Things to consider when buying land for your Off Grid Homestead!

March 02, 2019

Things to consider when buying land for your off grid homestead

If you are new here, we are a homeschooling family of four building an off grid tiny house and homestead with our bare hands from scratch on the Canadian East Coast. We want to live a simple, debt free and independent life among the trees, basically.

While looking for a piece of property to start your dream homestead there are all kinds of things to think about and consider and this is what I am sharing in this post.

I also did a YouTube video with all these same tips if you would rather watch than read. I plan to document our entire Off Grid Tiny Home and Homestead Build for our own mementos and to inspire others who want to do the same. 

If you would rather read, keep scrolling!

How much money do you have to spend on property?

The first thing to consider is your budget, because if you can't afford it, it is completely out of the question. Our budget was quite small because we were buying a land with no lender involved but we found this was the first filter we set we we set to the internet for our search. Soon after you start searching, you will get a feel for how many acres that will get you in your desired area.

How many acres do you need to homestead?

For some, this number is set in stone because they have specific plans for how they want to use their property. For others, like ourselves, this number is negotiable. But, how many acres do you need to reach your goals, or accomplish what you want to do on that piece of land.

Now obviously, we want as many acres as possible because we really want to feel secluded and one with trees, but at the very minimum, we need one acre to build our 16x20 off grid cabin, a greenhouse, chicken coop, and maybe some other animals.

How remote do you want to be?

Basically, how far do you want to drive when you need something or run out of something? If you want to be really remote you will need to be willing and have transportation to drive far distances to what you need, whether that is a supermarket, hardware store or for other shopping needs.

Also important to know is how long it will take emergency services to get to your property in case of an accident and if you are capable of providing CPR and first aid is you are very remote.

We wanted to be around 200km to a town with shopping centres and hardware stores so we can plan a day trip to get everything we need but also to be close to our amazing homeschool community.

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What does the ideal property look like?

There are all different kinds of properties out there, some are flat, on a hillside, pasture or wooded. Some are susceptible to flooding or are just really wet and boggy. What does your property need to look like in order for your to accomplish your homesteading goals? If you want to raise cows, you may want to look for cleared land and if you need trees for firewood, you may want a wooded lot.

For our Off Grid Tiny Homestead, we wanted a wooded lot because our home is going to be quite small so it doesn't need to be cleared, but also because we want to use those trees for fence posts and firewood.

Do you need municipal services to your property?

If you still want to rely on the grid for plowing your road, providing water to the property or for sewer services you will want to add this to your list of considerations. If you don't want to pay the large amount to have a septic system put in place you will need to be certain you can legally have a composting toilet or outhouse on your property or find one with a septic system already in place. The same goes for your water and having a well drilled, collecting rainwater or using the town's water.

But if you are looking to build an off grid property where you use an outhouse or hand drill your wells, you'll need to find an area where you can get away with it because it is largely illegal to be off grid in Canada. I'll talk more about building off grid legally in another post.

What are the Building Codes?

You'll always want to follow the rules, especially if your home is what's at stake. In some areas you are not permitted to build tiny houses, ridiculous right?! Again, I'll talk more about where you can build an off grid home at another time.

Does the Zoning and By-laws allow you to do what you want?

Some municipalities or townships restrict what you can do on your property. If you can use it as a business, residence or a farm. There are also by-laws that will restrict the amount of chickens, larger animals, and if you can even have a family daily cow. Being aware of these by-laws is so essential to finding your property for your homestead!

Things to consider when buying land for your off grid homestead

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