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Dh and I are considering moving to a more rural area--land/acreage.


popmom
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I'm worried DH is idealizing this. He really dislikes yard work. He thinks mowing several acres would be easier because he'd have a tractor. Or maybe one of those fancy zero turn mowers. I don't think he realizes how slow tractors are. And what a bumpy ride.  My husband has lived in a city or suburb his entire life.

I actually have a little farming experience. I started herding cows on my grandfather's farm in his pick up truck when I was 12 years old. "Counting cows", picking wild blackberries, gardening, bushhogging was a regular part of life. While I have no desire to raise cows, I do know that owning 55 acres (like my granddad's farm) vs, say, 4 acres requires a skill set that we may not have.

 I do like that idea of having some land for a variety of reasons. I've been reading up on all sorts of topics relating to homesteading. I'm the kind of person who researches to the extreme lol. My husband operates so differently. He wants us to focus on getting the house ready to sell, so that when we see the "perfect" property, we'll be ready to act on it. So I ask him last night--what is the perfect property? "idk". How many acres are you thinking? "idk" Let alone questions of managing forested acreage vs cleared pasture. 

Don't get me wrong--my husband is fabulous, hard working, super smart. He is super handy. He replaces all the brakes and makes some repairs on our cars, repairs appliances, can do all kinds of things plumbing related--install toilets, sinks, faucets--you name it. He even recently installed a new natural gas hot water heater (which I always said was where I draw the line at DIYing it, but nobody died.) So he's got some skills, and he's got the work ethic. I'm just not sure he knows what to expect. 

If you live on some land, how did you decide how much was enough? Have any of you gone from a suburban lifestyle to homesteading with zero experience? 

Also super curious if anyone here has managed to go off grid. 

Edited by popmom
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How rural are you thinking?   How far away from your dh main place of employment (or would he need a new job)?   

I was raised on 2 acres in a tiny community of about 14 houses out in farm country.   We were 10 miles from town.

Then I spent 27 years living rurally, again, about 10 miles from town.  I even had the horses, chickens, barns, etc    I loved it....but it is a lot of work.

What are your dh's hopes and dreams?   Does he just want more land and freedom or want to homestead, have livestock, etc?

 

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3 minutes ago, mommyoffive said:

Following along.  That is what we are thinking about too.  Although after looking and thinking about it, I think living in the city but just a much bigger lot and have a backyard that is a forest not other houses would be better. 

I have considered that myself. I do like where we live--it's just so dang expensive. Any house in our area that has, say and acre or more is way out of our price range. 

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39 minutes ago, Ottakee said:

How rural are you thinking?   How far away from your dh main place of employment (or would he need a new job)?   

I was raised on 2 acres in a tiny community of about 14 houses out in farm country.   We were 10 miles from town.

Then I spent 27 years living rurally, again, about 10 miles from town.  I even had the horses, chickens, barns, etc    I loved it....but it is a lot of work.

What are your dh's hopes and dreams?   Does he just want more land and freedom or want to homestead, have livestock, etc?

 

Well, since COVID he works from home, and he believes his company will make that a permanent situation. So commuting isn't a problem. We need to be within an hour of my aging parents. It's doable.

I don't really know what his hopes and dreams are--aside from early retirement. We both want to travel some, and that is probably at odds with homesteading. That's one of the things I've been trying to figure out. 

ETA: I'm going to talk to him specifically about the hopes and dreams. Maybe that will motivate him to do more research.

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35 minutes ago, Starr said:

You already know what it's like. It just depends on how you want to spend your time. My dh didn't believe me. 😜 

This is what I'm talking about! lol Are y'all on land or did this end badly? 🤣 I don't want to do this and end up in a garden home in 2 years. I'd rather stay put.

Edited by popmom
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I like being near a store if I run out of a key ingredient. I don't like having to do chores in the bad weather or wait until the rural road is plowed in order to drive out from my property. (Rural roads are last to get done here in cow country.)

I've lived outside of town & inside town where town is less than 5,000 people. I prefer inside or at least near town.

I have friends who live on farms 15 minutes from me. They either love it or are trying to find an inside-town property to buy. They like not having close neighbors. Their mowing-age kids are growing up & moving out. They like having livestock. They miss being able to walk to church/library/store like half the town can do. Take-out is cold by the time they get it home. There are trade-offs.

Edited by RootAnn
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26 minutes ago, popmom said:

I'm worried DH is idealizing this. He really dislikes yard work. He thinks mowing several acres would be easier because he'd have a tractor. Or maybe one of those fancy zero turn mowers. I don't think he realizes how slow tractors are. And what a bumpy ride.  My husband has lived in a city or suburb his entire life.

I actually have a little farming experience. I started herding cows on my grandfather's farm in his pick up truck when I was 12 years old. "Counting cows", picking wild blackberries, gardening, bushhogging was a regular part of life. While I have no desire to raise cows, I do know that owning 55 acres (like my granddad's farm) vs, say, 4 acres requires a skill set that we may not have.

 I do like that idea of having some land for a variety of reasons. I've been reading up on all sorts of topics relating to homesteading. I'm the kind of person who researches to the extreme lol. My husband operates so differently. He wants us to focus on getting the house ready to sell, so that when we see the "perfect" property, we'll be ready to act on it. So I ask him last night--what is the perfect property? "idk". How many acres are you thinking? "idk" Let alone questions of managing forested acreage vs cleared pasture. 

Don't get me wrong--my husband is fabulous, hard working, super smart. He is super handy. He replaces all the brakes and makes some repairs on our cars, repairs appliances, can do all kinds of things plumbing related--install toilets, sinks, faucets--you name it. He even recently installed a new natural gas hot water heater (which I always said was where I draw the line at DIYing it, but nobody died.) So he's got some skills, and he's got the work ethic. I'm just not sure he knows what to expect. 

If you live on some land, how did you decide how much was enough? Have any of you gone from a suburban lifestyle to homesteading with zero experience? 

Also super curious if anyone here has managed to go off grid. 

Ugh. I grew up with parents who wanted “acreage.” I can’t go back. If my husband wanted to sentence me and the kids to manual labor ALL the time I would not be down with that. Our small suburban lot provides more work than I really want to do and I truly enjoy gardening. It’s kind of like a baby.  I think you have to BOTH be on board or there will be resentment. It’s one thing if he can manage it alone, but quite another to saddle a family with that much work. 
 

ETA: If he wants to add animals to the mix it can get very hard to travel. If I really wanted a homestead or hobby farm, I think I’d attempt to do any serious traveling BEFORE I began that adventure. 

