The short answer is no. You do need some money but it might surprise you that you don’t need a ton of money to start a homestead. Ingenuity, hard work and a lot of sweat goes a long way. But at the end of the day, you will need at least some money.
When we started our homestead, we had about $2,000. Considering the amount of work we needed to do? It was not a lot of money and I was panicking because I thought we needed all the things to get everything done. Thankfully, between working a ton of overtime we have been able to slowly grow our homestead over the last year.
How much do you need?
I would say a good rule of thumb to moderately build your homestead is $1,000 per acre to start. That doesn’t mean if you don’t have that $1,000 you can’t buy a homestead. But $1,000 is a good way to get started on a fair amount of projects without freaking out when you have to go back to the hardware store for the 15x in two days.
Also, depending on the state of your homestead, you will need to do a lot of clearing before you can even get to work on anything. When we first moved in, we had to pull tons of debris from the homestead. Fencing, barbed wire, posts, random pieces of wood with nails sticking out of them, etc. Even a burned out freezer was just hanging out.
It took us a month and a half before we brought goats to the homestead to help clear land. But I will say is this, before you bring bigger livestock (goats, pigs, donkey, etc) to the homestead, make sure you have plenty of money set aside because your first fence probably sucks. Especially if you have never built fences for livestock. I’m not knocking your fence building skills, but those animals will find the weak points. We spent two hours chasing Bella between our property and our neighbors. So make sure you either have extra money on hand or someone who actually knows how to build livestock fencing.
Putting in gardens are going to be hard work. You will do a lot of work by hand instead of relying on a tractor. But I feel like it’s worth it to learn how to do it manually so you know how to do it. However, it would be really nice to have a tractor for pulling stumps, tilling the ground, and not spending two weeks working the soil.
If you can get creative with what is already on your property, you don’t need a ton of money to start a homestead. We had a ton of old material from various projects we did at our old house. We made sure to bring all of that with us. Since our new garage wasn’t big enough for the 2 sets of storage shelves we had in the old garage, we used the wood for something else.
Some of the debris on the property has yielded us a couple of goat shacks, a chicken coop, plenty of roosting bars, and much more all without spending a penny. And while no it’s not pretty, it works really well. The goat shack above has about $2 worth of screws invested in it. Since it has been converted into a kidding pen it has another $10 worth of hinges and wood.
There have also been instances of numerous projects that need to be done, and we only have $1,000 to all of them. Things get really creative then but when I look around at all the things we have gotten done around here, I’m pretty impressed.
Don’t be afraid of buying a property because you don’t have a ton of money to get started. It takes time to get a homestead up and running, not money. Hard work goes a lot further than a dollar so please don’t get hung up on that part.
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