You’ve decided to move your current homestead, whether in an apartment or on 75+ acres right now. There’re many factors in finding the right place. How can you decide where to homestead?
I’ve come up with 8 things to keep in mind when property hunting:
- Cost of living
- Terrain environment
- Land use
- Property specific considerations
- Source of income
The Garys are walking these steps right along with you. We need help deciding where we want to homestead too. Our information will be provided as an example as we move through these sections.
Depending on the vision and goals for the homestead, the population of the region may be an important factor. We want to be a short drive away from plenty of modern conveniences without living to close to urban areas.
Currently, we live between two cities of approximately 100,000 people near a city with around 650,000 people. We’ve grown accustomed to many amenities in this area.
But we’ve lived in much smaller areas too. We grew up in a town with 1,500 people and tried coastal living with 10,000 people.
This lets us know that we’re aiming for a region with the population somewhere between 10,000 and 100,000 people. Healthcare services, post offices, libraries, banks, and other stores are more likely to be available with choices.
Cost of Living
BestPlaces has done the research and calculation already. Compare where you live to the property of interest to see the differences. This can be key to achieving your homestead goals.
Our primary goal is to lower our cost of living so that we both can be home with our girls. The table below is representative of the current overall markers we’ll compare any future property too.
|Cost of Living Indexes||Current City|
|Food & Groceries||100.4|
|Median Home Cost||$380,300|
*Scores of 100 = U.S. national average. A score of 137 is 37% more expensive than the national average.
Knowing the plant hardiness zone, climate, growing season, and soil test results will help understanding how your homestead goals can be carried out, or not, on a particular property.
We currently experience all 4 seasons with hot summers and cold winters in zone 8. Drastically changing the zone you garden in will challenge your gardening skills.
The last frost is generally before April 1st and the first frost is generally after December 1st. A long growing season allows more time for plants to produce enough food for the year. A shorter season may be too stressful. 🙋🏻♀️
Does the neighbor’s ideology concern you? Would you like to be surrounded by like-minded folk? Are you concerned with tax rates, gun rights, policy changes, or another specific cause?
We’re libertarian in our ideology. We don’t ultimately care how our neighbors view politics, although we’ll engage in a thought-provoking conversation every now and then.
What we’re interested in is the freedom to govern ourselves and the control in our own lives to handle ourselves and our property as we see is in our best interests.
Below are the current tax rates that may change with a move.
Do you want to homeschool or use public/private schools? Having public transportation, school transportation, or personal transportation options will affect the options you have if you want your kids to attend a particular school.
I always knew I wanted to homeschool my children. When I learned that my oldest passed the cognitive abilities test’s benchmark for giftedness, I researched for many months into giftedness and homeschooling.
Start with the homeschooling laws in your state if this is of interest to you too.
How involved is the county or city in land use, zoning, and construction issues? What building materials are you permitted to use? Can active and passive solar plans be built into your new homestead?
Do you have water, mineral, and timber rights to your own property? Are there restrictions on your livestock? Is hunting or fishing legal on your property?
Property Specific Considerations
What do you want to do with the property now and in 10 years? How much land is needed to accomplish those goals?
How long does it take to drive to family and friends? Do you have adequate driveway access, both legally and physically?
Are utilities available? Is there a water source on the property? What are the costs of utilities versus off-grid systems?
Is everyone able to move around the property with relative ease? Will a utility vehicle be required to get chores done?
Source of Income
No matter where you live, you’ll need a source of income. This could be from the homestead itself, a traditional 9-to-5 job, a home-based business, or contract/freelance work.
No one gets out of needing spendable cash, whether for healthcare, gas, or other goods or services where bartering is not an option.