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Hopes of Homesteading: House Hunting Tips Retirees Should Keep in Mind

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Buying a homestead and retiring to a simpler life is a dream held by many. But what should you know before purchasing a home where you can start your homestead? There are numerous things to consider other than what you can afford, and these tips from Farm2Ranch Girl will show you where to start.

Make a Plan

​First, you need to know what you plan to do with the land: Do you want an orchard? Would you prefer to raise livestock? Perhaps you want to become an organic farmer who sells products at the town market? Whatever you see yourself doing on your homestead, 15 Acre Homestead says to make sure you take note of it and have a plan.

When looking for a homestead, consider factors like land size, how many rooms you need so your family can visit often, barn, workshop or garage space, etc. Other factors include proximity to town, road access, or, in some cases, permissions to drive through someone else’s property to get to yours. Also, don't forget to take into account your learning curve and the work involved in starting a homestead.

Know What You Can Afford

Next, consider your finances and remember that you will most likely need to apply for a mortgage if you buy a home. To get a low-interest rate, lenders typically require you to put down a 20 percent payment — and if you do so, private home loan insurance may even be waived. But if you have unpaid debt, getting approved for a mortgage with reasonable rates may be difficult, so it's better to increase your chances by eliminating debt or at least paying down what you owe well in advance.

It's also best to work with a real estate agent who can help you with the buying process. A qualified agent can help you figure out what you can afford and make the house hunting, buying, and closing processes much easier. And remember, it’s certainly possible to simultaneously buy and sell – it just takes a bit more upfront planning and forethought.


You may encounter older properties that need a few repairs. So how do you ensure you don't end up with a money pit? You could potentially negotiate for the seller to make the necessary structural repairs. Most of the time, however, you'll have to deal with renovations yourself, especially cosmetic ones.

In most cases, it's always best to entrust big projects to professionals. For example, if windows are badly insulated and letting in drafts, look for a skilled contractor by simply searching for home window repair professionals. Get quotes from several companies, as well as determine their availability. Check reviews, insurance, and licensing. Better yet, get referrals. Window repair can cost an average of $350 according to Fivr, so don’t leave a big job like this up to chance.

In short, you can easily find the perfect house to spend your retirement in and get your homesteading efforts off the ground. Have a plan, know what you want and need and what you can afford, and engage the right contractors to make your vision come to life. The new chapter of your life starts now.

Article written by: Carrie Spencer of

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