Edited by KungFuPanda
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2 minutes ago, RootAnn said:

I like being near a store if I run out of a key ingredient. I don't like having to do chores in the bad weather or wait until the rural road is plowed in order to drive out from my property. (Rural roads are last to get done here in cow country.)

I've lived outside of town & inside town where town is less than 5,000 people. I prefer inside or at least near town.

I have friends who live on farms 15 minutes from me. They either love it or are trying to find an inside-town property to buy. They like not having close neighbors. Their mowing-age kids are growing up & moving out. They like having livestock. They miss being able to walk to church/library/store like half the town can do. Take-out is cold by the time they get it home. There are trade-offs.

I would like to be relatively close to a decent grocery, too. We don't get snow here, so that's not an issue. 

I also worry about health care in an emergency situation. So proximity to a hospital is something I am looking at.  

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8 minutes ago, KungFuPanda said:

Ugh. I grew up with parents who wanted “acreage.” I can’t go back. If my husband wanted to sentence me and the kids to manual labor ALL the time I would not be down with that. Our small suburban lot provides more work than I really want to do and I truly enjoy gardening. It’s kind of like a baby.  I think you have to BOTH be on board or there will be resentment. It’s one thing if he can manage it alone, but quite another to saddle a family with that much work. 

What if it's just 5 acres and some chickens? Still a huge burden? Can I hire a chicken sitter for travel? lol

We are both on board as of now. I need dh to understand what all is involved, and see if he's STILL on board. 

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13 minutes ago, popmom said:

What if it's just 5 acres and some chickens? Still a huge burden? Can I hire a chicken sitter? lol

We are both on board as of now. I need dh to understand what all is involved, and see if he's STILL on board. 

How big is your property now? 5 acres is nothing to sneeze at even if you’re just mowing. If you add a big garden, that takes more time. Animals add a schedule you have to keep. Property is just a lot of hours of work. How annoyed would he be if you or the kids got tired of it all and complained. If he does it himself, that’s one thing. Do you really both have too much down time now and would like to eliminate a lot of it? Or is this just pandemic restlessness? What if his work wants people back in the office a few days a week? I took on a new 20 x 25 garden plot this year and I only had time to do everything I wanted to do because the whole rest of my life was shut down. If you have a houseful of people that LOVE yard work, it could be really fun. If you have a houseful of people who love spending long summer days reading stacks of books you might get a wee bit of pushback. If you have teenagers it’ll be even harder. I’d decided what kind of time I wanted to devote, make plans, then look for a property that meets my needs. I wouldn’t START with property browsing. Maybe read Quarter Acre Homestead. ONE acre can be a big management commitment if you have no experience. 

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We started on 5 acres; bought 10; bought 27, then bought 25. So we have a big place.

We only cut 2 acres of grass (yard) we have a zero turn mower. It takes us 2 hours of mowing a week. The kids take turns; 2 of them on the big mower, someone else on the push mower doing trim. Oh, and my son does weed eat about 15 minutes a day every week day in the summer. Remember this is JUST the yard part of the farm, the 2 acres around the house and the driveway.

When we had a small garden (1/8 an acre), it averaged about 15-30 minutes per day of gardening work plus time to process veggies in the kitchen. 

Chickens are easy. They take less than 5 minutes a day in general. You also have to be willing to put one down if it gets sick and have a plan for when the hens get too old to lay. You do have to find a farm sitter to come by and feed and water chickens for traveling. 

Goats and sheep are good starter animals, but you have to build fences. And coyotes can really ruin the fun of that. 

Cows? Tons of work, tons of space needed. (I can expound if needed)

Tractors, a decent one that you don't have to work on all the time will set you back 15 to 30 thousand dollars, plus the implements. 

Fence lines have to be maintained. I probably spend an hour a week spraying fences in the growing season. 

Fruit trees have to be sprayed to bear. (I tried the "all organic" route. It isn't appropriate for anything but pears in our area. We have so much humidity that insects and mildew/mold is an issue)

We don't travel more than 3 days at a time. 

Carla Emery's book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living gives excellent details of what all work is involved in this kind of an undertaking with no whitewashing of the more unpleasant facets.

Edited by fairfarmhand
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We live in what I think of as the perfect mix for us - we are a mile or 2 from a main strip by an interstate exit, so 2 good grocery stores, fast food, drug stores, etc.  But, we live on around 3 1/2 acres, grow a lot of our own veggies, picked 5 gallons each of blueberries and raspberries on our still-small plants, and processed gallons of applesauce from our own trees.  We absolutely love it.  But, even on a riding mower it takes 2 1/2-3 hrs to cut the grass every week in the summer.  We still have the suburban 'mulch the flowers near the house' work, but we also add in seasonal pruning of fruit trees.  The large garden takes several hours a week.  It was easy this year because the kids activities had a more limited schedule, but it is exhausting the weeks that we have a sports tournament over the weekend. Picking garden veggies has to be done almost daily - an hour or 2 to pick each type of beans every 3-5 days, and tomatoes, cucumbers, and squash are daily or every other day for much of the summer  We usually pick berries in the evening and can chat as we do it - the season is very short so it has to be done quickly.  The kids liked picking apples, and as family we invested an hour or 2 at a time for several weeks for that.  And, once it's picked it all has to be processed and frozen (or canned, but we freeze).  

We have a lot of friends who have little houses at the lake, and we discussed that it's a trade-off - we can't leave every weekend in the summer.  it's difficult when we go on our week-long family beach trip, and the year we took a 2-week trip we paid to have the grass cut and found friends who were happy to pick the garden veggies (and eat them!) in our absence.  The kids are getting old enough to be helpful, and our older seems to really enjoy parts of it and was a huge help this year...which is good because kiddo eats a lot and is part of the reason that we put so much in the freezer!  🙂  So, I'd say that if it's just having land, a few hours a week should take care of it.  If you're talking about a garden that actually feeds you (as opposed to a couple of tomato plants just to have some fresh ones), it's a time commitment of 10+ hrs/week during the growing season in addition to yard maintenance.  And, with all of that said, we also don't have a tractor.  They are super expensive, but for $100 we can pay a guy to come out once a year and plow the garden.  Planting the seeds/seedlings is usually at least a 1/2 day of work, maybe more like a full day (it took longer, but now we've done it enough to be faster).  At the end of the season, it's another few hours to pull up everything, haul it to the compost stack, take down the tomato cages and chicken wire/fencepost thing that we run the beans on.  

We have one kid who loves this all and is interested in...well, not quite homesteading since they, like us, are likely to have a STEM job, but at least hobby farming, bordering on prepping.  The other will be content with a few plants in pots.  🙂  

Edited because the above post mentioned something I forgot....yes, spraying for pests...ugh.  Some bugs can be managed with neem oil or soap, others need more hard-core stuff.  Trees are really tough.  We have finally figured out the spray schedule to manage the various bugs, rusts, fungi, molds...a couple of times a year my husband suits up in a tyvek suit and doses the trees.  The garden is much easier...usually....unless the squash borers come.  We have not managed to fight them off, so we plant hills in series and hopefully one of them is always yielding.  

