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What suggestions do you have on location, location, location?  RSS feed

 
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Hi everyone! I just now created my account. I am new here and I have a very broad question. Where on this green earth would be a good place to get land, forest and 4 distinct seasons? Or as close to that as reality will allow for. I am trying to figure this out before the next two years pass so that we can move to an area that will serve our needs. I am actually looking for quite large pieces of land for animals, herb gardens, fruits, veggies and trees. That may be a little unrealistic, but that is precisely why I am asking: so that I may tailor and adapt my ideal to fit the reality of it all. Still wet behind the ears concerning this stuff but I am more than eager to learn. Thank you in advance for your helpful advice!

-Aurora
 
Posts: 6542
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
592
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Hello Aurora and welcome. My answer to your question would be the Ozarks. There are still large chunks of land at good prices with relatively low taxes and minimal regulations. Lots of forested, diverse ecosystems and definitly four seasons...a bit of everything when it comes to weather. Most areas have good annual rainfall amounts and you can still find pieces of land with a spring or a creek or a decent drilled well.. And more and more permaculture oriented folks are choosing this area.
 
Posts: 37
Location: New Hampshire; USDA Z5
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Aurora Cook wrote:I am actually looking for quite large pieces of land for animals, herb gardens, fruits, veggies and trees.



What qualifies as "Quite large" depends on who you're talking to. I'm in rural New Hampshire, I've got about 20ac and most of my urban/suburban friends think that's quite large. A neighboring parcel is 300ac of mature forest, and up the road there's 80ac of hay fields -- I think those are quite large. I've never lived west of the Mississippi, but I've talked to people out there and they talk about what seems to me like vast stretches of land as a "normal" sized ranch.

In someplace like the Ozarks (as Judith mentions) or New England, you could have small animals and enough gardens and orchards for your family and surplus to sell on 10 or even 5 acres if the soils are good and depending on what you've got for animals.

Also consider how much you'll be able to manage: I have an off-farm f/t job so keeping up with less than 1ac of gardens, a woodlot, homestead projects, family, and animals is at the edge of what I can manage effectively.

In northern New England, we've got at least 4 distinct seasons: Winter, Mud Season, Black Fly Season, Summer, and Leaf Peeper (tourist). There are still rural areas with relatively (for the Northeast) low prices -- probably more per acre than Ozarks. NH has no income or sales tax, which is generally offset by high property taxes but in practice on land over 10 acres you can get a big tax break by not building structures on your farm/forest land. It's like a conservation easement that you can opt out of (for a fee) in the future. Vermont has something similar but I don't know the details there. I don't know about Ozarks, but if you want to sell farm produce in NH/VT you can be in a rural area and still have access to some decent high-income markets.
 
Judith Browning
Posts: 6542
Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Our state has what is called a Homestead credit for the property that you live on. Our real estate taxes total $477 for this forty acres and is offset by the Homestead credit of $350 ...really helpful. That includes the house...which the acessor never really looked at.
A lot of land here is in the hundreds of acres...our forty is about average,..and as Pierre says you can do a lot on very few acres. We really only grow on a couple acres here. The rest is wooded and rocky and beautiful just as it is to wander in.
Twelve years ago this forty was $1000 an acre...briefly after that other comparable land was 2 to 3 thousand an acre but things have settled down and I see it for $1000 an acre and a little less for larger chunks.
 
Aurora Cook
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Thank you both so much. I'd never heard Ozarks until now. Our orignal plan pre-homesteading was Oregon state since it's so beautiful up there, but it is pretty rainy and cloudy. And I don't know exactly what I'll be able to handle as of yet. I'm an aspiring herbalist so I think working out of the house (or a little building set up on the property, perhaps a travel cart for going into town) is a viable option. Other than that I and my husband had planned for me to stay at home and manage things. He's a wildland firefighter here in california (guess I should have said that from the get-go) so he'll probably have a lot of time off in the colder months to help out. I want to get our kids involved when we have them. Also our family friend was considering moving with us, to help out on our property. Hope that helps clear the situation up a little. Again, thank you!
 
Posts: 567
Location: Mid-Michigan
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Aurora Cook wrote: here in california



I'll vote for the Ozarks, too!

I just finished three years in northwest Arkansas, so I'll add a little to what Judith said.
- from a California baseline, Ozark real estate prices are going to look practically free ($1k/acre completely realistic, far from urban areas)
- the four distinct seasons are like a storybook (for someone like me who grew up in only-summer and moved to only-winter)- there are EXACTLY three months of Spring, three months of Summer, three of Fall, and three of Winter. Winter has snow; summer has triple digit temps.
- it's dadgum beautiful, geographically speaking

Here are a couple things to watch out for:
- The soil's a real challenge. Clay and flint, flint and clay. You'll have a few years of work ahead of you, building fertility.
- A native put it like this for us: "People here are real friendly, but they don't want to BE your friend." In other words, you'll be an outsider till you die. That may or may not matter to you.

On the whole, great place for homesteading.
 
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Hi Aurora, Welcome to permies. We just purchased 17acres in western New Mexico for 13,000. It is forested. There are larger tracts or multiple lots still available You can geta better idea of what is around by searching www.landwatch.com They have listings from all over the country.
 
