Whether you’re looking for a more ‘down to Earth’ lifestyle, wanting to raise your own food on your own land, or looking for a country location for homestead your decisions should be made with forethought and planning.
Life can be different on a homestead. If you find a true ‘out of the way’ location you might find that you have no power, no water and no internet.
Here are some things to consider when looking to purchase a homestead.
Location Location Location
Location is important whether you’re looking at a house with a half acre in the suburbs with a good school district, or whether you’re looking for a something out in the country.
Most of you will want to be within close proximity to a town/city, yet far enough away that you feel safe and in control.
Those that want to be ‘deep’ in the woods or off the beaten path you still shouldn’t feel like you’re totally all alone. You will want a remote spot, a hidden spot but not so far out that you don’t have access to medical facilities and other support.
You, and your family, must understand the reasoning for the homestead. Are you looking to get ‘back to nature’? Are you looking for a simpler lifestyle growing and farming your own food? Are you looking for a sustainable lifestyle or are you looking for a survival ‘bug out; location. The homesteader in you might have many of these desires but you need to know and understand what it is you’re trying to achieve.
Don’t Go Whole Hog
A homestead doesn’t need everything you had in the city. You’re looking for simple, right? You don’t need a huge tv or cable. You don’t ‘need’ an inground pool.
There will be some adjustments to make. You will be raising and cooking your own food. There is no ‘take out’, drive throughs, or food delivery in the boonies.
Keeping Up the Place
If you’re choosing a spot as a ‘survival’ or ‘bug out’ location you have to keep in mind that you’ll probably treat it much like a lake house or summer home. If you’re not living there full time you’ll need to be aware that when you do show up there may be things that need to be fixed.
A critter might have managed to get inside. The water pipes may have frozen. The road may have washed out. The shingles may have blown off. Be prepared by visiting at least monthly to take care of maintenance.
Living on a homestead, or living off grid requires a certain skillset. Sure, these skills can be learned but it’s best to learn before you move to the country.
If your well goes out…. Can you fix it? If the shingles blow off can you fix that? Practice some DIY skills before you take on country life. Go camping and not in an RV. Learn some basic skills.
Can you start a fire in a fireplace? Do you have wood stacked and ready?
Growing food and raising livestock isn’t all roses. Crops fail. Chickens get attacked by any number of critters. Life on a homestead can be tough. Practice growing ‘something’ while you’re still in town
Remember there’s no store around the corner. There’s no take out, no drive throughs and no pizza delivery. You’ll need to store ‘some’ food, some water and simple medical supplies. If you’re using the homestead as a ‘bug out’ location storing these things is even more important as you can’t carry everything you need on short notice.
Your food and water storage should be in a location where it won’t be affected by extreme temperatures, such as a root cellar, especially if you aren’t living at the homestead.
Check Out the Land
So you bought a few acres in the country and this is intended as your future ‘bug out’ location or future homestead. Walk the entire property. Is there already a natural planting of fruit or nut trees? Is there a spring or other water source? Are there other ways into the property. Getting to know your land, as well as the surrounding area can help you in your planning.
Plan Execute Deliver
Before buying that country property remember to first plan. Then you can complet the plan. It’s very helpful to know exactly what you need to do and when as well as how to do it.
You wouldn’t move to the country, buy a fancy tractor and plant ten acres of watermelons. Well, you could, but unless you had personal knowledge of watermelon growing, as in you grew up in a farm household where watermelons were an annual staple crop, you’d be in over your head. Whatever you do, you start small. Learn as you go and then grow.
Homesteading, and living off the grid, are not necessarily the same thing but both require planning, perseverance, a good attitude and the ability and gumption to work the land. It’s not an easy lifestyle yet a lifestyle so many long for.