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Old 01/03/05, 09:18 PM
conscious's Avatar
Paul in Indiana
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 105
Best Places to Homestead

Hello all,

My name is Paul, I live in NW Indiana and I'm working towards a transition to a simpler life in the country and am wondering if you good folks could tell me where you would homestead and why if you had $50,000 to spend and wouldn't consider going in to debt.

I'm thinking of just buying a small lot, building a small cabin (I'm single) and starting a homebased business. Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Best regards and Happy New Year to you all.

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Old 01/03/05, 09:30 PM
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Now live in Grayson/Ohio Co KY
Posts: 6
I need help too, please!

My name is Tammy and I am thinking of doing the same thing and need some help with making the ever so important decision of purchasing land. I used to live near Jackson MI and have spent 7 years too long in Florida. Learned that this is not the best place to start my homestead. The soil is all sand here. Aside from checking into soil quality, water sources and zoning laws...... my knowledge is quite limited as well. I need all the help I can get also. Hope we both can get some advice.
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Old 01/03/05, 09:43 PM
inc inc is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 232

"7 years too long in Florida"

so- did they fleece you of your savings down there during that 7 years?
Are you feelin' it yet, Mr. Krabs?
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Old 01/03/05, 09:48 PM
Terri's Avatar
Singletree Moderator
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Kansas
Posts: 14,158
Part of this depends on you. What sort of climate do you prefer to live in? Homesteading requires a good deal of outside activity. If the climate is too difficult for you, you won't be comfortable. Some people hate heat and some people hate cold.

Here in Kansas, I can ALMOST double-crop my garden. If the growing season was 6 weeks longer, I could almost double my garden production. Take into account the length of the growing season. My own space is limited: if it were not I could simply double my gardens space and raise all that I wanted.

Last, but not least, you will need to support yourself until your home business is established.
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Old 01/04/05, 10:57 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 2,376
North Dakota--low prices, low cost of living, good gardening, low crime, and extremely friendly people. Plus, so many people there are still doing all the good old fashioned homesteady things just as a way of life. I would avoid the larger towns and stick to small places.
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Old 01/04/05, 12:24 PM
chickflick's Avatar  
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas
Posts: 575
Originally Posted by conscious
Hello all,

My name is Paul, I live in NW Indiana and I'm working towards a transition to a simpler life in the country and am wondering if you good folks could tell me where you would homestead and why if you had $50,000 to spend and wouldn't consider going in to debt.

I'm thinking of just buying a small lot, building a small cabin (I'm single) and starting a homebased business. Any thoughts are much appreciated.

Best regards and Happy New Year to you all.

Hi Paul.... welcome. I have had similar thoughts for quite a while. I will have (when/if I sell my present place) about $100K to 'play with', and I too, would like whatever decision I make to 'last'.

The first problem I see in living in the country/homesteading, etc. is the 'homebased business' thing. Even though I have marketable skills, the clientelle is too few to count on a living from it. I guess I better think of something done 'long distance'.. typing med records, for example.

Second.. my ideas for the actual 'home' have varied from Underground self built, to tipi, to, finally, what I think may actually work, is a small cabin.. with the basis being a metal shed/storage w/loft building. I actually had been thinking of the little wooden ones; but was listening to a radio show re: home repairs and a lady called in asking about the same idea.. but the viability of a metal buliding. (I can't take credit)

When I bought this place, in NE TExas, I had cash, could have picked anywhere, but somehow managed to do THIS!! lol The weather is great if you don't count a few weeks during summer... but quite frankly, I've seen it as hot over the rest of the country in summer. Somehow, for Texas, this area seems to be less horrible when it comes to the summer heat. There are also a lot of lakes where Dallas sportsmen come to fish, and hills and pines galore. The land per acre is still relatively cheap and the taxes are not bad. (about $100 per month for 12 ac. + 3/2/2 brick). Make sure whatever you buy you get the Agricultural exemption TRANSFERRED at the Sale, or you'll pay more than necessary. ALWAYS check into things yourself at the county courthouse or Tax assessor's office. I've got other places nearer Dallas and the taxes are DOUBLE what they are out here.

It all SOUNDS simple enough, but there is a LOT to think about and get settled in your mind, THEN you have to put it up against the REALITY. (for instance, as I said above.. lack of customers.) I'm sure the others here will give you some GOOD ideas. But remember, they are just that... Ideas!! Good Luck!!
Spoiler ALERT: For those of you who've never read Steinbeck's "East of Eden".... timshel means "thou mayest".
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Old 01/04/05, 12:29 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada
Posts: 7,576
I live in Canada, but I would think in some of the upper midwest states you could find suitable property away from the big cities. You would need to adjust to marginal conditions or adapt for growing garden or other activities, but with perseverence and knowing what is available to do there, you can do it.

