Checklist for Choosing Your Homestead – Part 2

You’ll find that on the best of checklists there are just things that are missed.  Some are obvious, while others are just surprises – both good and bad.

Things we failed to consider that we wish we had:

1.  Financing

Owner finance is a great way to go.  We were lucky, but didn’t plan it.

2.  Heating the home

We failed to consider that our old farmhouse was not insulated well.  Heating with a wood burning stove is only as good as the heat the house holds.  Needless to say, we burn a lot of wood.  (I can’t wait until we re-insulate the home.)

3.  Outbuildings and their proximity to the house/living area

The old coop is gone. (forefront)

We had these cool looking outbuildings.  One was a low, long goat barn, and the other was a set up chicken coop.  They were both not in use as they were intended … but they were put to great use by thousands of rats. (Okay, I’m exaggerating, but … yuck!)

The remains of the goat barn

Some outbuildings will not benefit your property.  And if they are harboring bad beasties near your home, they may need to be removed.  Others, like below, need to be removed before they fall down.  (And yes, the hysterical and nagging voice is mine.  Sorry.)

4.  State regulations

5.  County regulations

6.  And … if truth be told … Federal regulations

If you have particular plans for a business on your homestead, make sure to check the regulations in your area.  Some of our biggest disappointments about living here is the long arm of the government interfering in our dreams of doing a small farm business.  No more said.

7.  Flood plains, droughts and snakes

We have been very fortunate, but we know of two stories that bear telling.

 A neighbor purchased a house near the river.  The river takes her property every winter.  She sued the previous owner for non-disclosure.  The previous owner filed bankruptcy and left her without recourse.  Now they are stuck living in a floodplain.  If the house is a steal, it may not be a good deal.

I heard an account of a home build on a snake pit.  They were not poisonous, but they got into the drinking water supply making the place unlivable.

Overall, if you’re buying a rural home – the best thing to do is to rent it for a season.  We rented ours for about eight months before the purchase went through.  I’m glad we did.

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3 Responses to Checklist for Choosing Your Homestead – Part 2

  1. Granny says:

    Love the video clip. It conveys a sort of lightness of being that is a good state of mind to have when embracing life as a homesteader. I think I might have to share it on our facebook page! Thanks.

  2. Excellent post and checklist…

    My wife and I went a looked at some property in Northern Washington County (OR) that said to call the agent before visiting…we called about 5 minutes away, because we really didn’t want them around…2 hours later, they called and said they were worried about people walking without knowing about 2 hand dug, open wells that are covered in brambles…they don’t know where they are…so as my wife and remembered our little adventure of climbing around in and around an old barn, we realized that there are two 75 foot deep holes hidden on the property! Well noted…

    Thanks agian,


    • Kathleen says:

      Hi Bruce,

      I have heard about old abandoned wells. It’s a scary thought … especially when one has young children.

      It’s hard to determine the integrity of the layers of farm owners on a particular property. We also have a small dump on our property that was last used over sixty years ago. I wanted to arrange for the local university’s archaeology department to experience a local “dig.” (We would have supplied food and comforts.) But the idea of buried chemicals squelched the idea.

      I was advised just to bury the site. Thankfully it is set far from most everything else on the property. We have left it alone … for now.

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