May 5, 2016

Seven things to Consider when buying Land

As we begin this process of finding land and walking out the purchase thereof, some things have become very important for us to consider. Each of these topics has been the center of our husband and wife conversations for weeks now, and I thought they may be of use to some of you...

Climate and Location ~ what is your desired climate and location? If you plan to garden, heat a home and drive to work, location is very important. We recently moved from the South up to the North, when we left it was in the sixties, and here it has barely reached sixty-three. But we chose the North for many reasons, and to be frank - aging parents, less ticks, snakes, and tornadoes were at the top of the list.

However, we do plan to heat with wood... or at least have wood stove back up. So our climate and location will greatly affect our wood heating availability and needs.

Raw Land vs Existing Home ~ in the spirit of transparency, we have not firmly decided. Both raw land and existing home type have pros and cons. There was a possibility of us using the 'family' five acres, however after further investigation, we discovered the well would not support a home. Thus needing a new well altogether. And the septic, we already knew would have to be redone.

Raw land in our surrounding area is definitely cheaper than one with an existing home... but that too comes with its own set of tasks. It's like a blank canvas which can be exciting and be intimidating at the same time.

Taxes and Zoning Ordinances ~ Taxes will have to be paid, and in good faith, the zoning rules need to be considered. Ignoring the law has consequences, and though changing the laws/ordinances can happen... do you have the ability and desire to fight the battle? In the midst of building a homestead?

Through our diligent searching, we discovered that the 'family five' resides is in an area where the taxes are high, and the zoning ordinances have an unpleasant odor. Our family, in an ideal setting, would like to have the ability to be off grid or have our attachment to it be very minimal. We desire a garden, livestock and other facets of the agrarian life. Think almost Amish in lifestyle...

Outside Employment Opportunities ~ is your location near possible work? How will you provide for yourselves? The truth of matter is my husband will have to work outside the home, and I will be working from home. Wages are not high in this area, and traveling to potential work needs to be considered... that being said, we currently reside in a small town where I have already gained a goat milking gig.

Apparently, it's called a side hustle... I milk for raw milk. Just this week, I have earned a gallon of raw goat's milk, made fourteen dollars on homemade salves, brought home a pound of ground goat meat and signed up for free farming classes. And it's only Thursday!

Local Food and Living reSources ~ what are your food convictions? Are they available? What living resources will your family need? Will the supply be long term or will you have to find multiple resources? Is it sustainable? Does the land or home you are looking at have a good supply of water and other needed resources?

These are all questions we are asking {and more} and we are in the process of ferreting out the answers. Thankfully we are in an area where Agrotourism is huge, Farm to Table is prevalent and many are expecting good, local and sustainable food sources. Water runs shallow, as in, there seem to be many places for sale with natural springs along with great well depths.

What are your family Goals and Priorities ~ this is different for everyone. And only you can answer this... our family has goals and priorities that may not be high on your list, or even on your list at all. Make a list. Review it often, and continue to re-evaluate what is important to you and your family. In lifestyle and in buying land or a home.

For us, we desire to be as God-reliant as possible. Using the land He provides for us to it's best ability and keeping ourselves in check to be good stewards of that land and home. We desire to work with our hands, mind our own business and help those in need. Homeschooling will always be a way of life, long after graduation... making money from home, selling from the homestead for those things we need, using our own hands as much as possible. We also have a strong desire to be an active member of our faith community.

Consider the Debt Factor ~ How will you purchase your property? Will it require you to compromise your families goals and priorities? Will you get a loan, land contract or pay cash? What about renting farms or homesteads? Have you saved enough for a down payment? Again, these are personal and very real questions to ask yourself.

For eight years, we have worked very hard to pay down our debt and set our finances in order, however, we have not arrived at being debt free. My husband has a Bachelor's degree and a Master's degree, and he did not have someone else to pay for his college education... and no money falling from the trees. The degrees and debt are his. 


However, we is now in a place where he can repay those loans, and we have one unpaid medical bill left from my daughter's sledding accident... she broke her hip and three surgeries later. Anyway, we do not have credit cards, nor car payments... we do not take now and pay later. We save and use cash... but the reality is if we desire to start homesteading, we will need to have a loan for the land or home.

And after eight years, it is now a possibility... praise be to God!

What would you look for in buying land?

~ Blessings!

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