Land-Buying and House-Building Advice: A Roundup of Reader Tips


| 12/12/2014 2:40:00 PM


Hay Bale In Wooded Area

The Small Home, Big Decisions series follows Jennifer and her husband, Tyler, as they build a self-reliant homestead on a piece of country property in northeastern Kansas. The series will delve into questions that arise during their building process and the decisions they make along the way. The posts are a work in progress, written as their home-building adventure unfolds.

We shared the first several posts in this series on Facebook, and we received some good feedback that we just couldn’t keep to ourselves. Here’s a quick roundup, divided by post, of the advice the Mother Earth News Facebook fans had from their own experiences buying land and building a house.

1. Additional Advice and Feedback on We Bought Land, Now What?

Design!  Draw your property to scale and get your house spot down and design the bare bones of your yard, garden and farm. Plant little fruit, nut and shade trees now with a big ol' stake by each one! By the time you finish your house, barn and fencing, etc, they will be getting big and substantial for a lot less than larger trees! Make the drawing big and make it nice, because you will edit and use that for a decade. I know this first hand! — Wendy Schroeder



We just bought 42 acres in Tennessee. Reach out to your local ag agent and soil-conservation agent. There are lots of government grants for first-time farmers. Also check with your ag agent about Master Beef Producer Programs, which will qualify you for free farm equipment. Also, read up on IRS regulations for gains/losses. And, good luck! — Margaret Brogden Petre





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