How To Build A Chicken Coop Cheap

So you want to build a chicken coop?

You’ve bought your land, you’ve got your own house sorted, maybe got your off grid energy running freely and your water supply under control.

Now it is time to think about pets, animals and livestock.

The first, easiest and most cost-effective would have to be chickens. Be sure to read our beginners guide to raising chickens  

Chickens are:

*       Surprisingly good family pets and great company (Read here to check out how many families in USA now keep chickens– and its over 13 million!)

*      Easy and cheap to buy  

*       An abundant source of nutritious food (healthy chickens that have space to run around are 2-3 times more nutritious than factory farmed eggs.)

*       Fabulous fertilizers for your gardens- simply add their waste to the compost heap

*        Great at eating many of the insects and bugs around the place

*        A constant source of side income- some people may have enough eggs that it can provide a little side income by selling excess eggs to neighbors or local farmers markets

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What is the purpose of a chicken coop?

A chicken chicken coop (or hen house) is a small house where female chickens(hens) are kept safe and secure. There are nest boxes found inside the hen houses for egg-laying, and perches/roosts where the birds can sleep.

The chicken coop should be cleaned every 2 weeks at least.

Having chicken in urban areas is now more popular than ever. Always check the rules and regulations with your local county if you live in urban areas and want to keep chickens.

Some will not allow urban areas to have chickens in the back yard. Some welcome it. Some will allow chickens but not allow roosters.

Others are fearful of noise and sanitation concerns. But cities like Albuquerque, Wisconsin, Seattle and NYC are welcoming chickens now along with many others.

How to build a chicken coop

Preparing to Build Your Best Chicken Coop

Decide whether you are planning to build a chicken coop or buy one.

Planning is essential before you start your project.  How big should it be? More space is better!

Each chicken will need at least 3-4 sq ft room to move around plus the same again in space to roam around. Remember this is minimum. So if you start with 6 birds, you should make the space AT LEAST 18-24 sq ft.

The likelihood is that you will love having chickens and want to add more birds. It is rather painful to have to extend the chicken coop.

So build the chicken coop with extra room first time around.  If you have planned extra room in advance, then you won’t have to start again or have to face tricky extensions.

Chickens are social animals – never get just one chicken. They will die of loneliness.  Start with at least 4-6 chickens.

Also crowded chickens have been know to peck savagely at each other. Give them more space.

The chicken coop will also protect them from harsh weather and provide a safe place to eat and drink. Make sure they can be protected from the harsh hot sun and also severe wind chills or snow.

The chicken coop also needs to be robust enough to protect the chickens from predators like racoons, foxes, wild cats and local dogs.

How To Build A Cheap Chicken Coop

If you have a few basic skills and can follow a plan, you will be able to build a basic chicken coop in a weekend and save yourself a fortune.

If you need a very large or elaborate chicken coop, it may take a few weeks but you will still save a ton of money and aggravation on buying a store bought chicken coop.

The 2 main components are an enclosed space for sleeping and laying eggs and an open air safe place for roaming about, called the “chicken run”.

Use rot-resistant lumber, such as cedar or redwood in a rectangular frame then chicken wire on all sides to keep predators out.

Get detailed plans for your chicken coop.

The interior of the chicken coop should be filled with straw to absorb chicken droppings and moisture when it rains.

Ensure you have a nest box for every 3-4 chickens.

Provide a watering device and a feeder which hang approximately 6-8 inches above the floor of the coop.

Some people add an incandescent bulb to extend the laying season.

Make sure you provide roosts/perches which are higher than the nests. Chickens always tend to seek the highest point to sleep.

Also the chicken coop should not be in the burning hot sun all day. If it is, be sure to provide a shade over the coop to help them regulate their temperature.

Think about where the access points in the coop need to be to collect eggs and for easy cleaning. These must have fox and raccoon-proof locks as these are very cunning predators.

Ensure you have some ventilation in the hen house roof (covered with strong chicken wire to keep predators out).

The other factor to consider is whether you’d benefit from a chicken tractor. This is a moveable chicken coop that can take care of the tasks a tractor used to do. 

Chickens are great at pecking and scratching the soil, moving and aerating the earth, fertilizing it and removing weeds.

If you design the coop to be movable, you can move it around different parts of the yard, ensuring all  the soil remains healthy.

Common Mistakes When You Build Your Hen House

The first mistake nearly everyone makes when they first keep chickens is to underestimate how tricky and resourceful the predators are.

It is devastating (especially if you have young kids) to wake up in the morning to find a bunch of feathers and no chickens.

It does not take long to become attached to these lovely creatures, to know them all by name and to mourn their loss for years after.

And feel a considerable dose of guilt- as you did not protect those animals in your care because your predator- proofing was not good enough.

Use the highest quality wire. Cheap chicken wire and even locks can easily be unravelled by clever, hungry predators. Make sure the wire is low enough that they cannot dig underneath.

The second big mistake is building the chicken coop too small. Let’s face it, building a chicken coop is quite a project. You want to think about it carefully and plan ahead.

Most likely you will adore having chickens and will expand your family of chooks. Who knows, if you have a rooster nearby, they may even have chicks of their own and your family might double very quickly.

Of course it will depend on your available space, but never build for the bare minimum of space. Build for more chickens than you think you will own.

And even if you do not end up with more, the existing chickens will enjoy the extra space and be healthier as a result.

Make sure you have a roost for every bird to sleep comfortably. You do not need a nest for every bird. They like sharing their nest. Generally you only need one nest for every 3-4 birds.

Plan easy access for regular cleaning. You will need a good size doorway for you to enter and exit for cleaning purposes. Plus some lockable hatches to clean the nests out easily.

Plan your system of feeding and watering. Especially water- how will you ensure the water does not run dry during the day when you are off working elsewhere?

This a great video with a clever but simple water feeding system for the chickens.

Do not forget about ventilation. Poor ventilation is another common mistake.

Good ventilation helps keep bad smells away and toxicity away. A nice breeze will help the birds stay cool in the summer. Poor ventilation can lead to heat stress or stroke, and to the build-up of toxic fumes.

Plan good ventilation points and make sure they are predator proof.

Plan what finish the chicken coop will have. Wood looks lovely but it does requires, waterproofing, staining and re-painting. Other materials like plastic and fiberglass may be more expensive up front but they last longer.

Some families build a second smaller coop as an emergency back up. This can house sick or injured birds temporarily while they recover.

It can also house young chicks who are not quite ready to be in the cage with the bigger birds.

If you introduce new chickens from time to time, it is wise to put them in the smaller coop first for a week or two as a quarantine to make sure they do not carry any diseases that may infect your healthy birds.  

Other times occasionally, you may have a very aggressive bird who decides to pick on a smaller one for some reason. By having a smaller separate coop, you can separate them for a week or two temporarily and often the issue will resolve.

What Is The Cost to Build a Chicken Coop Vs Buy One From The Shop?

Of course like any house, there are a ton of variables.

The shop bought chicken coops tend to range from $200-$1000 on average. 

Yes, you can find the cheaper coops and more expensive coops than this, but this is the average prices for most models out there. (I have seen them as high as $5000!)

Many people who have bought them from a shop find that they still need to be assembled, that they still need to go and buy extra parts and many of them are not well thought out.

Generally the predator protections are not great and they still need extra reinforcing. Some of the cheaper ones come without nests or roosts which then need to be bought. Most of them need all accessories bought ( so the actual cost of  finished shop bought product is actually a lot higher in most cases than you initially think!).

When you build your own hen house most people can build a good size chicken coop for around $150-$400 including all accessories.(depends on size of the coop and the materials you use).

Summary

Building a chicken coop from scratch is certainly a great challenge and a fun project but it is not rocket science.

Most people love having a decent project to work on and save a ton of money on buying a pre-built chicken coop that you have to assemble and adapt anyway.

As with any project, you should have a good plan thats shows you step by step how to build a chicken coop that you and your family will be proud of for years to come.

Trust me, you won’t need an engineering degree or fancy power tools to get this built. There are many “free” plans out there on the internet, but really? Most of us know that “free” often ends up being more expensive in the long run as it was not done properly in the first place.

Be self sufficient and get back to basics. Enjoy your chickens and provide them a good home and a happy life 🙂

If you have not bought your land yet, check out our latest available land for sale

Can Foreigners Buy Land In America? 

Can foreigners buy land in America? Are there any restrictions?

It is very easy for any foreigner to buy land in America and it is the same process as for any US citizens buying land in USA.

  1. Find some land you want to buy
  2. Contact the seller or the agent
  3. Buy it

The USA does not require that a person be a US citizen to buy land. In most states there are no restrictions at all.

Be careful though if you are looking to buy property in an housing association or a building condominium associations.

Some of them have rules that prohibit absentee owners. This is less likely to occur with land and usually only happens with buildings.

Why do foreigners buy land in America?

The US is thriving at the moment. People from all over the world can see the booming stock market and booming real estate market and want to benefit as well.

foreigners buy land in America

The US has a stable real estate market with clear laws on ownership. Many countries around the world do not have this.

If some foreigners have done well in business or in their career, they may want to diversify in a great country like the USA or they may want some stability over their currency by keeping some assets in USD.

Of course there are also huge foreign conglomerates and companies that seek to buy land in USA  for the purposes of expanding their operations or agriculture in the USA.

What is the process for foreigners to buy land in America?

Most people buy land with cash which makes buying land in USA a very easy process. Securing finance to buy land is challenging (for both US citizens and foreigners) by for reasons discussed in previous posts.

If you are buying a home, however and need to secure a mortgage, there will be some more stringent hoops for foreigners to jump through from the banks to secure financing.

When buying land as a foreigner, you may be able to enquire about whether owner financing is available. This will depend on the owner of the land if they wish to deal with foreigners or not.

If you are in this situation as a foreign buyer, it is always a good idea to try to arrange a call with the owner and explain your situation and try to establish trust and rapport.

Owner finance situations are based on mutual trust. Most sellers are just trying to ensure that they will be paid without any extra hassles.

Maybe you can suggest paying early each month or making a higher down payment or paying a higher monthly amount to sweeten the deal for the seller and make your proposal more attractive.

If you are able to pay cash and wish go through title company and escrow- you should have no trouble at all. The seller will know that the title company will have cleared funds before closing the deal, so both sides are protected here.

Are there other requirements for foreigners who buy land in USA?

By law, everyone who owns land needs to pay property taxes.

These may be levied annually or quarterly by the county.

You must be able to receive statements in your home country. If for any reason you cannot receive statements in the post or your mail service is unreliable, you can always call the County Treasurer, ask what taxes are owing and pay over the phone.

If you do not pay your property taxes, penalties and interest accrue and eventually you may lose your land entirely.

How do foreigners find land in USA to buy?

The process is identical for a foreigner as for a US citizen.

Most of the hunting occurs online.

You might choose to look at real estate agents websites or land investors websites or land auction websites.

Know your criteria in advance.

Why do you want land?

Do you want farming land?

Timber land?

To be in the path of growth?

Residential land to build on one day?

Commercial land?

It is easy, free and quick to browse the web and start to get a feel of pricing and what is out there.

Be sure to get information on utilities, road access, property taxes, zoning restrictions and topography.

If you are after something specific that you cannot find, feel free to reach out to a real estate agent or land investor and let them know what you want and see if they are able to source it for you.

The main problem is likely to be checking out the property.

Depending on the land value, you could either:

  • Make a trip to the US and go visit 5-10 potential land sites you have identified as possibilities in person.
  • Hire a surveyor or realtor to go check it out and give you their opinion
  • Buy “sight unseen”- to be honest, google maps and google earth are truly spectacular these days. While they are not the same as being there in person- they are pretty darn close! You can see the property, topography, nearby neighborhoods, nearby lakes, forests etc

It is always a good idea to call the county planning department and chat through your plans with them. You need to make sure that what you plan to do with the land is permitted.

