We have been looking at houses for sale for well over a year now and the market continues to go down in our area of Northern California. We have seen homes that once sold for over half million listed for 200,000 less and other amazing deals.
Unlike the average American we want a rural house and have strict requirements on our house build, location, potential, water source, food source, day light, neighbors, and methods to access the property.
This page of our Self Sufficient Home blog will cover our requirements. It should be noted that not all requirements are set in stone, and that due to the nature of buying a house and the money spent a good deal will not be passed up for an item that can be added later. For example if a proprety does not have a well but the house is affordable we can add one later; while on the other hand if the property is near a busy road, bad neighbors, etc we will not be able to add/fix any of those issues no matter how good the deal is. So, with that said here are our requirements and why / what we want them for. In the future the requirements themselves most likely will make up a page on this blog to further provide details of what we need.
Our Self Sufficient Home Requirements (When buying a house not overall).
- Property Size: The property must be at least 2 acres if all land is usable (mild rolling hills max). If there are larger hills, a large pond, or other obstruction such as rock outcropping then the property will need to be over 2 acres.
- Property Location: The property must be located on a private road or dead end road or very low traffic road. This road may not be closer than 3/4 of a mile from a main road if there are hills and or mountains, if the land is flat then the house must be located at least 1.5 miles away. Depending or property size it may be OK to have the property itself border a main road as long as the house is on the other end.
- Property Layout: Mostly usable land with hills to make the living area private, if possible fenced completely, and able to drive the border with an ATV or 4×4 Vehicle. A bonus would be able to see around the edges of the property or view the road coming to the house (if private road) from the house itself. This would provide a clear view of someone coming up to the house.
- Property Features: The property must be on well water and if possible have public water and/or irrigation water rights already on site. A pond, seasonal and/or year around creek are a HUGE plus. Tall established trees, flat area for at least a 600sq.ft garden. Enough room to add storage units, sheds, or build a ‘guest house’. The property must have enough flat area on or near the house to park car and equipment trailers as well as equipment such as tractors, atvs, and vehicles. We would also like an area to have chickens and rabbits and possibly goats.
- House Location: The house itself needs to be positioned so that it is not near a traveled road or a neighboring home (if on border of property) preferably interior of property, and be cleared around the property at least 150 feet or more. The clearing will provide fire prevention and also allow sun to get to the solar panels around the home, and heat it some in winter.
- House Features: The house itself must be at least a 3 bed 2 bath with a 2 car garage preferably 3 car or larger with attic space or high ceiling garage for storage. Preferably a single story but a two story or tri-level will work if interior setup is to our liking. The home must have or be able to add.
- Central AC that runs on propane.
- Central Heat that runs on propane.
- At least one wood burning fire place.
- Propane fired hot water heater either holding or instant.
- Propane kitchen stove.
- Comp roof and gutters around entire house.
- Laundry hook-ups in house. Propane for dryer.
- Well Features: Enough water to use for all household needs as well as gardening, sub-panel so that a generator / battery bank may be used to power the well in times of need. A large well house is a plus.