Our criteria for an ideal area for homesteading

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Obser, Apr 5, 2006.

  1. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    Wonderful Wife and I have lived in many areas of the country; from desert to rainforest and ocean to ocean (facilitated by our mobile lifestyle -- living full-time in a fifth-wheel trailer and visiting homesteaders or small farmers). On occasion we have considered settling down and buying land (which we have done twice for short periods). Here are some of our criteria. Comments are encouraged.

    Note: We are not “stuck” on any particular area of the country, feel no need to be near family, do not depend on an area to provide an income (live on very modest fixed income), have no children and no animals, do not require entertainment, have no expensive habits or tastes and have modest “needs”. We have no consuming fear of earthquakes, hurricanes, tornados, volcanic eruption, snakes, canines, bugs, spiders or asteroid impact.


    General area characteristics:
    1. Away from areas of high population density and tourist attractions
    2. Reasonable land prices and real estate tax rates
    3. Adequate rainfall to avoid irrigation but not enough to be oppressive
    4. Rolling terrain with forests and streams
    5. Moderate winters, long growing season
    6. Friendly local people
    7. Absence of bureaucratic interference (no building codes, zoning, inspections)

    Specific property characteristics:
    a. Ten acres or more
    b. Part in forest that has not been cut over recently
    c. Some area of soil suitable for gardening
    d. Southern exposure or slope if possible
    e. Peace, quiet and privacy
    f. Reasonable access
    g. Reasonable price
    h. Good neighbors
    i. Within thirty miles or so of a town with adequate suppliers but not so large as to have urban problems, congestion, etc (usually 5,000 to 15,000 range)
     
  2. JAK

    JAK Well-Known Member

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    It is also handy to be on a reasonably well behaved river, like the St. John River, since it can provide a means of cheap and useful transportation which used to be very important and might be again someday. Rivers and islands can sometimes also provide natural barriers to overpopulation and overregulation, but sometimes the opposite is true.
     

  3. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Most of Missouri?
     
  4. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    If you find such a tract of land, would you please pm me. I'm looking for the same thing and it seems nonexistant. Plus I want a creek for power too. Makes it even harder. Good luck :shrug:
    Dennis
     
  5. CJ

    CJ Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You just described "Home"... Booger County, Missouri :):)
    Formally, that's Douglas county.
     
  6. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    Since you don't care about tornadoes, sounds like NE Alabama..the pine forests are beautiful, the people are incredibly friendly, the local and state government is the least intrusive that I've ever seen, and it definetly has gently rolling lovely hills and rivers..taxes just cannot be beat anywhere. Tourists certainly don't go there but there are plenty of small-medium sized towns for farm supplies.

    There's a place North of Gadsden that has the most spectacular scenery I've ever seen in my life.."Little River Canyon/Falls"..they could have filmed last of the Mohicans right there..my goodness that's a beautiful state!
     
  7. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    I have never thought of Alabama as somewhere I would like to move to. I had always heard stories of the red mud and come to think of it, duh, we have red clay in Va. too. What does 10 to 20 acres cost out in the boonies with trees and a creek down there. It's up to 30 or 40 thousand up here. Thanks for the help. :bouncy: :bouncy:
     
  8. greyhound girl

    greyhound girl Well-Known Member

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    Southeast Ohio might work - there's only 15,000 people in the county I live in.
     
  9. dennisjp

    dennisjp dennisjp

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    55,000 in the ----y city I live in and God only knows about the outskirts.
     
  10. Alice In TX/MO

    Alice In TX/MO More dharma, less drama. Supporter

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  11. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    a good part of Alaska some of North and south Dakota. the wet side of the hills in Nevada parts of PA.
     
  12. wvpeach1963

    wvpeach1963 WVPEACH (Paula)

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    Try West Virginia.

    No place better. People are down home friendly.

    Land really resonable. Tax's not so bad.

    I live between Charleston and Huntington in the boonies
    but about 1/2 from town I love it.

    you'll find the best deals not in the hands of realtors.
    You'd have to bring yourself here and look around.
     
