We’re in the market to buy some homestead property. It will be a small, beginner piece of land (1-5 acres) because we don’t plan on financing it; we’ll either pay cash or do a lease-option.
While we’d love a big farmhouse with a wrap-around porch on 20 acres, we aren’t expecting it. More than likely, our first homestead will be a fixer-upper on a tiny lot. We’re willing to start small in order to live debt-free.
So far, this is the checklist we’ve come up with of areas to consider when looking at land to buy for a homestead.
1. Zoning laws
One of the most important restrictions to look into when buying a homestead is the zoning laws. We are looking for A1 agricultural land to we can keep chickens, goats and bees without anyone hassling us. The only problem is, it’s hard to find A1 property that’s not 10+ acres around here.
2. Internet access
Sometimes I view the internet as a necessary evil. Either way, we are looking for property that is semi-rural but has high speed internet access. Satellite is not an option due to typical Florida weather.
3. Distance from present job
Hubby is on call 24/7 and 45 minutes is the max travel time he wants to commute.
4. On paved or dirt road
While properties on dirt roads may be cheaper we are hesitant to live on one. Dirt roads around here are a pain. Full of pot holes and not maintained well, your car is constantly dirty. And depending on how close your front door is to the road, your house will be dirty as well.
5. Vacant lot or existing house
A vacant lot is obviously cheaper than one with an existing house on it but then again installing water, septic, and electricity is also pricey. We have looked at both vacant pieces of land and lots with old mobiles on it. We’re also considering buying an empty lot if it’s something we love and living in an RV on it while we build a house.
6. Wooded or cleared lot
Wooded lots are less expensive and not too much of a concern for us because we know people who will clear it on the cheap. It’s nice knowing people in high places
7. Crime stats
We’ve been checking online sexual offenders list of prospective properties but we’re unsure of how accurate and up-to-date they really are. However, we do have a friend who is a local police officer and he has given us some tips on determining the crime in certain areas.
8. Proximity to busy highways
I don’t mind living near a busy road if we have to but I don’t want to live on a busy road. My annoying dog gets loose way to often. He is a pain in my butt but I don’t want to see him splat somewhere.
9. Distance from amenities and friends
While my goal is be self-sufficient and not need big-box stores, it is obviously convenient living near them. But more importantly, I don’t want to live too far away from our friends. Good friends are hard to come by these days and it’s a blessing to live near people you know and trust.
10. Property tax
So far, the property taxes have been pretty low of the areas we’re looking at.
11. Cell tower near by
Hubby thinks I’m crazy but I’m concerned about EMF and electronic pollution. I do not want to live within at least 1 mile of distribution power lines (the big boys), a cell tower, or a transfer station.
Have you ever purchased rural property? Are we overlooking anything? If you have any advise for us please share it in the comments below and thanks for visiting us!