Want to start a small farm

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by afrikaner, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    Hi all,

    I've been reading and enjoying the information y'all share here! Great site! Thank you!

    I want to start a small farm (20 acres plus) close to Atlanta, but find that property prices are completely out of control. I can't find a decent priced property anywhere!
    Any ideas where to start looking, average prices and what the best financing options are nowadays?

    Thank you and God Bless!
     
  2. BeesNBunnies

    BeesNBunnies Schnauzer nut

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    Welcome to the first problem of homesteading! If you can find land within reasonable driving distance of jobs, shopping, etc. it is too high to buy. If you move way out in the boonies where the land is more reasonably priced there are few if any jobs. I'd say the area you are looking in is going to be over priced for homesteading. You might want to consider another part of the country. Also you might want to remember to check into property tax rates. Sometimes that is the deal breaker.
     

  3. spam4einstein

    spam4einstein Well-Known Member

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    We just spent 25k an acre. 1 hour and 45min north of atlanta for an some pasture and a barn. If thats your idea of reasonable, come to union county.
     
  4. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    We moved from Atlanta a couple of months ago. Took us two years of searching to find the right spot. First we looked in N. GA and, like you, found it was awfully expensive.

    Places that had "reasonable" priced land:
    Central and south Georgia, with lots of flat land and pine trees. We wanted hardwoods so we kept looking.
    Central TN had some nice properties, with water, at reasonable rates.
    Western NC and eastern TN were too hgih for us, though the proximity to Asheville was nice.
    We also looked in KY, OH, and WV. Finally bought land in WV. Land is cheap but there are no "good" jobs.

    I think you'll find that proximity to a city increases the cost of land dramatically. Utilities on the land increase its value no matter where it is, and flat cleared land is usually more expensive than rocky steep foothills.

    Real Estate in Atlanta is pretty high. If you have a lot of equity in your current place you could probably afford to buy a piece of property outright in central TN or WV. Then your concerns about a "good" job go away considerably, because all you need is transportation, food, taxes, and upkeep.
     
  5. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    What do you consider a "reasonable" price per acre?

    We are 3.5 hours NW of Atlanta (Jackson Co, Alabama)and paid $150,000 for a 77 acre farm with a 3,500 sq. foot house. The house needs a good bit of work, so I asked myself whether I would have purchased just the land at $2,000/acre. Assuming decent, tillable bottom land, the answer was yes. I am thrilled with what I have.
     
  6. thedonkeyman

    thedonkeyman Well-Known Member

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    While you are looking for a location. Lets consider what you are attempting to accomplish and I'm sure every one out there will help with many ideas. Are you going into this to "HOMESTEAD" ? Or are you wanting to raise something, MEAT GOATS for example ? If I were to start over I just might try this one. With most of the people on the face of this rock we live on eating Goats and Ducks I would think that would be one to consider. Just what would it take to do this ? Future problems:One consideration would be your neighbors and the life style they and you would be living ? Are you going to be able to COMPLY with locale regulations, check that out. Then there are the "GOOD FENCES make good neighbors", thing. If you do find your little valley, talk to the neighbors and listen to what they say and what they would do with that piece of LAND. There are a long list of other considerations : WATER, will the soil produce. HEAT..solar, wood, wind ? Shelters, that will not FLOOD or the WIND will not blow away.Talk to a locale Agricultural Agent and explain your goals. Happy trails....
     
  7. ourfather

    ourfather Well-Known Member

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    You can go to Realtor.com and see land. Honestly to get away from Metro-Atlanta, you're going to have to move FAAR away.

    I'd try to look around Twiggs County, Milledgeville, those seem to have pretty decent land for cheap. Minus the monsterous bugs I think it's pretty nice around there :)

    Hope this helps!

    Kat
     
  8. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    Thank you so much for all the advice!
    GReat info from all! I've come to realize that to get affordable land, I may need to move out of the area completely. The problem is, being a fairly new immigrant to this wonderful country, I have very little to start out with - so my current job at IBM is my family's lifeline. The reason for getting a piece of around 20 acres would be to:
    1. Give my kids the upbringing I got - on a farm
    2. Health - I was never sick before I moved to the US-been sick ever since
    3. Money - on a homestead, I can grow jatropha for VO and run a gennie, solar and wind to generate electricity and fuel a diesel vehicle (MErcedes 240D)
    4. Fresh food- aim to have 2 dexter cows, 1 bull, 4 Dorpers some chickens and my mother insists on having those darn ugly alpaca's
    5. Hunting - I enjoy hunting and I see animals as God's gift to humans - I don't shoot what I cannot eat-if I can't eat it, I make Biltong out of it (a South African form of Jerkey-can be used as currency with any south african).

