Basic homestead questions...

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by GatorDude, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

    Pardon me for being an apartment dwelling city slicker, but I've got some basic homestead questions:

    1) What's a homestead? Is it like squatting?
    2) How do you get a homestead?
    3) How much does it cost? What is cheapest way to homestead?
    4) Can it be done for free?
    5) Can you homestead on public land?
    6) Can you homestead in an improvised shack, garden shed, etc.?
  2. northernontario

    northernontario Well-Known Member

    1)Homesteading and squatting are two totally different things. Homesteading is about getting back to the land, working to grow your own food and raise your own livestock. Provide your own heat through chopping firewood, get your own water by implementing wind/solar/other types of energy (or using natural flowing springs). Living a simple life.

    Homesteading is about having a 'simpler' kind of lifestyle. (although it is a lot more work). You own your property, you own your home, you own everything.

    Squatting is occupying property that does not belong to you; typically abandoned or vacant buildings.

    2) You get a homestead like you get anything else... you have to work for it. You need to find a suitable home or piece of land, and buy it. Then you need to change your lifestyle to live back to basics.

    3) Homesteading is as cheap or expensive as you make it. If you want to do something yourself, you may need to buy equipment/supplies. Or you can choose to continue paying someone else for certain items.

    IE... firewood. If you have a supply of wood on your land, you can cut it yourself with a handsaw, or an axe... or you can buy a chainsaw. Then you can haul it out of the woods by hand, or using a team of horses, or with a tractor. Then you can cut/split it by hand (saw+axe), or with a chainsaw and logsplitter. All sorts of options that depend on how much $ you have available to invest in equipment.

    4) Free... not to start. You have to own the land... which means you pay taxes on it. And you will need supplies, so you can't do it without some sort of income (money, trade for skills, etc)

    5) No, you can't homestead on public land... this is considered squatting.

    6) Yes... a homestead can be whatever size you make it. Huge log cabin, or a 10x10 building you share with the chickens.

  3. UncleJoe

    UncleJoe Well-Known Member

    That about covers it. Great explanation. :beercheer:
  4. The_Blob

    The_Blob performing monkey

    if you are referring to the US Homestead Act of 1862, it was officially repealed in 1986, but in 1988 the last 'official homesteader' was awarded his land parcel in Alaska

    idk the name off the top of my head, but I'm sure you could google it & information on the homestead act etc etc... i'm just too tired right now to do your research for you ;)
  5. GatorDude

    GatorDude Well-Known Member

    Thanks for the info! I just wanted to make sure I had a good understanding of the concept. About the only free land that I've heard about in the past few years was free land in Kansas. Some small towns out there were giving land away free to people who would agree to move out there. It was great for people who were entrepreneurs or who could work from home.
  6. Von Helman

    Von Helman A very simple man

    Those free land deals are still available in Kansas but they really aren’t free. You have to have money and have to build a house that meets certain specifications within a year and be living in it.

    The best way to do it is find some rural land and find a way to make it produce income. Then work that land as it is a job. We have farming fields that produce us money every year and we sub lease (Co-op) a large portion of the land to others who actually do all the work and we split the harvest.

    Their work, our land and we both benefit