want to entertain friends and family at some point. Whether it’s summer BBQs, holiday get-togethers, and the such like.
You definitely don’t want to have your entertainment area near your pigpen. You’ll want it far, FAR away! No one wants to bite into a hot dog while getting a nice whiff of pig manure.
So, the question for you is, how much room would you like for setting aside for entertaining? And will there be enough space to keep it away from your animals?
Growing a Garden on Your Homestead
In-ground gardening, vertical gardening, raised bed gardening, the list goes on.
Depending on what style of gardening your choose will help you decide how much land you will need to set aside for your garden.
Don’t forget the soil. How is the soil on your potential homestead land? Consider maybe having the soil tested!
Having an Orchard
You need an orchard! And you’ll thank me later!
If you have an orchard (big or small) you can use the fruit for your own consumption, prepping, storing, selling, etc.
But also, you can use the fruit to feed your animals which really cuts down on animal feed costs!
Plan yourself an orchard if your potential homestead property doesn’t have one already.
Even if it’s just going to be a few fruit trees, make sure you set aside room for them!
Room for Outbuildings on Your Homestead
If you have animals, you’ll need outbuildings.
If you don’t have animals, you’ll still need some sort of outbuildings.
Some outbuildings on a farm are:
Barns, lean-to’s, sheds, garages, workshops, hay storage, ADU, milking areas, covered areas for animals, etc.
Consider the number of outbuildings you might need on your homestead land and factor that into your homestead plan.
Now considering all those topics above, how many acres are really enough for you and your family?
For us, we currently live on almost 5 acres, and a 5-acre homestead is pretty sufficient for all our homesteading needs.
Would I like more land? Well, of course!
Would I go with less acreage? Maybe, depending on the layout of the property.
I personally wouldn’t want to go below 3 acres for a small family homestead, but that’s just me and our homesteading needs.
How many acres will you need?
Finding the Perfect Property for Homesteading – Is the Land Cleared or Heavily Treed
And how do you want your property?
We have one side of our property surrounded by a national forest of sorts; a forest reserve, which I LOVE because it gives us privacy from neighbors.
I like the idea of having some trees for privacy, yet, I want the land cleared so we can use it, of course!
Is your potential homestead property cleared, semi- treed, or heavily treed?
If heavily treed, what are your plans to get it cleared? How much will it cost you? Start thinking of lumber companies!
If the land is completely cleared, will you need to plant some trees for shade, landscape, or fruit?
Finding the right property- Current house Condition
If the property currently has a home on it, what’s the condition?
Will you need to spend the first few years just fixing up and remodeling the house, as we have?
First, start out by thinking about the condition of the exterior. The roof, siding, windows, etc. which are some are the more expensive items you most likely DON’T want to replace, right?
We just replaced the siding on our 1940’s old farmhouse and spent over $10,000. Not exactly what I wanted to spend my money on if ya ask me! But it desperately needed to be done, so it is what it is!
What about the interior of the house condition?
Maybe you’re not as adventurous as us. We decided to buy a super-duper fixer-upper house on our almost 5-acre property.
Some before and after images of our remodeled farmhouse
For us, when buying this homestead property, we bought it for a really low and great price, so knew we would be able to spend our money on fixing up the ENTIRE HOUSE. And when I say, entire house, I mean it. You just got to see a glimpse of some of the remodeling projects we’ve done. Phew, it was a lot!
Now, do I want to remodel, gut kitchens, and gut bathrooms again on our next property? Nope! Not in the slightest.
But because we purchased our almost 5 acres, plus a decent-sized house for a great price, we were willing to put in the work. I sometimes still question my sanity with that choice, but at least the house is pretty much done now.
With that being said, really consider the condition of the house, and if you have the time and resources to remodel, do it if you have the heart to!
Finding the right property- Does the property have utilities on it (if raw land)?
There is plenty of amazing, blank canvas homesteading properties for sale out there.
However, if the land itself doesn’t have a well, septic, or electricity currently on the property, you are looking at around $60k and up (depending on where you live) to get these installed.
This is a big chunk of change that’s NOT going towards building your home, so consider this when looking for the right homestead property.
SEASONED HOMESTEADER TIP- Have hose spigots placed near your garden and animal’s pens! You’ll thank me later!
In conclusion- There are many aspects to think about when trying to find the right property to start homesteading on, and it can come with many challenges. But let me tell you, it is so worth it to homestead!