You’ve worked your whole life toward retirement, and you’re ready to pursue your homesteading dreams. You’ll likely need a bigger home to handle the undertaking and still have room for visiting loved ones. Below I’ve prepared an outline for SUNTEX customers and home-owner-enthusiasts alike, to explain the path to making your homestead dreams a reality, starting with these practical steps.
- Figure Out Your Finances
Before you can buy a home, you need to get your finances sorted and get an idea of the kind of funding you have available to you; this includes savings, retirement income, real estate revenue, or other sources. If you have a lot of debt, most experts agree that you should work to eliminate or significantly pay down any outstanding debt.
You don’t have to do this alone. Explore debt management options in your area. These solutions are often determined by factors specific to your situation, such as how much debt you have, your employment status, and how you plan to pay your debt.
Once you have your debt sorted out, start planning how to make your finances work with the type of home you want to buy. Keep in mind that, with proper planning, it is possible to buy and sell your properties at the same time. Start by researching the housing market in your area. Then, begin applying for a loan preapproval.
If you aren’t set on using a specific bank, it can be beneficial to consider a national online bank. This allows you to compare rates not just in your area but from all over, increasing your chances of getting the best rate available. Research online banks to decide which ones are the best fit for you and your family, and then gather your documents to apply online. Typically, lenders require bank statements, pay stubs, driver’s licenses, or other identification. Each bank is different, so check with your potential lender to see what specific documentation you need.
Bear in mind that if you plan to make changes to your new home such as installing solar panels or more energy-efficient windows and systems, you could be eligible for a Conventional Energy Efficient Mortgage, which can boost your purchasing power and help you afford to make sustainable upgrades.
- Define What Homesteading Looks Like to You
When it comes to homesteading setups, they are all unique. Some prioritize raising small animals such as chickens and rabbits. Others focus on vegetable crops and fruit trees. You may want to raise bees or do leatherwork. Make decisions about what you want most out of homesteading.
If you are meat eaters, decide whether you want to raise all the meat you will eat on your own or if you are comfortable supplementing what you raise with meat from outside sources. The same applies to vegetables, fruits, and other goods. Many homesteaders work together with local farmers to trade or purchase goods directly so they can uphold their principles without carrying the whole burden of raising everything they eat themselves. Consider what you are comfortable with so you can choose a home that will facilitate it.
If part of your homesteading efforts are to build a business, there are other particulars you will need to keep in mind as well. This starts with registering your business with the state and choosing a business entity. Registering as an LLC offers tax advantages, easier bookkeeping, and limited liability (click here to learn more about the process).
If you have questions about what ‘homesteading’ is, or how you can qualify, feel free to check out the Texas Comptroller website on Homestead exemptions, here: https://comptroller.texas.gov/taxes/property-tax/exemptions/residence-faq.php.
- Decide What Your Dream Home Needs
Now that you know what space you need for homesteading, think about what you need in terms of family. If you have grandchildren over often, for instance, plan on spaces specially dedicated to their use, such as extra bedrooms or playrooms. If you typically host holidays, make sure to prioritize space for entertaining.
Part of your dream home setup will be your outdoor space. Depending on what kind of gardens or animals you are planning to raise, you might need quite a lot of land. Research what works best for your specific homesteading plans so that you know how much land you will need. You may also want to set aside space specifically for the use of grandkids, pets, and perhaps houseplants – making room for a playset and trampoline, or even space to play ball.
Retirement should be a time for pursuing your dreams surrounded by those you love. If you’re not sure how to prepare, I hope these steps will at least help get you started. With your finances sorted, your homesteading plans in hand, and your dream home details finalized, all you need is the right realtor! With your realtor to guide you, you will be well on your way to making those homesteading dreams a reality.
SUNTEX provides sustainable energy solutions to the North Texas area and is happy to discuss your home energy consumption, and potential savings. To find out more about adding innovative energy solutions to your home, reach out today! Our number is: 817-841-9632
Note: This article was written for SUNTEX by guest writer, Janet Lovelace. Please reach out directly to SUNTEX if you have any questions regarding this article, or the blog post content.