Homestead Hints ~ Advantages and Disadvantages to Having Land

by Merissa on July 22, 2011

in Homestead Hints

Homestead Hints

 

Out here in the country, life revolves a little differently than it does in the city. We put hard, long hours into making our homestead a self sufficient haven for our families. Homestead Hints will be a series following things that we’ve learned over the last several years on how to make our homestead living a little better. Welcome to the Little Homestead on the Prairie…

When we were looking for a house to buy (because living in a camper just wasn't doing it for us!) how much land came with the house was something that was important. At first we looked some house in town. I told the hubby that I had to have a big yard to live in town. (Although now I can see that it would have never worked anyways, you couldn't pay me to live in town!) So we found a house on an acre right on the edge of town. It was nice but needed alot of work so we decided to keep looking. Then we found our house, it was cheap and on 10 acres. I remember the hubby circling it on the notes I'd been writing and we took the address to our real estate agent. We wanted to know what was wrong with it since it was so cheap.

We ended up discovering that it was a foreclosure but since we were first time homebuyers without kid's we decided to take the challenge and fix up the house. In all honesty, we only bought it because of the land.

There are advantages and disadvantages to having land (more than just a large yard). It's something we didn't think about much before we bought the place, I just knew that I needed my space to roam and wanted no neighbors. Here are the advantages that we've realized over the last several years.

Advantages to having land:

  • No close neighbors, you have your own space.
  • Room for animals.
  • Room for crops/large vegetable garden.
  • Room to expand if needed.
  • Space for kids to play outside.
  • Better resale value.
  • Easier to be self sufficient on.

Disadvantages to having land:

  • Higher taxes (much higher!)
  • Higher purchase price.
  • Takes much more time to work on than just a yard.
  • Fencing costs.

I think there are many ways that you can be self sufficient in a home with just a yard, or maybe even no yard so really, it's a person decision to whether or not you want the land. After me and my husband married we lived in a big city for a whole 3 months and I hated it. I could hear my neighbors all the time, I could hear cars all the time. I had no yard, only a concrete patio and for someone that went from growing up on about 80 acres I couldn't handle city life.

We get asked alot why we need so much land and the answer is easy for us, we want to raise livestock and we like to be self sufficient with room for crops and more. Our goal in the near future is to be off the grid on an acerage where our power is supplied by wind turbines and solar panels. But that's our goal.

What do you think? Is it worth it to have more land? Or do you think anyone can be self sufficient on even a very small lot?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Heather July 22, 2011 at 9:57 pm

I think it’s definitely possible to have a great degree of self-sufficiency on not much land. Right now, I live on a quarter acre but I have room for a large garden, chickens, and a wind turbine…IF the homeowner’s association would allow it. The garden is allowed but pretty much all other forms of self-sufficiency are out :-( When we move next summer for work, I will definitely be looking for a place with few covenants on the land and no homeowner’s association!

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2 Charity July 23, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I want to have a lot of land in the future. My parents own 250 acres and someday we plan on moving up there and building a home on that acreage. My husband’s job is here and there are few jobs up there. My parents have no neighbors, live on a dirt road, and it is the most quiet peaceful place in the world. The township takes 2-3 days just to plow the road. It’s amazing! We currently own 3.1 acres. I am so thankful for this small piece of property and we are doing all we can to make it a “homestead” or “hobby farmette”. We just bought 9 chickens (we surprisingly got a rooster and now have called him General Ulysses), a bunny and this year my parents put in for me a 30×30 garden. I planted everything and they got the ground ready for me. It has been teh most regarding thing I could ever do. Actually through this whole returning to my roots process, I’ve discovered some things in my heart that were just longing to get out. I’ve rediscovered the joy of canning, cleaning, sewing. Most importantly my kids are loving it and it’s brought our family closer together. I think the only downside for me is the upkeep and we have a terrible tick and mosquito problem (lymes & west nile) in which my daughter, myself and I have had/ suffer with, but I would never go into the city. I know country life isn’t for everyone, but I sure feel that God intended me to be a wife, mother and homemaker on these 3 acres and be a farm girl – that is how I grew up. It is so beautiful. Maybe I’ll post some photos up, Merissa and show off my beautiful family, animals and garden. Next year we’re hoping to get a pond put in and get ducks and a goose too. Eventually we’d like to get babydoll sheep and maybe a cow. It all depends on our limitations with our township. I’m grateful for our little slice of heaven and we are doing all we can to make it as homestead as possible.

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3 Linda April 1, 2013 at 8:20 pm

We live on 40 acres in the high foothills, with BLM land behind us and 80 acre parcels without houses on them, beside us. The neighbor way across the street has 500 acres of ranchland and a house off the grid.
Pro: quiet, no visitors-unless we unlock the gate (lol, gated community) beautiful views of the mountains, solitude, just us and the animals, some wild, birds-quail, jays, roadrunners, dove, pheasant, etc, only 5 minutes to the nearest store and highway, 10 to town.
Con: Watching out for rattlesnakes in warm weather, broken water pipes from time to time, darned squirrels that are destructive, a water pump that can go out, friends from Europe want to camp out here.

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4 Amy February 3, 2014 at 10:35 am

I moved from Il to WA this past Sept. Currently staying with my parents. I have 4 children my 5th is due March 20 but I am hoping for a April baby since one of my kids birthday is in April as well. We are working on getting a house land as well. I feel this Spring I will finally have the land for my children to run and play, among other goals on our list.

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