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Old 11-22-2020, 10:51 PM
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How do i know where i can homestead and how much does it cost?
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Old 11-22-2020, 10:58 PM
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What do you mean by "homestead"?

Do you mean you want a garden and some small animals to supplement your purchases? Or do you mean you want to really try to be 80-100% self-sufficient on all food year round? To do the first, get a fertile 1/2 to 2 acres with water rights. To do the latter, study hard and intern / work on other farms first. Say for 2 years and then ask a legit farmer or successful homesteader if you are prepared to start. AND THEN look to buy 5 plus good acres.

Cost will depend on location, house, scale of your ambitions. There is no more public country land to be given as classic homesteads of the past. Not anywhere since 1970 and for much longer most places. (A few possible free or near free land exceptions in the great plains / midwest in town or on edge of town). You might be able to lease from private parties (retired or too busy in town / gave up farmers) or possibly the BLM or Forest Service. (Think lower level meadows or range with water. The good spots are usually taken and are rarely available to newcomers; or if they are, you'll have to bid right and then defend it against neighbors that may not want you there, cuz they wanted it and wanted it cheap. Small parcels are probably uncommon.)

Or buy. Might have difficulty buying via mortgage unless you have the independent income stream. I dunno how much or if it all to tell a bank about homesteading plans.

For advice where to buy, start by asking Agricultural Extension for their advice, things to read and other people to talk to. Talk to folks who run farmers markets or sell into them.

Do 100 hours of research and then decide whether to do the next 500. And then more as you go.

Around Twin Falls or Pocatello might be worth considering. Or Nampa / Caldwell. Or outside Moscow ID. Or Bonners Ferry. Maybe Burley. Payette or a bit north of Weiser.

Land that is or recently was growing / supporting the kinds of things you want to grow and support. I would not to try to make land do what it has not done ever or in the last 50 years.

Make a list of things you want to do and then try to estimate how much time that will take to really, fully, successfully learn (not just "try") and cost to start. Soil prep and enhancement, crop selection, planting, fertilization (inorganic or organic), indoor starting materials or greenhouse, irrigation, weed control, pest control, tools and equipment, food storage / canning, animal husbandry (from feed, medicine, sanitary practices for your well-being, birthing, protection from predators, butchery, storage, etc.)

You are going to have to bring the money in to start and then find the money to continue the homesteading. And the money for everything beyond the food of course.

How far along are you in exploring this idea and preparing for it?

Last edited by NW Crow; 11-22-2020 at 11:55 PM..
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Old 11-24-2020, 11:50 AM
Location: Boise, Idaho
196 posts, read 248,115 times
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Originally Posted by NW Crow View Post
You are going to have to bring the money in to start and then find the money to continue the homesteading. And the money for everything beyond the food of course.

The fastest way to become a millionaire at farming/homesteading is to start off as a billionaire.

These days, most people don't homestead/hobby farm to make money, but to have better control of their food and environment. My husband works the 9-5, I expand little by little every year. Add a dozen chickens here. Till up another row there. We're held back by the lack of money, but we just make do with what we do actually have.
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Old 11-24-2020, 04:42 PM
Location: Old Mother Idaho
25,683 posts, read 17,130,616 times
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Originally Posted by krysten_deleon View Post
How do i know where i can homestead and how much does it cost?
There may be some homestead ground left here, but it will be difficult to access, and could well be poor soil.

Homesteading is as close to free as it gets, but it took an immense amount of perseverance and toughness to succeed, back when good soil was still relatively easy to get to.

It might not be worth the trouble today. All the best spots were claimed 150 years ago, and all the rest has always been less better ever since.

Basically, a homestead consists of 160 acres of land the government owns and wants to give away. To get it, a person has to live on the acreage for 2 years of full-time occupation in a permanent 4-season shelter. The land must be put to tillage and the tillage must be used for financial gain. Water is the homesteader's concern, not the government's. A well may be dug, or a cistern may be constructed.
That's about it. There may be some modern requirements I don't know about. A cabin on skids is considered to be permanent.
Once you own it, you begin to pay taxes on it. That's the basic reason for homesteading.

If you want to buy land, that's not actually homesteading. It's really just buying a farm. There are lots and lots more options in buying a farm, and the price depends entirely on the options.

You don't have to live on a farm to own it like you do a homestead.
You don't need any more water than you can plan for.

If you want to farm differently, and need more water, the expense will be higher, but so could the benefits.

If you want to be a stockman, not a farmer, leasing pasture and never owning an acre of your own may be the best deal for you.

If you want to be an intense farmer, one who maximizes every square inch of soil, all you may need is a well-drained sunny back yard in the middle of an Idaho city. Or, going big-time, renting a neighbor's unused back yard to add to your own.

If you want to become a wildflower farmer, all you need is a lot of endurance and and closely-knit cotton flour sack.
That one's a real crusher, but if you can take the work it demands, it pays the best of everything by far. By farther than you can imagine if you are ever able to own enough of the right seeds after a big wildfire year.

Decide for yourself what you want, then come back and ask again.

Until you know more, you're just diddling around.
Until you have the right questions to ask, don't expect to ever get the right answers here.

Last edited by banjomike; 11-24-2020 at 04:57 PM..
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Old 11-29-2020, 08:48 AM
405 posts, read 442,726 times
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Well if you purchase a residence and it is your primary residence you do get a "homestead" exemption on ones property tax. Of course I don't think this is what the OP is refering to. Note: it is good only up to an arce of land.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:59 AM
Location: North Idaho
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If your definition of homesteading is to produce your own meat and vegetables and perhaps produce your own electricity, there are plenty of places in Idaho to do that.

The problem you will run into is that real estate is quite expensive and land suitable to grow food on is really expensive. A tiny farm won't support itself. Perhaps if you work hard, it will feed your family and perhaps pay a small percentage of the property taxes.

Another problem for homesteading is the short growing season. If you are growing all of your own food, you have a compressed season to do it in.

If your definition of homesteading is to settle on government owned land and then after a few years you get title to the land. then no. Not in Idaho. Possibly it is still possible to home stead land in the wilds of Alaska, but it would be difficult to be self sufficient there.

A lot of homesteaders are looking more in The Blue Ridge Mountains area of the country, because growing season is a lot longer and land prices are lower... although land prices are going up in a lively manner in that area too.
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