Visit our farm's Web Site at: !

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Best way to find land?


Hi to all readers from near and far!

My family is considering purchasing land. For a few years now, we've hemmed and hawed about moving to the country. Buying a house on a couple of acres. We've even looked at a few properties over the years.

But... when it comes down to it, we really, really like our home. We've been here over 8 years. We've put so much work into it - blood, sweat, and tears... the kind only a 90-year old house can instill. It's the only home our sons have known. It was low cost and to top it off will be paid off in 13 years (woo-hoo!). It's close to grandparents, which is great for our sons (although my husband does have to commute to work 30 miles each way).

So... we're now thinking of buying a small piece of land separately. To grow vegetables on, of course, but perhaps someday we'll also take our sons camping there and spend a lot of time on.

It's not ideal. The one thing I hate about having my farm plot so far from my home is not just the travel time, lack of opportunity for doing some quick work, but my lack of storage here! I think our land will definitely need some sort of outbuilding for vegetable storage. Right now my garage is full of onions and potatoes, my basement is overflowing with zucchini, and my kitchen is swimming with tomatoes and apples. It's attack of the fruit flies in here, I tell ya.

But, I've finally accepted that nothing is ideal. That said, guess it's time to figure out this land business.

I wanted to ask fellow homesteaders out there, what is the best way to find land? Through a Realtor or simply word of mouth? Asking around? Posting a wanted ad in the local farm paper?

Once you have some land to look at, how do you best judge soil quality? Around here most of our soil is probably top notch, but it's planted in mono-crops (corn and soybeans) and doused with more chemicals than you can shake a stick at. Over time and with help, they would dissipate. So perhaps I don't need to be so concerned with soil quality?

I know I'd have to think about zoning. Definitely want ag land, not something zoned residential or otherwise with a higher tax bracket. Also, would zoning affect the ability to erect an outbuilding?

Just some random thoughts as we consider embarking on a new adventure. Any thoughts or insight you can provide to help along the way would be appreciated!



  1. You looking to rent or buy? I may know someone with land/buildings to rent :) And if yes rent, how much you looking to spend per month? :)

  2. As you know, this is the option we've gone with. We've only lived in our home 3 years, but we've planted fruit trees, blackberries, blueberries, and dewberries that should really start producing within the next year. We've built a chicken coop here along with a playhouse for the just doesn't make sense for us to leave right now and start all over. So, our land is about 10-15 minutes from our home. It's actually not that unusual here in Texas and Oklahoma to have multiple plots of with a home and others for livestock.

    As far as finding land, around here the realtors jack up the prices. We looked FOREVER through realtors before deciding that was not an option. I'd look for "For Sale by Owner" stuff...Craigslist and such. We happened to find a place that was for sale and while we were looking it over the owner came out and made us an unbelievable offer.

  3. Hi Nikki!
    We do rent some farmland now. As with any kind of renting, it has it's downfalls.
    I'd prefer to buy. This summer was a test, renting the land, going larger-scale, to see if my husband enjoyed gardening as much as I do.
    We've found that he does, which is great.
    Now that we've proven we can do it and both enjoy it, I think we're ready for the next step. Hopefully 2-5 acres or so. No more than 5 for sure, ideally.
    If you hear of anything for sale, please let me know! :-)

  4. Yes, forgot to mention I also planted apple, pear, and cherry trees here! :-)