Homestead Planning – Where Do You Want to Live?
The easy part of homesteading is deciding it’s the lifestyle right for you. The definition of homesteading has changed over the years. The first homesteaders had fewer choices and different decisions than most of us. Where do you want to live? What you need to live the lifestyle you desire has a lot to do with that decision.
What kind of area are you considering?
- Small town
- Tiny town
- Just outside the city limits
Remote living is great if you don’t want to be near a lot of people. What’s your definition of a small town? Is it 1000 people? 400 people? 20,000 people? Be sure your real estate agent knows what you’re thinking. Do you want to live in town on a larger than normal lot? Maybe you’d be more comfortable on a small lot just outside the city limits. What you from the experience and as your lifestyle will help you decide where you want to live.
If you decide to settle in town you’ll want to know ahead of time that your lifestyle is acceptable in the community. If you want to garden, have laying hens and hang your clothes on the line to dry you probably don’t want to live in a community with a home owners association that forbids these activities. You’ll probably be able to find a town that allows these “old fashioned” activities.
You can grow food in a suburban garden by getting creative in where you plant.
What public services do you need? A few things to consider:
- Fire department
- Trash pickup
- Public transportation
- Groceries and hardware
How close do you need to be to health care? That includes dentist, eye doctor, primary care provider, hospital, clinic, lab and specialist. Everyone tries to be safe and not get hurt but life happens. If you need stitches or heaven forbid, more than stitches, how far are you willing to travel? How quickly can an ambulance get to you?
How remote is too remote? Hundreds of thousands of acres of forest and a few houses – remote living.
Personally, I live 30 miles from a hospital in one direction, 50 miles in the other. The ambulance service could take 20 minutes to get here. If you’re going to live some distance from heath care you should at least take CPR and First Aid training.
Cell phone reception and internet service are something the first homesteaders never had to consider but being a huge part of every day life for most people these days, do you want it? Need it? Are you going to be a hard core homesteader who disconnects? I’ve helped friends look for land many times and every single time, cell phone reception and the ability to not only get online but the need for high speed internet has been first or second on the list of necessities. Many homesteaders work from home now and really can’t do without dependable high speed access. If you don’t need it at your house but want access to it you can look into availability at the local library or small town mom ‘n pop store.
It’s a lot to think about. Make a list. What do you need? What do you want? What can you do without?