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Getting Started? Choosing land to build on

 
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I've been researching many different aspects of building an offgrid homestead for a while now, and it led me to this site today. It seems like all the information I could ever need is on here, but it's a bit overwhelming! The community on here seems very wholesome, so I'm hoping I don't come across as dumb as I feel.

I live in rural Kentucky, and there's an abundance of cheap hunting land that is being sold at any given time. My idea was to purchase some and build an offgrid wofati-style home. Due to how staggeringly cheap some of this land goes for, I won't need to take out a loan unless I get extravagant. In this situation, however, I'm unsure what I should look for in a space. What should I keep in mind?

Thank you for your time and patience in advance!
 
pollinator
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A couple of questions;
What is hunting land?

Do you need to own hunting land to hunt at all?

Other issues.
- Would you ever grow food, soil is important.
- water supply, well, roof collection
- power, solar and battery, generator
- fencing costs
- driveway
- earthworks
- which direction does the land slope, towards the sun, away from it.
- floods?
- soil erosion now
- access
 
master gardener
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John's list is good.  Never underestimate the value of good fence.  Highest on my list would be water.  Neighbors can also be an issue. Flooding .   Check hills. ..you dont say what part of KY.  If you are central to west ...you are in serious tornado territory.  Is there a hill you can be on the east side of? Roads.  In some parts of KY they can get sort of exciting.  Employment possibilities...make sure there are multiple options even if you dont need the money now.
 
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a couple things I might be able to share.
not sure what part of the state your in but a few good things are some flat land that is high and dry year round does not flood is much easier to work with. a good water source is a big plus, culvert off road so you can actually drive onto property without having to do lots of earth work right off the bat.
I spent years and drove more than 25000 miles looking at properties in western NC/East Tennessee and found old farms with buildings, power and water and fencing sometimes as cheap sometimes even cheaper than vacant land that had been logged recently with no nothing but uneven ground with stumps and piles of brush.
upgrades like fencing, wells, culverts cost can add up real quick, and having mature trees is a great resource in many ways especially with the way the price of lumber has gone in the past several months.
I have a building on my property built into the ground on the side of a cliff and it gets so much moisture in it some times of the year its a real problem.
just a few thoughts from my experience
 
bruce Fine
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I might add that property deals are fewer and farther between these days as they were just a couple years ago but I was helping a friend look for some land for just what you are wanting to do recently and came across an ad on craigslist for 18 acres for $12000 not too far from Middleboro, KY just a few weeks ago, I thought that was pretty good deal compared to some of the other land ads that I saw online. I found craigslist and landwatch.com were a couple good places to look at what is available.
also might want to know what the neighbors are like. I came across a nice place that was like 40 something acres for like $50k near the intersection of Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee with a real Nice big barn, fencing, power, a stream coming off the ridge, lots of mature trees as well as nice flat pasture areas as well, but---I contacted a neighboring property owner that had been on the road for about 18 years and he said if you live on that road and have anything at all of any value and someone is not there 24-7 your stuff will disappear.
also you want to be sure that property or water source is not contaminated, what if anything is nearby and what is upstream. The reality of this part of the country is that in the past nearly everywhere was logged out sometime in the past 200 years except some areas of the Blue Ridge smokey mountains national park and some of the forest preserves and state parks.

want to wish you the best, sounds like your on a good path in life.
 
Raven Zaphara
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Clarification: Hunting land is basically just relatively untamed land that whoever owns it can allow other people to hunt on it, or hunt on it themselves. It's just private property where you hunt. It's really common out here in Western KY... I never really considered that other places in the world don't have this; I've never really left my hometown for a prolonged amount of time. The good thing about having private hunting land to build on is that I can barter rights to hunt on it to friends in return for their help in building! I already proposed this deal to one such friend and he said it sounded like a fair deal.

I would, ideally, just be buying enough land for me, a garden, and enough land to eventually accommodate a few animals (a couple mini jersey cows, some chickens). Less than an acre of residential land can run 10 grand, whereas the aforementioned hunting land (which is usually sold by the owner rather than through realtors, I'd guess that's the difference) can run about half that for 10 acres. I can't imagine needing too much land, at least not starting out. I honestly have no frame of reference how much land I really need for what I'm wanting, but that's another reason for posting here I suppose.

The biggest drawback of hunting land is if I absolutely NEED electricity or any utilities, I'll possibly have trouble with zoning and such. I might not be able to get those at all. Almost certainly unable to get signal or internet, too. I'm okay with this, really, I intended to go fully off-grid anyway. But if anyone else is looking to come here and take advantage of prices and such, that is something to consider here.

As I am in Western KY, there are quite a few tornadoes per year, but they've only hit the area where I've lived specifically twice in my life. Part of the appeal of building a home and greenhouse into the earth itself is that it will be a bit safer. When I was young, my mother and I would retreat to her parents' house when there was a tornado watch, since the first floor of the house was underground.

For employment, I'm hoping to turn homesteading into a career, so I can eventually quit my factory job. I project that I'll have to keep my job for about a year, maybe two. It will allow me to see if I can really handle the lifestyle before I make any drastic decisions; as much as I love the idea of natural living, I don't know what circumstances might arise. I'm hoping to sell extra food from my garden, hatching eggs from the chickens, and honey once I establish a hive (can also use the beeswax to make candles and soaps). I have many avenues through which to succeed, I just have trouble focusing on getting started.

How will I know if water is contaminated?

When I start looking at properties (hoping to do the shopping this next spring; will give me time to save up for it and do the proper amount of research and preparations), I'll be sure to post some pictures. That way, if anyone in a similar situation down the line needs to see what to look for, my journey can be a good example. Thank you to everyone so far! I feel a little less overwhelmed, maybe even a bit excited!
 
John F Dean
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One more piece of advice. Never feel that any one piece of property is THE property. As soon as you do, you are at the mercy of the seller.
 
John C Daley
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Interesting concept, Hunting land.
I would have thought it would have to be at least bi enough for stray bullets not go over any boundary, IE 1km?
Think about skilling up, the market may be flooded with others doing the same thing, you will always need cash to deal with the real world, and a skill you can sell will help that.
I am a retired Civil Engineer, but I repair flyscreens for people and can be as busy as I wish to be.
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