Edited by Clemsondana
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35 minutes ago, fairfarmhand said:

We started on 5 acres; bought 10; bought 27, then bought 25. So we have a big place.

We only cut 2 acres of grass (yard) we have a zero turn mower. It takes us 2 hours of mowing a week. The kids take turns; 2 of them on the big mower, someone else on the push mower doing trim. Oh, and my son does weed eat about 15 minutes a day every week day in the summer. Remember this is JUST the yard part of the farm, the 2 acres around the house and the driveway.

When we had a small garden (1/8 an acre), it averaged about 15-30 minutes per day of gardening work plus time to process veggies in the kitchen. 

Chickens are easy. They take less than 5 minutes a day in general. You also have to be willing to put one down if it gets sick and have a plan for when the hens get too old to lay. You do have to find a farm sitter to come by and feed and water chickens for traveling. 

Goats and sheep are good starter animals, but you have to build fences. And coyotes can really ruin the fun of that. 

Cows? Tons of work, tons of space needed. (I can expound if needed)

Tractors, a decent one that you don't have to work on all the time will set you back 15 to 30 thousand dollars, plus the implements. 

Fence lines have to be maintained. I probably spend an hour a week spraying fences in the growing season. 

Fruit trees have to be sprayed to bear. (I tried the "all organic" route. It isn't appropriate for anything but pears in our area. We have so much humidity that insects and mildew/mold is an issue)

We don't travel more than 3 days at a time. 

Carla Emery's book, The Encyclopedia of Country Living gives excellent details of what all work is involved in this kind of an undertaking with no whitewashing of the more unpleasant facets.

Thank you for sharing all the details. My grandfather worked full time for NASA all the years he had the farm. And they always had a huge garden. So I feel like it is doable. I never once ever heard anyone complain about the amount of work involved--they still had free time to pursue hobbies, etc. Now I'm wondering how they pulled it all off--because at the time it seemed like a much slower pace of living.

Actually, they even managed to do some traveling. But they were in a close knit community, so likely traded favors with "neighbors" They were always helping each other out with construction, etc. 

My parents lived on 4 acres for a long time, so I'm pretty familiar with that scale of things, too. That was just a lawn though--no garden or animals. They could have benefitted from a zero turn mower for sure. I'm personally not put off by the work involved with a few acres.

 

Edited by popmom
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@fairfarmhand Does livestock take care of the remaining open land? I don't remember my grandfather ever "cutting" the pasture. Just bush hogging overgrown areas--usually the outskirts of wooded areas. The pasture had worn paths where we tended to drive the truck, but the rest of the pasture was pretty high grass and weeds. Signing off for the night now. Thanks for all the input. I'll check back in the morning. 

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Living in the country doesn't necessarily mean lots of mowing. I live on 50 acres and we only mow an acre or so around the house. The rest of it is either wooded, pasture that is grazed by my horses, or fields that are just left to grow.

You mentioned your dh working from home. If having access to fast internet is important to you, make sure you look into whether that is possible before you buy. That's the one and only thing I don't like about living way out in the country - our internet is slow and it's a real pain.

Your questions about the amount of time and work it will take really depend on what you want to do. I don't garden (other than a few pots of tomatoes on my deck) because it's not worth the time and effort to me. I have a herd of horses that take a huge amount of my time - hours every day - but it is totally worth it because I love them and the work is enjoyable to me.

 

 

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Just now, popmom said:

@fairfarmhand Does livestock take care of the remaining open land? I don't remember my grandfather ever "cutting" the pasture. Just bush hogging overgrown areas--usually the outskirts of wooded areas. The pasture had worn paths where we tended to drive the truck, but the rest of the pasture was pretty high grass and weeds.

 

yes, we have it subdivided into 3-5 acre paddocks. Or that's where we're headed. The last 25 that we bought 2 years ago is still a work in progress. Until it's fenced, my dh does bush hog it. 

We also follow the livestock with the bush hog because it helps the grass grow back thicker and healtheir to be mowed. 

Just remember that only you being ok with the amount of work involved may fuel resentment. Your dh really needs to be willing to spend time cutting grass and such or at some point you may get annoyed with it. 

Hobbies...that tends to be seasonal for us. My dh has more time for that kind of thing in the winter. If you want a summer hobby (like a kid who wants to play little league or something else) that could be a huge conflict. Also, keep in mind that driving adds time to everything. We add an hour onto most of our activities for driving.

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Farm life doesn't take off- when we go on vacation we have to find someone to check our chickens and cows.  We try to plan around calving, but you just never know!  

A lot of 'city folk' move out to the country.  The biggest shockers are how long it takes to go anywhere- 20 minutes to a tiny grocery store, an hour to a Walmart Supercenter, 3 hours to a mall.  We don't go shopping very often 😉 Depending on your church, its not uncommon to travel 30+ minutes to a congregation that fits you.  

I've also noticed these same couples get 150 different types of animals as soon as they move in- pick one!  Get it,  get a good coup or pen, figure out how to take care of it before getting another type animal 😉 Chickens 🐔 are super-easy! 

A garden is a huge commitment- I don't garden.   I'd like to do better but I just never do.  Maybe when my kids are older?  I admire people who do!  I do have a lot of landscaping at it takes a long time to maintain.   Our yard is not huge, but it takes at least 2 hours a week to mow- we do have kids to do this, lol!  

And last- there is very little money to be made.   Costs are high, equipment is high, something is always broken.  Its great for when you are early retired- will give a bit of a bump in income and give DH something to do!

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1 minute ago, Selkie said:

Living in the country doesn't necessarily mean lots of mowing. I live on 50 acres and we only mow an acre or so around the house. The rest of it is either wooded, pasture that is grazed by my horses, or fields that are just left to grow.

You mentioned your dh working from home. If having access to fast internet is important to you, make sure you look into whether that is possible before you buy. That's the one and only thing I don't like about living way out in the country - our internet is slow and it's a real pain.

Your questions about the amount of time and work it will take really depend on what you want to do. I don't garden (other than a few pots of tomatoes on my deck) because it's not worth the time and effort to me. I have a herd of horses that take a huge amount of my time - hours every day - but it is totally worth it because I love them and the work is enjoyable to me.

 

 

Agree with the internet!  Ours is high $$ and limited gig!  Its the best we can get.  

