I recently purchased a property that my wife and I plan to use to homestead. Here are the reasons why this property fit the bill for us and see if I can convince you to be as excited as I am!
The location of the property is about as good as we could get I believe. It sits between two small towns, about 10 minutes from each. Those towns have beautiful down-towns with shops and restaurants, great places to take visitors. Additionally, we are about 20 minutes from a National Park with a beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Another ten minutes takes you to a huge oceanfront city where there are more things to do in the summer than you can shake a stick at.
Since I grew up in the area, I know that city is even better in the offseason, since the best restaurants and french fry places stay open year-round. That’s not to mention the massive infrastructure built for hundreds of thousands is shared by the tens of thousands in the offseason. It’s really awesome to drive on a six-lane highway with one or two other cars!
Given my background as a financial planner and tax nerd, one of the best attributes of the property is that it is in the county with the lowest local tax rate in the state! This saves almost 2% of income tax as compared to the next county over. Because of all the tourist revenue, they lowered the income tax rate. Even though we’ll probably be FIRE’d and not earning much income by the time we move there, every little bit helps!
Size and Composition
The composition of the property is perfect for me. With almost four acres of cleared land, I will have plenty of space to build a home, garden and raise animals as I see fit. The 23 acres of woodlands is more than sufficient for me to hunt for deer as well as take walks and enjoy nature. The woods are made up of some younger pines and older hardwoods, so wildlife has plenty of different habitats to survive and thrive.
There is also a stream that runs through the center of the property. While we don't know whether this stream runs year round, it is really exciting to have a source of water in the property, both from a sustainability point of view as well as the aesthetic of the babbling brook. It sure is pleasant to the ear!
There is another piece of property to the north-east of ours that is landlocked and not accessible by road. While not in the plans yet, I hope to contact the owner of this property and let him know that if he ever wants to part with the property to please let me know first. This would add another 18 acres to our land and make it more of a figure eight shape (albeit tilted 45 degrees). This parcel would add another five or six acres of tillable land plus more great woodlands. I can’t imagine needing more land than that ever!
If you noticed from the picture, the field is oriented south towards the sun. This will shield somewhat from the cold northerly winds while allowing a full day’s sunlight to hit the field and turbocharge growth in my garden and plants! Those northerly winds won’t get to cause massive heating bills in the winter either.
Finally, the field opens up to the south-west side allowing sunset views of hundreds of acres of more farmland. The only thing I can think of better than that is mountain views (not possible for 300 miles!) or water views (seriously not in the budget!).
The land is zoned agricultural, meaning we can raise stinky pigs or build chicken houses if we want to. We are very unlikely to do either of these things, but just knowing that we could provide comfort. After living in neighborhoods with a Homeowner’s Association there to tell me I need to plant grass seed or scrub my siding, I can’t wait to have the freedom and ability to build what I want and how I want it.
Also based on the zoning rules, we can build towers for wind power, solar panel arrays and the like. I don’t anticipate that in the near-term, but I may jump on the opportunity if early retirement finds me tinkering on a project to provide my own power.
So, there you have the reasons why we jumped on this property. Did I convey my reasons well enough that you would have jumped on it if you had seen it first?
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