The land seller will give you the zoning information eg commercial, agricultural or residential- but a quick phone call if you have specific or unusual plans will help avoid difficult situations down the track if there is a clause or a restriction you were unaware of.

How best to pay for the land when foreigners buy land in America?

Most transacting online these days is very simple. Depending on the transaction value (like a down payment) most land sellers will accept credit card.

For the bulk of the payment, you will make wire transfer or bank transfer. You will be required to pay the bank fees for foreign transactions (typically $20-$35).

How do foreigners buying land in USA get title?

If you go through a title company, the title company will record the new deed with your details at the county and provide you a copy.

If you deal direct with the seller, once they receive final payment for the land, they will record the deed in your name at the county and provide you a copy. It can be posted to you, emailed to you or both.

Is there anything foreigners should know about selling land in USA?

As a foreigner, when you sell any land you bought in the United States, the sale is subject to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) income tax withholding.

To ensure that taxes on the sale of the land are collected from foreign taxpayers, FIRPTA requires those who buy land from non-U.S citizens to withhold 10% of the sales price.

As the seller, you may apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to reduce this 10% to the amount of tax estimated to be due. The IRS routinely and quickly approves such applications from sellers.

You may want to hire a real estate attorney or a tax professional CPA to help you better understand FIRPTA and how you can stay compliant with the 10% tax withholding.

Some countries will have tax treaties set up with the US, you will need to get individual advice.

If you aim to earn income from your land, you should also consult a CPA tax professional as you may be required to file income taxes. Again this will very on an individual basis.

How much land is owned by foreigners in US?

Did you know that according to NPR in 2019 nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors?

Between April 2014-March 2015, foreigners purchased over $104 billion worth of land and real estate in USA.

This set a new record 8% of all existing home sales in the country.

China, Taiwan and Hong Kong bought $28.6 billion, Canadians bought $11 billion, India bought $7.9 billion and the rest of the ownership was spread out across the world.

Nationwide, Canadian investors own the most farmland. According to the USDA report in 2000, foreign individuals and corporations owned 16 million acres (or 1.2 percent) of the 1.3 billion acres of privately owned agricultural land.

However, with many US farmers approaching retiring age, they are looking to be able to sell and retire over the next decade however many of their children do not wish to take over the property and engage in a farming career.

To be fair, U.S. farmers and corporations also invest in overseas agriculture, owning billions of dollars of farmland from Australia to Brazil.

Summary

The USA is an amazing place to buy land if you are a foreigner looking to diversify your portfolio away from your home country. It is simple and easy to do and online tools mean you can check the land out in very close detail very accurately before you buy.

We have many foreign buyers and can talk you through the process if you want to ask any questions via email or phone- get in touch

The USA is an amazing place to buy land if you are a US citizen and looking to one day build for retirement, diversify your portfolio, start a hobby farm or homestead. With the US being such an attractive place for foreign investment, make sure you buy your land before you get priced out.

Check out our current listings or get in touch if you have any questions

Happy to help!

Modular Homes vs Manufactured Homes: Everything You Need To Know To Get It Right!

Modular homes vs manufactured homes are often a huge source of confusion for manypeople. Some people use these words interchangeably, but in fact they are very different beasts.

Both modular homes and manufactured homes are extremely useful alternatives to the traditional site-build homes. In fact, we predict they will become more and more popular over the next few years.

If you are getting ready to buy your own home or are saving up at the moment, it is wise to stop and consider ALL the alternatives before you jump in and go the traditional route to buy the standard home.

Take a few minutes to open your mind to check out the pros and cons of “systems built technology” (modular homes) and manufactured homes that allows for potential massive cost and time savings.

Technology and innovation are everywhere including the home building industry. It is an exciting time to watch how quickly home building is advancing.

Our generation have the opportunity to think “how could I do this better, cheaper and more efficiently?”

We can make a choice to embrace a new way of doing things, rather than simply buy a standard house like our parents did.

Or build a house from scratch-slowly brick by brick.

And then spending the rest of our working life paying it off!

But is this the smartest way to go these days?

Or is there an alternative? If you do not own your own land yet, be sure to check out our current listings. Whether you decide on modular homes vs manufactured homes, you will need some land for them on which to rest.

Lets look at both options and then decide…

What is a manufactured home?

Manufactured homes are typically single-wide, or double-wide.

A single-wide home, or single section home, is a floor plan with one long section.It is approximately 1330 sq ft on average.

A double wide home or two section homes, are floor plans with two sections joined together to create a larger home. Double-wide manufactured homes are approximately 1800 sq ft on average.

These are very popular with first home buyers, retirees and 2nd home buyers as they are one of the cheapest ways to own a home.

Advantages of manufactured homes

The primary advantage of a manufactured home (also called a mobile home or trailer home) is low cost.

Manufactured homes are built in factories on their own steel chassis and are completely constructed before being transported on their own wheels to your land.

The second advantage is speed.

It is possible to have a pre- built manufactured home delivered to your land within days.

Sometimes the wheels are removed, sometimes they are not.

They are easy to set up. They are rarely set on a permanent foundation. Typically, they have skirting/siding around the bottom of them to hide where the wheels are or where they were removed and to give it the appearance of a standard home.

Sometimes it is possible to move it to another site if you need to move. Though in practice this rarely happens.

Disadvantages of manufactured homes

Restrictive zoning issues are one of the biggest obstacles these days for manufactured homes. In some areas they are banned completely. In other areas, they are allowed only on the outskirts of town.

Some counties have placed an age restriction on manufactured homes, disallowing the placement of a home more than 5- or 10- years old.

These local laws have basically placed an expiration dates on these homes, and have artificially killed the resale value.

You will also need to check the lot size required for manufactured homes, density and set back requirements.

Another major disadvantage is lack of financing. It is extremely difficult to secure a loan on a manufactured home.

Manufactured homes are often titled as personal (or “chattel”) property, like TVs or cars,rather than as “real” property, like houses or apartments.

This has major implications for financing, taxation, consumer rights and protections.

The third major disadvantage is that manufactured homes typically depreciate in value. So while they are much cheaper to acquire in the beginning, if you were looking for a long-term investment that may appreciate over time like land or like a house, sadly, a manufactured home will lose value over time.

This decline in value over time is another reason why lenders do not like extending loans to manufactured homes.

Manufactured homes generally do not need to pass a building inspection to ensure they are structurally sound. They are manufactured according to requirements from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Some aspects of the work such as electrical or plumbing might be inspected, there is no requirement for structural inspection of the home itself.

How do I know if manufactured homes and modular homes are permitted on my land?

Many of the manufactured home and modular home sellers will be well versed in their local county zoning laws and permits required.

They will let you know to the best of their knowledge what is permitted and where. We also suggest that you read the County’s planning and zoning department website and even better, pick up the phone and call them. Ask them to tell you the different requirements on modular homes vs manufactured homes. Ask about any restrictions on size and age of the proposed home.

Taking the time to talk to a human being will pay great dividends. Often the planning and zoning people are very experienced and knowledgeable about what is required and the process you need to follow.

They have been asked most questions before and will be able to give you some great advice. Call them well ahead of time.

Tell them your plans and make sure you are certain your plans are allowed before you embark on any project.

What is a modular home?

A modular home is built in separate modules in a factory off site. Sometimes they are called pre-fabricated homes.  In the past, these sometimes had a bad name for being poorly built, being cookie cutter, and looking rather nasty.

But now times have changed, standards and technology has improved and modular homes are booming in popularity.

manufactured home versus modular home

Everything down to the flooring and fixtures are completed before the modules leave the factory.

They are then transported to your land via flatbed truck and typically assembled in a day. The modules are slotted in and fastened together by using a large crane and construction workers at the building site.

After that, the professionals connect up the services, such as water, power and sewerage lines (or the well and septic).

It is typically a steel framed house built from standard building materials. On average they are larger than manufactured homes. They have full kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms and laundry.

A granny flat or back yard studio might be built from two modules.

A four-five bedroom home might consist of 6-8 modules.

They are placed on a permanent foundation unlike manufactured homes. This helps makes them more sturdy and hold up well to bad weather.

The technology has improved so much these days that you could not tell most of the time which is a “standard” site built house and which is a modular built house. They are very good at getting the cosmetics right.

Advantages of modular homes

One of the major advantages of the modular homes is that they are titled as “real” property, just like site-built homes.

This gives you the same financing options, legal rights and protections, and the same tax treatment as you’d get with buying a standard home.

This also means these modular homes appreciate in value the same as the traditional site build homes in the area.

modular homes vs manufactured homes

Another advantage of modular homes vs manufactured homes is that you get a lot more design flexibility.

You can customize the interiors and exteriors of the house to suit your dreams.

You can customize the size and shape (within reason) of your modular home.

You can make it as luxurious or simple as you like. You can choose to have the roof with a shallow slope or steep, with dormers or without.

You can also add on extras like  sun rooms, basements, gas fireplaces, gymnasiums, porches and garages.

Check out this video of one incredible modular mansion home :

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqP_giVcF9Y

The much shorter construction time is very attractive to many people- generally just a few weeks instead of a multi-month process with a standard build.

Modular homes are more expensive than manufactured homes, but much more affordable than standard site built homes. (Keep reading as we will discuss cost towards the end).

Modular homes are structurally inspected by professionals and must adhere to the same local, state and regional building standards, codes and requirements as traditional site built homes.

Disadvantages of Modular Homes

Cost of the transport of the modular home to your land can be a disadvantage.

If you live far away from the factory, there will be a point where the cost to transport it to you is prohibitive.

Ideally, you should be within 300-400 mile radius to the factory.

Also check the transport route from the factory to your land. Ensure the truck carrying the modules can physically navigate the roads.

Make sure there are no low hanging over passes, narrow tunnels or hairpin bends.

Carefully confirm the dimensions of the module and the truck that will be carrying your future home and do the drive yourself to rule out any potential snags that you want to avoid on delivery day.

Also bear in mind that the further away your land is from the factory, the more wear and tear it will experience on the road journey- either from burning hot sun, lashing wind, snow or rain or pollution, pot holes and traffic accidents.

The shorter the distance, the better.

While there is usually some customisation possible, if you want to completely customize your home, or your land topography is too challenging, it would be best to go with the standard site build.

Always check with your planning and zoning that modular homes are allowed. Modular buildings are relatively new to the construction industry so some local county zoning laws are out-dated and struggling to keep pace.

Check carefully the fine details like set backs required.

Who will put your modular hometogether?

Putting together a modular home is a little more complicated than simply snapping together a few “Lego blocks”. The modular home factory will suggest their experienced builders and a crane to assemble it on site.

If you prefer to use your own builders, make sure they are experienced in many modular home constructions.

A standard home and a modular home are very different.

Make sure they are not experimenting assembling their first home with yours.

Even experienced builders in some cases have not had experience with modular homes.

Here is a video where you can watch a modular home being built.

You can also see them put in a well and septic with leach field

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBD2V_rH4-g

How much does it cost to buildmodular homes vs manufactured homes?

As both manufactured home and modular homes are built off site, they should both be cheaper than a site build traditional home. Also the factory will be able to get wholesale deals on building materials as they can order in bulk.

Building from the ground up on-site is expensive, time-consuming and inefficient.

A factory-built home can be constructed in a week, delivered to a site and installed in a day.

As is true of any home, the cost of a modular home depends on its size and inclusions.

In general, the price depends on you!

There is base price of a basic model.

