There was a time when everyone was flocking away from cities to suburbia, but in recent years even that has lost its thrill. An ever-increasing number of people are seeking a simpler lifestyle away from all the noise and distractions that are a “normal” part of life in populated areas. They are seeking homes even more remote than the suburbs and a homesteading lifestyle reminiscent of days long gone. It may sound simple but there are some important points to remember when preparing for that long-awaited day.
Access to Services
This is perhaps one of the most fundamental aspects of choosing where you plan to enjoy life on a homestead. Unlike any populated area, some crucial services may simply be unavailable or so remote as to be almost nonexistent. For example, there are areas of the country where it is almost impossible for emergency rescue teams to reach you quickly. Services such as fire rescue may take as long as (or even longer than) an hour to reach you. Always have a family emergency plan mapped out for those necessary, but often remote, assistance you may require.
How to Buy or Build
Then there is the decision to be made whether you would rather buy an existing home in the outer reaches of society, or if you’d like to build your own. If you choose the former, remember that the asking price may not be in keeping with the real value of the home and property it sits on. Here is where you would want to understand the difference between home appraisals and home inspections. If you are going to require a home loan to purchase that property, the lender will most often require a home appraisal to set a market value for the home as a condition of the loan. Few lenders will offer loans above the valuation so that appraisal is an important factor. However, what you may wish to do even before seeking a loan is have that home inspected. Many of the necessary repairs can be dealt with before the home is valued with an appraisal. On a side note, this is also important to understand if you are selling your own home. You will get a better asking price if all major repairs are dealt with first.
A Final Word on Emergency Preparedness
Homesteading really is an exciting lifestyle because you will be learning to do things you never imagined being able to do. However, the one thing many people don’t anticipate is that wherever you go you may be subject to natural disasters that would require preparedness on a new level. As mentioned above, rescue services may be too remote to reach you in a timely manner. Keep supplies at hand you can easily access if you are snowed in, for example, or should suddenly be cut off from major roadways due to floods or fires. Most veteran homesteaders have this down to a science, but for the novice homesteader, what goes into an emergency preparedness kit is something you should take the time to research.
The point is to make that life as stress-free as possible, so these are some of the most important things to consider before packing up for the sticks.