We talk a lot about Kelly and I beginning the journey to build a Texas Homestead and converting a shed to a tiny house, but we have never mentioned anything about our 7.5acres. Or at least the only thing we’ve mentioned is that we own it.
The property was only the 2nd property we looked at in person. Yes, I know that is sort of insane and I would never recommend buying land that fast. Never. I think we lucked out however. We have been very happy with the purchase and we would love to share our top 5 reasons that we LOVE our 7.5 acres of dirt!!
1. The price was right!
We had been looking online for a couple of years and everything we had ever seen was ugly or out of our price range. In the west Houston area, the cities surrounding the far west side of Houston have skyrocketed price. Then the “fringe” areas…the areas that are further than the burbs but not quite the country… began to get over populated. Where we used to drive the edges of our town we would see acres and acres of cattle and barns and ponds now have a Walmart sitting on top! Depressing.
So of course the fridge pushed values higher and that made the outer fridge cities that used to be land that baby boomers bought for retreat land then hit the $15,000-$25,000 per acre mark!!!! I’m not kidding.
So when we found the small town about 2hrs from where we live now, for a price much under that mark we had to see it! And the price was right.
2. It is great size.
We had always said that we are looking for that 5 acre tract of land. 5 acres by many seasoned homesteaders is to be the minimum that you want for attempting to live a self reliant and self sustaining lifestyle. Of course, its impossible to be 100% of either of these. And 7.5 acres was amazing to find at the right price. And with that, the above reason is why “the internet has killed the cheap land investment star”, being about to grab one of these smaller tracts is amazing!
Before the age of the internet, raw land was bought person to person. FOR LITERALLY DIRT CHEAP!! Two old men would be sitting in a DQ or Mc’Ds and a sale for 10acres would go down for 500-1000 bucks! That is gone. Sites like realtor.com or landsofamerica.com have killed that. Our society loves to shop…and raw land is nothing different.
3. It was about 50-50 wooded and cleared.
We loved the tight entrance into the property that opened up to a huge wide opening in the back. We had planned our first homesite back in the back, but our plans changed once we hired Pete VanDyck of Drought Proof Tx as our permaculture designer. Pete quickly saved us at least $60,000 with talking us out of that possible mistake. What Pete gave us from our permaculture design was the knowledge of:
- Utilities at the road. The property is nicely located on a well maintained county road that has electric and county water on our side of the road!!! Jack pot! Our realtor has informed us that when we put in a water meter and run our electric that we should see a 100% increase in our land’s value on that investment.
- Production all ready on the land. There is already native species of wild grapes and blackberries. As well as MESQUITE TREES! I am super interested in learning how to harvest and use these hated trees to feed my family. Mesquite trees are known to be highly invasive and most people have to poison their roots in order to kill them. But the trees produce an incredible bean pod thingy that is known to be the next super food. I have ZERO experience or knowledge about this possibility but there are pods all over all of our trees!
3. No restrictions!
This is the absolute biggest for me. It was at the tip tip top of my priority list. Like #1!!! Meaning, there was no way that I would ever purchase another piece of real estate where some snobby person that seats on a HOA board was able to tell me what I can or CAN NOT do on my own stinkin land!!!
Can you tell that I’m passionate about no restrictions?!?! Stay tuned for the full Beau Brotherton rant on the Horrors of Suburbia!! I remember when asking our realtor John Dean at TX REC LAND, John mentioned that no restrictions mean that “I can do anything on my land that is legal.” I like that. So if I want to store my scrap lumber in my front yard, then nobody can say a thing.
Now I don’t want to leave you too light and fussy. Because one of the reasons that Kelly and I want to have this site is to share with you all of our successes and our failures with this lifestyle change. So here is a little bonus for y’all…our top 3 CONS of our future homestead.
1. $22,000 FOR A WATER WELL!!!!!!
Yep, you are reading that right. $22,000 dollars. 22,000 big ones. 22,000 shove it down your throat make you sick to your stomach singles. So evidently our property is sitting on an aquifer that is about 200-300 feet deep with some of the nastiest most fowl sulfur rotten egg smelling water there it.
So the next aquifer down is 900 feet down. And these fellas charge by the foot depth PLUS…there is no guarantee. If they don’t hit water, “thank you sir may I have another?!” You have just paid $22,000 for a super deep hole on your property. Hope a kid doesn’t fall in.
2. It’s enough, but its not MORE THAN ENOUGH.
Now I just said that it was the perfect size, but it is still limited to what you can do. I can’t hunt deer on my land, its just not big enough. For that you really need 20 acres. That way you’d have 5 acres to farm and the other 15 you could just leave undisturbed and stock your freezer every year with delicious and cheap meat! But of course, we are happy with the property so no complaints at all. There are plenty of small animals we can plink!
3. It’s 2hrs away.
Chill people, like I said we couldn’t be more happy with our land. I am just trying to give you a little teaser to a new post I’ll be working on over the next couple of weeks… “Top Tips to Buying Land”.
Yes, we will be living there full time. But it is still 2hrs away from where we currently live now. So its not a peace of cake with 3 kids to pack up and go there to work on. Hence the fact that we bought our property and didn’t see it for the first year! If I were to advise someone doing what we are doing, I would say that an hour away from your current suburbian home is ideal. That way if you wanna go see friends or family or even just go shop at your local Costco you only have 1 hour to drive.
Once you hit the 1.5hr mark, you start realizing that its not close. You are living out in the country. Which we are excited to adventure with!!
So is your mouse wheel spinning? Is any of this tugging at something deep down that makes you want to ditch the convenience of suburbia and live a simpler life?? Leave a comment below! Or tell me how bizarre we are!! 🙂