Hi all, newb here. I'm Tris, and I currently live in a large city on the east coast with my partner Max. I have a part-time child (share custody with my ex) and a dog and a rotten cat.
We've been dreaming of homesteading for a long time, and now it looks like it'll be happening within the next year. We're looking at land, trying to learn what we can, and preparing ourselves for life off the grid. We know it'll be tough, but this is what we've always wanted and we're very excited.
I'm wondering if you can give an opinion on the piece of land we're thinking about at the moment. We haven't visited it yet, though of course we will before buying. It's 5.5 acres, and already has a small cabin on it. The cabin has exterior walls and framing inside to divide some rooms, but no insulation or drywall. There's a woodstove which will be adequate for now, but will eventually need to be exchanged for a better cook stove. The land has a year-round stream running through it, and it backs up to state game land. It's mostly wooded, with a small section cleared where we could at least start gardening. It's close enough to a city for us to find jobs for a while as we get things going (I'm a health care worker, so I can find a job anywhere I go) and cheap enough that we can buy it outright. Taxes are $900/year, and we don't plan to expand the house so hopefully they won't go up much. There's electric available at the road, though we're hoping to go without it until we can get some solar panels or a wind turbine up to supply our own. I have no idea how much, or in which direction, the land slopes. There also appears to be a good number of evergreens on it - good for firewood, not so good for planting-ready soil.
There is a second possibility right down the road. Half an acre extra, $150 less in taxes, but a much smaller house that would need to grow with our family, and that is listed as needing some TLC. Also, the water running through the plot is listed as seasonal.
Option 3 is a house on 1.2 open acres. No firewood, a lot less property, but it's move-in ready. There is also a septic and well already in place. I had planned on a composting toiler rather than a septic, but the well certainly isn't unwelcome. I had just hoped for a bit more land than that, and I'm concerned about how self-sufficient we can really be on that little property.
At any rate, we'll probably be buying soon, so I'm hoping you folks will have some insight for us.