I was hoping for some of you to share your thoughts and opinions on the potential for a permaculture focused homestead between two pieces of land.
About two years ago I purchased 1.5 acres directly behind my grandparents home, where I grew up, with plans to start my homestead. Unfortunately the town requires a minimum of 2 acres to build a home. A neighbor who had previously agreed to sell me the other half acre changed their mind. At the time no one else was willing to sell.
A year passed and I purchased a 3 acre lot, in the same town but about twice as far from "in town" (about a 22 minute drive) It is also 5 miles from my grandparents (about a 10 minute drive).
This 3 acre lot is where I had a well drilled and put up a 30' yurt. The yurt is not livable by the towns standards yet, it's still under construction inside.
I had been considering selling this property for a few reasons, but had been going back and forth on it. Yesterday a neighbor who has property adjacent to the lot behind my grandparents offered to sell me a half acre.
I realize I am in an extremely privileged position to even be able to decide between two properties. I want to make the best decision for my current and future self and my family. Here are what I can currently list as pros and cons of each lot.
1.5 acre (possibly future 2) behind grandparents:
- A wooded lot, last clear cut about 60-80 years ago for cattle. Has now grown in with trees. No current water source besides grandparents nextdoor. No driveway but can be accessed by our yard truck. Lot is approximately 150' wide and around 400' long.
Nextdoor to my family home. I want to be available to my grandparents to help them as much as possible as they get older. My sister also lives with them and she has health issues that mean she needs assistance.
Trees provide shade and moderate temperature. They are also aesthetically pleasing. My partner and I love the trees there.
Selling the larger property and buying a half acre more here would allow me to be debt free.
Less space than other lot.
People hunt on land behind this lot.
Lot is long and narrow.
Large trees blow over during big storms fairly often.
No well or "driveway"
Oddly shaped, with possible large sink hole. My grandfather says he thinks people a long time ago took dirt from a hillside for fill, but I worry it's really a sinkhole. It's about 50' by 60'.
3 Acre Lot with yurt:
- Lot on the north side of a hill, gently sloping NE for about 3/4 of the lot. The eastern corner is a steeper slope down into the corner. The higher half of the land is completely cleared meadow (once used for sheep pasture), the other half is wooded.
500ft well with lots of stored water
Already has a driveway
Yurt in progress
Lots of sun for solar and gardening
Currently 28 orchard trees I planted spring of 2021
Private, only 2 neighbors who are fairly distanced from us. The driveways 500ft long right of way, 700ft to the road.
Ticks. The ticks are crazy. I realize there are things that can be done but if you go outside you easily can get 10+ ticks on you in minutes. They are on the inside walls of the yurt daily. Mostly dog ticks, some deer.
Direct sun means a lot of heat. I have health issues, dysautonomia, and extreme heat intolerance. It means I can't go outside when it's 85 or over. And at this property it is always about 10 degrees or more hotter than at the wooded smaller lot. I don't know how we will be able to cool the yurt.
Being on a hill side, we are also very close to granite ledge. The ledge varies from 6inches to 4ft down in the soil. The soil is sandy loam. A lot of work must be done to retain water. The ledge makes planting difficult. I am not sure how my orchard trees will fair with such shallow soil?
This property has put me $34,000 in debt. Which may not seem like a lot but I am unemployed do to my health problems and am not sure when I will be able to work again outside of odd jobs when my health allows.
Having the yurt up is good, but it is huge. 700sq ft and 15' tall ceiling. It is way bigger than we need and it has made it difficult to finish the building. It will cost more resources to heat and cool.
I feel like the yurt property has more potential and I've put a lot of work into it. But it is tempting to be next to my family and not be in debt.
For anyone willing to read such a long post, thank you. Opinions? Thoughts?