How many acres is enough?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Enjoys Nature, Jan 17, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I will be retiring in 4 1/2 years (at age 62) and plan on purchasing some acreage in the country or the mountains. It will probably be in TN, NC or VA. I will then either have a house built or purchase a Modular Home.

    I will hopefully have enough savings to pay cash for the land and house.
    As far as what I plan to do with the land, I really don't know. I want a woodlot so I can put Deer meat in my freezer and have a large Garden space and plant some Apple and Pear trees. Hopefully their will be a pond, or an area I can dam up to make one. I love wildlife and animals of all kinds but don't see myself raising cows or horses. Maybe a few rabbits and chickens, maybe Guineas. Basically, what I want is the Solitude, away from traffic, City people and neighbors that are too close for comfort.

    I have dreamed of having 40 or 50 acreas, but I don't think that would be realistic for the kind of life I want. I want to live around wildlife and have a lot of solitude. Maybe 5 or 10 acres would be more like it.

    What do you all think? How much is enough acres? I would hate to pay taxes on a lot of land that I will probably never use.
  2. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

    Dec 13, 2003
    Floyd County, VA
    Enough? Well 5 or 10 thousand. :) But I get by on 4.5. :D I don't think that's enough to graze many large animals like cows or horses though.

  3. Cabin Fever

    Cabin Fever Life NRA Member since 1976 Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    Between Crosslake and Emily Minnesota
    IMHO, enough so you can't see neighbors and neighbors can't see you. In other words, own your view.
  4. Lrose

    Lrose Well-Known Member

    Dec 17, 2004

    It is getting harder and harder to find solitude . If I was looking for five or ten acres and wasn't farming as we do now I would look for wood land with a stream on it and afjacent to state land or forest so no one could build next to me. Ten acres or five acres can be enough for solitude if it has enough frontage that neighbours aren't close . If the acreage is narrow and half mile long you may end up with people next door. We have ten acres with one quarter mile road frontage, raise goats, two horses, chickens, gardens, pasture, and hay field. It is plenty to take care of as we get older.We're pushinLindag 60 yr. now
  5. comfortablynumb

    comfortablynumb Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Dysfunction Junction, SW PA
    I thinka plot about the size of.... kansas would be satisfactory for a homestead.

    but if I was awake and not dreaming, I'' shop for at least 10 acres.
  6. kppop

    kppop Well-Known Member

    Dec 3, 2004
  7. Cornhusker

    Cornhusker Unapologetically me Supporter

    Mar 20, 2003
    I'd want at least 40 if I was looking to move, but no matter how much you have, it's not gonna be enough for some things.
    Around here, 10 acres is just a big yard, but we don'tget the rainfall and such you all get, it takes around 15 acres to run one cow/calf combo.
    I guess the answer is it depends on what you are gonna use it for.
  8. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    If you're looking for solitude 5 or 10 acres probably won't be enough. We started out looking for 30 acres...then 40...ended up with 96! And I still have a neighbor that's to close!!! But at least it's only one and I know that no one can build anywhere else around us (flood plain).
  9. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

    Sep 19, 2004
    I think 5 or 10 acres might be enough, if it was abutting some forest land and have good distances between neighbors. 50 or 150 would be better, and keep what you can in wildlife. Even managing 10 acres intensively would be a lot of work, but also depends on what you'll have for helping to maintain that.
    Retirement is nice, as you'll have time available and go at your own pace. Enjoy whatever you get. :)
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    My 5 acres is LONG enough, but not WIDE enough.

    I have a space that is about 220' by 1200', which is common here. That means that my neighbors houses are just too darn close.

    My husband calls them "spagetti farms". It means that the developer wanted to put in as few streets as possible. Since the minimum subdivision allowed is a 5 acre lot, they made the 5 acre lots long and skinny, so that each had access to an already existing road.
  11. jassytoo

    jassytoo Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2003
    Western WA
    Depends on how far you can see. If its woods 5-10 acres would be fine. Open country, however much it takes to not see the neighbors house. Seriously, I would buy as much as you can, its amazing how civilization creeps out toward you in a few years.
  12. rcbarlow

    rcbarlow Member

    Jan 2, 2005
    Thanks to all those who answered.

