Homestead Series – Moving Up

This cow was the first beef we raised for processing.  We called him freezer and his favorite thing to do was climb in this old trailer and jump out.

I always thought a cow knows what they want, with freezer it was almost like he knew his destiny.  Load day to the processor was a breeze, maybe it’s because he thought he was moving up?  I’ll never know but it was a neat experience to raise our own grass fed beef.

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When it comes to homestead acreage moving up is about identifying what many call the land bug, this is when you’ve moved onto a few acres and realize more would be better. It actually goes a little deeper than wanting more, because sometimes moving up can happen before we’re ready.

How do you know when you’re ready to increase acreage?

  • When you can afford to own more.
  • When you have time for the responsibilities that follow.
  • When you want to expand what you’re doing.
  • When you’re prepping for a lifestyle change such as retirement or job relocation.

There may be additional signs but the most important one on that list would be, if you can afford it.  I’ve seen a lot over the years where folks dive into land for all the wrong reasons.  Only later to realize they just bit off more than they could chew.

One of the reasons I like beginning with small acreage is because you can learn and implement a lot in a short period of time. Once that knowledge becomes a part of everyday living that’s when you know if more land is within your reach.

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It’s kind of like our first llama Kevin, there were times he sat in the corners of a pasture for hours just looking outside the fence line. We would kid and say he was dreaming, thinking the grass is greener over there.  I guess it never was because he always stayed put.

He was a content animal and reminded me when we talked about increasing our land in the early days that it wasn’t our time. However that didn’t keep us from looking because land hunting is an adventure.

Things to know, never look for land after it’s rained, never drive down a muddy road and beware of ditches, we’ve been on some wild adventures.

How do you find Additional Acreage?

Everybody has their own way of doing things and for Robert and I we like to keep things simple and work with as few people as possible. This means we hunt for land online, scout it out on our own, and only make the call when we’re ready to make an offer.

This means the down payment, financing or buyout amount has already been established before beginning negotiations.

We have a preferred website that we like to use called Land Watch, this is where we have our farm listed now.  It’s a neat site because it covers the entire United States and breaks everything down into counties and cities.  The advantage is you can find MLS and For Sale by Owner listings.

Other websites exist and you may have land locators in your area that are helpful.  It’s been my experience searching for land with a realtor is nothing more than a headache.  The reason being is the majority fail to listen or understand what you’re after.

Buying acreage is very different than purchasing a home with land.  Finding both that meet your needs can be a challenge if you’re unfamiliar with the process, sometimes emotions will run high from the seller especially if it’s associated with an estate.  Keep in mind you don’t need a realtor to find your moving up land but you will need patience.

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 What about Leasing?

I’m not a fan of leasing land unless you’re a farmer or rancher who is leasing for income purposes.  The land we recently purchased is a good example.  The original owner leased to a farmer who grows soy, the majority of the land where we plan to move is almost all farm land for profit and leasing make sense because there are perks for the owner and farmer.

If you plan to live on the acreage you want to acquire purchasing would be a smart investment because any upgrades you make with leased land stay with the owner unless you have a written agreement that states otherwise.  No agreement that’s money out the door and all you’re doing is making it easier for them to sell later on.

If you choose to lease and live on land understand the numbers and contract, they should line up and benefit your goals. An example, imagine you’ve invested in flocks and herds of animals and been given 30 days to move off the land.  It happens and if you’re not prepared it could mean having to downsize your entire operation.

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Moving onto additional acreage is exciting, believe me I know because we have 28 acres waiting for us to call home and we can hardly wait.  We have the best time visiting as we prepare to clear the way for our arrival.

Like this little lamb, don’t be in a rush to move up enjoy where you are right now because your time will come and so will opportunity.

Homesteading is a journey that connects you back to the basics; it’s the foundation of our country, a time when people had to do more to survive.  Are you ready to Homestead?  Find out and read the entire series here. 

It’s my hope you discover value in this yearlong series.

Homestead Series Shares the benefits of moving up to more land

6 comments

  1. Patti says:

    What a great post. I really enjoyed reading it and though I have no plans to move or be a land owner in the future I can see this article being a huge help to those that are interested in such an adventure.

    1. Carole says:

      Hey Patti – it truly is an adventure, glad you enjoyed

  2. Jemma says:

    Good Morning Carole,

    Excellent points on achieving long-term goals for becoming a landowner.
    I really like how your broke it all down into steps and provided resources as well.
    Your photos are delightful! I love the lamb on your trailer.
    We missed you at the Christmas lunch this past week, but I know how busy you are right now.
    Thinking of you this chilly Winter day,
    Hugs,
    Jemma

    1. Carole says:

      Thank you! That trailer was fun and the backdrop of many photos, when we sold the cows later we did the same with the trailer. That lamb was a hoot and kept me hopping that season. Had to pull out my winter coat this morning as I ran my way through chores, the sheep enjoying it though sitting in the open field in their lovely wool coats. I need one of those. I’ve got my brain in the book, finishing touches and editing… Hope to have it done by the end of next week and hope you all had fun, would have loved to be there just wasn’t in the cards.
      Hugs!!

  3. Jane says:

    What a great post, Carole! Thanks for the tip on the site you use for selling and looking for land. We would not be ready, but enjoy our country life and allowing the farmer to use some of our land. If we ever did do something I think I would provide an old age home to some elderly cows…Lol!

    1. Carole says:

      Thanks Jane that’s a great website. Cows are fun our close up neighbors are cows and enjoy when they come to visit as long as they don’t lean on the fence.

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