  13. menollyrj

    menollyrj Joy Supporter

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    Let's see....

    1. Away from areas of high population density and tourist attractions - Closest thing here is Cumberland Gap, which isn't a BIG tourist attraction; next biggest is Gatlinburg, about 2 hour drive
    2. Reasonable land prices and real estate tax rates - We bought our 12 acres for $26000 four years ago; tax on our house and property was about $1100 this year, but no state income tax
    3. Adequate rainfall to avoid irrigation but not enough to be oppressive - Sometimes the summers can be dry, but not always; definitely not rainy all the time, like northwest of the country
    4. Rolling terrain with forests and streams - foothills of the Smokies; rolling, lots of forests and small streams, as well as backwaters of TVA lakes
    5. Moderate winters, long growing season - four definite seasons, some winters worse than others, average growing season
    6. Friendly local people - yup, once they figure out who you are or whose land you bought
    7. Absence of bureaucratic interference (no building codes, zoning, inspections) - Yeah, we have electrical code and some zoning, when you actually live within city limits...

    Specific property characteristics:
    a. Ten acres or more - Yup
    b. Part in forest that has not been cut over recently - Part forest, but was logged for hardwoods before we purchased it
    c. Some area of soil suitable for gardening - Clay soil, but adding compost bit by bit...
    d. Southern exposure or slope if possible - the hill behind our house is south-facing, as is our yard
    e. Peace, quiet and privacy - Dead end road runs in front of our house; no traffic except neighbors, but we do have neighbors closeby
    f. Reasonable access - Yup
    g. Reasonable price - Yup
    h. Good neighbors - The best
    i. Within thirty miles or so of a town with adequate suppliers but not so large as to have urban problems, congestion, etc (usually 5,000 to 15,000 range) - Nearest town of any size is 15 minutes north, but not a lot of selection; about an hour to Knoxville with tons of choices

    Sounds like east TN is the place you're looking for...

    -Joy
     
  14. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    Dennisjp..

    I moved from NE Alabama 3 years ago, so I haven't a clue what land is going for now..we didn't have red clay BTW..good dirt, lots of rocks.
     
  15. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    I spent the better part of 30 years looking around west of the Mississippi. Arizona, California, Idaho, Kansas, and Missouri - SW Missouri and NE Oklahoma were the areas I liked best. I settled in SW Missouri and lived there until a divorce intervened, I won't even go there. So I'd say SW MO, NE OK, or NW AK would be your best bet. All places have their unique draw backs but rural Midwest seems to be the best. :cowboy:
     
  16. Alex

    Alex Well-Known Member

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    Have a look Land in British Columbia

    We bought 160 acres, all fenced, with 80 cleared, ready for breaking, with 80 acres in wood; pine, spruce, poplar, etc., for $22,000 USD four years ago.

    Today, a quarter section is around $40,000. Meets and excees all your dreams.

    Good luck,

    Alex
     
  17. cast iron

    cast iron Well-Known Member

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    Interesting that when I see these types of "criteria" lists nobody ever lists "living near family". Having roots in an area and having immediate and extended family can be a blessing. Don't underestimate the value of having the extended family support structure there....

    Does everybody hate their family?? Are people not concerned about staying near family to preserve the family life, community and support structure? Everybody is worried about "the property", what about the family?????????
     
  18. fantasymaker

    fantasymaker Well-Known Member

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    WOW ! Do you have to be a Canadian to buy land there?
     
  19. Obser

    Obser "Mobile Homesteaders"

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    Wayne, Not everyone has family worthy of staying near. Extended family can be a wonderful thing -- or a nightmare depending on the people involved. Some of us prefer to have friends with whom we share goals and values instead of associating with family with whom we may share little or nothing other then genetics.
     
  20. bostonlesley

    bostonlesley Guest

    I'd dearly love to live close to my family..unfortunately, they all live right smack dab in the middle of huge cities..nice places to visit, but I sure don't wish to live in one.