A Home for the Homestead

Reader Contribution by Heidi Hunt

How to afford to move to the country is a hot topic on homesteading forums. Actually, the conversation has been popular for decades among potential back-to-the-landers. And housing is the most discussed subset by modern homesteaders.

The question is, what is the most efficient way to live on the land while you are developing it? Do you move into the old farm house with no water or insulation and poor wiring and hope that you can make the time to remodel? Do you buy a used mobile home just as temporary quarters until the house remodel is done? Do you start from scratch and build the perfect farm house before moving to the new property? All are valid approaches and have their own merits.

But here is another option — build in stages. Start with a small structure that is large enough to set up shop in while you are beginning the transition to the homestead. As time and money become available, construct the next addition. You might start with a kitchen, bathroom and big all purpose room that also can be used for sleeping. The next stage might be a bedroom wing, then front and back porches and some storage space. You could consider having a cellar dug under the first stage and have later additions set on a simple foundation.

Here is another option — build a ‘cozy cabin‘ to live in and work from while you build or remodel the house, then use the cabin as guest quarters once you move into the new house.

The important thing to remember is that you have choices; there is not just one right way to become a ‘modern homesteader.’ Consider your finances, your family and your ultimate self-sufficiency goals and choose the option that works best in your situation.