Aurora Cook
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Those prices sound incredible to me. I mean in the area that I am in, a decent home with a backyard is near or over 200,000 - 275,000. And that's just decent. If you want a nice home for your kids, think again. I've done a little research on the Ozarks but I never knew that social bit. The only thing I would be worried about would be my future kids. I don't want them to be outcasts just because we wanted to homestead in that area.
And I know exactly what you mean!!! All-Summer here, right now in fact. Very hot. Luckily we have good soil in this area or it would be hard to grow certain things.

What a welcoming community this is! I was not expecting very much feedback, but you all have been wonderful to take the time out of your day to reply to such a newbie. Thank you
 
Judith Browning
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Location: Arkansas Ozarks zone 7 alluvial,black,deep loam/clay with few rocks, wonderful creek bottom!
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Aurora Cook wrote: Those prices sound incredible to me. I mean in the area that I am in, a decent home with a backyard is near or over 200,000 - 275,000. And that's just decent. If you want a nice home for your kids, think again. I've done a little research on the Ozarks but I never knew that social bit. The only thing I would be worried about would be my future kids. I don't want them to be outcasts just because we wanted to homestead in that area.
And I know exactly what you mean!!! All-Summer here, right now in fact. Very hot. Luckily we have good soil in this area or it would be hard to grow certain things.

What a welcoming community this is! I was not expecting very much feedback, but you all have been wonderful to take the time out of your day to reply to such a newbie. Thank you



Being 'from off' in the Ozarks doesn't mean what it used to, I think. So many areas are now made up of folks who moved here from all over. Our children were totally accepted at the little local school back in the 80's into the 90's. For our area, the back to the land movement was maybe the largest influx of folks and we have been completely accepted (not at first, though) Soon after moving here, we were told just about the same as Mike ...It helps to remember that even families who have lived here for generations came 'from off' at some point in the past
 
Posts: 64
Location: Big Bay, U.P. of Michigan
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Hi Aurora,

Just wanted to add my vote for the Ozarks. Although Judith is in Arkansas and we are in SE Missouri, the situations are similar. We are in a very rural county and land prices are very reasonable and the "cost of living" is very low. The people are very friendly, but we will always be "outsiders". That's OK since there are so many "outsiders" here.

We have 4 seasons and winter is wonderfully short. The summer temperature will take some getting used to, but we work in the morning and evening, and just relax in the heat of the day. The soil is a challenge but it can be built up quickly. The are many small sawmills around for free sawdust and wood chips and there are many horse and cattle farms with available manure ... just mix and wait.

The natural beauty of the area is just amazing ... of course, that is true just about anywhere if you know what to look for.

I could go on, but you get the idea. Best of luck in your search.

Regards,

Tom
 
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Hi Aurora, i too am new to this sight. I live in northeast Oklahoma just south of Tulsa. i love it here and if seasons is what you want we have them and sometimes all in one day ! yes i said all in one day. i have seen it go from in the 40's one day to 80 the next with 8 inches of snow by sun down.

but ya my vote would be for the Ozarks too.
 
Posts: 112
Location: Mountain West of USA, Salt Lake City
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I've got my sights on the Big Island of Hawaii. There are 16 different bioms to choose from ranging from tropical rainforest to sub arctic. Growing up in the arid west, 150 inches of rain and no winter is very appealing. There are also a lot of people into off-grid and permaculture. Then of course there is the tropical fruit and abundant hunting/fishing.

My neighbors were on a commune for 3 years in the Ozarks, they loved it. I knew some other people homesteading in New Mexico who bailed on the Ozarks because of the chiggers and ticks.

good luck!
 
Posts: 28
Location: Southern Oregon, 6a/6b
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Aurora Cook wrote: Those prices sound incredible to me. I mean in the area that I am in, a decent home with a backyard is near or over 200,000 - 275,000. And that's just decent. If you want a nice home for your kids, think again. I've done a little research on the Ozarks but I never knew that social bit. The only thing I would be worried about would be my future kids. I don't want them to be outcasts just because we wanted to homestead in that area.
And I know exactly what you mean!!! All-Summer here, right now in fact. Very hot. Luckily we have good soil in this area or it would be hard to grow certain things.

What a welcoming community this is! I was not expecting very much feedback, but you all have been wonderful to take the time out of your day to reply to such a newbie. Thank you



I recently purchased my land in southern Oregon, growing up in California everything I knew was extremely pricey. Like you I also didn't want to be in an extremely wet/cloudy area, nor could I afford to pay California land prices. I found Klamath county, bought my 2 forested acres for 9 grand in an area with a lot of off grid folks surrounded by cattle n' farm lands boasting 290+ days of sunshine every year. If you're interested I can provide a pretty good amount of information online all freely accessible.

I also considered the ozarks and idaho as back up choices, I opted for a little colder winter in exchange for less humidity, surrounding population densities, and vastly more national forest in the pacific northwest. I only chose Oregon over idaho due to my family ties in Portland, OR and Redding, CA.

I'd say the Pacific Northwest, and some parts of the Rockies are the places to look into if you'd rather be in a colder environment that never gets too hot or humid, and The Ozarks, and other little mountain ranges in the south if you'd rather be in a hotter, wetter area.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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