What to Look For in Homestead Land

  • What to Look For in Homestead Land

    Posted by Susquehanna-Homestead on April 12, 2023 at 10:43 am

    There is no “perfect” homestead land to buy, except the one you create. However, there are a few deal-breakers when it comes to buying homestead land, and other factors that are nice to have but can be changed by you. I have prioritized my deal-breakers, but they will be slightly different for everyone. In today’s market, you have to buy the property within your budget that has the most deal-breaker attributes. Here is my list:

    Deal-Breakers, Ranked by Importance. These are things you can’t change on a property, or are very hard to. If a property did not contain some of these, I wouldn’t buy it:

    1. Good Access- If you can’t get to the property, I see no reason to buy it.

    2. At least 3 water sources and rights to them (water rights)

    3. That the house, buildings, and garden area are not in a flood zone.

    4. Electricity already on property, or close enough that you can afford to run power lines to it.

    – A house already on the land

    – Land with no restrictions on livestock, buildings – definitely not in a HOA

    – No covenants

    – No nearby pollution sources: Nearby coal mining

    – Property not bordering a large power tower or cell phone tower

    These are the niceties: Things you can probably add later or that are of less importance

    – A mix of arable land and woods (I personally find the arable land to be preferable, because it’s easier to turn open land into forest than forest into pasture)

    – Within a 1 hour drive of a city with a grocery store, hospital, etc.

    – Good sunlight exposure (from the South or East, unless you live in a desert (which I wouldn’t recommend) where you would want a Northern exposure)

    – Mineral Rights (no fracking under land)

    – Ideally, the house on land is relatively new. Old houses often need a lot of expensive repairs

    – For a family of 4, I would recommend you buy a least 20 acres

    – Property zones agricultural/residential

    – Flat, gently rolling land

    – Loamy soil that is deep, has few rocks, is fertile, and has good drainage: This only matters if you plan on farming for a business

    – Working well pump

    – Land not in a frost pocket- bottom of valley

    – Adjacent to public or private forest land

    – Wood stove in house

    – No noise pollution

    – No large creeks or rivers bordering property (threat of flooding)

    – On high ground – top of hill for example – for defense

    – Not near an interstate

    Hippiemimi replied 5 months, 1 week ago 4 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Dragon

    April 12, 2023 at 3:23 pm

    I like what your saying but I would consider no power. Starting the homestead with no power helps identify what power needs you will have. Starting with small generator systems to meet the need.

    • Hippiemimi

      April 29, 2023 at 2:57 pm

      I agree speaking from someone who did exactly that and has decided not to have any other than a solar generator when we choose to use it. It has taught us invaluable lessons on living without any at all. I know we can.

  • RedBlock

    April 29, 2023 at 12:38 pm

    Make sure you have the things that cannot (easily) be changed like rights for access, the needed infrastructure can be put in later. Also think about things that might put other buyers of and you are willing or able to accept. Also consider how your fields will look after heavy rain. We here have many periods during fall/winter/spring that rain collects in lower lying areas and thus leads to an area being flooded where you might not look for it.

    Repairs and upgrades on an older house can be done overtime as long as the house is good enough to live also depends on your personal skill in the area of building/fixing the issues. We specifically whent for an older house(approx. 120 years) because the houses build between the 30 and 70 have various sets of problems that are harder/more expensive to remediate.

Log in to reply.