Giovanna Trabasso / 04/13/2022
Getting the Perfect House for Your Post-Retirement Homesteading Hobby
Guest Post by Sarah Bull – Economy Mom
Most people assume that downsizing and retirement go hand-in-hand. While that is true for around 42 percent of Americans, it isn’t the right fit for everyone. If you’ve ever dreamed of homesteading, you may find that a larger home is the better choice. Plus, you can easily host family members or friends in a bigger house, helping you stay social.
But getting the perfect house for your post-retirement homesteading hobby is a bit tricky. If you want to simplify the process, here are some tips from Community Lands.
What It Means to Homestead
Generally speaking, homesteading is about maintaining a self-sufficient lifestyle. For some people, that means handling every need without outside services. They don’t just grow vegetables and raise chickens. Instead, they do that and more, relying on well water, going completely off the grid, and otherwise ensuring full independence.
Whether that degree of homesteading is right for you may vary. If it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, that’s fine. You can still enjoy your homesteading hobby on a smaller scale. It’s just wise to determine precisely what you do or don’t want to take on. That way, you can find the perfect homesteading property based on your needs.
Homestead Property Must-Have Features
For homestead properties, your biggest must-have feature is usually a large lot. Typically, you’re essentially setting up a small farm, so you’ll want ample room for those activities.
Outbuildings – or space to build sheds, barns, or greenhouses – is another typical must-have. That way, you have room to store gardening, farming, or animal-related supplies without bringing them into your home. A workshop is another desirable feature for remaining self-sufficient. If you plan on canning your own vegetables and fruits, you’ll want cool and dark storage, such as a basement or root cellar.
Beyond that, it’s more about how you want to live. Generally, you’ll need a sizeable kitchen and a master bedroom with a private bath as a starting point. After that, if you want to host visiting family members or friends, extra bedrooms and baths are ideal. Having a flex space could be wise, too, giving you a spot to turn into a playroom for grandkids or an entertaining area.
It’s also wise to consider your potentially changing needs. For instance, you might favor a single-story home if you’re concerned about future mobility issues. Having wide halls and doorways may also be a priority, keeping the house accessible.
Finding a Homestead-Worthy Property You Can Afford
Once you know what you’re after, you’ll need to find a property that’s affordable to you. If you’re selling an existing home, you may want to estimate what you’ll earn on that sale. If you have a mortgage, simply subtract that from the potential sale price to get an idea. Just keep in mind you’ll need to pay real estate agent commissions and may owe taxes.
Otherwise, focus on the basics of affordability. If you’re getting a mortgage, make sure you have a sizeable down payment to avoid PMI. After that, review your budget to determine how much you can shoulder as a monthly payment, factoring in the cost of insurance and property taxes.
After you have those figures, you can determine a target price window. By getting pre-approved, you’ll simplify the purchase process and know exactly what you can borrow. Together, that makes choosing a house that meets your financial needs easier.
Once you find the perfect property, you need to act fast. In some cases, that means making an offer before your current home sells. If that’s the case – and you think your home will close soon – you could ask for an extended closing. That way, you have more time.
Making the Most of Your New, Larger Home
After buying your perfect house for homesteading, you’ll want to make the most of it. Consider its potential beyond daily life. For example, you could consider how you can use the space for entertaining, other hobbies, or even part-time work.
With all of the extra space, you may discover that it’s also the perfect time to launch a home-based business. If that’s the case, consider forming an LLC to reduce liability, capture tax advantages, maintain flexibility, and have less paperwork. Just make sure you review the rules in your state before starting, as they vary. Additionally, if you want to avoid hefty lawyer fees and the legwork of filing on your own, find a formation service to simplify your launch.
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