Buying your first home in general can be challenging experience and when you’re looking to take advantage of the various loan types and tax exemptions with a more self sustainable homestead in mind seems even more overwhelming. So I’ve been doing a little research most specifically applying to the state of Texas but a lot of this applies no matter where you’re trying to buy.
First off from what I understand if your a first time home buyer and plan to utilize the FHA loan there is acreage limit that depends on the location in which you’re wanting to buy. For example if you want to buy a home on 3 acres but all the other homes in the neighborhood sit on 1/2 acre the extra acreage hold no value to the appraisal. A good example of this would be homes in subdivision located at the end of a cuddle-sack road.
But its my understanding that if the common property size 40 acres you can get a loan for a property that sits on 40 acres. But I want acreage for some livestock and therefor having additional acreage for agricultural use seems that you’d want to get property with a agricultural exemption. The agricultural exemption significantly reduces the amount of taxes you pay on your land. But the catch here is that its my understanding that you cannot get a FHA loan on agricultural exempt property over 10 acres in size. With that said 10 acres depending on the soil type, type and amount of animals you want to have might not be enough.
Another thing about the agricultural tax exemption is that from what I’ve read it can take many years to get approved for it if the property doesn’t already have the exemption in place. And from what I’ve read the amount of savings on taxes you pay is significant.
Also I’ve learned that a lot of your existing small farm & ranch homes that are sitting on acreage are divided into parcels meaning that a home with a 40 acre backyard might have 37 acres of it on a separate deed.
Maybe somebody with more real estate knowledge can share more information because honestly I’m uncertain on what is the best strategy to get the most of what you want while getting the best deal possible.
I think owning the home with out have a loan is key. Obviously this is not always possible. I also believe that having enough land to feed and protect your family is important. Keeping yourself off the beaten path, and having clean water, good shelter, and if you have neighbors, the ability for those neighbors to become like family. Lots of land is great. I’ve also looked at some places in the last few months that did not have a lot of land but the back yard was either a large business with hundreds of acres or state game lands of possibly thousands of acres.
I’ve seen hunting cabins that would work well for those that want to be a hermit.
The community that my wife and I are moving into soon has 20 or so homes, each home has 1/4 acre or more, dead end, river view. Two ways in other than water. One is a paved road the other dirt. Sure we will need to put up with 20 homes and possible river traffic if SHTF, however, it will be much better than the 1 million+ people that live in the Baltimore/Greater Baltimore area. I also don’t want to be a hermit. I will be looking for a hunting cabin on the edge of some state game lands as a vacation location or a GOOD location.
My number one worry right now is if Obama loses and we have major Riots.
Obviously if you can save money to purchase the amount of land you want paying cash for it and start working on building your dream house all without the worry of loans and a mortgage that’s the most ideal route to take. But that’s not realistic for everybody not to mention some people have fears of just how much time we have before it all hits the fan and are looking for a better location to call home.
What I’d love to have is unrealistic to achieve and the hard decisions to make is which path to take to get the most of what I want.
One thing that I’ve become much more conscious of while working towards improving my overall preparedness is my personal cost of living. LOL, I’d really be embarrassed to reveal how much is spent eating versus home cooked meals. What eats at me the most is seeing others who are far less fortunate financially than me continuously better establish themselves. And by this I mean the smart people who do things like buy a auto second hand instead of new so there’s no car payment or extra insurance cost, more or less always limiting the amount of expenses. When my little retirement calculator tells me that I need to save $1,485,711 by 2049 to live off of 70% of my current income at the age of retirement that tells me I need to make some changes.
I’m not near as concerned with how much I’m able to save as I am concerned with how much it cost me to live. My goal isn’t to ever be completely off the grid or 100% self reliant but I do want home ownership to address cost of living and some self sufficiency as much as possible.
I could make a down payment on land I find suitable with the help of a loan and affordable payments that I can pay off early but still be years away from paying off the land and even further away from actually having a suitable home structure for shelter.
Or I could save a little more and purchase a much smaller lot and have no land payment and begin working towards home building.
Or I could continue to save a more and pay cash for more suitable property but that would further delay acquiring the property.
Or I could use that money that would pay cash for a lot as a down payment for a home & land but the land would most likely be smaller than desired and the home lacking self sufficiency features.
What you are saying makes complete sense. I wish land ownership was easier. I once found 19 acres of property with a MFG home in the middle of no place PA for $39k. I was about to buy it and then the lady passed away, her kids kept the land. I was pretty upset, how can you go wrong with that type of property. Even has a stream that went through it, I was really excited. Keep your eyes open, you’ll find something!
I currently have 2.5 acres at the edge of a publicly owned forest (there’s good and bad in that). It is very rural and USED to be in commuting distance to my job. That changed!
I now have a job across the state from where I live. With the current economy, I can’t sell. Eventually, of course, it probably will sell. Meanwhile, I drive (a lot). You do what you have to do, right?
Eventually, once the house sells, I’m looking for a place with as much (and maybe more) land. You can do an awful lot with 2.5 acres in the Midwest. Before I took the new job I kept a small herd of dairy goats (some things had to go with all the commuting time, and one thing was milking). The garden area is big enough to produce just about all of our vegetables (plenty for canning), but since the commute started, we’re buying more – not as much TIME. We have grown a bit of feed for animals, and a bit (small bit) of our grain. Our fruit production is NOT enough to meet our needs, although it might come close to that in another 10 years on this place, as trees and shrubs mature a bit (we have been here 5 years). We also have chickens.
To supplement pasture, when I kept goats, I harvested armloads of willow branches (we have a number of BIG black willows), which goats (and horses) LOVE. Willow also provides them with more minerals than just grass and weeds provide. I have also fed the animals spent plants from the garden (lettuce that has bolted, squash vines, etc.). Chickens get all kitchen leftovers except poultry (for health reasons). This gives them a good and varied diet. Now that they don’t get the extra goat milk, I do have to give them laying ration for enough calcium.
I cannot say that you could be completely self-sufficient on 2.5 acres. Indeed, I am not sure that a person can ever get to 100% self-sufficiency. But you can produce a great deal of your food from a little bit of land.
I’ll leave what I would do differently in my next homestead for another post. And I’ll leave my edible landscaping for yet another post (a way to grow food EVERYWHERE), not just in designated “gardens”.
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