I lived in a town and eventually bought a two parcel piece that had one acre cleared and the back was 25 acres of scrub. It was on a good road and easy access with an old small house that could be fixed up. No well or septic system, but it had a cistern with pump for minimal water. The cost in the early 90's for this was less than the money you mention you have available. We sold it, because we took the 'plunge' to move to a settled and more livable rural property. That small property we sold produced a multitude of garden product and I kept 2 bee hives, and ducks and chickens before moving all that out here.
The people that bought that property put in a pump out type of sewage tank, and if they need water can call a supply truck to fill the cistern and live there year around. The garden they got was top notch because of the ammendments and improvements we did before selling it. Then I had to start all over with gardens. Well, that's part of the homesteading 'lifestyle' , I guess.
The only difference between doing it and not doing it, is Doing it. and do it with whatever you got to do it with!
The human spirit needs places where nature has not been rearranged by the hand of man.
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Old 01/04/05, 12:34 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: South Central, Mo
Posts: 865
Here in Mo my husband and I bought a 23 acre farm for 65,000 and it has a house, barn and outbuilding, two ponds, wet weather creek, fenced and cross fenced,root celler. only half mile off highway 60. Our taxes are only about 95.00 a year. Yep that is right. and there are no building codes. We can build anything we want. The only thing they come out to look at is when you put in septic they want to see where you are going to put it because it has to be a min. of 100 feet from any water lines. I think that permit is like 5$ Also our car insurance is only half of what it is in any other state. Jobs are low paying that is why its cheep to live here
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Old 01/04/05, 02:54 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 5,665
If it was me, I would pick either eastern Oklahoma, or northern Maine. The growing season is shorter in Maine, but I really like cold weather better than hot, so Maine would be my first pick. Oklahoma, on the other hand, has low property taxes which is really important if your income is going to be low -- you won't have to worry about income taxes too much if you haven't got much income, and sales taxes only affect you if you buy stuff. But income taxes can literally eat you out of house and home. And, also in Oklahoma's favor, or any of the southern states, is a longer growing season, and less fuel needed for heating. On the other hand, they make up for it in bugs and snakes.

What you might want to do is find out which states have the lowest property taxes (only rural unincorporated parts of Alaska, and some parishes in Louisiana have no property taxes, as far as I know, and neither has much cheap land), then look at their climates, and so on. Keep availability of water in the front of your mind as you look. Some of the western states are having serious drought problems, and the aquifer under the mid-west is dropping. And DON'T buy land sight unseen over the internet!!!!! I've been talking to a woman who bought land near us that way, without ever having been here or gotten any advice from anyone local. Her new property is in an area where wells run a thousand feet deep, and then you are likely as not going to have a dry hole. If she'd asked her questions BEFORE she bought, I could have told her that area was hard to find water. So at least talk to someone local and have them look the property over for you, if you see a good deal and can't get away to look at it yourself. But also be aware that prices over the internet are high. The woman I was just mentioning paid probably twice what she should have for her three acres + in an area known to not have good water! She'll be able to get by if she puts in a good-sized rain collection system, but it would have been nice if she hadn't gotten ripped off on the price.

Once you've looked at property taxes, water, and climate, consider zoning/building codes and land prices. By this time you will have narrowed your search down quite a bit, and maybe you can take a trip and do some looking!

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Old 01/04/05, 05:02 PM
conscious's Avatar
Paul in Indiana
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NW Indiana
Posts: 105
Hey Chickflick,

Where in TX are you? Sounds pretty good!

Concerning the homebased business, there are some really good internet opportunities available. I've done tons of research into internet businesses and am convinced it is a great option for rural homesteaders.

A metal shed is an interesting idea. What are the advantages? Wood sure is much more natural and appealing to me.

I used to listen to Alex quite a bit but found myself always paranoid and really don't want to live like that. Sure is good to know what's going on though so I do tune in once in a while.

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Old 01/05/05, 02:05 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Location: oklahoma
Posts: 1,801
state and property taxes aren't that low in okla, many of the okies don't like outsiders, especially ones who have different ideas about lifestyle (such as homesteading). sales tax is high, almost 10% in many places. insurance isn't that cheap, and most of okla has few trees and dirty water.

on the other hand, there isn't too much regulation in the rural areas, and it is possible to coexist w/the okies most of the time
Let a smile be your umbrella against the thunderstorms of life.
have a great day.
when i call on Jesus, all things are possible.
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