Hi everybody. I am new to permies.com. You might say I am green. LOL. Anyway, I am in the process of acquiring land near Prescott, Arizona and builiding an inexepnsive green home. I would love to hear from those of you who have accomplished this. For someone like me, it seems overwhelming and I would love to reach out to some of you for help and advice. Any help would be appreciated..........
I just got land myself this last year. We are still in the preparatory phase for building, so I can't give you much advice there. I would say that the wrong house-site will make building much more expensive, I would try to find something with a gentle north-facing slope and a ridge to the south, so you can have some protection from the sun. Especially if you are your own contractor, this will greatly lengthen your possible work day. What will you do for water? Plan for lots of roof surface, since having a working catchment is never a bad idea, even if you are going to get a well. Mollison and Yeowman have a lot to say about channeling what little rainfall you have across your land surface, concentrating it on a low-lying area that might actually be able to grow something.
I read a book called 'off-off-grid living' by some christian dude, that was pretty compelling nonetheless. He endorses figuring out your food supply/storage/water issues before you build your home, since anything can be a home, even a ditch under your car. He said that the old settlers in the states would dig their root cellar before they build the house, and live in it until the house was done. Seems like a good way to do it, and by living without any amenities for a while you can better decide which ones are essential and which you are merely accustomed to.
When I was land shopping, a lot of people asked me what I was hoping to pay for the land on a per-acre basis. I now believe that this is an inappropriate way of thinking about it. For one thing, you get the best price per acre (P.P.A.) by buying large tracts, and if you are a homesteader this is likely more land than you can use. I can also get about a hundred times more AZ land for the price of one acre of TN land, but how many times more productive is land in Tennessee? You have to shop around a lot, do a lot of research,
Trulia dot com has a real-estate heat map that can give you some indication of what parts of your state are the most inexpensive. Then try to figure out why they are inexpensive and whether these qualities are negatives for you. If it is cheap because of remoteness, that would be a plus for many of us. If it is cheap because it has no soil, you have issues for yourself. When I was land shopping, I overlaid maps of rainfall, hardiness, days of sunshine in a year, population, real estate prices, median income, cost of living, to look at them all at once. Thats how I picked my region, then I just shopping around, talked to a lot of realtors.
Those cherries would go best on cherry cheesecake. Don't put those cherries on this tiny ad: