Buying-a-homestead buying land

If I were to just say the word “homestead” what would you envision?

Maybe a family with several kids on a farm out in the sticks. Maybe an older couple who have been doing this for years and wouldn’t have it any other way. Perhaps something more akin to a “hobby farm” on a few acres for the chickens, a cow and a few kids (goats) and kids (human). But whatever you think of you probably don’t think of someone… single.

And female.

And 28.

Hi! That’s me! And I can assure you that I don’t have any screws loose and I’m going to take you with me on my journey toward my personal American Dream of buying a homestead.


A homestead is nothing without a homesteader. You wouldn’t buy a car if you didn’t know how to drive would you? It takes time and effort to cultivate the right knowledge and disciplines for the homesteading life. So even though I don’t have a homestead yet, I’ve been working on the necessary skills I’d need to own one.

Growing up, I learned how to take care of livestock by working on farms. I asked my dad if I could build and grow a garden in our backyard. I would help my Uncle each year make and sell maple syrup. I learned canning and pickling. I learned how to forage on my part-time job as a Park Naturalist. I learned some simple home and car maintenance and I taught myself how to budget.

I did lots of research, wrote down my notes in a notebook, and wasn’t afraid to experiment and inevitably fail along the way.

Homesteading is a way of life for me, so naturally, it’s time to find a place where I could pursue this way of living. 

The Plan for Buying a Homestead

My plan, given my current situation, was to start small, but not so small that I couldn’t grow as I mature and potentially marry and start a family.

With that in mind, buying the right land seemed like the first priority. First, I wanted something close to work as I was tired of driving all over creation every day to get there. I figured I could put those hours I spend in the car towards something that was a bit more constructive. Next, I wanted something with both flat open ground for future vegetable gardens but also a wood lot as I love to make and sell maple syrup. I was thinking 1-5 acres depending on the ground. More than that and I would feel very overwhelmed (I did mention I would have to maintain it all by myself, right?)

The house was secondary. If I had to live in an RV or a mobile home while I built a house, I was fine with that. If I needed to drop a manufactured house on the site that was an option as well.

If there were a house on the property, I wanted something that was on the small side (900 -1200 sq ft) that I could still potentially add on to as I needed. I was hoping for an older farmhouse or a well-built stick-frame house from before the 50s or 60s. My thinking is that if I were to go off grid, I could better retrofit a house like that than a new “modern” house. I was hopeful for a cistern or well on the property as well as a fireplace or wood-burning stove or the ability to add one later. Basically, I wanted the house to be as self-sufficient as I could get.

But as I said before, if I just ended up buying land, I could build something that would fit these parameters in time.

Paying for It

I have one income (I work at a wholesale greenhouse), and while it does fluctuate a bit year to year (and month to month) because of the agricultural nature of it, I do expect to make a modest, but healthy amount of money per year. It’s not six digits, but I don’t need to make six digits to afford a good piece of land out in my part of the country (that part of the country being southeastern Indiana). Therefore I was willing to spend about three times my annual pay on this venture.

I could potentially afford more, and I’m sure I’d have no trouble finding a lending institution that would like to have me on the hook for more. I’m thankfully not burdened by college loan debt and my old, fully paid-for car was selected for its ability to be easily serviced, but the idea of not biting off more than I could chew is always in the back of my mind.

I’d rather, once again, start small, see what I can handle, and then add as need be. This is just how I was raised. Sure, it would be nice to have everything “turn-key” now, but you have to pay through the nose for it, and with rising interest rates and a financial depression on the horizon, I suppose the lesson to be learned here is to not overextend yourself especially if you are by yourself.

Timing is Everything 

The timing for buying my homestead also had to be right. I watch home prices constantly and how long homes are on the market. My dream just couldn’t be a reality a few months ago with the housing bubble so big and people literally snatching up houses sight unseen, but with the economy taking a nosedive, I actually see it as an opportunity.

Houses are staying on the market longer and for less money, as prices have steadily dropped. But auctions and foreclosures are on the rise, making even the upper end of housing more affordable. Could this be the avenue I want to go down? We’ll see…

While I’m just in the beginning process of buying a homestead, I wanted to share my experiences and thought processes with you all as this is a unique time for home ownership. So I hope you’ll hear back from me soon, dear reader and fellow homesteader, as my dream becomes a reality!

But for now, I have to watch… and wait….    


  1. ‘”hang in there babe… the life you dream of, will come…just dont settle for anything less…I’m 66 years old, and it worked for me twice, second time lost a leg but sitting here ripping it, just be sure its the life you want and then go get it
    Take Care lady and remember dreams are worth chasing.

    Danny Williams
    Kulabong Dreaming

  2. YES – I’m a single woman, 37, and hoping to jump into my modest homestead dreams within the next year or two. It’s so nice to hear from others in similar situations because it definitely feels like we’re a minority in the community. I grew up on a farm in the Midwest, with a father who owns a construction company and farmed and a mother who gardened, preserved, sewed, bred chickens, etc etc etc. I have a nice solid base to start from, and I’ve been doing what I can while in the living situation I’m currently in. But I can’t wait until I can have my own chunk of land to really start my dream life here in the Southeast where I’ve settled. I’m really looking forward to following along with your journey – thank you for sharing it with us all!

  3. Thanks for sharing your plans! I’m a single, 38 year old woman also slowly walking down the path of being a homesteader. And in Indiana! I come from a farming family but wasn’t involved in the day-to-day growing up, so I feel like I have a mountain to learn. Sending you good vibes!

  4. Hi Ladies,
    I’m newly single after being married 32 years. Yes, I.m 60, but a healthy and hard working 60:). I turned my beautiful suburban property into a grow food and no grass property. My neighbors and community wanted me to show them how to do this as well, and I would have if I had planned on staying. I’m also a registered dietitan and taught classes on food preservation and fermentation long before most people had ever learned the work kombucha;). I want to move out of Oregon. To expensive and too many memories. I would like to live near friendly and like minded people. I have a very deep spiritual faith. My faith is what has sustained me through this process. Which has been the most difficult time in my life. I have had a terrifying physical assault situation and am now looking for perhaps more of a community. I still want my own home, (probably a manufactured home), but was wondering if there is such a thing as a property share? I can afford to purchase the property as well, if necessary, just wondering if there is such a thing for a group that maybe want to work and support each other . Any ideas?

  5. Hi, Karen. I love your idea of a small community homestead! I am 53 , single (with no designs on changing that) and my 70 yr old mother lives with me. We are both healthy and independent and have much first hand knowledge of self sufficiency, living off the land, farming and hard work. That being said, it would be unrealistic for us to think we could build a successful homestead , the 2 of us on our own. I also would not feel safe, just us alone far from neighbors or help, in an emergency. This is one of the main factors in me giving up on that dream. However, your post has inspired me to think about and look into other scenarios, where it might still be possible, just reimagined. I have not come across anything like what you are asking about, butI think there are many people out there, especially women who long for the life, but may not be practical completely on their own. Also, with a group of like minded people, there are more possibilities for what can be accomplished with a diverse range of knowledge, experience and creativity when addressing every aspect of a homestead and use of resources. What an exciting concept! And what opportunities that could provide! if you cannot find a group offering what you are looking for, perhaps you could start one.. It wouldn’t be a commune exactly, because everyone could own their own piece, but maybe connected by a chunk of land that is more of a common space. I wish you much luck and many blessings in your endeavors, whether a group thing or solo and I thank you for posing the question. It has inspired me to explore the possibilities. Be well and may your faith heal and guide you and bring you to a place of peace and fulfillment.

  6. Like Julie Ann, I also really love this idea. I’m younger and married (approaching 34), but I would absolutely love a community to join of newer homesteaders, especially single women and others who share my Christian faith, who could help support each other rather than trying to go it all alone. It might be complicated to work out the logistics of it, of course…it’s hard to ensure everyone will pull their weight and not just rely on/take advantage of others…but with the right framework set up, I think it could work and make something really beautiful. Everyone is better at different things (be it gardening, preserving, animal care, mending, maintenance, childcare, the list goes on). Everyone has different gifts, and “many hands make light work.” I’m certainly interested in something like this, if such a community were ever to develop.

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