Are you someone who has a homestead dream but you’re not sure where to begin? Where you start depends on what you want to accomplish.
I’ve met an abundance of people who began homesteading right in their backyard growing amazing gardens and some even raise small animals like rabbits, quail, chickens, and ducks.
We started our journey on a small 4 acre farm; this land was once part of a huge cow ranch. We ended up with the original homestead and some of the surrounding buildings, it was forgotten place so we brought back to life.
This purchase involved a lot of hard work, lessons learned and the most amazing six years of our lives because we discovered a lifestyle that inspired our actions.
Homesteading is getting back to basics, what I like to refer as the heart of America, a time when people used skills they were blessed with to live a better healthier life.
Look in your family tree I bet you’ll find a generation of homesteaders.
The big questions is, do you need to live on acres of land to homestead? Absolutely not!
Do you want to live on acreage to Homestead? I hope so because today is the beginning of a 12 month homestead series.I’m going to walk you through the steps on how to begin a homestead, starting with Land discovery.
The Before Questions
- Why do you want acreage?
- Do you and your spouse have the same dream?
- How far are you willing to commute?
- Do you want this land for farming or ranching or self reliance homesteading?
- Do you like to work hard?
Answering the Before Questions
If you can’t answer the first one then you might not be ready for land. You have to be on the same page as your spouse when you decide to land search because it will take working together to make it happen.
If one of you isn’t interested then you really need to ask if this lifestyle is worth the risk. Reason being you don’t want to deal with the outcome of a complaining spouse. If you still work in the city, travel calculation is also important; this will impact your monthly budget.
Farming and ranching is when someone is trying to earn an income off the land they own or lease. You can do the same with homesteading but the goals become more centered on a supplemented income or the opportunity to be more self reliant.
To really answer the desire for land you need to uncover what it is you want to do with the land and run those numbers.
Working hard without complaining is also important; it can get expensive to hire out your workload. If you don’t like to work hard homesteading might not be for you. The land never sleeps especially when you add animals in the mix.
Bottom line if you don’t like to work hard you will fail. I know that sounds harsh but it’s real and when temperatures drop that workload feels much heavier.
Seeking Outside Buildings
Many times when you’re exploring land you may uncover outside buildings, this can be a perk and sometimes not. On our first land purchase we were blessed with a huge carport and a workshop shed.
Both have been extremely beneficial to our goals and over the years we’ve used these spaces differently as our farm evolved.
In the above first photo you’ll notice a huge building, notice it’s very old and unfortunately at some point this will need to be dramatically repaired or eventually removed. The pros and cons include additional labor and expense; the metal could be recycled into scrap or new projects.
In the second photo the building is ready to use for whatever you decide; because it’s partly open the options increase.
This building is great for storing hay or farm equipment but also could be used for cows, sheep or goats as an easy access shelter during bad weather. Later on adding walls could also expand opportunities.
Outside buildings can be bonuses; open land with no buildings is also a benefit because you can install what you want. Make sure you scope the land correctly and the building is placed on high ground.
What About Ponds?
I love ponds don’t you? You can always dig a pond on open land, if a pond already exists even better. Ponds can be used for garden irrigation or water sources for any animals you may want to add or attract to your land.
If ponds are dug deep and properly filtered they can also be used as a water source for the home.
Keep in mind in Texas ponds will attract snakes, frogs, and mosquitoes. You may want to keep this asset a good distance from the home if those pests are bothersome.
If the land you’re purchasing doesn’t have a pond, look for low areas or creeks. You can hire someone to dig out a pond in those areas and use that dirt to raise additional low spots.
The thing to remember is there is no waste when you live in the country, it’s a matter of thinking outside the box and very practical.
Finding land that works for you is the ultimate goal, seek how much workable space is available and ask yourself, “How can this land work to achieve our goals.”
Some acreage will include more start up than others; this may lead you to purchasing a homestead that is already set up. This would be a site with fenced in pastures, space with growing gardens, and enough room to come in and add your own touch.
We’re currently experiencing the process of our own new Land Discovery. It’s an exciting time for my husband and I because this time around we know exactly what we want.
Finding the location and that perfect track of land takes time, not being in a rush is really important because when you find it, you’ll know. There will be this light bulb moment and excitement will fill the air.
If the land you spotted gets sold before you act, don’t worry about it because the realtor you’re working with probably has a list of several hundred other possible options available to view.
There will always another piece of land, trust me on this one and believe that if homesteading is more than a dream it will become a reality.