Then it depends what size home you want, interior materials, appliances, cladding, insulation and other features.

Also remember to include the cost of transport to your land.

Let’s compare the cost of modular homes vs.manufactured homes.

A standard site build home would cost approx. $115-$200 per square foot depending on where you live in the country.

The average size of the standard American home is 2687 square foot.

So if we take the middle figure your average size site build home might cost you $150 x 2687=$403,050

Of course, this varies widely from state to state and city to city. The median price of a home in Detroit is approximately $35K, the median in San Francisco being over $1,387,000 according to Zillow.com!

A single-wide manufactured home tends to cost between $45K-$50K

A double-wide manufactured home tends to cost between $100K-$120K. There are regional differences in price, seasonal differences and it depends on what customisations you request on top of that.

The average cost per square foot for a typical modular home is $76.80.

But the range can be huge, depending on what design you want. Some will be less but if you want to pimp it up, a luxury modular home will cost a lot more.

If we assume, we will aim to stay near the average $70 x 2687 sq ft, a modular home might cost us $188,090 which is still considerable but a quarter of the cost of the traditional site built home.

And if you go for a smaller home say 1200 sq ft and stick with standard design, you could get the cost closer to $60 per sq ft, you’d only have to find $72,000!

Very tempting!

Are there any other options?

Most of you will have heard about shipping container homes and tiny homes. These are also viable options to consider in your search for the best option for your dream home.

Should I get a loan for my modular home?

As modular homes are considered real property, you could get a loan at a bank if you qualify. Get your financial statements together and make an appointment at your bank and see if they will give you a loan and at what rate.

To qualify for a bank loan, you will need to actually own the land you wish to put your home on. If you have been paying off the land on an owner financing option, you will need to have paid for the land and had the deed recorded in the name. No bank will lend you money for an asset to be placed on land that you do not fully own. Also most land sellers will not want you living on their land until you own it outright.

Some people may not even need a loan, if they have diligently saved up and kept their requirements fairly modest.

Or if you do, maybe you can try to make the loan term shorter and pay it off within 7-10 years instead of 30 years!

If you are like most of our audience, you want to get rid of all loans and experience the true freedom of being debt free as quickly as possible.

You will generally NOT get a loan on manufactured homes at all as they are not considered “real” property.

What about resale values of modular homes vs manufactured homes?

Even though it is cheaper at the outset to buy a manufactured home, try to imagine yourself in 10 years time.

Will you be regretting it later on when all the property values around you have risen in value across the country but yours has gone down?

Another factor that has happened to some people is that the counties have been implementing special restrictive zoning ordinances to ban “older” manufactured homes.

This special zoning wipes out any resale value for the manufactured homes.

Summary

As most people consider their home to be their biggest asset, we would suggest that if you can stretch to purchase a modular home over a manufactured home, that it would be a better long term purchase.

Modular homes are more welcomed by most counties. They tend to appreciate over time like standard housing and have the same buildings standards when constructed. Who knows, it may even be possible to add extra modules to your home over time as your family expands or your needs change.

No matter whether you decide to go with modular homes vs manufactured homes, always be sure the check first with your local county planning and zoning laws to ensure your plans will be approved.

How Viable Is A Water Well For Off Grid Living?

Just how viable is a water well for off grid living in the USA?

If you are have grown up with city water that flows freely from the faucet whenever you need it, it may be that you do not know much about what’s required in obtaining water from a well or other sources?

It’s a very popular optionthese days to create your idyllic off grid dream home in the middle of nowhereand be completely self- sufficient.

But obviously, there is a learning curve, some set up costs and some things to be aware of before divingin headfirst.

Millions of people all over the world use a water well for off grid living each and every day. It is common, totally viable and a great solution for many people.

A water well for off grid living is not the only source of water available in rural areas. But it is certainly a very reliable and safe source of water for the long term. Read on to get the low-down…

How many people use a water well in the USA?

In the USA , over 43 million people (15% of the population) use domestic (private) wells as their primary source of drinking water according to USGS.

Homeowners are responsible for maintaining their own domestic well systems and formonitoring water safety and quality.

Is well water safe to drink?

To ensure your water is safe to drink, you should regularly test it and maintain it.

You need to be on the look out for chemicals like pesticides and solvents, nitrates and arsenic. Here is the information from the Center of Disease Control and Prevention. This is not to scare you, just keep you informed.

You can have it professionally tested once a year by local health department or environmental health department.

You can also do your own testing DIY style twice a year with these home kits available for around $35.

Always check the laws that apply in your county.

In Oregon for example, you are not required to regularly check/test your well (though you should!).

However when you go to sell property with a domestic well, the Real Estate Transaction Act will require testing of the domestic well.

Specifically the well must be tested for arsenic, nitrates and total coliform bacteria.

What are other options to secure well water for off grid living?

Public water is available on land that is within city limits. This is what most people are used to. Naturally there are set up costs, connection fees and regular water bills that go along with this.

If you are like most of our off grid community, you may be looking to get away from city services, sky high bills and reliance on others for your basic needs.

Most of our rural land for sale is away from the city and you will need your own source of water.

Some areas in planned developments have a community well. These are usually in homeowners associations and will have their own rules and fees associated with this.

You will also have to contribute to on-going costs and maintenance fees.

The most common option for water for rural land is a private water well- owned, installed and maintained by you.

There are 3 main types of water wells for off grid living

Dug/bored wells, driven wells or drilled wells.

Dug/bored wells are shallow wells that are dug by shovel and lined with stones or bricks to prevent collapse.

Driven wells are built by driving pipe into the ground. Driven wells are cased continuously and they are shallow(approximately 30 to 50 feet deep).

Though driven wells are cased, they can be contaminated easily because they draw water from aquifers near the surface. 

Drilled wells can be hundreds or thousands of feet deep. They are drilled by machines and require the installation of casing.

Drilled wells have a lower risk of contamination due to their depth and use of continuous casing. The casing keeps dirt and excess water out of the well.

This helps prevent contaminants from less desirable groundwater from entering the well and mixing with the drinking water.

Some states and local governing agencies have laws that require minimum lengths for casing. Check with the water authorities where you live.

The most common materials for well casing are carbon steel, plastic, and stainless steel.

Another way to secure water is rain water harvesting. Check whether this is legal in your state.

Finally you can have water delivered and store it in large storage tanks.

How will I know if my property will yield water?

There is a ton more water underground than you can see on the surface.

Some buyers are obsessed with only buying property with a stream or river on it.

water well living off the grid

You may need to provide a water well for off grid living in addition to a lovely stream

And while some of them want this because it looks pretty, it does not always solve all your water needs.

Some property owners with a stream, still need to drill a well to ensure the water is drinkable. Also to ensure they have water all year round as some streams are seasonal.

In most cases you know you will have good access to water if the neighboring properties around you all have wells and seem to be thriving.

They clearly have been able to access water in the area and you will too.

Contact some local water well contractors who will be a wealth of information and give you some advice or verify what is going on in that area.

If, however, you are looking at a parcel of land that is way out in the middle of nowhere with no neighbors at all, then this is worthy of closer investigation.

Your first port of call would be a local water well contractor as they will have a good idea of where the water flows nearby, acquifers and the probable required depth of a well.

Typically well depths on much of the land we have bought and sold recently in Nevada and Oregon range from 70 feet to 300 feet.

Typical costs for a well is approx. $15-$35 per foot.

Depending on your area, the average well might cost between $4,000-$9,000

You can also contact the local county water departments as they keep detailed well logs. You will be able to find out exactly how deep the local wells in your area are.

Hire an expert water well contractor

We always advise NOT drilling a well yourself for the purposes of drinking water.

Get local knowledge and expertise by someone who does this for a living and knows the water ways, common hazards and the regulations associated with drilling a well.

There is a lot more involved that simply digging a hole.

An expert knows where to site the well for best water flow, for best health outcomes and they will be insured, bonded and licensed.

They will know all the local laws, the permits are required, the authorities to register your well with to be compliant.

It will be so much easier, time effective and cost effective to get the experts in to do it right first time around.

You will need to do all this paperwork, logistics and legwork yourself if you choose to dig your own well.

In our opinion, consult a local licensed well drilling expert.

It is not worth getting it wrong!

Where should a water well for off grid living be located?

A water well contractor will help you decide on the best position for your well.

They will consider, the depth of the static water level, they will ensure where possible that rain water flows away from the well. Typically a well cap is placed on level ground or uphill to reduce risk of contaminants.

Rainwater can pick up harmful contaminants and bacteria and chemicals on the surface of the land.

The CDC also has these guidelines for the location of your water well for off grid living:

50 feet away from septic tanks

50 feet away from livestock yards, silos and septic leach fields

100 feet away from petrol tanks, fertilizer storage and other chemicals

250 feet away from manure stacks

Can I share a water well with my neighbor?

Yes, sometimes a well is shared between neighbors. Some people do it on a handshake agreement.

However, as water is vital to your survival and vital to the value of your property, we suggest getting a written agreement drawn up for clarity and to make sure there are no misunderstandings down the track.

Have an attorney review your agreement to ensure you have not forgotten to include any important items including how you will resolve a disagreement.

Who pays for the well?

Who pays on going costs and maintenance?

What is the maintenance schedule?

What happens to the water well rights if one of you choose to sell your property?

Who will pay if the well needs to be replaced or upgraded?

Is there a limit on water usage per person?

A water well remains a private well if it serves 3 or less households.

If your well serves more than 3 households, more paperwork and testing is required.

How long do domestic wells last?

Typically a good quality water well will last 30-50 years. You may need to replace some parts after 15-20 years like a pump or well pressure tank.

Maintenance will help preserve it and keep performance high.

Bacteria and mineral deposits build up over time. This causes the well performance to deteriorate.

Also keep an eye on the static water level a few times per year and keep a note of it.

Regular testing of water quality, flow rates and maintenance or the well can lengthen the life of a well.

How much water do I typically need?

Indoor water use in USA is typically 80-100 gallons a day (U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimates.

Biggest uses in most households are toilet flushing(1.5-3 gallons per flush), showers(3 gallons per minute) and baths (full tub 36 gallons)…

A well producing half a gallon per minute will yield 720 gallons of water per day and supply the inside water needs of most households.

In some parts of the country, flow rates are required to be 3-5 gallons per minute or higher. Some achieve 6-8 gallons per minute.

Conservation of water and being mindful of where you are wasting water is the first priority for most people moving from the city to supplying their own water.

Here are some tips:

Do not use excessive washing machines or dishwashers.

Only use these machines when you have a full load.

Fix any leaky taps right away.

Install water saving devices where possible on shower heads, hoses and toilets.

Above ground are usually smaller, cheaper and more portable.

Below ground cisterns are great for cold climates as they can be buried below the frost line to prevent freezing.

What’s the deal with water rights?

Always check with your county as these rights differ across the country. Also water rights usage and exemptions may change depending on rain or drought conditions.

In Oregon for example, you must obtain a water right permit before using water from any well.

However there are important exemptions for domestic use:

 Domestic uses up to 15000 gallons per day

Stock watering

Irrigation of any lawn or noncommercial garden of ½-acre

Down-hole heat exchangers;

Single industrial or commercial purpose up to 5,000 gallons

Irrigation of school property up to 10 acres in critical groundwater areas.

As these can change, always check with your local authority before proceeding to clarify your situation.

What happens to a water well if it is not required any more?

You cannot just walk away and leave it. 

Unsealed or improperly sealed wells may threaten public health and safety, and the quality of the groundwater resources.

Therefore, the proper decommissioning of a well is a critical final step if it is no longer needed.

The unused well must be filled and sealed with an approved, impermeable material such as bentonite chips, concrete, or neatcement. 

Proper well abandonment procedures will ensure there is no physical hazard of someone falling in. It will eliminate any risk of contamination into the water system for others. It will prevent hydrologic changes in the aquifer system.

The decommissioning method will depend on both the reason for abandonment and the condition of the well.

Damaged, poorly constructed or dilapidated wells may need to be redrilled in order to apply proper abandonment techniques.

All abandoned wells shall be reported to the water authorities, along with any bureau that requires a report.

If available, the original driller’s log should be included along with the details of the well abandonment procedure.

A photograph should be taken of the site, and a reference map should be made to locate the abandoned well.

In many states only licensed well drillers and pump installers can fill and seal wells.

A “typical” well abandonment costs $800 – $1500 but may be more or less depending on the well depth and ease with which the pump can be removed. 

Well drillers typically charge by the foot so deeper wells are more expensive to abandon than shallow wells.

Summary of water wellfor off grid living

In many cases a water well for off grid living is a reliable and safe way to maintain a fresh source of great water.

It is by no means the only way. Some people have water delivered and live happily for years. Others collect rainwater, or go into town to fill up once a fortnight.

If you are new to rural living, start collecting water the quickest and easiest way for you right now depending on your skill level and the geography of your property. Then expand later on. It is always a good idea not to rely on only one source of water.

When you install a water well for off grid living, you enhance your enjoyment of being self sufficient and enhance your property value dramatically. Always keep good records of your installations, maintenance checks so you know your well is in good working order and performing well. If you ever sell your property, good records will enhance your asking price.

A water meter can be easily installed to measure how much water is being pumped. This one is less than $40.

Also look to install a water storage tank or cistern.

Install rain water harvesting systems to catch and store rain water run off from roofs to water gardens and wash the car.

It reduces the load on your well if you can supply extra water from rainwater collection.

As the price per gallon of rainwater is zero, (besides the tank and some guttering) it makes it very appealing.

Water cisterns and rain barrels

Cisterns and rain barrels are a great water storage solution for people living off the grid because they can provide months of water with one fill up, which can come from rain water, water pumped in from a well, or even a delivery.

You can have above the ground cisterm or below the ground cisterns.

Above ground are usually smaller, cheaper and more portable.

Below ground cisterns are great for cold climates as they can be buried below the frost line to prevent freezing.

What’s the deal with water rights?

Always check with your county as these rights differ across the country. Also water rights usage and exemptions may change depending on rain or drought conditions.

In Oregon for example, you must obtain a water right permit before using water from any well.

However there are important exemptions for domestic use:

 Domestic uses up to 15000 gallons per day

Stock watering

Irrigation of any lawn or noncommercial garden of ½-acre

Down-hole heat exchangers;

Single industrial or commercial purpose up to 5,000 gallons

Irrigation of school property up to 10 acres in critical groundwater areas.

As these can change, always check with your local authority before proceeding to clarify your situation.

What happens to a water well if it is not required any more?

You cannot just walk away and leave it. 

Unsealed or improperly sealed wells may threaten public health and safety, and the quality of the groundwater resources.

Therefore, the proper decommissioning of a well is a critical final step if it is no longer needed.

The unused well must be filled and sealed with an approved, impermeable material such as bentonite chips, concrete, or neatcement. 

Proper well abandonment procedures will ensure there is no physical hazard of someone falling in. It will eliminate any risk of contamination into the water system for others. It will prevent hydrologic changes in the aquifer system.

The decommissioning method will depend on both the reason for abandonment and the condition of the well.

Damaged, poorly constructed or dilapidated wells may need to be redrilled in order to apply proper abandonment techniques.

All abandoned wells shall be reported to the water authorities, along with any bureau that requires a report.

If available, the original driller’s log should be included along with the details of the well abandonment procedure.

A photograph should be taken of the site, and a reference map should be made to locate the abandoned well.

In many states only licensed well drillers and pump installers can fill and seal wells.

A “typical” well abandonment costs $800 – $1500 but may be more or less depending on the well depth and ease with which the pump can be removed. 

Well drillers typically charge by the foot so deeper wells are more expensive to abandon than shallow wells.

Summary of water wellfor off grid living

In many cases a water well for off grid living is a reliable and safe way to maintain a fresh source of great water.

It is by no means the only way. Some people have water delivered and live happily for years. Others collect rainwater, or go into town to fill up once a fortnight.

If you are new to rural living, start collecting water the quickest and easiest way for you right now depending on your skill level and the geography of your property. Then expand later on. It is always a good idea not to rely on only one source of water.

When you install a water well for off grid living, you enhance your enjoyment of being self sufficient and enhance your property value dramatically. Always keep good records of your installations, maintenance checks so you know your well is in good working order and performing well. If you ever sell your property, good records will enhance your asking price.

You Can Buy Land Cheap-Here’s How And What to Watch Out For

When it comes to investing, the ability to buy land cheap is a great skill to acquire. Real estate overall, is one of the smart places where you could put some of your money. It is one of the most stable assets that tends to increase its value over time.

Certainly you should not put ALL of your money in any one place, however it is a wise move to place some of your wealth in real estate, property or land.

WIth land specifically, as the gurus say “they aren’t making any more of it” which continues to push demand up.

Also everywhere you look, within cities, rural towns and just outside the towns, you can see more and more land being developed for commercial centers, homes and apartments.

If you can buy land cheap, then you are in a great position to hold it for the long term, or have somewhere you can build one day or pass on to your future generations.

When you buy land cheap, you ensure your own security as you always have somewhere you can go. You cannot be kicked off or told to leave (assuming you keep your property taxes up to date!)

Why Look To Buy Land Cheap?

Perhaps you want to create a dream home for you and your family?

Perhaps you want to start a business on the land- Dog kennels? Stables? Farming? Animal breeding? Shooting range? There are so many options and so much opportunity.

Perhaps you cannot quite stretch to the $350,000-$500,000 required in most states to buy a pre-built house on a nice street?

No problem- instead- buy cheap land and put a cabin on it or a manufactured home, or a tiny home (depending on the zoning).

As the land increases in value over time, you may be able to trade up.

Assuming you do some of the work to drill a well or install septic system, or generate power from solar energy, other people will pay handsomely for the privilege to have that already done.

Seriously there is a serious business here for the right person who has either the DIY skills or the project management skills to get the basic set up done..

Buy land cheap that you can afford, set up utilities and re-sell the land at a higher price. Once you have the skills and know some reliable contractors, simply rinse and repeat.

Keep looking to buy land cheap with  larger and larger parcels.

Many people do not want to do this work, but are happy to pay a higher price to have it already done.

Buy Land cheap

Can you buy land cheap despite being short in cash? Yes!

The beauty of most land deals is not only is the purchase price often very low. But you also often do not need to part with all the money right away. Most land sellers are happy to discuss owner finance terms.

This means when you buy land cheap, you do not need all the cash right away plus you do not need to seek a bank loan or get a credit check done.

If you have had poor credit in the past, there will be no problem.

If you have unstable income from being self-employed- no problem.

Of course you should never buy land that you cannot afford- but at least you can buy land cheap, get started then gradually trade up.

You don’t have to be super rich to invest in land.

Depending where you wish to acquire land, you can buy land cheap, in fact – very cheap.

For some examples of great land available, check out our cheap land for sale 

There are acreages and prices to suit almost everyone.

What To Look Out For When You Buy Land Cheap

Check The County Zoning

You must always comply with the local zoning laws whenever you purchase any property. The same applies for land. The rules are usually very clear. The seller may be able to supply you with information on zoning- what you can and cannot do.

Or simply call the county planner directly and get confirmation from them.

Zoning may be:

  1. Residential
  2. Commercial
  3. Industrial
  4. Rural
  5. Agricultural
  6. Or in some areas there may be no zoning restrictions at all

Some counties in rural areas have no zoning- you can live in your RV or you can build whatever you want. This is super useful, depending on your goals when you buy cheap land.

Check out our current listings

Street Access

Check what your access is and rights of way. Some available land will have street access. Other land available may be super cheap to buy as it is landlocked with no legal access.

This may not be a problem if you just wish to use the land for recreation purposes but if you wish to live there or start a business there, you must have legal access, or you may face problems later in.

Many counties have acknowledged this problem and created easements on all neighboring parcels to allow access for everyone.

Setbacks

Setbacks refer to building restrictions when building a structure.

Their main purpose is to ensure privacy, public safety, and environmental protection by not building too close to the property boundary..

What Other Costs Are Involved When I Buy Land Cheap

Great question. If anything is cheap- always beware of hidden costs.

Check fees for closing.

Check if there is any interest rate applied to the loan if you enter an owner finance deal.

Check if there is any early repayment penalties.

If you need to set up utilities, you will need to get a few quotes to have an idea what a septic system will cost, how much to bring power to the site- unless you choose to use solar energy, and whether you will drill a well or collect rainwater.

Then consider where you will live- will you be allowed to live in your trailer until building is complete? Will you build a traditional home? Will you use a shipping container home? Will you live in a mobile home or manufactured home?

Only you can determine this according to your budget, the needs of your family and of course the local zoning laws.

The data from the National Association of Home Builders shows that building a home has a median cost of $289,000. It can be less or more depending on your preferences.

How To Buy Land Cheap-Consider For Sale By Owner

So where do you go to find land available for sale?

There are land brokers around with generally more expensive land parcels for sale like ranches and farms. There will be higher fees and commissions to pay for their services.

There are also land buying/selling platforms to consider with some land from brokers, some land from realtors and some land available directly from the sellers.

Land cheap

If your main goal is to buy land cheap, your best bet will be buying land directly from the seller. You may have seen this as FSBO or For Sale By Owner.

When you deal with the seller directly, you will be assured of getting the best deal. You may be able to negotiate a little and get a little more knocked off the price. And there will generally be very small or no fees and no commissions to pay.

You will also be able to negotiate better terms to buy land cheap- if you prefer a higher down payment with smaller monthly commitment or a smaller down payment to get going then higher monthly payments.

Sometimes the land owner will be able to accommodate your requests and sometimes not, but if you want to buy land cheap, it is always worth asking.

Buy Land Cheap- Know Your Pricing

Don’t rely on one source but check out different listings and compare the land and its prices. See what other people are selling for in the area and work out what you are willing to pay.

Land will be priced differently depending on availability of utilities, street access, local zoning, demand in the area, local demographics.

It will also be priced differently due to the owner desire to sell.

Some sellers will have inherited the land- they have never seen it and do not want it. They may sell to you at a very cheap price.

Others may know of some important developments about to happen in the county, or a major shopping center having been approved or a big company about to move in and provide a ton of work in the region. They will price it super high as they know it is far more valuable in a few years than most people realize.

These people may also be willing to pay more for adjacent parcels (if you have any available to sell).

When you find a parcel you like- you have two options.

Either take drive out to see it, check out the local town, shops nearby and services available.

Or in most cases, you can do it from the comfort of your own home- by going on Google earth or google maps.

You can get a very good feel for the area with this amazing (free!) technology. Check out where your nearest neighbors are, how close the shops are away, transport links, local rivers, lakes and so on.

Buy Land Cheap -Alway Check Outstanding Liens and Taxes

If the previous owner did not pay their property taxes for several years, those taxes remain with the property, not the previous owner.

Be sure to check with the seller and make a quick call to the treasurer to ensure there are no outstanding taxes due on the parcel.

Otherwise if may be that your cheap land parcel does not appear so cheap if you become saddled with a $3000 property tax bill as well!

To be honest, in many cases, if the property you are looking at is vacant land in rural locations, the property taxes are often very low.

But it is important to check that you have no nasty surprises awaiting you when you think you are buying land cheap.

Buy Land Cheap Then Add Value

Some buy land cheap to provide a home for their family, or to develop a business.

Others buy land cheap as a long term investment- they know it will appreciate over time as vacant land becomes more scarce.

But if you want to move quickly and really make some serious coin, you will need to add value in some form.

There are many ways to make money by buying land cheap.

You may choose to buy land cheap, add either utilities or a home, then sell on to a grateful young couple.

You may choose to buy several parcels of land, live on one parcel, develop some of them and hold others for the long term.

You may buy a large parcel of land cheap, then subdivide the land into smaller lots which are more affordable for more people, keep a couple of parcels and sell the rest off.

You may buy land cheap then establish a business yourself.

Maybe there is a demand for a paint-balling center near you?

Maybe you could lease the land out to hunting clubs?

Maybe you establish some stables or dog kennels, or sell eggs from your chickens.

There are so many creative ways of getting the land to provide you with a great income. 

Even if all you do is set up your off grid systems and never have to pay another water or power bill again- you will be way ahead over time.

Buy Cheap Land Summary

To buy cheap land is always a good move. It is a valuable, stable  asset that has stood the test of time. It will continue to become more valuable over time and can provide you immense satisfaction, tons of fun and  even a great living along the way.

If you are considering buying land feel free to get in touch or check out our cheap land for sale here.

Check Out Beautiful Rye Patch Reservoir (And How To Enjoy The River Ranch Resort For Free!)

Rye Patch Reservoir is the place to go to enjoy many recreational activities, have fun with your friends and families and enjoy a beautiful oasis in Nevada. You can choose to either visit for short periods- or buy land nearby. This way, you can leave your RV or boat there permanently and just pop up easily when the conditions are perfect. If you love you might choose to build your second home here or move there permanently.

Rye Patch Reservoir is situated on the Humboldt River managed by Pershing County Water Conservation District and is located about 22 miles northeast of the town of Lovelock. The reservoir collects and stores water to aid the irrigation of lands around Lovelock to help sustain agriculture.

The reservoir was built between 1933-1936 along with the two smaller reservoirs lying on the eastern edge, the Upper and Lower Pitt-Taylor Reservoirs which were completed in 1912.

How Did Rye Patch Reservoir Get Its Name?

Rye Patch reservoir has a rich history. Its name originated from a patch of wild rye that grows along the railroad.

By the year 1869, a station was built on the Central Pacific Railroad. The town prospered during the 1860s and 1870s with the gold rush. The mine generated an estimated $1,000,000 worth of silver and gold. However when the processing mill closed in 1877, the town began fading away from its bounty and later on become a ghost town.

Rye Patch Reservoir Statistics- What Are The Stats?

Lake type Dammed, Artificial Reservoir
Water Level Control Pershing County Water Conservation District
Surface Area 10,820 acres
Shoreline Length 72 miles
Normal Elevation 4,135 feet
Maximum Elevation 4,144 feet
Average Depth 30 feet
Maximum Depth 61 feet
Water Volume 196,000 acre-feet
Completion Year 1936
Drainage Area 15,700 sq.miles

A Brief History of the Rye Patch Reservoir

The Rye Patch Reservoir has a rich history dating back thousands of years ago when the climate surrounding the area of Rye Patch was colder than what it is now. For the last 8,000 years, there were trails of humans living along the Humboldt River.

In the past, there was healthy vegetation of plants and other food resources. And because there was food and water, horses, camels, bison, rodents, and even the ancient mammoths roamed the lands and came to drink in the river bank.

From Wet Area To Dry Land

When the climate changed and warmed, the area became drier. The abundant Lake Lahontan slowly split up into smaller desert lakes namely the Pyramid and Walker lakes which are covered by Walker and Truckee rivers.

Due to these changes, a large number of animals perished as they struggle to survive. This is evident by numerous archaeological findings of fossilized bones discovered in the area, spreading at the different parts of the shoreline.

Ancient human inhabitants also found it hard to survive and adjust in the semi-arid land. They developed ways to hunt food which involves fishing and hunting. They would set traps to capture rabbits and catch ducks and fishes at shallow rivers and lakes.

Rye Patch Reservoir Gold Rush

It was in 1829 when explorers first came to the region. The first group was on their trapping expedition leading the Hudson Bay Company.

In 1849, the discovery of gold ignited more immigrants and prospectors to explore the area. This discovery paved a way to a booming gold economy during the 1860s and towns such as Rochester, Rye Patch, Star City, Unionville, and Humboldt City benefited tremendously.

To this day, visitors love to explore the Rye Patch Reservoir area and bring with them metal detectors in search of gold nuggets. There are still plenty to be found in the area!

The majority of people believe that the area surrounding Rye Patch reservoir is the state’s best spot for searching gold nuggets.

What Is There To Do Around Rye Patch Reservoir

The area offers a lot of activities to do in Rye Patch Reservoir for all outdoor enthusaists.

The scenery is breathtaking; mountain trails, rivers, lakes, parks, campgrounds and more – perfect for your hiking, boating, fishing, swimming, water-skiing, camping, and picnics!

Below, we have outlined some of the best outdoor activities for you to try out. Gather your friends and families and get ready for an awesome adventure that is sure to give you fun and thrills.

Rye Patch Reservoir Fishing

If fishing is your jam, Rye Patch Reservoir offers excellent fishing all year long. The best months to fish are March, April, and May.  The warmer waters in these months will give you an abundance of fish such as smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, channel catfish, yellow perch, bluegill, spotted bass, rainbow trout, and wiper.

Check out this video of Rye Patch reservoir fishing. I have never actually seen so many fish caught in such a short time….

In addition, the state record for walleye has been caught at nearby Lahontan reservoir, weighing about 15.4lbs and measuring 33 inches in length, captured by Billy Foster in 1998. Fishing in the reservoir is allowed with a 25 gamefish limit.

However, the Nevada State Health Division advised that due to rising levels of mercury, it is strongly given notice that walleye and wipers should not be eaten while other fish in Rye Patch Reservoir are limited to eight ounces a week of consumption.

Rye Patch Reservoir Boating

Accessing the lake is easy for recreational boaters and anglers as there is  a great boat ramp and dock. Slip it in the water and have a great day out and plenty of adventure and exploring within the 22-mile-long reservoir.

This video gives you a great idea of the reservoir itself- boating, jet skis, tubing…

You can use canoes, kayaks, jet skis, fishing boats, and even powerboats. All vessels are welcome!

Rye Patch Reservoir Hunting

As mentioned earlier in this article, the reservoir which lies along the Humboldt River is the best spot for hunting gold. Bring your metal detector and start hunting Rye Patch’s gold nuggets deposited in its rich and dry land.

Gold is widely scattered in the area and buried shallow in the soil which makes it be easily detected by a metal detector. The desert shrubs and grass are no hassle as compared to other mining areas.

Check out this video showing a popular prospecting hunt-and the vastness of the land around Rye Patch Reservoir.

In addition, did you know that the Rye Patch gold has its unique characteristics that capture the interest of collectors? Dubbed as “chevron gold”, the gold in Rye Patch sometimes come with a crystalline formation, making it distinctly impressive and rare. It can be found only around Rye Patch reservoir and other selected Northern Nevada districts.

You are never late to start the hunt! There is gold waiting to be found and you can be a lucky one. The area is not completely searched so everyone has a chance to find some valuable gold.

Rye Patch Reservoir Hiking

Nature lovers and hikers will delight exploring the Rye Patch Recreation Area surrounded by the majestic view of the captivating Humboldt Mountains. The shoreline is stunning and inspiring.

Along the trails, there are benches set for hikers, allowing them to stop and enjoy the scenic view of the lake’s crystal-clear sparkling waters.

Rye Patch Reservoir Chilling Out

The reservoir has parks and camping grounds that are best suitable if you want to hang out and chill. These campgrounds are accessible and available on the western part of the reservoir and below the dam, offering showers and restrooms for visitors and campers.

Of course if you own land in Humboldt River Ranch Resort, you have free access to private campgrounds, RV sites, cabins. You also get free storage for your big ticket items like boats, RVs, jet-skis and trailers. Such great value. You can either build your dream home or vacation home on the land, or just hold it and use the facilitis year round for free.

Some people book this for their guests and build a home for themselves.

Rye Patch Reservoir Land For Sale

If you are looking to buy and invest in vacant land in Nevada near Rye Patch reservoir,  we have now SOLD OUT of all our land in Rye Patch reservoir area. Send us an email if you’d like something here so we can get on it for you.

Enjoy all year access to the facilities, an incredible view of nature, and a whole lot of recreation! 

Not often, you buy land and get resort facilities thrown in for free!

Solar Power Off The Grid: Not As Tricky As You Think

Setting up solar power off the grid is a scary thought for many people. The first question is usually what happens when the sun does not shine?

Let’s dive into the basics of solar power and get an understanding of how it works

Firstly -What Does “Off The Grid” Mean?

Going “off-the-grid” does not mean that you must abandon society, and cut yourself off from all services, all technology and all people. Far from it.

There are many different forms of living off the grid. It may mean that you gradually start to supply your own sources of energy, water and septic systems so you are not reliant on public and government utilities to provide them.

Some people may choose somewhere in between where they supplement the city systems with their own energy or water.

Some may choose to supply their own power, but retain access to city water.

Others choose to be off the grid completely. All options work- it just depends on your skill level and desire.

This page may contain affiliate products that we believe may be helpful to our community. There is no additional cost to you. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, we may receive a small commission. We thank you for your support!

Reasons People Choose To Use Solar Power Off The Grid

Most people will cite one of these reasons for wanting to generate and use solar energy:

Great backup/self-reliance

In the event of a simple power outage, you will have your own system ready to switch on. Is it possible that one day the grid goes down for an hour? A day? A week? How long would you last without power?

The satisfaction of knowing you’ve “got it all sorted”- should their be some sort of event that cuts of city power is incredibly intoxicating.

Save electricity costs ​

Some people wish to off-set their electricity bills and not rely solely on the grid. Others generate a surplus of energy and can sell their energy back to the grid.

Environmentally-Friendly

Some people wish to help the environment by using a renewable source of energy and help eliminate their carbon footprint.

Tech/engineering interest

Others love the technology and figuring out amps, voltage and wattage and wiring it altogether. There is a lot to learn and it can become a super addictive hobby.

What Exactly Are Solar Panels?

Solar panels also called as “PVs” (Photovoltaics) are devices that are utilized to convert light energy into electricity. Since the sun is a massive source of light, solar panels collect the light energy and convert it into DC power.

Then, a solar inverter is used to transform the DC power into AC power which powers home appliances.

Solar panels are used in many applications such as water pumping systems, remote homes, telecommunications, cabins, traffic warning lights, and more. 

solar power off the grid

This one is light, its portable, its less than $150. It delivers 100W and you can take it camping, hiking or power small appliances at home to start getting used to generating your own energy.

Systems To Ensure Solar Power Off The Grid

Hybrid

The hybrid solar system is a modernized system that combines both solar and battery storage. This means that it is able to generate power just like the common on-grid solar does but integrates the use of batteries as an energy storage to power devices for later use.

It is a highly-useful backup resource to supply power during electricity shortage or blackout.

renewable solar energy

Solar Power Off The Grid

Off-grid systems generate their own power without relying on the municipal grid at all.  Your system also needs to be able to generate and store power during the winter and across several rainy days  or overcast days.

There are many different ways to configure the system depending on your needs. 

How much energy does your household use per day now?

If you are currently living with traditional grid power, it is likely you never think about how much energy a light bulb or your air conditioner uses.

You likely never think about whether you should use the vacuum cleaner at the same time as the washing machine at the same time as your son is using the power tools and your daughter is in the shower.

Once you switch to solar power off the grid, it is essential that you are aware of how much energy you are using at all times simultaneously and across a whole day. If you use too much energy at the one time, your inverter will shut down.

In this video, Jaime estimates that when they were living on grid, they used 60kwh per day. Now they use 4-6Kwh, perhaps up to 10kwH day in the heat of summer with the air conditioner.

Check it out- it has some useful insights:

There will be a time of year when there is minimal sunlight so you must carefully plan what battery capacity is needed to meet your household’s requirements.

It is important to monitor how much energy you are consuming during the day so you do not run out.

Also be careful to not overload the system- even when the sun is shining.

What Are The Components Of A Solar Power Off The Grid System?

Solar (PV) Panels Solar cells convert sunlight to electricity through a photovoltaic effect, capturing sunlight’s photon, and absorbing the radiation to generate power and transmit them to the batteries.

Battery Bank. The batteries will store the energy collected from the sun and will disperse energy when you need it including at night time and on cloudy days.

Charge Controller This helps the batteries to produce the most efficient performance and that they are not overcharged.

DC-AC Load Center This is a panel board with corresponding fuses, switches, and circuit breakers to ensure the appropriate voltage and current is maintained.

DC-AC Inverter This converts DC into AC to power your household appliances.

Backup Generator This is not essential but is a useful back-up if your battery banks run out of power.

How Much Power Do You Need Per Day?

First, you need to determine the appliances you are going to use and for what length of time, you will use them. Calculate the daily load you will be needing.

To calculate accurately, you can do simple math by following the guidelines below:

1. Identify the appliances you want to operate and list down the hours you will be likely to run them.

They may be more than you think-TVs, computers, dishwashers, washing machines, hair straighteners, phone chargers, fridge, internet router, electric razros etc etc

2. Your appliances should have the specs on the back. Look for it and see the power rating.

3. Calculate the watt-hours by adding the power rating and the run time (number of hours). For example, you want to run a 12W fluorescent lamp for about 4 hours from your off-grid solar panel, the calculation is equal to:

Power rating: 12W

Run time: 4hrs

Watt Hour = 48Whrs

4. Repeat this process for all your appliances and sum them up together.

Example:

Light = 12W x 4hrs = 48Whrs

TV = 90W x 2 hrs = 180Whrs

Fan = 45W x 3 = 135Whrs

Total Watt Hours: 363Whrs

A tool like the Kill a Watt electric monitor will also measure this and start to get you clued in to your energy usage and how you can save a ton of money off your electric bill. 

solar power

Even if you decide to not live off the grid, this tool will save you far more off your electric bill than the $18 this tool costs.

Start your solar power off the grid journey by checking in with this meter and seeing if you can start to reduce your energy usage simply by being more aware. Just plug it in and you will quickly see where you are wasting a ton of energy (and cash!)

Also work how much energy you will need at one time. This will determine which inverter you need.

Do you need the washing machine, computers power tools, air conditioning all on at the same time or are you prepared to spread them out over the day?

The inverter’s job is to convert DC power from batteries to AC power for the appliances. 1000W inverter means you can run 1000W at the same time.

Eg if your fridge uses 80W/hour, coffee pot 800W/hour, LED bulbs 28W/hour, this is approx 900W. You know that you would not want to switch on your washing machine right then until you turned one of these off (or bought a higher capacity inverter).

Renogy is a very good brand in this space. You can pick up the Renogy 1000W inverter for less than $200

solar power off the grid

How Many Batteries Do You Need For Your Solar Power Off- The-Grid Life?

Budget is a major factor in choosing battery requirements.

Plus how much sunshine you get where you live.

If you live in a place that has guaranteed sunshine for 4-9 hours per day most of the year, you can get away with less battery storage.

However if you know that you cannot rely on the weather, you need to have enough battery storage for 3-4 days at least. Solar power will still be generated on cloudy days just not as much as sunny days.

Typically, the bigger your solar system, the higher voltage battery banks you will need to keep. If you generate 1000W energy per day but your batteries are full at 500W, then you are just wasting the extra 500W as it has nowhere to go and get stored.

It’s best to go to your local store to pick up batteries as they are expensive to ship and can be hazardous. 

It is best to use golf cart batteries rather than car batteries, as they last longer and are quicker to charge up.

Also it is best not to let the batteries run to below 50% of their storage capacity as it lessens their lifespan.

How Many Solar Panels Do You Need For Your Solar Power Off- The-Grid Life?

You know from your homework earlier how many KwHours you need to run your household per day. 

Consider the location and the time of year when calculating the number. Observe how many hours the sun shines in your area throughout the day so that you will not have a power shortage especially in the winter.

If you are looking to buy a reliable solar panel, then check out these products:

Smaller and good starter model:

Eco-Worthy 20W 12V Solar Panel Kit 

off the grid solar energy

This item is affordable yet delivers high energy conversion at the lowest standby current. It comes with a 20W solar panel, a2m extension cables, and a 3A 12V/24V solar charge controller that protects the battery from overcharging and over discharging. as well as 2m extension cables. It is also water-proof and can provide more than 20 years of service.

It’s a budget-friendly product that is suitable for hobbyists and students, allowing you to carry it for outdoor and camping activities.

It can power up one or two of your gadgets at a time.

It can withstand snow loads and high winds.

If you want a solar panel to run your DC devices such as fan, LED light, and even a linear actuator for a chicken coop.

Another one in our top picks is the Renogy 100W 12V Monocrystalline Solar Panel. 

solar power off the grid

 Renogy are one of the best- you can call them and they can help you out with your requirements. This is more robust for a decent size household.

This company has many products in the off grid living space. This is a popular product great for powering a home or even take it on a camping trip to power your site.

Whether you want to charge your 12V battery or opt to wire up multiple panels in series for 24V/48V battery, the Renogy does its impressive work.

It’s weather-resistant, compatible for both on-grid and off-grid inverters and is highly-efficient, providing an ideal output of 500W a day depending on the availability of sunlight.

But What If The Sun Don’t Shine?

A big factor of course is where you live and how many sun hours you get per day and across the seasons.

If you have the 1000W inverter, this is 1kwH per day.

If sun shines 4 hours a day, and you have 4 x 300W panels, then you will generate 1200W a day.

If you live somewhere where you get 8-9 hrs a day, even better.

If you live in Nevada you might only need one panel and be able to generate 300W x 9hrs=2700W

Its always a good idea to have an extra panel or two to stock up for cloudy days or unexpected weather.

Where Should You Place Your Solar Panels For The Most Off Grid Energy?

  1. Close to the batteries (the longer energy has to move through a cable, the more energy is wasted along the way.)

  2. Sun elevation changes throughout the year. Know the elevation of the sun so you can place your panels at the optimal angle to catch the full sun.

solar energy

Solar Power Off The Grid Safety

Though many consider it boring to talk about safety, when dealing with electricity, it is vital to ensure your system is safe and fit for purpose.

Unless you are an electrician or have skills in that area, be sure to fully understand what you are doing or have a solar company do most of the installation for you.

If you choose to do it yourself, be sure to have a qualified electrician give it the final check over to make sure you, your family and any visitors, neighbors or passers by are safe.

An electrician might be aware of things you had not thought of:

What if your batteries get wet?

What if there is a lightning storm?

What if there is a sudden surge of electricity- will it damage all your appliances? will it cause a fire?

What if there is a short circuit?

Always take electricity seriously.

Solar Power Off The Grid Summary

Remember humans have lived without electricity for nearly their entire existence. It is a relatively recent phenomenon  which we now take for granted. Most of us waste a lot of energy without realizing it.

Using solar power can make you more appreciative of energy. First assess what you use currently. Then see if you can reduce this usage.

Perhaps start small and power your hairdryer or the chicken coop and understand the basics.

Later you can add solar panels, inverters and battery storage to your home. Even though there is an upfront investment, it will pay for itself over time.

And if the technicalities are too much to get to grips with, you can have a professional company come out and do the install for you.

The Ultimate Beginners Guide To Raising Chickens

Raising chickens is surprisingly fun and rewarding. Whether you have them around as companions, family pets or a constant source of nourishing food, you will be surprised how attached you can become.

Chicken rearing is not as difficult or expensive as some other farm animals but there is still a lot to learn to ensure they are happy and healthy and have a great life.

Raising chickens as family pets teaches kids a ton about looking after another being besides themselves. Chickens are safe pets to have around and are very social creatures.

Also if you have a surplus of eggs, your neighbors or family will be forever grateful for a few eggs you may be able to spare- they taste SOOO much better than store bought eggs.

And if you have a huge surplus, perhaps you may be able to sell the excess and collect some extra cash.

This ultimate beginners guide to raising chickens will help you know what to do to get started to have a successful and rewarding enterprise.

If you live off the grid or are planning to live off the grid, raising chickens is one of the first steps many people choose on the way to being self-sufficient.

If you are a prepper, it is important to learn how to look after several animals, so you are well prepared should anything apocalyptic happen down the track and affect our global food source.

Before Raising Chickens, Be Sure To Consider These Questions

Are there any zoning issues in your area that restricts raising chickens?

Do not assume anything, check first.

Why will you be raising chickens- As family pets? Source of eggs? Source of meat? Know this at the outset- it is important.

How much room will raising chickens require- do you have adequate space? Do you have appropriate space- ie not too hot, not to cold, away from predators etc

Are you prepared for some dirty work that comes with raising chickens- like mucking out the cage?

How much time do you have to spare- raising chickens? Chickens require attention and care. Will you be at work all day? Will your kids help? What about vacations?

There are certainly the usual things to consider when you bring any animals into your environment. They will be some learning to be done and some initial setup, but once you get going, you will wonder how you ever managed without them.

When Raising Chickens, What Breed Shall I Choose?

Not all chickens are the same. Some grow rapidly in just a few weeks while others mature at a slow rate. Some are better for laying eggs, some are better for kids pets, some are better as a source of meat.

This is why it is so important to be clear at the outset about your main goal when raising chickens.

Chicken Categories:

1. Egg Laying Breeds

Plymouth Rock, Leghorn, Sussex, and Rhode Island Red are great examples of chickens that lay about 200-250 eggs a year. They are bred to supply large quantities of eggs in the market.

2. Meat Breeds 

Some chickens are bred and raised purely for meat purposes. Within a short period of time, these chickens put in massive weight which makes them ready for consumption. The meat you usually eat in a local restaurant come from this breed.

3. Heritage Breeds

Heritage chickens grow at a slow rate, naturally mated, and has a long productive outdoor life. The breed was fathered by an American Poultry Association preceding to the mid-20th century.

4. Dual-Purpose Breeds

This breed can provide your needs on both eggs and meat. They lay eggs in a production rate and also matures enough to produce good-sized meat as they grow.

Raising chickens

Best Age For Raising Chickens

Now you must decide whether to buy chicks, pullets, adults, or hatching eggs?

This will depend on your budget. Among these four, chicks are the cheapest to buy as the others are expensive due to their age and they are expected to give you eggs as soon as you keep them in the coop.

Most people buy chicks – you can buy them as young as one to two days old. They need your intensive care for about 12 weeks before you can decide to put them outside to run. With proper attention to food, water, health and security from predators, they will start to thrive and be more independent.

Pullets – these are chicks that are typically four to six months old and are ready for meat consumption or for egg laying.

Adults – chickens that are reared to adulthood are not productive like the young ones. Usually, farm stores dispose the chickens before they get too old because aside from eating a lot from the feed, their meat is not that tender and juicy.

Hatching Eggs – these are the fertilized chicken eggs that require incubation. If you are new and inexperienced with incubating chickens, it’s better to have hands-on knowledge of raising chickens first instead of taking on the hatching eggs on your first try.

