Homesteader without experience?

amandapandaApril 28, 2009

I'm new to the forums. I'm 22 and right now I live in a small apartment with my OH, 4 cats, 1 dog, 4 rats(pets), and a rabbit.

I've been doing a lot of homesteading type things already, like baking bread, washing my own clothes by hand an having a small container garden on my balcony. I haven't been able to harvest anything so far because I was a little behind on getting started. Both have been very rewarding. Washing clothes has been my workout(I need to lose quite a few pounds) so I try to do at least one load a day.

I have a plan to one day have my own small homestead/farm in the country, but I don't know if I'm being realistic because of finances and not enough experience. I've never lived in the country and neither of us have the knowledge of doing repairs, building things, etc. Then again, those things can be learned.

I don't want to live too far away from town. I don't want my drive into town to be more than 10-15 minutes.

I also want to acquire my homestead without any debt. The only way I can think that is possible is to buy it in bits and pieces.

1) Save money to buy a small mobile home already in a Mobile Home park and move in it. I see them on craigslist for about $5000-10000. The rent to stay in the park is about $300-400, the rent I'm paying nowis $650, so after that I would be able to save money faster. This step would take be about a year to maybe 6 months longer if I penny pinch and save $500 a month.

2) Save enough money to buy some land. I know this would take the longest. The ideal situation would be to be able to find some land for about $20,000 or less, but I know that would be hard to find. Maybe a foreclosure? I don't want anything too big, just enough for a good sized garden, a few fruit trees, a little grass. I also want to have chickens and maybe a couple goats. I'm thinking maybe we could buy a couple more mobile homes and rent them out, as another income and to be able to save money faster.I don't know if that would be worth it though.

3) If not already there, save up enough money to put on a well, septic, power, and have the mobile home moved there. In the meantime, go out there on weekends and clean up the land. I would like to put the mobile home on a small corner of the land in the front and fence it in to make a separate house/yard. I was thinking that could be rented out too. I don't know if that would be possible though.

4) After the mobile home is settled in, live there until save enough money to start building our permanent house, and start making the garden in the meantime.

I realize this could take me a really long time, but once I think that most people pay mortgages for 30+ years, it all seems worth it. I think it would be possible to do most if not all within 10 years.

If you disagree or have any advice, please let me know! That's why I posted this! I'm just asking that you be nice about it:), not that you wont.



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I am sending you this link to encourage you. This a 1 acre micro-farm in California. Looks like paradise.

Stick to your dream. You are very courageous.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2009 at 12:07PM
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Maybe buy the MH with cash and make payments on a piece of land. Move the MH on the land instead of paying rent in the MH park? That way $300 to $400 a month is going towards the purchase of your land instead of the park owners.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 10:17PM
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I agree with usmc_recon. I think that even though you don't want to go into debt, you would be making a good move to apply the rent to your property. I'm not sure what part of the country you are looking at, but I think you would be able to pick up a couple acres and your mortgage would only be slightly higher than that rent. Unimproved land is not high on the list of many people, so you could probably find a good price. Then keep your apartment until you have the money to put in a well and septic.

Another idea instead of the MH is a cabin. I was just shopping for a large shed and they also build barns and cabins. They had a really nice 1 bedroom, 1 bath cabin for about $18k. Yes, much more than the MH, but it is another option, and since it was the display model, it was likely one of the more expensive models.

Here's a link to the ones we saw. I think it was the Lincoln Log Cabin that we saw

Here is a link that might be useful: Penn Dutch Structures

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 3:46PM
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There are two sources of inspiration and beaucoup knowledge on the subject of homesteading/natural living.

International Biogenic Society's book called The Ecological Health Garden

Also, the book Square Foot Gardening is an excellent gardening primer as well as a useful method for getting the most food out of the least growing space. I've set up my garden exactly like he says. So far it's working!

I agree with 1959...Stick with it. You might not have all the answers now, but if you put your best foot forward and make some things happen, the rest of it will fall into place in time. 'Chance favors a prepared mind,' and 'Luck favors the bold.' I'm on my way out of the city someday soon, too!

What is an OH?

Here is a link that might be useful: My Homesteading Dream Blog

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 2:34AM
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I'm posting this question again because I'm really curious and I don't want it to get lost in the first message I sent...What is an OH?

    Bookmark   May 25, 2009 at 2:38AM
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mxbarbie(pnw BC 5)

I'm thinking OH = 'other half' ?

    Bookmark   June 18, 2009 at 1:55AM
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