Making a homesteading house available

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by TrailDog, Sep 10, 2005.

  1. TrailDog

    TrailDog Member

    May 5, 2005
    My wife and I own a house and 3 acres back in my hometown, which is about 4 hours from where we live. It's an old house with a lot of family history to it, so I don't want to sell it unless we have to. However, to make it totally rentable would take a considerable investment, and we just don't have those extra resources right now.

    Currently, it'll keep the weather off you, but that's about all that can be said. It has running water and electricity.

    Vandalism is another problem. Someone has already broken a window, chopped through the plywooded opening and tried to set a fire.

    Something we've talked about is the possibility of letting a homesteader use this home and land for X number of years in exchange for a minimal amount of work on the place. Is this feasible, do you think? They would also have access to 3 acres of tillable land, and this town is 10 miles from a college town and 45 minutes from Chattanooga, TN, so growing vegetables for a farmers' market or CSA would be possible.

    What are some of your thoughts? Has anyone done anything like this?

    Some questions I have: would this be a suicidal notion in terms of the liability I'd be taking on? Where would you advertise (in addition to this forum) to find trustworthy tenants? How much work could you fairly ask the tenant to do? What would be a fair span of time for the tenant to use the house and land? (My wife and I would like to eventually move back here, although this will be at least 10 years down the road.) Would you use a formal agreement?

  2. 1/4acre

    1/4acre Well-Known Member

    Jul 21, 2005
    Talk to the local pastor/ priest they always seem to know of someone that needs an inexpensive place to live. Charge a small amount of rent to cover the property taxes. This way people don't feel as if it's charity. I have also found that most people will take better care of some thing if they have to work to pay for it.Katrina victims? maybe first 2 mons. rent free as these people have nothing. Just a thought.

  3. Ruby

    Ruby Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 10, 2002
    My ex-in-laws found a stately old house back in 1965, that had been vacant several years. The woman who owned it lived out of town. Her husband had a heart attack and went to the hospital and passed away. She couldn't make herself come back to the house so moved to Huston with her son. The house still had everything in it just like she left it the morning her husband died.

    My in-laws got in touch with her, she let them have six months free rent, the twenty five dollars a month from then on. My ex-sister in law just moved away from the house in 1999. All these years they only paid twenty five dollars a month. The old lady died and the son has the house up for sale to be torn down because they are putting in industrial stuff around there.
  4. Kenneth in NC

    Kenneth in NC Well-Known Member

    Nov 20, 2002
    Traildog how far is the property from Signal Mountain TN?
    I have a nephew up that way that might have an interest. He's a roofer by trade.

    If you'd like you can e-mail me at

    Kenneth in NC