Finding the "right" property is always a challenge. Land & building costs are just a small portion of what you'll need to consider if you will be building a new homestead - Having a current staked survey done by a licensed surveyor, is paramount. You must know where the property boundaries are before proceeding - in addition, zoning, utilities, location, ordinances, water & restrictions all need to be addressed before proceeding. Don't forget to factor in road maintenance & repair if required.
Once you are satisfied the property meets your requirements and you get through the pre-purchase, due diligence period, inspections, financing & closing processes, you'll need to actually begin to design your homestead. Where you place the home, the barn, chicken coop, pastures, the garden, and any other addition, you need to plan it out in advance but be willing to move things if need be.
Building a homestead from scratch requires a lot of leg work up front in order to avoid issues later that could severely alter your plans. You'll need to be available to address issues that inevitably come up and be flexible in the process. Going over budget is a reality so be sure to have reserves put away for unanticipated expenditures and issues that arise. We had a $13,000 unanticipated driveway issue arise. Things happen!
Questions to think about when buying land: What the soil make-up is like around the property? What kind of trees are on the property? Do any trees need to be removed? Where can utilities be brought in? Where will the property perk for the septic field? Is the ground stable? How high is the water table? Where can a well be put? Is there any ground water contamination? There are many unknowns you'll need answers to!
After you have figured out many of the issues, you will know where the house is going to sit on the land and where any fencing needs to go, once on the property, you'll see where the sun shines and where the water run-off is so you'll better be able to place gardens, add pastures, build a pond, or know where the best place to keep livestock will be. Take stock of any vegetation or trees that could be poisonous to livestock & contaminate gardens soil.
Dealing with the many of the issues you'll have up front or beforehand will help alleviate a lot of stress, save you money, and help make building your homestead from scratch easier, more exciting and a more rewarding experience. As the old saying goes - "Knowledge is Power" and when it comes to buying raw land and building a home, acquiring knowledge up front on what to look for and how to address things will help you avoid or work with issues that come up!
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