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We lived on 20 acres for a good chunk of our marriage, and neither of us miss at all. 🙂 We had 4 acres of grass to mow with a very nice zero turn mower and it still took my husband a couple hours every weekend to do it. It wreaked havoc with his allergies as well. If you have a lot of trees, there are always tons of sticks to pick up after bad weather.

I can't overemphasize how hard it is to get a good internet signal in some rural places. I've known people who actually bought a house and then left within a year because they couldn't take not having reliable service. It's essential when working from home.

It's hard not to have mice in the house in the country. The only time they weren't a problem was when we had an outdoor cat. I used live traps, but I really would have rather not had them in my house, you know?

And the ladybugs...every spring the house would be crawling with them. Shiver.

When my husband was out of town, I was really on my own. No one would be able to hear me if something happened. 

Going anywhere required driving.

We would never have been able to stay there all our lives; the work would have become too much. We bought a smaller house in a rural small town, knowing we could absolutely grow old in it, and we love it here.

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We live on a bit of acreage and while our plan was to at least create a hobby farm or homestead, I'm not sure dh and I going to be able to do that as we both have disabilities/medical issues. Still, this is likely to be our forever home.

Right now, we share 7 acres with dh's grandma. We each have our own houses but on the same land that has been in dh's family for years. When grandma passes on, it will all be ours. We aren't in a subdivision or anything, we are completely rural. It has it's advantages and disadvantages but it is what it is for us. We don't maintain the entire property, just the area around the houses. Grandma does mow the field but we keep telling her just let it grow, it's a field, it will be fine lol. We have no intention of keeping the field mown once it is completely our responsibility. We would like to plant some fruit trees in it and/or put some goats out there to keep it "mown" lol We haven't fully decided yet.

Well water is not as easy to maintain as city water. Doable, sure, but it does take more maintenance and time than city water. Going to town for this or that takes time. We do have chickens and yes, a chicken sitter is a thing. I have ours setup so that they are fine on their own for up to a weekend. This has the advantage of allowing us to travel for an overnight trip (because some things that most people take for granted are an overnight trip for us) and if we do need to be gone longer, a chicken sitter only needs to come over every other day or so to check on the chickens making their job a little easier.

We are 15 minutes from a small town (5,000 people) and 90 minutes from any sizeable town (75,000 - over 100,000) with amenities like a fully stocked Walmart or Target. We have a mom and pop hardware store here but it's 90 minutes or more to go to Home Depot or Lowes if they don't have what we need. Sometimes ordering it and paying shipping and waiting for it is cheaper than a trip to the bigger towns if we aren't already going there for some other reason. The nearest large city, where the university hospital and children's hospital are, is over two hours away. The nearest metro with everything you could possibly want or need is 3 - 4 hours and in another state.

Dh has health needs with his disability that require us to travel to the university hospital several times a year at least, sometimes a couple times a month. We call our local rinky dink hospital, "the band-aid station" because they are not set up for any kind of trauma or serious injury. A little over a year ago, ds was down with grandma helping her burn leaves. He wasn't paying attention and ran through the cinders and ashes left from the burn pile. He got cinders in his shoes and severely burned his feet. Luckily, it wasn't as bad as it looked and he didn't need skin grafting but still, the local hospital, aka the band-aid station, sent him by ambulance to the children's hospital 2.5 hours away (it only took us a little over an hour by ambulance but still) They considered life flighting him to children's but in the end it was determined that he had enough morphine running through him by then to make the trip by much less expensive ambulance ride. Another time I accidentally ran a filet knife completely through my hand. Our local hospital was ready to send me to the university hospital until they discovered by x-ray/MRI that I somehow miraculously missed all the nerves and tendons and such and wouldn't need surgery, just stitches on both sides of my hand. They can do surgery at this hospital and have a couple of general surgeons but anything beyond an emergency appendectomy to save your life will be sent out to a larger hospital.

Also small rural hospitals also do not attract the most up to date and skilled doctors. Our PCP is 45 minutes away and part of a larger hospital system. She is wonderful and totally worth the 45 minute drive through the mountains to get to her but it is at least half a day gone to go see the doctor for anything. When we have to see the local doctors, in the ER or at urgent care, we always have to explain our chronic illnesses to them as all of us have conditions that are on the less common side. We often to have explain to them why we need a certain medication over another and refer them to call our PCP and check with her before prescribing something we are unsure of. Sometimes, even before Covid, it was better to just do a phone consult with the PCP rather than rehash things with the local doctors.

Last but not least, ds has to have therapy every week right now for his eyes. We have to drive 90 minutes one way and 90 minutes back to take him to therapy. It is an all day affair for a 30 - 45 minute therapy session. Every. Week. It does afford me the opportunity to go shopping in the city every week for now but it does get old rather quick. I have to plan for school lite on therapy day because I have no other choice. There are no therapy places any closer to us or that will do in home therapy in our area. It makes our school spill into the weekend sometimes when we just can't get it all done. Once again, it is what it is and we just roll with it.

All this said, we do like living where we do. It's beautiful, it's quiet, we have relative freedom to do whatever we want without having to get approval from other people. But it does come at a price. For us, it's worth it though. YMMV.

ETA: Just wanted to second all the posts about internet, mice, bugs, re-iterate the driving to get anywhere... when it snows here, even just a couple of inches, forget leaving the house unless you have 4x4 and even then you have to be on the look out for those who don't have 4x4 don't know how to drive in the snow. Our little town, despite being in the mountains where we don't get a lot of snow but it isn't unusual to get a few inches every year, doesn't even own salt trucks much less snow plows.

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2 hours ago, RootAnn said:

I like being near a store if I run out of a key ingredient. I don't like having to do chores in the bad weather or wait until the rural road is plowed in order to drive out from my property. (Rural roads are last to get done here in cow country.)

I've lived outside of town & inside town where town is less than 5,000 people. I prefer inside or at least near town.

I have friends who live on farms 15 minutes from me. They either love it or are trying to find an inside-town property to buy. They like not having close neighbors. Their mowing-age kids are growing up & moving out. They like having livestock. They miss being able to walk to church/library/store like half the town can do. Take-out is cold by the time they get it home. There are trade-offs.

And there are many more trade-offs as you get older or even if younger and get a chronic illness( or many, like me) or injuries.  Let's say you break a leg and then need to do PT to get back to normal-  PT is 3 times a week for about a month usually or maybe even 6 weeks.  That is travelling back to where there is PT.  Or if you develop a condition that needs rather frequent blood testing.  

Then another health and welfare concern is emergency response times.  How soon will the fire truck or ambulance or police/deputies take to get there>?  For an ambulance, how long can you expect from the time you call to the time you arrive in an ER?  Other such things- many rural areas do not have good fire or police services- as in they are underserved because of large area to patrol or respond to and too many calls and not enough personnel.  One reason in my area people decide to move to the county is lower tax rate for property- but the trade-off is lower service too. And with fire, lower service can very well mean higher home insurance bills too.