Raising the chicks can engage your family. It will teach your kids how to love and care for animals and educate them to poultry and agriculture at a young age.

There is something to be said from the view that happy and healthy animals will produce healthier food for you and your family. Over time, learn to ensure your chickens are happy and thriving.

Where Would I Buy My Chicks?

It’s best to buy chicks at a hatchery, local farmer, or from farm supply stores. It’s a good idea to physically see them  before you purchase them. Chicks are very sensitive when they are young like most living creatures. Check they look healthy and robust before purchase. I have provided a list below of what to look for.

If the farm store is too far away, some people buy them from an online hatchery. However, the shipping condition and delays can put the chicks at risk of dying.

In addition, you should choose the sex of your chicks. If you are planning to get eggs, you should obviously pick female chicks. Most stores are selling chicks that will give you a 50% chance of getting a rooster or a hen. To buy a sexed chick, you can talk and negotiate with the hatchery. If you wish to get into the breeding game and raising more chickens yourself, you will also need a few roosters.

Raising chickens

What Are The Signs Of A Healthy Chick?

When buying a chick, here are the things that you should look for:

–   Active and energetic-   Has no eye or nasal discharge-   Bright and clear eyes-   Clean feathers-   Not reluctant to move-   Good posture and does not hunch into a ball-   Not sleepy or drowsy-   Participates with other chicks instead of sitting by itself

How Many Chickens Shall I Get At The Start When Raising Chickens?

You already decided what breed to buy and what chicks to get. It’s now time to choose a number! Meat or eggs or both? A hen lays up to 5 eggs a week. How many eggs does your family consume a week? Assuming that you need about 20 eggs a week, you need to have 7 or 8 hens. 

Remember don’t take all the eggs for food but save some for soon to be chicks!

If you want extra eggs to give to neighbors or family or to start a side business, you will need more chickens.

However if this is your first time raising chickens, start small and get used to the process first.

Here is a helpful video sharing some of the things beginners at raising chickens need to be aware of:

Learn how they behave, how they grow, what they need, get used to how to look after them, how much care they will need before you scale up the numbers.

Chickens are social animals so never get just one chicken. Perhaps start with 4-6 chickens. Get used to what’s involved with raising chickens, then add more as you go and become more comfortable with the process and your growing family.

Step 3: When Raising Chickens, How Should They Be Housed?

Chickens, just like other pets, are not weather-resistant. Wet chickens have higher chances of dying. In order to take good care of them, you need to give them a shelter. Make sure you provide plenty of places that provide shade. Chicken can easily overheat.

The shelter as well as keeping them healthy needs to be protect them from predators. Racoons, possums, hawks and shunks will try to get over the top of the chicken fence to get to the chickens.

Foxes, dogs and wild cats will try to dig down under the fence to get to the chickens.

Make sure you take extra pre-cautions to secure the chicken coop for your new flock. Use high quality chicken wire and make sure you dig it down deep enough.

Brooder

If you decide to raise newly hatched chicks, these should be separated from their mother hen and other older chicks. A brooder is a small environment that enables the little baby chicks to thrive and grow.

You can build the brooder on either plywood or cardboard box. It should also have comfortable bedding (corn cob), a feeder, waterer, and a brooder lamp that imitates the heat of a mother hen. A good brooder must have these elements to ensure the proper health of the chickens: food, water, heat, cleanliness, and security.

Chicken Coop

The coop is your chicks’ permanent home. Once they have grown enough from the brooder, this is the place that they will be transferred. Typically, you’ll take care of the chicks in the brooder for about 6 weeks and you can use that time to build the coop.

In building the coop, you need to consider the space. You don’t want to put many chicks on a smaller area but a sufficient space where their movements will not be limited.

The coop must have proper nesting boxes for hens, good ventilation, and must be predator and weather-proof.

Ever heard the phrase “pecking order”?

You are about to witness first hand where it comes from.

Chickens will peck at each other to establish their rank within the flock and see who is dominant. This is ok and perfectly natural. But if it starts to get too violent, or one or two chickens start to have bald patches- you may need to provide them more space. Do not over crowd them.

Give them plenty of dust and dirt to roll around in.

Step 4: Raising Chickens- The Fun Part

Once the housing is all set up, it’s time to enjoy raising those baby chickens. Aside from having a good shelter, a chick needs two major things to survive – food and water.

Food

You should feed the chicks with good quality food. You will notice when raising chickens that they will eat almost anything. But it does not mean that everything is good for them.

You can visit your local farm for recommendations on what best chick starter feed to buy. Organic chicken food pellets are a staple of their diet. Pellets normally contain: wheat, salt, maize, sunflower seed and oats. You can buy these from local farm supply shop.

You can also feed them corn or wheat for some variety. They love weeds and grass clippings also.

Chickens love fruit and vegetables. Vegetable peels, bananas, apple cores, carrots and broccoli are well tolerated and loved by chickens. You are safe to feed chickens pretty much any vegetable or fruit except any citric fruits such as oranges and lemons.

Do not feed them chicken leftovers from your dinner.

They love pecking around the garden for insects and worms.

Water

Water is vital to the health of your chicks. If you keep them hydrated, they will become active and grow at a proper rate. The water should be clear and not too cold or too hot but be at proper temperature. Supply plenty of fresh clean water each day.

Make sure that the young chicks will not fall down and drown themselves in the water dish. Regularly change the water about two to three times a day to keep it clean. To keep the chicks energized, it’s also advisable to add a vitamin and supplement to the water.

If it rains fairly often near you, you may be able to set up a little rain water catchment for the chickens.

How Much Will Raising Chickens Cost?

This will vary enormously depending on how many chickens you have and the space you provide. Some people do a very basic version. Others do a luxury version.

I will give you a very basic guide here. But know you could do it cheaper or more expensive than this depending on your goals.

Set Up Costs:Chicken coop: $800Chicken fencing: $100Feeders and drinkers: $40Chickens: $20-$200

Annual Running Costs:Feed: $150Bedding $150Health supplements: $80

Obviously raising chickens has set up costs at the beginning, like most endeavors in life. However if you buy your land on owner finance you can spread out the costs of your land over time so you have enough left over to fund your chicken raising project.

Pretty soon they will start producing eggs and paying you back several times over.

Have you got your land yet? If not check out our current listings….

Summary Of Raising Chickens

Raising chickens can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can have. You will be surprised how attached you get to them without meaning to be.

Overall they are pretty easy to look after and maintain. Though keep in mind they do require some attention every day. If you have a little time to give and do the basics right, they will more than reward you with beautiful eggs that are healthy, good for you and actually have flavor.

 Who knows, perhaps you will be the next omelet king or queen before the end of the year?

Shipping Container Homes: Are They The Perfect Solution To Off Grid Living?

Shipping container homes are growing in popularity- and it’s no wonder why. They are versatile, cheap and fast to build. You can buy land cheaply, get shipping container homes designed and built off site, then have it transported and placed on your land. It can all be done in 6-10 weeks. Normal house building projects often take around 6-12 months!

Shipping Container Homes Are Ideal For Living Off Grid

If you find yourself drowning in a sea of increasing mortgage payments, sky high rental bills, electric and water bills, you may have wondered if it’s all worth it. Many people are turning to off grid living to take back control of their life and also to get ahead financially.  

If you want an alternative to a standard house in the suburbs, consider shipping container homes.

They are so much quicker, to build, cheaper to fund and depending on where you are located, you can be a little more creative.

Of course if you set up your off grid lifestyle correctly, you can dramatically reduce your grocery bill, water and power bills too.

With this thing in mind, you begin to think if there are possible and innovative ways to escape the norm and live your own way without relying on public resources.

Living off the grid means you will get away from all of these utilities and build sustainable energy of your own. What if you could harvest rainwater for example? What if you had a few animals and had your own supply of fresh milk, cream, eggs and cheese?

This page may contain affiliate products that we believe may be helpful to our community. There is no additional cost to you. If you choose to make a purchase after clicking a link, we may receive a small commission. We thank you for your support! 

What Are Shipping Container Homes? ​

Yes, literally, these are the containers you’ve seen carrying goods locally and abroad, either on ships, trucks, or trains.

Wait, how can these be turned into homes?

Just like your favorite Lego toy, these container blocks are combined together to build homes in desired shapes and sizes.

Shipping container homes

They can be different sizes and durable enough to be transformed into cabins, homes, studios, and even offices. People also use them for swimming pool shells and for underground kick-ass bunkers.

Where Do You Find Shipping Containers?

Due to the boom in global commerce, there are millions of shipping containers that are available today. They are easily accessible and you can buy them in their raw state and do it up yourself.

Or there are many companies now specializing in shipping container homes who can help you with the design and details.

A large container can house 1400 square feet of floor space while the smallest one can accommodate 100 square feet.

Advantages Of Shipping Container Homes

Affordability and Portability

Shipping container homes are super attractive due to their cheap price. With a careful budget and a creative imagination, you can achieve the style and design you want, all at a lower cost than your typical home.

Costs of shipping container homes vary hugely just like regular homes, depending on the size you want and the interior design required.

They start from as low as $1,400 and go up to $150K depending on add-ons and extra luxuries.

Shipping containers were, of course originally built to be transported all around the world. So they are also designed to be mobile, durable and with the help of equipment, you can place them anywhere you want.

Shipping Container Homes Are Eco-Friendly

Shipping container homes are the ultimate in recycling. Imagine building a home out of recycled material. How great is that?

Shipping container homes yield a positive impact on the environment by reducing the use of construction materials and carbon footprint.

On average, a 40 foot container is around 3,500kg worth of steel and by repurposing it into something else is undoubtedly an incredible benefit.

Shipping Container Homes Are Quick to Build

Regular homes take months of architectural planning and months to build while containers can be finished in just a few weeks.

Shipping container homes can be designed and assembled quickly and brought on-site and attached to the foundation in a matter of two days. One of the drags of having a home build on site is the constant noise, the dust, the mud and the complaints from the neighbors.

If you buy rural land and have the bulk of the work done off site, the “hassle” and “inconvenience” factor is massively reduced.

Most of them have the main structure ready (walls, floor, ceiling) and only need to add insulation, decoration, and interior design. Once completed, they can be easily transported to the site!

You can elect to get it installed for you. Companies like Honomobo will pre-build the shipping containers with your input. They will help you with all aspects of insulation, energy, heating and cooling and plumbing. They will deliver the house to your site and install it.

Check out this video here:

Or you can do a lot of it yourself if you have some engineering/architecture/building/DIY skills and want to save some money.

Here is a great video showing you from the start things to consider re foundations, permits and thought process at the very beginning:

Disadvantages Of Shipping Container Homes

Strict Building Codes

As with all homes, you will still need to abide by county planning and zoning regulations.

Contact them to seek permission that they allow your shipping container home. Make sure you will be able to get the necessary permits and proper documentation.

The county will need to ensure the structure is safe and they may wish to check things like insulation or fire safety.

They may also wish to check you have a safe source of water and adequate septic system. Other counties may have minimum square footage requirements.

Insulation and Condensation Measures Can Increase Costs

Shipping container homes are mostly built in steel and designed for storage and not to make up for a living space. When you wish to transform it into a home and living or working space, you must invest in proper insulation systems and avoid condensation build-up to make it comfortable and energy-efficient.

If you are choosing to weld multiple shipping containers together, welding costs can add up too.

Pay For Skilled Help If Needed

If you have no experience with building, architecture or engineering, it is a good idea to pay for expert advice. The experts who do this day to day can advise you on potential problems you may not have thought of. They will be able to do things in a more efficient manner and make sure it is done right – first time around.

