Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

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Australia to Texas - The Land

6/16/2011 9:35:13 PM

Tags: homesteading, building, starting a homestead, buying land, land, green field, power, water, Australia, Texas, Jim Christie, Jim Christie

  The Land in Texas at Sunset 

I’ve read a number of articles and blogs about how best to buy land for your homestead. Buy near work and friends, near public transport, something that’s been built on already, don’t do a green field – all good, logical suggestions. For us it was different. 

I was raised on the plains of the US. My dad worked for an oil company so we lived in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas growing up. I started primary school in Texas, graduated from high school in Texas and did all my college and university work in Kansas. I love the plains – the look, the trees, the smell of the air in the spring and summer, the long, warm summer evenings. I’ve missed these things as most of my adult life was spent in California and Texas. 

Living in Australia, we visited the kids and the growing number of grandkids as often as we could, but generally not more than one good trip a year. On one of these trips, we were at our daughter’s in Texas as they were building their house. The adjacent 5 acre plot looked underutilized and certainly undeveloped. On a later trip, we met the owner as he often spent weekends there in a small camper trailer. He had two burros on the property, mostly to keep the grass down. His dream was to retire and build a house on the land, but his wife was unwilling to leave the city. So we bought the property. No real concern for the factors of public transit (there isn’t any in the area) or green fields. Simply emotion. 

Initially, we thought we’d build a house there “some day”.  As time went on, we started developing a clearer picture of what we wanted to do. Over the past couple of years, we had power from the main road pulled onto the property. We want to employ solar and perhaps wind to create most if not all of our power requirements, but still preferred the idea of being attached rather than investing in batteries. We can also get really good internet from the fiber cables on the main road, so that satisfies another of our requirements. If we are to be self-sufficient, one of the things we need is good internet access for working from home, doing our research and communications. 

Now that we have the basics (water will come from a well soon to be built), we can talk about the process of getting the land ready, our idea for our house and how we propose to manage everything while being 10,000 miles away. Technology is a part of the solution, but certainly not the only solution. 

You may have some different experiences in how you’ve selected or plan to select the land you will build on. Please use the comments to start a dialogue on this subject if you want. I look forward to hearing your ideas and thoughts. 

 

 



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Post a comment below.

 

Aibreán Ó Gréacháin Pankratz
2/28/2013 10:45:07 PM
For me I think buying land out of emotion is dangerous.. When i bought my home it was what i could manage..three years later we bought 30 acres near to our current home.. and now that our home is just about to be paid off we are selling our 30 acres renting out our home and carefully buying a home/land with our family in the mountains we grew up in but if they didnt have the soil we need the abundant water and wild game we would buy elsewhere.. but we are going at this from a self reliant view....

Ray White
6/24/2011 12:19:22 PM
Russ, what land is best for you depends on where you want to live. As a former Kansas farmboy, I'd look for land in Eastern Kansas, Northern Missouri, Southern Iowa, or Eastern Nebraska--as I want a place that gets enough rainfall for crops and garden and has great soil. Plus, I have family nearby. Also, there's plenty of wild game in those areas. I'd want a place where the local building bureaucrats are helpful rather than obstructive and where property taxes are likely to stay low. But the main thing is where would you be comfortable living? Do you need to be close to family? To a city? Is living in the mountains or near a beach important? Only you can decide; but know that if you have the will to make this happen you can do it whereever you choose.

Jim Christie
6/19/2011 9:22:48 PM
From a 29 year old issue of Mother Earth News, here's a good article: www.motherearthnews.com/Modern-Homesteading/1982-11-01/land-buying-dos-and-donts.aspx I'm sure there are others out there who have gone through exactly the same thing and have books, articles, ideas and thoughts to help. Good luck.

Russell Bowman
6/19/2011 8:03:13 AM
We are looking for retirement land to begin developing our life of semi-retirement. Fearful of buying something we would regret later, we really don't know what is best to begin. Perhaps there are some good books some one could recommend for things to watch out for, and how to begin with raw land. RB







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