Then there is the problem I hear from a number of people I have known who lived away from the city/suburbs but in areas where they were still close enough to the city/suburb that I met them (so no more than an hour away).  The neighbor issues that have even less resolution options than in cities/suburbs typically,  Issues such as vicious dogs roaming, noise complaints, lack of zoning so stripper clubs or something else undesirable appears close to your home, etc.  Because the same freedom living in a county that lets you keep chickens, etc is also the same freedom that lets them keep a tiger or some other animal you don't want near you.  County areas often lack much zoning which is good when you don't have to make legal requests to build an addition to your home but not so good when you don't want a pork butchering plant next door.  Noise and all sorts of dog  complaints are also often not even addressed in county statutes, unlike most city statures.  And there are more such differences too.  

My dd1 and dsil were looking to buy a house two years ago and he was interested in more land.  But she wanted good internet connectivity.  Many of the houses they looked at in the county where they could have some acreage were with a very unreliable internet carrier being the only choice.  They chose to buy a house with .6 acres in the city and have a good choice of good internet.  Turned out to be super important.

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I have friends who did serious homesteadish things on their corner city lot.  They raised ducks for eggs and meat, and planted a lot of little fruit trees and berry bushes, as well as a large herb and veggie garden.  They had a contraption that distilled dew overnight for their drinking water.  

They lived very simply but pretty much could never leave.  The husband had a low paying job and the wife was a SAHM, and they had two kids.  I helped them out when they visited the grandparents one year, and wow, just keeping up with the veggies was hard (it was summer).  They had someone else take care of the animals and someone else watered the trees when they had a lengthy hot spell.  It was really tough to organized this, and so they hardly ever went away.  And again, this was just a city lot.

While I love having room around the house and some quiet and privacy, still, I would tilt toward wooded acreage if any.  Low maintenance, and not so relentless.  I have lots of fruit trees now, but no animals, and that is no accident.  

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it all depends on what you want to do. And can take as much or as little work as you want it to take.

 We have 10 acres. in 2     5 acre blocks. We try to live self sufficiently as much as possible.

 one is divided into 3 sections. 2 sections are for the house cow and one section is native bush.  

 the other 5 acre block has the house on it. We also have very large veggie garden ( tennis court size) and a fully netted large Orchard , A netted blueberry patch, A Polly tunnel, flower gardens, succulent gardens with 7 ponds ( old spas) for frogs. it takes a fair amount of work. I garden 2 hours or more every day and all Sunday.

 

My neighbour however has let her 5 acres regrow as native vegetation. she mows around her house and that is it. she spends a lot of time traveling ( in normal years) her property is practically no maintenance.

 My other neighbour loves lawn and mows his whole property regularly on a ride on. no gardens and a few trees. He is retired, unwell and cannot get around much  and really enjoys riding his ride on .

 so really it depends on what you want to do with your property . 

 

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If your husband doesn't like yardwork now, he's probably not going to like it when it's multiplied by several acres. 

Try to find out what the draw of "rural" is for him. Does he want more "elbow room"? Less traffic?  Fewer neighbors? Growing his own food? To start a Christmas tree farm? (Don't laugh; my DH found a tree farm for sale, and it was all he could talk about for weeks). 

If the draw is producing your own food/self-sufficiency, there is a lot that can be done on a suburban plot.  A lot of towns allow people to keep backyard chickens for eggs.  Are you close to being empty nesters or do you still have young kids?  If you don't have young kids tearing up the backyard, you can have quit a nice garden that will feed you very well.  My grandparents put in a well-planned garden in the backyard of their 1/8 acre property and had more veggies than they knew what to do with, (and I still had room to play when I stayed with them during the summer). 

We live in a rural part of our county, about 12 miles from the nearest decent grocery store, Home Depot. the post office, etc. It's not bad, but there's no quick-run-to-the-store-to-grab-that-thing-I-forgot.   We also don't have any access to city services, like sewer, trash collection, etc. There's no recycling services, so if that is important to you, you'll have to figure it out on your own.  You know how sometimes a town will have free bulky trash collection, or give out free mulch, or let you drop off tree branches for free? Yeah, we can't do any of those things because we are outside of the city limits, (yet I pay as much in property taxes as people that live within the city limits. Funny how that works. 😒).  I have to pay extra for trash collection through a private company.  My mailbox is 1/4 mile from my house. Yeah, I could walk to it, but people let their dogs run loose and there have been issues with bite incidents, so I don't walk. Likewise, I don't let DS12 ride around on a bike out here, because the dogs have chased kids on bikes before.    

If you have young kids or teens that like going places, you will drive a LOT if you live in a rural place.  I had to work really, really hard to find social connections for my kid because we don't have a neighborhood he can tap into. Before Covid, I was driving hours and hours every week to bring him to activities just so he had a chance of meeting kids.  It was fine when he was little because he was content with park days, but now that he's a middle schooler, digging a hole at the park doesn't cut it anymore. 

I don't regret our country living experiment, but I can honestly say it's not the life for me. Whether you'll be happy living in a rural area depends on what you and your DH are looking for.  If you are outdoorsy homebodies, then you might be pretty happy in the country. If you like restaurants, museums, having easy access to stores, then you might feel really frustrated in the country. 

 

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@fairfarmhand gave you great and realistic advice!

I can really sympathize with you. DH went through a period of wanting to “buy back” his grandfather’s farm. 80 acres 🤦‍♀️ and we are coming from .34! Both of us HATE yard work. We resist weeding until it’s really bad. We don’t even like to put Christmas lights outside.  He got a zero turn tractor for our (prior) tiny yard so he could do it in 20 min a week. When he was in this phase of wanting to “buy the farm”, he told me that he would hire people to maintain it. Ok, but I still don’t think he realized all that would entail.  Long story short, we are now moving out to a more rural area but he has come back to reality and let go of the idea of acreage. He has realized it would be better to find other places to hunt rather than own the hunting land. We don’t want a tiny lot and neighbors on top of us; half to an acre would be ideal, with views of farmland. The thing I’m most concerned about now is location. We are currently just minutes from major stores and groceries; I do NOT want to be 30 minutes from a grocery store. That would be a big lifestyle change for us. Also getting roads plowed and being on the priority list of getting power restored during and outage gets much harder the farther out you get. No thank you! I’ve had very rural friends out of power for weeks in past storms and I don’t want to be more likely to be in that situation.  Also the kids—I want to be close enough to wherever their activities will be and where they can find friends, both now while I am still driving them around and when they are driving themselves. 

