The idea of homesteading is increasingly growing in popularity among Millennials and younger people, and it’s influencing how they choose homes. For example, more and more younger families and individuals are looking for rural properties to make their own or existing homes with a lot of land surrounding them.
Even inside cities and suburban areas, it’s becoming somewhat common for people to explore homesteading on a scale compatible with what they have available.
Numerous social media accounts are dedicated to people who homestead, and some go as far as living off the grid entirely.
So what’s the appeal?
For Millennials, in particular, there is a desire to return to a simpler way of doing things. This generation is the first to grow up with an inundation of modern technology, which might fuel them to want to do things a little differently.
There are also logistical factors that play a role. For example, inflation has made nearly everything significantly more expensive in the past year, including staples like eggs. Homesteading offers opportunities to be more self-sufficient, save money and sometimes even make money from what you produce.
Another appealing element is that homesteading is more eco-friendly. There’s an emphasis on reducing waste and consumption and relying more on what’s already around you. There’s a reduction in the carbon footprint that comes with transporting things like food, and many homesteaders actively work to reduce waste and make the most of their resources available.
The pandemic in the U.S. also shifted people’s attitudes and priorities quite a bit. During the earliest days of the pandemic, while people would start working from home on a large scale and there were stay-at-home orders, the idea of self-sufficiency suddenly seemed a lot more appealing. They were limited in where they could go, and there were often bare shelves at stores, perhaps for the first time for many Americans, piquing an interest in self-sufficiency.
How to Start Homesteading
There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach to homesteading. You can live in the middle of a big city and still become more self-sufficient in how you do things.
If you’re in the market to buy a new home with just a few acres of land, you can start a small farm, adding animals and growing your own food.
Homesteading isn’t so much about the scale of what you’re doing, but it’s more about the core values of self-reliance and savoring simplicity.
Buying Property for Homesteading
If you want to get started with homesteading and you’re also in the market to buy land or a home, there are certain things you might look for from the start that will facilitate your goals.
If you’re looking for property, especially if it’s surrounded by public land or the land isn’t subdivided and platted, you need to make sure you’d have the right to access your land no matter what, which isn’t a given. If you’re working with a real estate agent, they should be able to help you figure this out.
Are There Restrictions?
You also want to consider covenants and other restrictions on a property. Most property types have some restrictions, but they might not greatly impact your goals or daily life. Then, there are situations where even large areas of land have significant restrictions. For example, a covenant may restrict your ability to have animals on the land. Think about your goals for homesteading, and make sure your home or property won’t limit you.
A third big consideration is water access. Even if a natural water source is on a property, it doesn’t mean you have the right to use it.
Finally, on a personal level, is the property big enough to meet your current goals and future goals you might have? It can be better to have more land even than you think you need if your budget allows it, but you’ll also have to potentially build the infrastructure for it, so keep that in mind.
Homesteading only seems to be growing in popularity, especially as bloggers and influencers share their experiences and insight, and people realize it’s a more attainable lifestyle than they perhaps initially realized.