If you want to do the bulk of the work yourself, that might work to save money, but have an expert on hand to give you guidance.

If however, the whole project of building a shipping container home is rather daunting, you can outsource the whole project to a company who will consult with you and design and build the whole thing. You do not need to become an expert overnight.

shipping container homesPhoto-With permission creative commons https://www.flickr.com/photos/roludsgn/1036204298/

Tips To Ensure The Success Of Shipping Container Homes

Here are some helpful tips to consider before rushing in and making your purchase.

  1.  Don’t make a blind purchase.Try before you buy. If you have never stayed in shipping container homes before, it might be a good idea to go a rent one for a weekend.Satisfy yourself  that this is something you want to pursue. Also make a list of features you “must” have and things you would change.
  2. Avoid Building in Very Windy Areas.Location is very crucial when it comes to building shipping container homes. When located in an area where there are strong winds, the shipping container home may be noisy and be prone to damage. It is because of the shipping container’s rectangular shape which is not aerodynamic.If you do live somewhere that gets high winds, it means you may be wise to build a windbreak near your container home to preserve it and maintain your sanity.
  3.  Pre-plan your plumbing and power systems in advance.If you work with a contractor, they will help you with this.
  4. If you go it alone, think very carefully about where you will derive power from- will it be solar ? will it be generator? will you link up the the grid? What about water in and waste out? Where will these tubes go?With careful planning in advance, this is no problem and is part of every home build. Seek help from experienced contractors if this is not your day job.Shipping container homes are very functional, very affordable and a great way to go in the right circumstances. I also know a lot of people who have chosen them for their workspaces. They love them to bits and are super happy.Shipping container homes are so versatile and can be built to suit every budget. Learn more about how to build your own shipping container home whether you have the skills to do the project yourself. Or whether you just need to know more details about the process before you hire a contractor. Get in your creative mood and design the home you have always wanted that will make your neighbors turn green with envy.Sometimes we have land available with no zoning restrictions at all where you could place your shipping container home without even having to get a permit!Other parcels may require a permit but will be allowed once there are adequate provisions for size, septic and water.Check out the available  land for sale listings here. Please check with each county’s planning and zoning as they may differ.Remember to always call the county planning department wherever you are, as rules and regulations sometimes change, so always discuss your plans with them and get written confirmation before commencement.

Land For Sale By Owner: Why Owner Financed Land Could Be Your Golden Ticket

Land for sale by owner is an increasingly common way to transact both land and property deals.

Most people are familiar with home buying and securing mortgages.

Lots of begging and grovelling at the bank.

Lots of minimising the amount of Starbucks coffees you have 6 months before you apply as you know the bank officer will be going through your expenses with a red pen!

Lots of rejections and lots of waiting and finger crossing.

land for sale by owner

Sometimes people assume buying land is the same process.

It is, however, a very different beast.

For most people, quite frankly, there is no bank lending available for land.

Parcel values are often not high enough for a bank to be interested.

It may also be that as less transactions are conducted in very niche areas with land deals that the bank feels nervous about valuing them. They simply do not have enough data to fulfil their algorithms and pricing models.

The problem for most buyers is that like home lending, you will need excellent credit score, a substantial deposit saved up and be able to provide huge fees to the lender.

This might count you out straight away!

What if you earn good money but your income is sporadic due to you being self employed? The bank will say “No”

What if you missed a couple of payments here and there? You may have a bad credit score. The bank will say “No”

What if you have just started a new business and are bringing in good cash flow? The bank will say “No”.

They generally want 3-5 years trading history.

Land for sale by owner is a perfect solution for the buyer.

Investopedia shares some reasons why buyers love it

1.Less closing costs

By dealing directly with the seller, the buyer immediately cuts out many of the people in the middle collecting large fees. This is a huge saving that can go straight to their purchase instead of wasting it on paperwork and admin.

2. Quicker, simpler, cleaner

Land for sale by owner will become an increasingly common way to do business with both residential housing, commercial property and land deals.

3. More flexibility in negotiating the terms of the deal

The size of the down is not mandated by a government or bank. It is simply determined by a conversation between the buyer and seller. If the seller is asking $5000 down but you only have $3500, feel free to ask if they will accept that if you make slightly higher monthly payments or pay slightly higher overall cost.

Most sellers are prepared to work together to get a deal done.

Land For Sale By Owner- Avoid The Traps Of Less Formality

Respect the seller and always be professional

Even though the seller will inevitably will be a lovely person 🙂 this is still a business transaction.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking you are now “buddies” and that if you miss a payment or two “they will understand” and you can make it up later.

It will not work like this.

Of course all deals work better if you are friends, to a certain extent, as there needs to be trust and rapport on both sides.

Of course the deal when buying land for sale by owner, will involve a lot less paperwork and hassle and be less formal than approaching a bank.

However, there will still be a negotiation, contracts to sign and consequences to pay if you fail to fulfil your obligations.

In a land for sale by owner deal, the seller is becoming the bank.

The seller is taking a risk on you.

You will be signing a contract that has legal consequences. If you do not understand anything, always ask or get legal advice from your trusted attorney.

The loan term in a for sale by owner deal will typically be less than a 30 year bank mortgage.

Remember the seller does not have unlimited funds.

They are generally an individual citizen, like you, who also has obligations like paying for their kids college, making their own house payments and putting food on the table.

They need the cash too.

The term might be for 2-5 years.

But it will not be 30 years.

The seller will allow you to use the land in many cases after having signed the contract without you having paid for it in full yet.

Remember your obligations in a land for sale by owner deal

1.  Do your own due diligence. When buying a house, you are more likely to use an attorney to check it out for you and represent your best interests.

In a land for sale by owner deal, you are less likely to use an attorney as the value of the land may be less than attorney fees, so it may not be worth it.

Also if there is no house on much of the vacant land, there is not much that can go wrong- no tiles to fall off the roof, no bad plumbing to investigate and no dodgy foundations.

However you still need to check it out. Either pay for an attorney or be thorough in your own due diligence.

Download our free checklist onHow To Buy Land Safely and Profitably

2.  Check that the seller actually owns the property and has the legal right to sell it to you.

3.  Check that there are no liens or back taxes against the property.

4.  Ensure you understand the zoning of the land and what you can and can’t do on it.

Bad luck if the land is zoned farming only but you bought it to put up a multi family property.

5.  Ensure a correct deed and land sale contract is drawn up. Negotiate the price and the terms depending on your goals with the property.

6.  Check when you can legally use the land. Sometimes you will be able to go camping, ATV riding and hunting on the property but may not be able to start construction until you have fully paid it off.

Often this is due to county regulations, not the owner being “difficult”.

The county will need to see that the land is in your name before granting a permit. Some counties will allow construction if the owner gives their permission in writing.

Some buyers purchase their land for sale by owner method but seek bank funding to build the house.

Often banks are happy to provide this lending but they too will need to see that you hold title in your name. They will not provide finance to a house on land you do not own.

7.  Disclose to the seller if you have bad credit. Some will want to do an official check. Some will not.

Check if the seller will be charging an interest rate and ask what it is. Check if there are any early repayment charges with your land for sale by owner deal.

Check what the land taxes are as you will be paying these along the way.

8.  Check what the consequences are if you miss payments for whatever reason.

How long will you have to correct the error and catch up with your payments before the land is repossessed?

It may be 30 days or it may be 60 days but do not take this lightly.

If you stop making payments and stop communicating with the owner, they will take back the land and will keep the monies you have paid on it. After all you have used the land in that time and made a legal contract to pay in full and on time.

9.As always, do not over extend yourself and only purchase land that you can afford.

What’s In it For The Owner In A Land For Sale By Owner Deal?

Ok, so we know that buyers love to buy in a land for sale by owner deal.

But why would the seller want to sell land for sale by owner with the risk that the buyer stops paying and they won’t get their full price.

They may have to repossess the land and start marketing the property all over again?

Nobody wants that hassle!

Generally it’s for the exactly the same reasons as stated above.

From the seller’s point of view, the deal will be able to be done quicker, cheaper, and easier than waiting around for a buyer who can come up with the full cash price.

Think about it:

Buyers may want the land, but not have all the cash available today. They may need finance but if the banks are not lending on most land parcels, then sellers can struggle to sell their land.

The seller has the choice of either waiting for years until a buyer comes along with cash or go down the land for sale by owner route and be able to sell today.

They are taking the risk that the buyers will be able to pay in full eventually.

The seller may have other reasons to get the deal done quickly.

Perhaps they have a medical emergency.

Perhaps they have been transferred overseas with work and would rather their land was sold.

Perhaps they need the money to fund their new business idea.

Perhaps they have their own debts that they need to pay off.

Allowing the sale to occur via the land for sale by owner method allows for a much faster and less costly transaction.

Generally the buyer and seller work directly with each other. There is no loan officer, less paperwork, less middle men along the way which can delay property transaction by 2-3 months.

With less middlemen involved taking their fees, closing costs are considerably less for both parties.

Land For Sale By Owner Nevada, Missouri, New Mexico and Oregon

Most of our land at Vacant Land Usa is available land for sale by owner.

Remember we are the owner of the land, not a broker.

So feel free to get in touch and negotiate and we will try to work something out.

We see all sorts of configurations.

Many people find a parcel they like and wish to secure it right away.

They pay a down payment and set up monthly payments.

Some continue like that until it is paid off.

Others prefer to pay it off early and get the full ownership in their name asap so they can get on with their building project.

You can read a few examples of land for sale by owner deals here

If you are interested in the parcels we have available on land for sale by owner, you can check them out here.

If you want to make an offer or tweak the terms a little you can always ask.

Some people prefer to pay a higher down and reduce the monthly payments.

Others have minimal down available but can pay a higher monthly.

Some people have a significantly larger down payment and may request a small discount or others have cash and prefer to pay in full right away and reduce paperwork.

At Vacant Land Usa, we do not do credit checks

We do not require your bank statements

We will not ask how many Starbucks you drink per day 🙂

Trust Increases With Every Deal With Land For Sale By Owner

As a land for sale by owner deal is based on trust, many times once a deal has been completed, if the seller has more land available and the buyer wants more land, these two parties may continue to do more dels in the future.

The buyer may want their friends or siblings to buy the land next to them. If the seller happens to own these as well, it is a match made in heaven.

We have found this happens many times.

Initially the buyer may be hesitant about the process initially if they have not done it before- it’s only natural.

Once the deal is completed easily and quickly, they cannot believe how easy it was and often want more land or request some acres for their friends or family members.

Should You Buy Land For Sale By Owner?

There are so many ways to buy land. Just because you learn how to buy a house with a bank’s approval and your lawyer’s permission, does not mean this is the only way to do things.

Many industries are being disrupted now through the power of technology which is super exciting.

Many middle men with their “fat cat fees” are being cut out as now buyers and sellers can reach each other more easily through social media and online advertising.

If the buyer and seller can have a chat and work out the basics between them, without middlemen slowing things down, the transaction can happen quickly, simply and easily.

Of course you are still free to use a title company to check correct ownership of the land and ensure there are no liens on the land. If it is a high value transaction with specific requirements, you may still choose to have an attorney review the documents or review the deal.

Or you can choose not to use these services for low value purchases- its up to you.

In any deal, communication is key and buying land for sale by owner is no different. Keep channels of communication open with the seller.

Continue to ask questions if you are unsure of anything.

Let sellers know if anything changes in your situation and alert them in advance if you may have a late payment for any reason.

Most people are reasonable and will work with you- especially as you both have the same aim and aligned goals. You want to buy and own the land, they want to sell and get paid.

Overall the volume of land for sale by owner will continue to increase making it easier to buy and sell land and improve the value of the market for everyone.