I think the pandemic has altered our view of reality and normal life a little, too. Being home all the time makes you feel like, what’s the difference? We’re ordering groceries anyway, not going out much, etc. It’s appealing to have lots of places to go on your own property when you can’t go anywhere else. But it won’t be like this forever. 

I hope you guys come to the right decision for your family. 

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I don’t know if everything from Aus will be relevant there but there’s so many variables.  Working from home can be difficult in rural areas here because internet is really poor.  Supposedly getting better.  And if you need urgent medical care it’s obviously more complicated than the city .  Likewise if you need recurring medical stuff.  We aren’t super remote but they’re still factors for us.  We have a house yard section then a big paddock that has sheep and a bit of native Bush. Fencing needs repairing to keep the sheep in, we have to spray certain weeds each year, the sheep have to be shorn, drenched and vaccinated but we pay someone to help with that.  They also need hay over summer which we buy in.

Fire prep, fire risk is the biggest time eater in spring with a tonne of mowing raking etc.  Other than that we don’t mow much.  Once the grass dries and is cut for the summer it’s low stress.  We’re on rainwater so making sure we’re catching that and not overusing it is a big deal through summer especially in the dry years.  We’ve been here 10 years and the septic has only needed pumping once.

Chickens - depends how many you have.  6-12 is not too bad but it you go on a hatching spree like we did and raise babies they’re a bit of extra work.

Ive found its worth having a breadmaker and deep freeze to reduce grocery store trips.  

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“Land” can have a lot of different meanings in different areas, or even in the same area.  Every piece of land I’ve looked at has different pros and cons and requires adapting expectations. Since our first priority is location, our options are limited and we might even give up the idea of more than an acre for the right home with the right amount of privacy in the right price range.

One lot that I’ve been eying is 12 acres of mostly wetlands. It would provide a ton of privacy and more than enough room to putter around with whatever homesteady projects we’re inspired to do, but without having to put a ton of land management into the entire property.

The easiest way to limit yard work is to keep a smaller yard. We’re currently on about an acre and a quarter, but our “yard” is a tiny patch of grass in front that’s smaller than the one I grew up with (on a tenth of an acre, lol), and there’s also grass on our septic mound. Because of the size of the front and the slope of a mount, a tractor mower isn’t an actual option, so too small doesn’t help much either.  The local “culture”, so to speak, is to keep wooded areas wild other than taking down dying trees, so that maintenance can be minimal, but also dangerous. We took a big one down this year, and it was scary.

When I contemplate options, I think about us aging and want to be sure that any space we can’t or don’t want to manage down the road can be appropriately taken back by nature.  I had very grand plans, but these thoughts are what has me aiming for more middle ground or even just a nice acre. Most homesteading activities are allowed on any property here, except livestock has lot size requirements.  
That’s another consideration.  I could legally have 4 cows on 3 acres and not need 50 acres. Logistically, those would have to be an appropriate 3 acres though, and maybe I could only find adequate pasture on a larger lot.  (Not that it matters; I’m afraid of cows.)

Distance from stores is one thing. Distance from emergency services is another to consider. Where I am, police, ambulance, and fire (volunteer) can take quite a while to arrive. Hospitals aren’t real close. Medical helicopters are used pretty frequently and that’s quite a bill!

Living with bears and coyotes (or whatever the local wildlife) takes some vigilance, especially with animals.

Knowing local zoning ordinances is absolutely necessary.  We almost entered a contract for a gorgeous 16 acres with our agent telling us everything was fine, only to dig deeper and find out that there’s an addendum to the ordinances and a single family home would not be approved. I cried.

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Also I think a huge amount depends on how much extra money you have.  You can set up a chicken run with automatic waterers, feeders, daylight sensor doors and cameras and virtually set and forget - if you have the money for that.  You can buy more efficient machines and mowers, you can pay people to fence and shear.  You can have more or less garden beds/rain water tanks etc.  But if you are doing things on a tighter budget it will definitely be more work.

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Two other issues to consider are noise and smells.

One of my friends and her family were actually featured on a brochure from the county about country living and the SMELL.  It even had a scratch and sniff manure sticker.   Rural is great but games and animals have smells, that sometimes are very strong depending on the season and which way the wind blows.

The other issue is noise.  People dream of the quiet, peaceful country but don't realize during certain seasons tractors are running 24 hours a day to plant and harvest.  Then there are the quads, loud trucks, parties, and animals.

 

 

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52 minutes ago, kristin0713 said:

@fairfarmhand gave you great and realistic advice!

I can really sympathize with you. DH went through a period of wanting to “buy back” his grandfather’s farm. 80 acres 🤦‍♀️ and we are coming from .34! Both of us HATE yard work. We resist weeding until it’s really bad. We don’t even like to put Christmas lights outside.  He got a zero turn tractor for our (prior) tiny yard so he could do it in 20 min a week. When he was in this phase of wanting to “buy the farm”, he told me that he would hire people to maintain it. Ok, but I still don’t think he realized all that would entail.  Long story short, we are now moving out to a more rural area but he has come back to reality and let go of the idea of acreage. He has realized it would be better to find other places to hunt rather than own the hunting land. We don’t want a tiny lot and neighbors on top of us; half to an acre would be ideal, with views of farmland. The thing I’m most concerned about now is location. We are currently just minutes from major stores and groceries; I do NOT want to be 30 minutes from a grocery store. That would be a big lifestyle change for us. Also getting roads plowed and being on the priority list of getting power restored during and outage gets much harder the farther out you get. No thank you! I’ve had very rural friends out of power for weeks in past storms and I don’t want to be more likely to be in that situation.  Also the kids—I want to be close enough to wherever their activities will be and where they can find friends, both now while I am still driving them around and when they are driving themselves. 

I think the pandemic has altered our view of reality and normal life a little, too. Being home all the time makes you feel like, what’s the difference? We’re ordering groceries anyway, not going out much, etc. It’s appealing to have lots of places to go on your own property when you can’t go anywhere else. But it won’t be like this forever. 

I hope you guys come to the right decision for your family. 

Similar situation. Long story short, my brother and I own most of what was our grandparents' farm. A few years ago DH and I considered building there. It's not that rural--only 2 or 3 miles from a small town with a grocery store/drug store/restaurants, and only 20/30 minutes to a mid-sized city with everything. No issues with garbage collection (private company) or internet. County water is available. We went so far as to have a perk test done for a septic system, found a house plan we liked, found a builder we liked, found a credit union with good rates on construction loans. At the last minute we  changed our minds and found a house on a half acre with nothing but woods across from it (and it's unlikely that will change). We're a little closer to the mid-sized city with everything. The half acre is about as much as we want to or can relatively easily maintain, especially given that both of us have developed serious to very (very) serious health issues in the intervening years. We like being in a neighborhood but not right on top of other people. We feel like we made the right choice for us and have had no regrets. The farm is being farmed by my nephew, so we have it as an investment but don't have to even think about it.

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We used to be on 50 wooded acres about 20 minutes from town. We now live IN town. I did love the woods- it was beautiful. BUT- we were off grid which was a pain (seriously, trust me. Computers, microwaves, hair dryer, lights on in multiple rooms at night, vacuuming, doing laundry, running the well pump easily...just no on cloudy days)

I hated cutting firewood, moving firewood, stacking firewood, carrying it into the house, keeping a fire going all winter for heat....

trail maintenance, gardening, chicken chores, bugs, mice, snow blowing or plowing are not as much fun as you think

oh and many fewer zoning laws and rules- neighbor burning garbage? Cops not going to show up. Neighbor has 10 old cars and washing machines in front yard? No one is going to do anything about it. Party going on all night or dogs barking keeping you awake? Suck it up. House catches on fire? Volunteer Ambulance and fire trucks have about a 30 minute response time.

high speed internet needed to work from home or for school??? Not in our rural area.

the drive back and forth from town multiple times per day with babies when my oldest was taking CC classes and my other teen was dancing each night is what finally pushed us to move into town

dh still loves the woods but loves living in town on the lake (we are in a small family neighborhood with my parents, my brothers family, and a beach). A store for milk is 2 minutes away 🙂

we did have an awesome neighborhood in the woods- an old intentional community of off grid hippies with all sorts of bonfires and community potlucks... but I much prefer town. Even though I can no longer cross country ski right out my back door

Edited by Hilltopmom
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We used to have three acres, of which one acre was mown. It took an hour on the tractor and and hour using the small mower to do fiddly bits. Plus strimming edges. The weeding was endless.

We are glad to have moved to a house on the edge of a village with a small garden. We still have views, but the neighbouring farmer manages them. I like 'borrowed landscapes '.

Edited by Laura Corin
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You might try and figure out what feeling he thinks he’d have from a hobby farm. My DH goes through this. I was raised that way and I don’t want to do that much manual labor.

When my DH was most inclined to move to the country it was because he wanted more food security. An extra freezer and a few trips to a warehouse club solved it for far less money than the cost of a move. 

It also helped for me to discuss my goals and how they weren’t compatible with a farm. 

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IMO, there is a broad range of "country living".
For 25 years (raising 5 kids), we've lived on 3 acres within a small subdivision (11 homes), in a rural area.
Yes, we're 8 miles from the nearest small town, but now there are 5 Dollar Generals within a 8 mile radius of our house.
I just do weekly errands.

My dh has had dreams of chickens or rabbits, but thankfully they've stayed Dreams.
He maintains a big garden each year.
I harvest & prep the resulting food (only).

Disadvantages:  He mows our 3 acres weekly, and it takes 2 1/2 hrs or so with his small older-now tractor.
IMO, the maintenance is the overwhelming part.
Keeping up with: the trees & garden growing, 3 small outbuildings, our 2400 sq ft house with wood siding.

Advantages:  We have a quiet neighborhood (except during deer season).
We love our neighbors.
We like the privacy--no one can see us from the road (likely our most preferred feature?!?)
Even now, our 20-something kids like to hike in the woods behind our house (which we don't own).

We plan to downsize, but are hesitant to move back into a subdivision where the homes are only 15 feet apart!

 

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We moved to the exurbs and love it.   I had to be within a reasonable distance to my work.   We moved to a small town of 3K people.   It had been remote, rural.  But, when a closer-to-civilization rural town turned into a large suburban city, our town became an exurb.  We live IN town, but we bought a house on an acre.  None of our neighbors have that much land.   We'd leaned toward unincorporated land, but God meant us to have this.  We have 12 chickens and two Diary Goats, and two dairy goat babies.   DH had wanted elbow room, i.e. land, and I wanted neighbors.   The standard lot outside of the city fulfills that.   With the lots being a great deal deeper than the street frontage would lead you to believe.  DH mows with a pusher mower because he likes to mow.   I think an acre is perfect for a sitting lawn mower.   There is a nearby community college for DD to do dual enrollment when she is old enough.  

One thing to consider is internet service.    Many of the more remote lots don't have any internet service except satellite.  

Also, going off-grid is very expensive.   The batteries aren't quite there yet.  The inverters are getting much smarter though.   

eta:  If you get enough land to free-range chickens they can be done easily.   You of course still need a coop for nighttime and nesting boxes.   But no-mess feeders can be built by attaching PVC elbows to a large container.   Water is handled with chicken nipples.    You can build something to open and close the coop door with an automatic antennae from a car and a solar panel.  

 

Edited by shawthorne44
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We live on 15 acres and my DH farms other acres not connected to the home place. He’s got a couple of big tractors and used them to brush hog the “not yard” parts of our place periodically, but nowhere near once a week. We are not big on yard care, honestly, and the yard shows it, but everybody had their own priorities.  You put in whatever work you feel is necessary, and no HOA is going to complain. We don’t live in a wet area, though, and that could make a difference.
 

my boys actually got goats and kept them on the weed lot part of the place this summer. Weeds make great goat feed. 
 

It is hard to travel often or for more than a few days. We do manage to take off for a week or five days maybe once a year, sometimes twice. My FIL looks after the place most times, but sometimes we hire someone. If we’ve got cattle on wheat pasture we usually hire someone. And there are some times of year that we just can’t go because of farming, but a hobby farm might not have that as much. You are going to have a lot harder time getting a tractor to pay for itself. If your DH is handy, buying used might be the way to go.

 Honestly, I don’t worry so much about the chore alienating my kids. I grew up working harder than lots of my friends. Yes I resented it sometimes, but it builds character, as my dad would say, and it builds self-sufficiency. Kids will always find something to resent. 

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We bought a fixer-upper on 10 acres. My DH also wanted a tractor. I had him get a zero turn mower. The tractor can come later but the mower was an immediate need. He cuts the front yard, a flat area in the back, and a trail through our "pasture". We don't have animals but the neighbor has cows. We let most of the grass grow and then the farmer cuts & bales it. I'd like to get chickens. If we got any other animals, we'd need to do fencing. 

We are more rural than our previous county but still about the same distance from shopping. We were really done with living in a neighborhood with a HOA.

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12 hours ago, mommyoffive said:

Following along.  That is what we are thinking about too.  Although after looking and thinking about it, I think living in the city but just a much bigger lot and have a backyard that is a forest not other houses would be better. 

