I am back in the Ohio River Valley and searching for land to purchase! Looking for property that will meet my needs with less start-up work in forming a food forest. Just thought I’d list here some of the things I’m considering, and some thoughts if you’re also searching for that perfect spot!
My top 5 Property Search Concerns
- Acreage. Important to me is at least a 2-acre property, 5-acres ideally, mostly cleared and preferable not cleared recently. In my area the advantages to this include an easy planting start-up and no need to worry about longstanding Black Walnut trees. Disadvantage is open land previously used by local farmers very likely has chemicals in the soils.
- Paved Road. Purchasing virgin land in a farming community means that many of the lots are from broken up larger family farms and now have non-county maintained roads leading into the areas. Wanting to have a farm stand and working my bookselling business, I need paved road access to my property line.
- Topography. The area I’m in is quite hilly and there are many cave systems in the area, thus sinkholes. Sloping hills are great for starting 30 foot wide swales, but of course I’d rather find a spot that has at least an acre or two that is relatively flat for my homestead.
- Improvements. Finding a property that is vacant but with septic, water, and electricity is a plus. While I plan to make my homestead off-grid, septics are required in my county, even when gray water recycling and black water composting is set-up. Locating a ready property will allow for less money down and a faster start-up and build.
- Access. Many of the properties available have large, old growth tress along all of the fence lines, if not covering the entire lot. This means clearing to make access for bringing in equipment and supplies, and for building a farm market stand with parking.