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I know what you’re thinking: “It’s too good to be true.” In this video, Becky from Becky’s Homestead explains how people with very little money can get themselves a small plot of land. To be clear, she doesn’t mean literally no money. But as you’ll see, owning a piece of land in the countryside is not a pipe dream. In fact, it is very doable.
You can watch the full video below, but if you prefer text, I typed up all six steps. Scroll down to read them.
Step 1: Gather Local Newspapers – You’re going to have to do more than a simple Google search for “land for sale.” You need to gather local newspapers from counties all over the state you want to live in. I recommend going on a trip for a few days to check out the area and gather papers as you go. Oftentimes, there are great deals in these papers that get overlooked.
Step 2: Search The Newspapers – Get out a Sharpie and search for land for sale by owner because if you try to go through a bank, they’ll probably turn you down for having little money or bad credit. Remember, the property you get doesn’t have to be that large. Several years ago, my parents purchased 60 acres of land, but it ended up being way more land than they needed. Most of the garden and livestock was on just a few acres, and the rest of the land just sat there unused. What a waste! As Becky says, “Two to three acres is plenty of land for a homestead.”
Step 3: Call The Owners – First, ask them straight up how much they want for the down payment. It’s best to be friendly and honest, but direct. If the down payment is too high, you might be able to talk them down a little. Second, ask what they want for the interest rate. Shoot for 8 – 12%. Without a lot of money or good credit, you’re unlikely to get anything for lower than that.
Step 4: Investigate The Property – Get the full legal address of the property, including the county it’s in. Once you have that, find the county’s website to find the property appraiser’s office, specifically the zoning department. (You should be able to do this online, but if not, you’ll have to go to the brick and mortar office.) Then you need to do two things:
- Find out if the property is zoned “residential/agricultural” or just “agricultural.” It needs to have the word “agricultural” or you won’t be allowed to have a homestead on the property. Other than dogs and cats, most animals aren’t allowed in strictly residential areas.
- Find out if the property is in the “hundred years flood zone.” You don’t want to live in a flood zone, not just because it might flood, but because it’s probably a very damp and wet piece of property which is not good for animals. You need high and dry land if you want your animals to be happy and healthy.
Step 5: Visit The Property – Call the owner first to make arrangements, then drive to the property and check it out. You want to walk around, have a good look at everything, and make sure it’s a suitable place for a homestead. Here are three things in particular that you should look:
- A Well – You can always add a well yourself, but you’ll save time and money if there’s already one there.
- A Septic System – Again, you could put this in yourself, but having one already there would be very convenient.
- Flat Land – It’s hard to use land that isn’t flat, and as a homesteader, you want to use as many square feet as possible.
Step 6: Find a Title Company – For a fee, a title company will research the seller to make sure they’re the actual owner of the property, and they’ll make sure there are no liens on the property. This could potentially save you a lot of legal trouble.
That’s it. Sign the contract and you are an official land owner!
Check out the full video on Youtube to read the comments and ask Becky any questions you might have.