I think this is where we have landed. We have always wanted to live out in the country with lots of land. But the reality is that we are nearing 50 and we need to be realistic about how much work we will be willing and/or able to do. We'll see.

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The forested portion of your property will significantly cut down on work while increasing beauty and distance/privacy from neighbors. Letting parts the lawn grow up into meadows and having those cut once a year significantly cut down on mowing and increase wildlife habitat. I grew up on 90 acres with 5 of it non-forested and about an acre in meadow. My parents kept a garden between 1/4 and 2 acres throughout the years, my father cuts firewood to heat the whole house for the winter from the forest. That property is 20 minutes from the grocery store, 7 minutes from a convenience store. 

I have lived in apartments, homes on 4 acres, and now (just this year) in an 1800s farmhouse on 43 acres (4 acres lawn, 5 acres meadow, rest woods). I am 7 minutes from a grocery store and 9 minutes from the hospital. I do like gardening and have killed the grass for a good 20 by 15 foot garden. The lawn guy (whom we pay a lot of money) takes 3 hours to mow the lawn,  I intend to allow at least 1 more acre of lawn to grow into meadow alongside the existing meadow and have it mowed by tractor once a year. I love having my own forest to wander through and having the neighbors far away. I could definitely homestead (there is a barn), but that is not my thing. A garden is enough. We had chickens at our 4 acre property, which we loved, but end of life issues were too much for my tender heart so now I buy my eggs from the farmstand. If I had animals it would be horses, and that is too much money to invest, riding at the stable meets my horse needs now.

If homesteading is your hobby or goal. You can do it just as easily on 4 acres as on 45. I do believe that animals need a lot of space and squishing large animals goats or sheep onto less than 4 acres is not desirable. If you just want abundant garden produce and fruit trees you can make that happen on a sunny 2 acre property. Most importantly no matter how simple or grand your homesteading plans, you will need large portions of the property that have sun 8 HOURS A DAY and you will need to start with decent soil (you can amend with compost, but if your original soils are poor or thin, you are going to be expending a lot of money to get them up and running the first year). Also, in the country lawns are not necessary (maybe just a bit around the house), meadows provide habitat for your garden pollinators, butterflies, moths, birds and other joys of country life so don't think you are locked into endless hours of mowing, you can let some of it grow. 

 

Edited by Kalmia
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Another consideration should be gas prices. In my area, they're under $2 right now. I lived in a small town - 30 minutes to the city - when gas prices were $4 and it affected how often I was able to get to the city. Hopefully, we won't see those prices again, but it should be a factor. 

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One warning about buying something that backs up to woods/forest.  That is great and fine....until the owner of the property clear cuts it to sell the timber or turn it into a field or pig farm or .......

My warning is to NEVER EVER depend on someone else's property for your privacy.

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My MIL just sold her 20 acres.  It simply got to be too much.  Dh would have a huge list of things to help her with when we went.  She had trouble getting someone to plow her drive to her house.  Salting the driveway was too much for her (in her 70s).Mowing took hours.  So, I don't see acreage as a retirement option at all. 

When we lived with her for 7 months I found it difficult to be so far from town and activities for the kids (particularly in the winter when travel was difficult.)  Baseball games were all over the place in different towns, too. Now that I have teens I see that homeschooling there would have been even more difficult.  And, yes, internet is super slow and expensive.

I grew up in a city and don't like yard work. We now live on 2 acres between two towns,but the church takes care of the mowing.  It is only 10 minutes into town,but I hate not being able to walk to stores/library and having to drive the kids everywhere.  Being surrounded by trees is nice.  We could have chickens but don't want to deal with the fox and coyotes. 

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Everyone has given you lots to think about. But I think your DH has a valid point that you’ll want your current house closer to “ready to sell” condition when/if the perfect property pops up. I don’t think your research and his fix-it-up efforts have to be a linear process but can easily be done in parallel.   
 

With so many factors to consider in the perfect property, it would be a shame to miss the opportunity because your current house isn’t ready to go. 

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My DH likes the idea of “land”, but he doesn’t really want to do anything with the land. He just wants to be able to look out back and not see any neighbors. I took over mowing long ago because when it was left to him, grass got too high and snakes were getting too close to the house for me. Our compromise works well for us. We own a house on 4 town lots (about 1 acre) that is at the very edge of town. Out the front door, it looks like a typical small town-a couple of close neighbors, easy walking distance to everything in town. Out the back door, we have school district land on two sides. Past the school land is other people’s ranch land and a view of the mountains. (Mostly Philmont land for those who know what that means) Any gardening is up to me. He will help with the big tasks, but he will not keep up with any day to day gardening tasks (such as watering or picking when I am gone). He will occasionally talk about getting some animals which is allowed in our town. I told him he can, but any animals will be his responsibility. I do not like live birds, and will not deal with them. 
 

My DH “retired” from his big city police job to move to this small town. We are quite isolated from stores and medical services. I had shoulder surgery recently which entailed 4-5 trips so far 2 1/2 hours from home to the city where the surgery was done, and a hotel stay the night before surgery. I now have physical therapy 2x per week 45 min from home, and I can’t drive yet, so my DS has been driving me. Routine medical care is a big issue. We have already decided that our second retirement will require moving back to a more populated area where medical care is much closer. We will probably move back to the greater Houston area eventually just because that is what we know and where we still have lots of friends.

Edited by City Mouse
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Maybe you guys could do some "land/house sitting" for the next year or two during different seasons of the year, to help scratch that itch, AND for DH to see the realities of work load and what it's like at different times of the year. Plus you'd both learn a ton of tricks and tips about living rurally from the people you sit for. And you'd get to try out a variety of situations (sizes of acreage, types of animals & care, types of plant needs). And you'd get paid to "try before you buy". 😉 

Totally agree with previous posters about asking a series of very targeted questions to help him think about what he *really* wants, and then you guys can brainstorm ways to meet those needs/wants in ways that may be a much better fit than living rurally on acreage. I have to say that your second sentence in your original post (" He really dislikes yard work") seems absolutely key to me that living rurally on acreage is probably NOT the solution to what he is looking for.

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4 hours ago, Ottakee said:

Two other issues to consider are noise and smells.

One of my friends and her family were actually featured on a brochure from the county about country living and the SMELL.  It even had a scratch and sniff manure sticker.   Rural is great but games and animals have smells, that sometimes are very strong depending on the season and which way the wind blows.

The other issue is noise.  People dream of the quiet, peaceful country but don't realize during certain seasons tractors are running 24 hours a day to plant and harvest.  Then there are the quads, loud trucks, parties, and animals.

 

 

As a farmer, I can't emphasis this enough!  This is reality.  There are times of the year where sleep is optional and planting, harvest are in full swing...around the clock.  

 

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