5 Steps to Homesteading After Retirement

One of the best things about retirement is having more time to do the things you enjoy with the people you love. If you’ve always wanted to pursue homesteading as a hobby, now could be the perfect time to try it out. Finding the right home to fit this lifestyle can make or break the experience, so it’s important to think through what you’ll need before you begin the search.

 

Real estate professional Paula Chambers is here to help, starting with the following steps towards success:

Step 1: Choose the Perfect Setting

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the life you want to create for yourself. What does it look like? Perhaps you’re dreaming of a quaint, historic farmhouse with a small backyard for your gardens and chickens. On the other hand, maybe it’s a spacious, ranch-style home on a large plot of land. Do you picture yourself living in a suburban or semi-rural setting or out in the country, away from the busy-ness of the city? Would proximity to farmers’ markets help you begin your own entrepreneurial venture? Your home's location and setting are just as important as the house itself.

Step 2: Narrow Down Your Priorities

First, you’ll have to determine what size house will work best for you. Mother Earth News notes the layout can be as important as the square footage. Will you regularly host guests or sleepovers for your grandkids? Your answer will help you decide how many extra bedrooms you need. If you need creative space to work on projects or want a home office, it might be a good idea to look for a home that has a bonus room or finished basement.

Next, you’ll need to figure out how you want to use your property. If you think you’ll raise animals, how much land will you need? What kind of gardens will you have? Think about what kind of outdoor storage you will need for equipment. If you want to live in a suburban area, you need to check local ordinances on keeping animals or storage sheds on your property.

Step 3: Determine What You Can Afford

Homesteading adds a few more variables into determining how much space you can afford. Besides your income, debt, assets, and expected downpayment, you should factor in these additional costs:

  • Regular home maintenance — The Balance says to plan to set aside 1% of your home’s value per year.
  • Fencing for your animals and/or gardens — depending on where you live, you will need protection from pests or predators.
  • Regular care and maintenance for your property, plants and animals — this can include everything from feed to machinery to hired help.
  • Animal shelters and storage buildings — include materials and labor, if you need to hire someone.

Also think about other aspects of your lifestyle and how they will come into play. For instance, if road travel is part of your retirement dream, you’ll need to cover the purchase of an RV in your budget. You also might want to consider a protective cover for it when it’s idle and hiring help to tend your property when you’re away. Think through all the aspects of your retirement dream life and how the pieces of the puzzle will fit together—and into your budget.

Step 4: Find Your Home

Once you’ve sorted out your priorities, determined the right setting and decided what you can afford, you’re ready to start looking for your new home. You can find a variety of custom real estate properties in your desired area with the help of a real estate agent who understands your homesteading requirements.

Step 5: Make the Move

Did you know that you can hire a senior move manager to help you with your move from start to finish? Not only do they arrange the move itself, but they can even pack your boxes and reassemble your furniture afterward, so you don’t overdo it during the moving process.

As a retiree, setting up a homestead and moving into a new house can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. This new chapter in your life can be everything you dreamed it could be with the right combination of careful planning, realistic expectations and professional assistance where you need it. Connect with realty professional Paula Chambers for help finding the right place for your future homestead!