When you first entertain the idea of finding land, the thought can be daunting. Where do you begin to look? How do you search? How long will it take to find something? Should you start looking now or should you wait until you have a clearer idea of what you want? I will cover these questions in this chapter.

Start Looking Now.

If you have even the slightest desire to possess some land for your homesteading endeavors, then now is the time to start looking. Getting land, moving onto the land, building or renovating a house, and preparing your land for cultivation takes time—more time than you think.   

In fact, if you start looking for land right now, while your desire is fledgling, while homesteading seems more like a dream than a clear and present reality, then you’ll have a better chance of locating your land by the time your desire is full-blown and you’ve worn out the graces of your neighbors with your reprobate chicken flock and busting-at-the-seams food forest.    

If you don’t start looking for land until your desire is full-blown, that’s fine too. Just know that the search will take time, and your neighbors will have to endure your renegade squash vines for that much longer.

How Long It Takes to Find Land – A Sample Timeline From Our Search

Our family began to look for land at the start of 2019, but we didn’t get serious about our search until January 2020. From that point, it took us until October, about ten months, to make an offer on a property we liked. We finalized our purchase in December 2020 and moved in July 2021, so that’s about a year total for the land search and another seven months for the move. A year is not a terribly long time to be searching for land, but we also chose a property relatively close to our suburban home, less than two hours away, a factor that we think shortened our timeline.

The timeline for your land search will be unique to your circumstances. If you are looking to move out of state, for example, or if the properties you’re viewing are more than a two-hour drive from your current residence, then your search may take longer. It could very well take less time, Lord willing. Whatever the case may be, plan for the land search to take 6-24 months.

The Total Timeline for Your Move

The amount of time between the day you begin your search and the day you move onto your homestead will also vary based on factors like the size of your family, your health, finances, work schedule, level of motivation, and available help. But one thing is certain. The sooner you find and buy land, the sooner you can settle your homestead. So giddy-up.

The Longer It Takes, the More Shifts You’ll See in the Housing Market.        

Another reason why you’ll want to start your land search ASAP is that the housing market can do all kinds of things between now and the day you list your current home for sale, assuming you’re a homeowner. The sooner you find land, the sooner you can step off the emotional roller coaster of watching the value of your home fluctuate with the whims of the market.  

To give you an example, in December 2020, at that time we bought our land, we didn’t think our suburban house would sell for much of a profit. The housing market wasn’t doing anything extraordinary. A few months later, however, the demand for houses in our area had shot up to an all-time high. We weren’t ready to sell, as we were still renovating the country house and needed to live in suburbia for a little while longer.    

When we finally put our suburban house on the market, in Fall 2021, the demand for houses had peaked. We were still able to sell for much higher than we’d anticipated. If we’d put our house on the market any later, however, we might have missed the market boom.

Please note that we did not attempt to time the market, and I suggest you don’t either. The market will do what it’s going to do, and trying to time your move based on the market could cause more frustration and delays than it’s worth.   

An Early Start Means More Time for Research and Prayer.

Even if the housing market had not shifted in our favor, I’m grateful our family began our search for land sooner rather than later. An early start gave us more time to watch YouTube videos and think through our decisions. The more time, prayer, and research you can give to the land search, the more familiar you’ll become with the land and housing market, and the more clarity you’ll gain about your homesteading goals.    

Also, my inner prepper wants me to tell you that the sooner you find land, the sooner you can start growing your own food. Should a food crisis strike your area, or the United States as a whole, it’s better to have acreage than to be scrambling for land along with everyone else.    

Don’t Get Desperate.           

At the same time, please don’t feel pressured to buy the first 5-acre lot that comes your way. Desperation almost always makes for poor decisions. The only thing worse than not having land is having spent all your money on the wrong plot of land. Slow down. Read this book. Read as many books as you can. Do your research, and make a calm and calculated decision.