Australia to Texas – The Land

Reader Contribution by Jim Christie

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.