Do you dream of buying your dream homestead property in the near future? Do you want your own chunk of land to homestead on? So did we. Today I share with you our top 10 considerations for buying your homesteading property and why it might not be right for you.
Just down the road a beautiful chunk of land with a perfect size family home filled with old 1030's farmhouse country character and charm has come up for sale.
It's at the end of a long curvy driveway off the road, situated on 42 acres. You can't see the road from the house but you can see Mount Arrowsmith, a stunning local landmArk. Amongst the wooded lot there's a slow running creek and a little footpath that makes me think of Terrabithia and how the boys would love to play there.
If we played our cards right, we could get ourselves there and still owe what we do on our current mortgage.
The boys would each have their own room. I could have my craft room and a separate bathroom from the boys.
We'd have a massive deck to entertain with family and friends and a cozy little studio we could rent out on air bnb.
There would be more than enough room for our cows and chickens with a little work.
I'd only have to paint to make it feel like ours.
10 questions to ask when buying your dream homesteading property
If you dream of buying land for farming and homesteading like we do here are 10 things you might consider when making such a big decision. We've had our current property for just under 5 years and these are some of the things we've learned.
1. How far are you from town?
People often want to move out into the country and think the farther they move away from people and traffic the nicer it will be. It's really important to consider the conviences of town and how often you we need to go there. When establishing a new homestead, you'll be surprised how often you are going to the hardware and feed store. You might also want to consider how far away you are from family and friends that you value spending time with often.
My tip for you is to get a map of the city and its outskirts that you are planning on buying property in. You might be shocked how many larger properties there are that are close to town and haven't been subdivided yet.
2. What shape is the house in?
I put this as number two on the list, but it really should be number one. If you're moving onto a property to homestead you will be considering many things. Depending on what country you are in, the province or state and even within the municipality there are rules for how many dwellings you can have on a property.
This is very important to note and to get a clear understanding of before purchasing land. Then will you have a better understanding of dwellings on the property and what opportunities there are. For example, our current farmhouse needed a lot of care to bring it up to code and to liveable conditions, we could either live in it or tear it down to build a new home. We can't rent the current dwelling and build a new home on the same property.
3. What water sources are on the property?
It's important to know if you will be paying for water services or if there is a well. Also consider if there is a water source such as a creek, pond or lake on the property that you can use for irrigation and drinking water for animals and personal use.
4. Are there outbuildings on the property and are they in good shape?
What types of outbuildings will you need for your animals, equipment storage, garden, feed or anything else? An old open equipment shed might be just fine as an animal shelter for cows, but if the roof leaks you won't be able to store hay or feed in it.
5. How much time and work will be involved in making the dwelling your home? How old are you?
I hate to ask how old you are or consider age as a factor to buying homesteading property but it plays a huge factor in planning your life around the lifestyle.
For ourselves, we have to consider the age of our children. Do we really want to be busy building a house or doing major renovations when there are diapers to change?
6. What are the utility bills like?
Our Electricity bill doubled when we went from living in a small urban rancher to our homestead. We also didn't budget for such a huge expense. I highly suggest looking into what the utility bills are currently at for the homeowner and come up with a plan to lower them if needed.
7. Is it set up for animals?
Are there paddocks, fields for grazing, fences, stalls? Fortunately for us, our current property was already set up for animals. We just needed to pick and choose what we wanted to raise and make minor modifications.
Our current dream homestead property is not established in this way at all, it would cost a lot of time and money to build and fence.
8. Is there an orchard, woodlot and well maintained fields?
This is an important question to consider as planting trees, and reseeding fields takes a lot of time, money and equipment.
9. Is it on Agricultural Land Reserve?
This is very important to know because there are specific rules that must be followed when you own ALR land. There are also perks to owning ALR land if you have an income from your farm. There are lots of tax perks to running a farm and sharing your products with your community.
I suggest you contact your local municipality and provincial/state government for more information.
10. What conditions come with the homestead property?
We really wish that our current property came with all the “junk” that was sold off at auction. It really is nice to have old tools lying around, it's quite handy and useful. There's also an appeal of vintage farm equipment that adds character to your home and garden.
If you can get any equipment from tractors, rototillers, fencing and feeders included in the sale you're laughing.
What we learned
We've been on our current homestead for about 5 years, and are just starting to feel like we are getting into the rhythm of it all. Now are are throwing parenting and little farm hands into the mix to create a new tune.
We really thought we'd buy a larger homestead once we could afford it. But we aren't. Read about why we aren't buying our dream homestead, and you shouldn't either below.