In my first article of this series, Why Every Survivalist Should Be Homesteading, I talked about the importance of learning lifelong survival skills you and your family can use on your homestead. Survival skills, in my opinion, start at home. Now, I want to discuss the ins and outs of purchasing a homestead.
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Homestead
In my second article of this series, Survivalism Meets Homesteading: The To-Do List, I covered the basics of homesteading to get you started. I covered different options for food, water, cleaning products, and clothing for rural and urban homesteaders.
In this article, let’s take it a little further. If you are interested in purchasing land to start a rural homestead there are things you should consider.
Let’s take a quick look at what I’ll cover in this article:
- What will your needs be?
- Zoning Ordinance
- Road conditions and access
- Electricity and water access
When you purchase land to start a homestead, you are investing in your future…your family’s future. Take your time to be sure the land you purchase is the right fit for you and your family. Let’s begin!
Things To Consider Before Purchasing A Homestead
One more thing… I want each of you to remember one thing. Homesteading is about survival. When it comes down to it, in the event of an emergency, your home is your safe haven, your fortress. It will be the best experience of your life, trust me!
What Will Your Needs Be?
First, let’s talk size. Not all size fits all, so to speak. Some future homesteaders want a small piece of land and some want a larger piece of land. It all depends on what you need (or want) the land for.
For example, do you want a small home with just enough room for a small vegetable garden and maybe a chicken coop to raise chickens? Or do you want a bigger home with land large enough to raise cattle and possibly a large vegetable crop?
Outside structures such as a barn, a shed, a bomb shelter, tornado shelter, or even a guest house should all play a part as well in the decision-making process when purchasing land for a homestead.
Make it a family affair. Learn what each family member may need or want. And don’t worry; nothing will be decided overnight. As I said before, take your time.
By definition, the zoning ordinance is written regulations and laws that define how property in specific geographic zones can be used. Zoning ordinances specify whether zones can be used for residential or commercial purposes, and may also regulate lot size, placement, bulk (or density) and the height of structures. Zoning ordinances are lengthy documents describing not only the acceptable use for specified areas of land but also the procedures for handling infractions (including any penalties), granting variances and hearing appeals. (source)
This is definitely one of the most important considerations when purchasing land for a homestead. There are resources on the internet that can provide you with the information you will need and this website is a great place to start.
Your real estate agent can also be of great help with zoning ordinance information for your area.
Road Access And Conditions
The purpose of me writing this series is based on the scenario of being homebound during an emergency due to lack of road access. However, should that not become the case, then the road conditions and access are important.
Some properties have multiple routes to the nearest town. This gives you more options in the case of road closure due to bad weather, for example.
Some properties are more remote and have only one way out. This may not bother some folks. Me personally? I like to have options with different routes to town.
Another consideration is the physical condition of the road(s) surrounding your property. Some are asphalted and some are gravel or dirt. Again, this is the matter of personal preference due to if you have the proper vehicle(s) to withstand certain road conditions. For example, you wouldn’t want to drive a small 4 door sedan on a dirt road covered in snow. You would need a pickup for that and even then, you could possibly become stuck in snow and/or mud.
Electricity and Water Access
Most already established properties have electricity and running water or water access but, if the property has never been developed then these are important things to consider.
This is where the knowledge of zoning ordinance in your area will be helpful should you purchase undeveloped land. For example, some areas will allow for solar and wind energy whereas some areas will not. In that case, you will have to consider other options. Your local electric provider and/or your real estate agent can help provide additional information.
Some properties will have power lines in the immediate area. In this case, you should call your local electric provider for additional information on possible setup options for your property.
Water access is another important consideration when purchasing land. Again, knowledge of zoning ordinance will help you in this decision should the land be undeveloped. For example, a piece of undeveloped land in certain parts of Colorado can have a well or a cistern installed but, it must comply with the local regulations.
An American Homestead shows us what to look for when building a homestead:
If you are new to the homesteading scene and you are looking to purchase land, please try to not become overwhelmed. It will not all happen overnight. Take it one step at a time…one day at a time. It takes a lot of patience and sometimes tears but, when you reach the final steps of owning and running your own homestead, it makes every step of the journey well worth it!
Do you have a tip you want to share about buying a homestead? Tell us in the comments below!
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