What are we looking for in a Homestead?

Our “About Us” page currently states that one of my primary objectives this year is to find us a little spot to call our own.  Our Homestead.  I’d like to share some of our ideas on what that may look like.

Home.  For long term reasons, we would like a four bedroom home so that I can have an office at home along with a separate boys bedroom and girls bedroom.  It would be great to have a basement, but I’ll dig my own root cellar if necessary.

Property. Must have good soil for gardening, raising crops and grazing livestock.  Ideally looking for two to five acres or so in an area where there is some wide open land so that we can lease more to graze animals if the option presents itself.

Locale.  Currently we are in southern California.  Originally, we thought there might be some areas on the fringe of the developed areas that might suit our needs.  It would allow us to be near family and also very close to a large population center where we could sell our excess production.  Proximity to a decent hospital and grocery store are important.  When you actually compare properties with any acreage on the cost side, you’ve got to get out of California, which is unfortunate.  Lastly and perhaps most important, is finding a good local church.  Anytime we have moved to a new area, this is usually the most difficult thing to find.  One time it took more than six months before we found a Reformed church that we felt was right for us.

Our decision has been made on the geographic region.  We’ll be moving to  Colorado as of 3/31/11.  There are a number of PCA, OPC and URC churches in that general region so we’re confident that we could fulfill that need quickly.  Generally speaking, there is a lot of agriculture going on, so I don’t need to worry about soil quality.  Water will be an issue, as the rights in that state are a bit backwards.  I’ll need to find a specific property that has a good well.

Wish us luck!  Robert.

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3 responses to “What are we looking for in a Homestead?

  1. Harold Dean

    Well, Colorado is a very nice state but as you mentioned, water rights are antiquated there. A lot of rights were granted in perpuity and are difficult to transfer because of this. Definitely southern California is not a viable option since it is in a desert and if the power goes so to does the water which must be pumped from the north. Colorado soil requires much enrichment either chemical or animal manure along with additional water to properly grow sustainment type crops. The Department of Agriculture has many reports and pamphlets on this nation wide. Were I still young enough to worry about a TEOTWAWKI situation, I believe I would strike out for north eastern Oregon in the Grand Ronde valley area near the Blue Mountains or mid western Idaho. Based on the studies I have done and the past experiences I have had in life, I know that unless you have the type of soil we have here in Central Illinois it takes a lot of ground to be self sustaining. I think the minimum even here would be at least ten acres with good water available and close proximity to a good coal seam for winter heat. For you to heat with wood would require and additional forty acres of woodland to make a go of it. I don’t like the cold weather, but since I am retired and seventy two, I don’t worry too much about TEOTWAWKI situations anymore and I will just stay put no matter what happens. I own my property and since it is homesteaded and covered by a senior citizens low income property tax freeze, I have no real estate taxes so I am not about to lose it to taxes, and while not rich, I can survive on what I have coming in and it is just below the threshhold for any taxation and while above the double poverty index, I still qualify for a number of exemptions so to give this up I think I would be a fool. Hope you can attain all you are looking for and even though I raised my family in LA county and still have the eldest son living there, I think my decision to leave and return to my home state was a wise one. Harold

  2. Congratulations on finding your destination! I can only imagine the factors that all come into play when figuring out where you want to set down your long term roots … we’re so excited for you!

    I am not super familiar with Colorado as far as homesteading goes. Echoing what Harold said above, I’ve heard great things about the availability and suitability of land in Idaho and Oregon for homesteading (and TEOTWAWKI reasons if that’s a concern for you).

    You might also consider any political and economic factors in the area you’re studying. I would prefer to be in a state that has a relatively stable budget, no income tax, and aligns overall with my political leanings. Just another one of many factors to consider!

    Good luck! Definitely keep us updated with your search for your homestead.

    Emma

  3. Thanks for the support and comments Emma and Harold. We had a lot to talk about at lunch today because of it. There are so many things to consider and we are so fortunate that we get to have input from our valued readers. Thanks, we appreciate it.

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