    So those are my goals - not really commercial farming, but more as a way of life - maybe breed the dorpers and dexters for sale.
    I can deal with a 2 hour commute, or maybe an apartment in town and only going to the farm on weekends - so I may just consider heading into alabama.
     
  9. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Afrikaner,

    I have a small farm northwest of Atlanta that was a gift from my Dad, but it is getting awfully crowded (330 house sub division just went in down the street) and expensive anywhere within 1-2 hours of the city. Taxes on my 17 acres are more than my father paid for the entire 125 acre working farm. Alabama has better prices and lower taxes. Property in the Birminham, Huntsville, or Chattanooga areas (lots of AL and GA commuters work in Chatanooga) might work for you. Good luck in your search.
     
  10. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    Ramblin,

    That really sucks - the taxes will kill you in the Peoples' Republic of Georgia - for sure! I really think the best option would be to take a peek right accross the border into alabama - the border is about 45 minutes outside Atlanta (if you go by way of I20) so a 2 hour commute is not impossible. May even keep a 1 bed apartment in town for me and the wife and go out to the farm, kids and grandparents every weekend. Homeschooling will be a must.
     
  11. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    You might see if your company has offices that are NOT in a major city. A transfer might be possible. The closer you are to any major city, the higher the prices will be.

    And, yes, I can see where you WOULD be sick more often if you move into any new area. You are not yet immune to the local germs.
     
  12. Ramblin Wreck

    Ramblin Wreck Well-Known Member Supporter

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    In Atlanta you can also "see" the air, especially coming in from the West. The dirty "stuff" we breathe compounds the problem of fighting the new germs. Mass transit has not really taken off here, but it needs to.
     
  13. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    That's a good idea, Terri. We have offices out in Texas and Arizona - may be an option. Not really many remote IBM offices in the southeast.
    Ramblin, you are right - you can see the air here. The only times I ever got sick in Africa was because of insects - mostly malaria, but some other nasties too. Two weeks in bed and you are good to go. Now, it is constant headaches, bleeding noses etc...Oh well, hopefully some fresh air will take care of it.
     
  14. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    mass transit system in Atlanta - I tried Marta twice and got into a fist fight both times - most folks in Atlanta are not civilized enough for mass transit.
     
  15. ttryin

    ttryin Well-Known Member

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    Hi Afrikaner,

    Have you changed your diet much since you came to the US? The health changes you spoke of could be about that. Many cultures/countries have developed a diet that works for their location. We generally don't have that in the US. Sometimes condiments or drinks can change things.

    Great good fortune to you and your family.

    T
     
  16. afrikaner

    afrikaner Well-Known Member

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    Ttryin,

    Yes, our diets changed drastically since coming here. As menitoned before, I grew up on a farm and almost all our food and milk was fresh - VERY fresh. Now everything is processed. That's one of the main reasons for looking at homesteading. It is just much more healthy!
    Thanks for the advice. I will look into trying a different diet.
     
  17. patarini

    patarini Well-Known Member

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    jatropha? Forgive my ignorance, but what is it? I looked up some project about oil with it? Thnx!
     
  18. donsgal

    donsgal Nohoa Homestead

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    Pardon me while I pick my jaw up off the floor.

    Wow, I'm sure glad that here in the Missouri Ozarks (and Arkansas too, I believe), you can still find land for $2,000 an acre (some places even less). I guess it was our lucky day when we spotted our homestead, 26 acres for just $24,000. Not quite a $1,000 per acre. But it's not level and it's not pretty but DANG, we won't be spending the next 20 years paying for it either.

    Sure am glad I don't live in Georgia!

    donsgal
     
  19. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    If your coming to north Alabama to look make sure you get as far away from Birmingham or Huntsville as possible.

    Also look to make certain there are no land use rrestrictions, no zoning, no "future land use," that might prohibit what you want to do on your homestead. (wherever you are looking at land check that out!!!)

    We live outside a small town of 5000 in Blount County Alabama which is about halfway between Birmingham and Gadsden....We have 15 acres....it seems all the land around is being gobbled up into subdivisions...

    I think there have been some on this forum that have bought land in St. Clair County Alabama which is the next county over from us....

    best wishes!
     
  20. AngieM2

    AngieM2 Big Front Porch advocate

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    You may want to PM sancraft and ask her about the land she is buying.

    It's 20 acres in Washington Co. out East of Atlanta, and there is more land out there for sale.

    She is planning on homesteading, goats, etc.

    She works a lot right now getting her "at home" job working, but would see a PM in a day or so and could give you some info.

    Angie