How To Start A Rural Homestead, Part 6: Finding The Right Property
This is part 6 of a series for anyone who is serious about designing a rural homestead lifestyle.
It is my belief that if you begin these steps and really commit to them, within two years you can attain your homestead and have set up a life so that you don’t have to commute away from it every single day to join the rat race.
Once you’ve taken the time to consider everything outlined in Part 5: Determining Location and have honed in on the area you want your rural homestead to be, it’s finally time to begin seeking out that perfect property!
How To Find Property
It’s a great idea to approach local realtors in the area, either via email or by walking in and chatting face to face.
Introduce yourself, tell them what you’re looking for, be as specific as possible, and ask them for a list of properties they have that match your criteria (or atleast a large percentage of your criteria).
If they don’t currently have anything, request that they call or email you when a new listing becomes available that does align with what you are seeking.
I found two previous homestead properties on Craigslist! One was a 30-acre piece of land with a log cabin in northern Kentucky. The other was a 5-acre property with a treehouse in western North Carolina. Both ended up accepting owner financing!
Since moving out west, I have found that Craigslist isn’t as useful for these really remote parts of the interior American West, but I would still recommend checking in on it from time to time.
While we aren’t Facebook users in the personal sense, we do use Facebook to operate a couple of Pages. Washington’s Last Frontier Facebook Page, for example. And from time to time, we engage with the Facebook Marketplace. I’ve found it to be a valuable tool for some things! Not only does it act as a thrift shop of sorts (just filter by your local zip code and radius to find what people are selling), but you can also find great property listings on there.
This is another approach I took in western North Carolina. Essentially, the flyer just said: “Have land? Want to make an extra $___ each month? Contact me!” except a bit more eloquent and thorough.
In very remote areas, I still think this is an effective method for finding property.
There is a small town of roughly 12 inhabitants near our property in northeast Washington, in fact it’s technically a “ghost town,” and in this little town is a general store and an old tavern (both built back in the old mining days). Both places have a bulletin board and this is the ideal spot to post a flyer about what you’re looking for.
Just be sure to laminate it so it doesn’t get destroyed by wind or rain.
This is my favorite way to look for properties and this is how I found the land that we ended up purchasing last year.
Just go to www.landwatch.com and enter the area either by zip code, or county, or nearest town. You can filter by house, land, etc. and just see what’s available.
Pro tip: Many of the properties have an owner financing option that isn’t mentioned in the listing itself. So if you find something you like, contact the realtor using the form provided on the site and inquire about owner financing options.
These are my favorite ways to look for homesteading property, if you have more to add that have worked for you, please add those to the comments section below for all of us to see.
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