LeAnn and I have been looking for land for our future homesteading life, well, mainly LeAnn. I’ve been very busy establishing our new blog and working on future blog posts. I’m not the best writer but I am getting better with each new post. Now, on to the actual post about looking for homesteading land.
When looking for land for a homestead, the best thing to do first is make a list of your wants and/or needs. We talked about this extensively and agreed upon the following list:
Source of water
There are many sources of water but our main focus is a small stream that runs year round. We hope to use this water source to provide electricity by installing a micro-hydro generator or a water wheel. If a stream is not available then a small pond would work just fine. We would also be happy to find land with rolling hills because we can use permaculture techniques to capture water high up on the slope and direct it where we want it. The use of swales and small catchment ponds built into the natural gulleys on a hillside could provide all of the water we need. More on permaculture water use techniques in a future post.
Wooded vs. pasture land
We want to have a partially wooded lot but would settle for a completely wooded or even full pasture. The benefits of a wooded parcel is the abundance of materials that we will need for our permaculture projects. On the other hand, a fully cleared parcel with pastures for farm animals gives us a clean slate to use our permaculture techniques on a blank canvas. We would need more time with cleared land to allow the food forests to mature.
House vs. No House
We really want to build our own home. If the parcel has a home on it already then it really needs to be ready to move into with minimal remodeling needed. Neither one of us are interested in living in a one room home like those tiny houses that are all the rage now. Now, that doesn’t mean we won’t live in an RV or camper for the short term while we build the house. I think we have decided that we want a less traditional home so we have decided on building a large steel building and adding living space in the front with shop/parking garage space in the rear. These steel buildings can be built quickly and require minimal maintenance. I’ll write more about these steel buildings in a future post.
Vicinity to Farmers Markets
We really want to be close to a couple different farmers markets. We frequent the farmers market for food and we are also a vendor at the market near us now.
Living On-Grid vs. Off Grid
We would really like to live off-grid but the up-front costs to go completely off-grid are very high. We want the option of starting out on-grid for basic services (electricity, water, gas, and INTERNET). As we build out our off-grid resources we can then slowly shut down some of these services. Internet is a big requirement for us simply because we use the internet for our business development and my job. Granted, many people choose to visit a local coffee shop to get brief internet access. I choose not to do it that way. My reasons, outside of my job, are many but least of them would be comfort. I don’t see spending 8 hours sitting on an uncomfortable chair with all of the background noise from an active coffee shop.
Our big concern outside of all of these choices is price. We are not looking to spend so much money on land and not be able to build a home that is still within our budget. The price of land is important because we want to pay it off as quickly as we can or even buy it outright with cash. We still have about a year before we are ready to get serious about finding the perfect plot of land but in the meantime, we have a lot of work to do at our current location to improve it when we are ready to sell it. We also have produce to grow for the farmers market next Spring.
Do you have plans to buy land for a homestead? Have you already done it yet? If so, please share your story with us as well as any advice you may have that will help us with our decisions.
Books on Amazon.com about Homesteading and Permaculture