Friends, I feel like I’m almost an expert when it comes to saving money while purchasing a homestead. We’ve lived in three different homes since 2019, and two of them were definitely “homestead” purchases.
Both of the homestead purchases were hopefully going to be long-term homes for us, but it didn’t quite work out that way. We ended up moving from our 2017-2019 home after realizing we wanted to live in our home state once again. The home we live in now has the potential to fulfill most of my homestead dreams, but it didn’t start out that way.
Imagine a home that had caked on filth on many surfaces. Items were broken, the basement was wet, the roof needed to be replaced, and once we moved in, we realized we had a bedbug infestation. The land had been neglected, and was covered in thistles and thick, invasive vines.
Believe me when I say I wanted to throw in the towel. I felt like giving up. But by God’s grace, we somehow pushed through the difficult first months, and although we have a lot more work to do, life now is much better.
We bought this particular home to save money. No question about it. And while we did save money, we had to make some sacrifices.
Here are some things we did before purchasing our homestead in order to make the right choice:
We made a list of non-negotiables. For us, the mainly flat land near the North Georgia mountains, basement, private five acre lot, and price tag sold us. The paved driveway was also a big plus for me. Having a non-negotiable list is so important! Keep it in the front of your mind while looking at properties. For homesteaders, having a water source is of great value. We do plan on having a well dug, but yes, I do wish we had a natural water source as well. This wasn’t a “non-negotiable” point for me though, so we ended up putting in an offer on the property we live in now.
Don’t let bad listing photos scare you off, and be willing to look at homes that have been on the market awhile. We have looked at many homes where the pictures didn’t do them justice. The last four homes we purchased have fallen into this category! One I didn’t even want to look at, and my husband had to talk me into it. I’m so glad he did! Also, in this hot market, you have the most negotiating power with listings that have been available for awhile. If you want to negotiate, these are the homes to look at.
During negotiations, don’t be afraid to ask the seller to cover some (or all) of the closing costs. Closing costs would likely be hard to negotiate during a hot market, but if the home has been on the market awhile, what do you have to lose?
Make sure you have a thorough inspection, possibly multiple ones, on the home during your due diligence period if you are purchasing a fixer upper. Friends, we had so many inspections on our home! We were skeptical to go through with the purchase of our current home until an engineer verified that our basement issues were not structural. After we moved in, we sealed cracks, painted the walls with DryLok, and plugged in two dehumidifiers. It is now a completely different basement! Also, it is a good idea to get contractor estimates during your due diligence period so you can figure in any extra costs before you go through with your transaction. If you plan on setting up a homestead don’t forget to plan for things like barns, fencing, tree removal, etc.
Remember that sweat equity is where it’s at if you’d like to save money. Our projects are getting done slowly, but that’s okay…even if it doesn’t feel okay at times. We have done all of the work on our home ourselves thus far. This is partially because we haven’t found any contractors who would like to work lately, and partially because we would like to save money by doing it ourselves.
If location isn’t a deal breaker for you, consider looking at remote areas for your homestead. Properties are usually less expensive the further they are from town. And yes, you most likely will also be blessed with lots of peace and quiet!
Pray about it. Nothing can take the place of praying about your decision, and asking the Lord to guide you to an affordable homestead that meets your needs.
At the beginning of the pandemic, we were able to purchase a 2200 square foot home with a full basement on five acres for $232,000. If we hadn’t taken advantage of these strategies, there is no way we could have done this. Now we are building sweat equity, and are mortgage free. For us, purchasing a less desirable home was worth it. Now, we love it!
Do you have any tips about saving money while purchasing a homestead? Please share them below!
Have you heard about the new Redeeming Home Membership? Click here to learn more. Articles for this week’s Member Newsletter include Dedicating the New Year to the Lord, Goal Planning Within Our Homes, What Even is Simplicity?, Embracing the Slowness of January, Homestead Happenings, and Resources for Homemakers.
Praise the Lord! Praise, O servants of the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord.