Author Topic: Hi Tech Homesteading??  (Read 3582 times)

CBnCO

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
  • Location: Colorado
Hi Tech Homesteading??
« on: January 21, 2014, 02:14:34 AM »
As a back drop, my girlfriend and I have been looking for an economical home in the city (we happen to be in a Denver) and I'm not entirely enthused about what we are finding.  We've been trying to incorporate some MMM concepts in our search (close to public transportation, bike or walk to markets and entertainment, etc..) and I would define economical as $200k and below...we'd like a single family with a yard for the dogs...

What I've noticed is that generally the further you go out from the city, the nicer and more you can get for your money.  And through the handy realtor.com iPad app it's pretty apparent that there are large tracts of cheap land and housing in pretty much every rural region of the country...and, I'm talking homes with land for $1k per acre or less. 

My question isn't so much about contemplating a move from the city to rural America where it's cheaper; but, with so many new movements online focused on healthy living, frugality, gardening, and homesteading, etc., why aren't more people taking advantage of the low cost of real estate in rural America.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen articles suggesting just the opposite is occurring with more and more people are moving into urban cores....

I'd love to see a developer bring high speed bandwidth connectivity out to a small rural town, throw in a brewpub or two and a few other amenities, and market a rural life (cheap land land, gardens, forests, wildlife, goats, chickens, etc...) to ultimately form an enclave of educated, technology workers who could employ their craft remotely while living a little differently and more affordably than most urban settings typically allow.  Anyone heard of anything like this?   While in a vacuum, the picture online of the log cabin on 80 acres of woodland for $150k sounds great, I immediately worry about the amenities, the cultural opportunities, and the ability to interact with like minded people...what do you think????

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4835
Re: Hi Tech Homesteading??
« Reply #1 on: January 21, 2014, 05:51:16 AM »
Google the FCC's rural broadband initiative. It's becoming more and more likely that rural areas will have broadband, soon if they don't now.

I'm in the log cabin in your real estate ad, more or less, with high-speed access. I was a technology worker working from home for a number of years, and I could be again.

 However, if you move into a planned community such as the one you're describing, the prices will not be low. That developer will jack the prices up, fence the community off, and create a blight of asphalt in the wilderness. I know this because I see just such communities all the time. Also, most of the residents get tired of their single brewpub, or the two they have to choose from, and they spend all their time driving to the nearest city in their giant SUVs, going too fast on the narrow rural roads.

If you want to make the switch, I truly believe it's better to make the shift outright. I lived in the city and walked everywhere, got used all the amenities, but now, I don't know how I would possibly find the time to go to the brewpub. There's too much to do and too much too see and too many walks in the woods to be taken. The woods are never the same place twice, and a good day is a day when I don't have to go down off the mountain.

CBnCO

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 106
  • Location: Colorado
Re: Hi Tech Homesteading??
« Reply #2 on: January 21, 2014, 07:58:56 AM »
Google the FCC's rural broadband initiative. It's becoming more and more likely that rural areas will have broadband, soon if they don't now.

I'm in the log cabin in your real estate ad, more or less, with high-speed access. I was a technology worker working from home for a number of years, and I could be again.

 However, if you move into a planned community such as the one you're describing, the prices will not be low. That developer will jack the prices up, fence the community off, and create a blight of asphalt in the wilderness. I know this because I see just such communities all the time. Also, most of the residents get tired of their single brewpub, or the two they have to choose from, and they spend all their time driving to the nearest city in their giant SUVs, going too fast on the narrow rural roads.

If you want to make the switch, I truly believe it's better to make the shift outright. I lived in the city and walked everywhere, got used all the amenities, but now, I don't know how I would possibly find the time to go to the brewpub. There's too much to do and too much too see and too many walks in the woods to be taken. The woods are never the same place twice, and a good day is a day when I don't have to go down off the mountain.

Jacking up the prices by profit seeking developers was exactly what I thought would probably happen, too in this scenario.  My girlfriend's job is in the city so we will probably be restricted to a debate about living in the city or a suburb with a reasonable commute..for now.
That said, I'm looking forward to the day when my backyard is populated by open space and wildlife instead of HOA covenants and rush hour traffic.  I still wonder why more people who can swing it don't head for rural America where land is much cheaper?

BTW..I'm curious what part of the country those who are living a rural lifestyle are in?

starbuck

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 360
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Small Town Connecticut
Re: Hi Tech Homesteading??
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2014, 08:14:08 AM »
My question isn't so much about contemplating a move from the city to rural America where it's cheaper; but, with so many new movements online focused on healthy living, frugality, gardening, and homesteading, etc., why aren't more people taking advantage of the low cost of real estate in rural America.  In fact, I'm pretty sure I've seen articles suggesting just the opposite is occurring with more and more people are moving into urban cores....

I imagine it's because the current homesteading movement doesn't require large tracts of land. Things like container and square foot gardening allow you to grow food in a small space. And there are farmer's markets for those that can't/won't garden. (Me! I have a black thumb.) I keep bees on my 1/3 acre lot, and hope to add chickens to the mix in a few years. But I certainly don't need more space to do that. And I can sew and darn and DIY to my heart's content in a small space. My spouse has a workshop in the basement for woodworking. (Obvi this is harder in a condo v. single family home.)

Also, jobs. There are more jobs in urban areas than rural ones, so unless you're a 100% remote worker (like Rural) it's going to be harder to find employment, and you may have to face a long commute.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4835
Re: Hi Tech Homesteading??
« Reply #4 on: January 21, 2014, 06:30:02 PM »

Also, jobs. There are more jobs in urban areas than rural ones, so unless you're a 100% remote worker (like Rural) it's going to be harder to find employment, and you may have to face a long commute.

Oh, I'm not remote now. I did that to keep my hand in until I landed my current job. I'm a professor at a (the only) college in the area, so I'm driving 35 miles each way now. But the broadband is now up to the task for full remote (wasn't the first couple of years and I did it via an old-school cellular modem, the only option at the time). Anyway, the rural broadband push is going like gangbusters. Harder to find a pLace without all the time.