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Looking to buy our first piece of land

 
Sunflower Rogers
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We are looking at land for our first homestead.  We ideally want 20 acres in WA state.  We are most likely going to end up in northern Okanogan County or in the Colville area unless we can find an amazing deal on the Olympic Peninsula.  Most of the parcels we are looking at are raw land, a few are hooked up to the grid but most are not.  We hope to close on something by spring, maybe summer at the latest.  Is this a good time to close? I'm not even sure.  We have been looking at properties online for years, but will only be able to start visiting once winter is well under way.  But the advantage to that is to be able to understand the access, which is important to us.

We want the usual suspects: chickens (meat and layer hens), pigs, and either goats or sheep - we haven't quite decided and figure the property will probably decide for us.  We will have several gardens and plan to feed our family as well as provide the ingredients for my herbal salves and tinctures and what not.  We will be building our home ourselves o.O while we live onsite in a temporary structure of some kind. We want solar either as a main energy source or as a supplement and back up to the grid.  We will have multiple sources for water, we plan to buy a piece of land with a creek/river and also put in a well as well as develop a rain catchment system.  Living without running water for the last month, having some kind of pressure water system is going to be a high priority, while still being able to use as little as possible.  I also want to filter the grey water for reuse.  -sorry i think I went off on a tangent.

I know that wildfires are a big problem in WA and we have even discussed buying property that has just completely burned and reforesting it...I don't know what kind of potential hazards or problems this could cause, but I like the idea of taking something burned to ash and growing it back up.  
We even discussed the possibility of extending a natural creek or river for fire protection ... like a moat... Again, I have not really looked into this and don't know the consequences of such a project.  But it sure sounds cool.  

I have watched a few videos and read a few articles on what to look for and what to watch out for when buying your first piece of land.  What I am curious is if there is anything that nobody talks about that I might be missing.  Has anyone bought property that was previously burned?  What are some precautions that you might consider to include when building a homestead in a place known for wildfires?

Be gentle...and thanks. ;)
 
John F Dean
gardener
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Location: southern Illinois.
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You sound like you have the basics. You seem to have an understanding of the importance if water.   As a general observation,  however much money you think you need ... you will need more.  Before you pay out cash, check the building codes.  Also, get some sort of idea as to who your neighbors are....jerk neighbors can be a real problem.  How close will you be to emergency services?  Also, how close will you be to shopping ....especially lumber yard, hardware store, and groceries?
 
Timothy Markus
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Access and water are pretty key.  For reference, I have to haul my water and I find I use about a gallon a day for drinking/cooking/cleaning and about two gallons every 3 days for washing and a quick shower.  Now I haul serious water because I have about a gross of various birds.
 
Anne Miller
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Sunflower said  What are some precautions that you might consider to include when building a homestead in a place known for wildfires?



When we bought our current home, I called our insurance agent to get a quote for the house.  They ask me if I was in a wildfire zone.  Luckily I was not. If I had been the insurance was going to be really high or maybe they would not even insure my house.  The policy would have to go to an underwriter to be approved.

Some other things you might want to consider:

Also when buying raw land you need to find out if you will need to drill a well or hook up to a water supply company and buy a meter.

Also, the electric company charges by the foot to bring in electricity from the nearest electric line.

Then there is the cost to add a septic system.

When we bought our current property I looked at properties that had all of these already in place.
 
Sunflower Rogers
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Timothy Markus wrote:Access and water are pretty key.  For reference, I have to haul my water and I find I use about a gallon a day for drinking/cooking/cleaning and about two gallons every 3 days for washing and a quick shower.  Now I haul serious water because I have about a gross of various birds.


in
I am lucky enough to have access to rainwater tanks right now for washing, but we haul the drinking water.  I still have to siphon and haul the rainwater from tank to wherever I am using it.  I probably drink/cook with 1-2 gallons of water a day myself the dogs drink plenty and I imagine I use about 5 gallons every few days for washing (shower, dishes, clothes)  I feel like I need to work on my water conservation Hah!

But this last month of not having running water or access to a water source on the property I am staying at has really put water at the forefront on my mind and top priority.  As well as filtering and having a gravity fed system if not some other kind of water pressure system.



 
Sunflower Rogers
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Anne Miller wrote:
When we bought our current home, I called our insurance agent to get a quote for the house.  They ask me if I was in a wildfire zone.  Luckily I was not. If I had been the insurance was going to be really high or maybe they would not even insure my house.  The policy would have to go to an underwriter to be approved.

Some other things you might want to consider:

Also when buying raw land you need to find out if you will need to drill a well or hook up to a water supply company and buy a meter.

Also, the electric company charges by the foot to bring in electricity from the nearest electric line.

Then there is the cost to add a septic system.

When we bought our current property I looked at properties that had all of these already in place.



These are very good points that I will absolutely be adding to my notebook.  I really didn't think that about insurance turning a property down due to being in a wildfire area.    Ideally, a property will have everything we need already in place.  A utopia where all we have to do is move in and start having all the homesteading fun!  And within our budget!  One can dream, right?
 
Sunflower Rogers
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I am looking more into properties with wells.  The GPM...I have no idea what kind of flow rate I would need or want for my homestead.  I have seen anywhere from 3 gpm to 10 gpm depending on the area. Any experience with this?
 
Eliot Mason
pollinator
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Location: Beavercreek, OR
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3 GPM is really frustrating, 10 GPM is fine for all household needs although you may find watering a garden AND household needs to be a problem.  I have a 20gpm well that services two residences and three gardens.

There's a bigger question here in funding - if you're moving towards a standard mortage the requirement is that the well must deliver 3 gpm continuously for 4 hours. If it can deliver 2.5 gpm all day then you need a storage tank so you can meet the 3 gpm*4 hours rule.
 
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