Alright everyone! I already had way too much coffee this morning and I thought I would let you know upfront that I’m a little over enthusiastic about everything today. I’m excited to share with you all our hopes and dreams of our perfect homestead.
Now, I understand everyone’s perfect property is not going to be the same. Maybe you don’t want animals but you want a garden filled with acres of wildflowers that you can run through in the morning sun. That’s totally awesome! Can I have both?
I thought I would throw out a few questions to ask to really make your dream of owning a homestead more concrete. Because, after all, it is a lot easier to sacrifice for your dream land when you know exactly what you want.
Even when you purchase your dream property, there will still be questions you should have asked. Should have thought of. Should have thought more thoroughly about. But it’s okay. You’re smart and you will figure it out!
Before even asking about where you want to live, there is one bigger question.
What is your budget for your property?
Let’s talk money.
And I know some of you are thinking another question should go before this. Like ‘Where do I want to live?’ But I promise I have a good answer for why this should be first.
So back to the budget.
Budgets big and small can all make a perfect homestead go round. $20,000 can make the dream come true, and $2 million dollars can do the trick too. I know you are all wishing you had $2 million dollars right now to purchase your dreamstead. But don’t be envious. Your homestead can be just as amazing and fulfilling as your wealthier counterparts.
Why is this question #1? Well, if your budget for land (and possibly living quarters) is $50,000 and less than a quarter of an acre is going for 2 times that in your dream location — well you’re gonna have to find a NEW dream location.
Seriously, some places you never even imagined could be your dream spot. Whether it’s in the foothills of the Rockies, the grasslands of Wisconsin, or the coastline of California — you can find a place that works within your budget.
I stress budget first because — haven’t you heard of ‘location, location, location?’ We currently happen to live next to the most expensive farmland in the country. So ya, our budget ain’t gonna go very far. Time to search for another place where we can afford more land.
P.S. I’m not going to tell you where we are looking because truth be told — I don’t want you buying the land before we do 🙂 I’m a sly little shit. Or so I think.
If your current location doesn’t give you many options with your budget, find a new place that you can feel like a big fish in a little pond.
Where do we want to live?
So I mentioned a lot about location with your budget. But let’s dig a little deeper into the location you want.
Do you want to be close to family?
Need some free babysitters? Like the weekly family dinners? Or are holiday get together good enough for you? Maybe you can entice your family to come for visits. If you need or want to be close to family, then they will probably be determining your ideal location.
What type of climate do you want?
Is winter and preparing for winter your thing? Head to the northern states. Maybe, like me, you really like all 4 seasons and you couldn’t possibly bear not seeing the leaves change color and the occasional sledding day with the kids. Or you’ve got that olive skin things going and you need warm sun year round.
We need the four seasons. If you follow our instagram, you’ll see we just recently went to Ireland. The countryside is beautiful but they have about one season. It always looks the same and then you get the occasional rainy season. But the plant life still looks the same. The sky is just replaced with rain instead of sun. Beautiful, but we like change.
Seriously, we love our growing season, snowy winters, fall days where we can wear sweatshirts and hang out on the hammock, drinking mulled wine watching the leaves change colors. And yes, we even like the wet spring days because that means one less day we have to water the garden.
How close do you need to be to a large town?
This question relies heavily on your source of income. The Beard and I sell rabbits as pets and our farmhouse tables aren’t going to deliver themselves. So, we need to be close to a large city. And close, I mean 1-2 hours.
If your income comes from more online sources like blogging, or Etsy where you can mail your orders out weekly — then a small town with a post office will do the trick.
Honestly, this one also accounts for how many people you can handle without getting stressed. We’re not very good with traffic or big cities, but it’s part of the job. Shipping farmhouse tables is kind of expensive so local delivery is what we rely on.
What type of plants and/or animals do you want?
I know you’re thinking this question seems a little out of place but I promise it’s not.
If you dream of owning your own orange orchard, Minnesota isn’t the place for you. If you can’t possibly live without Highland Cattle, California isn’t going to cut it.
The produce you want to grow will be affected by your climate. And so will the animals you want to keep on your farm/ homestead. Make sure you think of these before you decide on a location.
What do you want from your land?
Is raw land okay or do you need outbuildings or a dwelling? Are you looking for a move in ready home on your property? If so, that will probably come with a higher price tag. But I know some of us are dealing with larger budgets. So, if turn key is a must — don’t look at raw land.
Are you wanting to build your dream home? Raw land can make things more affordable. Maybe there is already an outbuilding or several you can use as temporary housing until you stockpile more money for a new home or you already have the money and it just takes time to build the home.
Outbuildings are a huge thing for us! They are super expensive to put up and if you plan on framing up a large out building, you’ll need permits and licenses. Are you willing to go through all that? If not, find properties with outbuildings already established. Even if they aren’t perfect, need a new paint job, or need restructuring inside, maybe a new roof — those are manageable.
It’s not just the structures that your land needs or doesn’t need to come equipped with.
Do you want a huge garden, a wildflower field, grazing land? It matters what you want.
If a garden is a must — look for properties with a sunny spot. Densely forested land will not produce a highly versatile garden. Produce loves the sun! More than our English Mastiff loves sunbathing.
Maybe raising herd animals are what you’re after. Goats, horses, cattle, donkeys. They all need room to move. The animal activist is coming out in me. These animals need room to run, play, mate, and seek shelter. If you put these animals in a location where all the rainfall accumulates (at the bottom of a hill) they will be up to their knees in shit and mud. They love grass! And that’s free food if you give them enough space. So make sure the property you are wanting can accommodate the animals you want and the quantity you want.
The dreamer in me wants a forest for the future babies to run in. A place for a bad ass treehouse because every child and adult should experience one in their lifetime. And a place where I can forage.
What type of water sources need to be on my property?
Is city plumbing a necessity for you? You’ll need to stay closer to the city for that.
How about a private well — or maybe a community well. Community wells disperse the cost but can also lead to conflict with neighbors. On the other hand, a private well can be rather expensive on your own but won’t result in conflict with your neighbors over issues with the well. Unless that is if someone is leeching chemicals into your land.
Okay I won’t scare you but look for places away from big manufacturing companies, mines, oil rigs, chemical plants, sewage plants, etc.
But what about other free sources of water? Rainwater, lakes, ponds, creeks.
Our dreamstead needs to have a creek. This will allow us to have constant access to water, though it will still need to be treated. But it will also give us a place for our kids to play and find crayfish and frogs.
One thing I’m not really crazy about having on our property is a lake or pond. I want my babies to be able to roam freely on our land without me having to worry about them being in sight lines constantly. I’m afraid they’ll drown or fall through the ice during the winter. I know that all sounds scary but they are both possibilities and if we think of this stuff before we move to our dream homestead, we won’t even have to worry about a safety solution.
Now I know there are more technical questions you should be asking when purchasing a property, but we’re still in the dreaming stage. We aren’t ready to purchase yet. And I know there are tons of articles out there that go into more detail because I have read them all!
If you’re in need of some articles, try these out:
Accidental Hippies: Factors to Consider When Buying a Homestead
Accidental Hippies: Financial Tips for Buying a Homestead
Morning Chores: 10 Tips on How to Purchase Your Homestead
Whole Fed Homestead: How to Protect Yourself When Buying a Homestead
And if these aren’t enough, I’m sure a Pinterest or Google search will do the trick.
What homestead dreaming questions do you have?
Leave your ideas in the comments section!