    I think my best bet is to opt for between 15 and 20 acres to be on the safe side. The idea of getting property next to a National Forest is even better.

    As I said, I do not plan to raise cows, horses or goats. Maybe a pig or two, some rabbits and chickens. As long as I cannot see or hear the road or any neighbors, I think I will be happy.

  13. tim1253

    tim1253 Well-Known Member

    Oct 4, 2002
    East TN
    As has been pointed out many times, the type of land and area where you buy have EVERYTHING to do with how much you will need for solitude, etc. Knowing what I know and if I were you I'd look for 10 to 15 adjoining the Daniel Boone National Forest in Southeastern KY.

    Knoxville, TN
  14. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

    May 22, 2003
    Zone 7
    Find yourself enough acreage to qualifiy as a forestry tract for property tax purposes. Forestry tracts are taxed way below other farm enterprises therefore you will not be penalized by owning some significant acreage. This way you will own your view, ensure your privacy and have a nest egg in the trees you are growing. The trees need to be old enough to reach harvest age during your retirement in case you need to draw from the investment. Provided you are fortunate enough not to have to cut the trees, they make a nice inheritence that can pass with little tax consequence.
  15. oz in SC

    oz in SC Well-Known Member

    May 13, 2002
    SC and soon to be NC
    We looked for a good long while and saw some really nice properties but the one we bought meets most of our needs.

    There are more 'lots'(at least 5 acres.most over that) available and most are secluded.

    If interested,PM me.
  16. Quint

    Quint Well-Known Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    You can't have too much land. I have close to 200 acres and I still have neighbors too close. I would prefer something on the order or 3 to 4 thousand acres but you git what ya got. I'll be sure to buy any neighboring land if it comes up for sale if I have any possible way to purchase it.

    I'd buy as much land as I possibly could afford if I were in your shoes. After all, they aren't making any more of it.
  17. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    we have 80 and thats plenty for us our neibor is a mile away not to far not to close his 80 acres next to us we are on the begining of ours he is at the end of his to the left of us is nothing for at least 2 miles
  18. WindowOrMirror

    WindowOrMirror ..where do YOU look? Supporter

    Jan 10, 2005
    There are a lot of factors to consider.

    A modular home may take less to heat than some. You may be able to perpetually use 7-10 acres of hardwoods to heat the house.

    With horses and cattle you can reduce the amount of grain and hay that you need to purchase by grazing them. 5 acres for a couple of horses goes a long way in reducing costs.

    Gardening is the best use of space ever! A 20x60 garden will give you more than you can eat... unless you do some intensive method which will get a LOT more into a much smaller space.

    I wouldn't look for less than 10. 15 or 20 would be a much better idea. Try to locate the house in the center of the land if you plan never to subdivide.

  19. Snugglebunny

    Snugglebunny Well-Known Member

    Oct 20, 2004
    Probably just repeating what's already been said, but I think it all depends on where you are.

    Up here, if you buy 10 acres, you can almost guarantee it will be either mostly or partly forested. 10 acres of partly or mostly forested land is plenty if you're looking for solitude. I know my hubby is dreaming of 10 acres himself (if we ever get the money to buy anything...)
  20. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

    Mar 20, 2003
    Vancouver, and Moberly Lake, BC, Canada
    We have a Quarter Section (160 acres). I think more is better. What ever you can afford - depends so much on where you are.

    At first we tried to sud-divide and only buy 40 acres. We are sure glad we got the 160 acres.

    It is a question of privacy and the "blind" aspect of our log cabin for viewing wild animals. Also, the unobstructed views refresh.

    Try to go as far out as you can, and get as much land as you can. We put our cabin in 700' from the road and sheltered by 500' of trees on the road side. On the other sides - views of fields and 5 acres tree "islands" for animals.

    Good Luck,