How to Afford a Pagan Homestead is the number one question we are hit with by those interested in this lifestyle. As a family that has jump roped with the poverty line our whole lives, we understand the focus on finances. The following suggestions are simply those we used or looked at when we were figuring out our dream to homestead. Before you read more, I want to make clear that it took us a decade to buy our property and start homesteading. While we believe that if we had done a lot of these things sooner we would have been homesteading faster, we of course only have our experience and the suggestions of others to go on. Your mileage may vary.
Get Clear on Your Pagan Homestead Goals
Know what your wants and needs are regarding your dream homestead.
Do you want to live minimally but have lots of kids and an heirloom collection of knick knacks that are meant to be passed down to the next generation? Do you want to grow tropical plants but are allergic to the sun and have heat sensitivity? Do you want to move to the country but have health or business requirements that keep you urban? Do you want vast tracks of land but only have a small family or no family and are not likely to do much beyond a few acres?
Do you really want a huge homestead or do you think that is the only way to make money? Do you want only the finest, best looking structures and equipment or are you trying to get acceptance and approval from others on how things look? Do you want neat market rows and all the meat animals or are you just going by how the books and YouTube videos say is best?
Take a moment and get real about what you want and why you want it. No judgements made, just ask yourself why. Why do you want to homestead? Why do you want a particular type of homestead (whether its an organic small farm or an urban homestead that uses every inch for production)? Then get real about what your needs are – health, financial, and family or self responsibilities. Figure out where your wants and needs are compatible and work from there.
Don’t live by comparison. Its so easy to look at homesteaders on YouTube, blogs, and Instagram and think that is the way you need to homestead. Not only is that not true, its also, likely, impossible. Even if you had the same structures, the same amount of money and help, you would be in a different place. The land, weather, soil, etc will play a HUGE factor in your homestead and even ones neighboring each other can have vastly different issues and benefits. So take a breath, feel free to admire what’s out there and learn, but in the end you have to do what’s best for you and your way of life.
Get Clear on Your Current Money Situation
Look at what you’re making, your budget, and your current credit scores.
We know how scary this can be, especially if you have past emotional issues with money. Just writing up how much you make and keeping track of your spending can feel like an enormous task. We want you to know that you are awesome for taking this step and we are super proud of you for it.
Keeping a budget can be super simple. Write down how much money is coming in and how much is going out. Keep track of where the money is going – groceries, eating out, entertainment, subscriptions, etc. Do this without judgement on yourself or anyone else doing the spending.
Keep track of your credit score on sites like Credit Karma and Experian. These sites also offer tips on raising your credit score that you should consider.
Consider speaking to a financial advisor. You might be closer to your dream than you think!
When we were dreaming of a homestead and watching our credit, we were connected with a mortgage consultant who had a great financial team. He interviewed Damon and said he’d give us a call back after running the numbers. We fully expected a call saying “yea, you all are broke af. Here’s how to raise the funds and credit score over the next couple years and maybe you’ll be ready then.” That’s how bad we thought things were. Instead, he called and said “I got you approval for x-amount. Here’s the realtor I recommend.”
We were floored. We sat with this in silence for a few hours in fact. The news was so huge that we couldn’t wrap our minds around it for a few days.
We don’t share this with you to brag, but to let you know what we found out – you don’t know where you stand until you know. Sounds simple but its true.
Whether its lighting an orange or green candle, praying to Gods of commerce like Hermes, or asking your ancestors for guidance – money magic is how Pagans get a let up on seeking out their dreams. We used methods in occult texts like Frater U.D.’s Money Magic, Existential Kink by Carolyn Elliott, and traditional folk magic techniques. (These links are affiliate links – this means that if you make a purchase we receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you.)
Cut Back on Expenses
Yes, you’ve heard it before. But seriously. Do what you can. We know first hand that being in poverty is more expensive than having money – plain facts. But do your best to cut spending where you can.
We lived with Damon’s parents for years, paying low rent and trying to get ahead on debt. We have cheap phones, Damon built our computers, and we are blessed to have other family hook us up on their entertainment plans – mostly for our kid. In all this we are blessed and grateful as it helped us cut back on spending. We encourage you to cut back and find ways that you can also be grateful for what you have. The aforementioned budgeting will help with that – I had no idea how much we were spending at gas stations, not just in gas…it was nauseating.
Can you barter?
When we got started looking to homestead, we bartered where we could. Helped family and friends out with projects in exchange for them hauling stuff for us in their truck, letting us borrow tools, and more. I even got my hair done at a salon through barter once. It can really work out. The key is to know what products or skills you have AND know their worth. Don’t give what you have for something that you don’t need or value.
Do You Need to Own It?
Believe it or not, you can happily homestead for years on rented land or through the work of community gardens and farming. Owning land is one of the biggest hurdles people face when trying to homestead but, what if you could start much smaller. Grow veggies or raise laying hens or more on rented property that no one else is using.
This is a great route to take for those who have never gradened or raised animals or done anything like this. Find out if you enjoy this work before going all in.
A great way to find land for rent is to talk to your county extension office about the farms around you. Those people know everyone including Old McDonald who just doesn’t have it in him to run cows this year too moo moo here and there so his back pasture is just going to hay. Give him a better deal than selling hay, get a renters contract fleshed out that benefits both parties, and get started!
Look for Opportunities for Inexpensive Land
Sometimes you can get a cool deal on land either due to the owners needing a quick sale or the land needing more work than the owners or bank are willing to deal with.
The idea behind a foreclosure is the owners couldn’t pay for it. The bank wants to sell it fast (which usually means cheap) so they can recoup their losses and move on.
Many of the disadvantages to buying a foreclosure are focused on the house. Foreclosed properties can be full of high dollar repair needs. The thing is, if you’re just looking for land to farm on and not a house – or you’re up for the fixer upper – this is a great deal for you.
This is a chance at getting a property (and sometimes everything with it from farm machinery to front porch rocking chairs) for much lower than its worth. Land that is being auctioned off will be listed by the county treasurer or tax collection website – look at the counties you want to live in rather than where you live now unless they are one and the same.
The disadvantage to auctions is that you need to have cash in hand. Although there are some auction houses that will allow you to finance through them, most require payment in full as soon as an auction is won. This is great if you have that but if you’re depending on a loan approval, inspection, etc. – an auction might not be right for you.
If this is the route you want to go, check with a local real estate agent who specializes in auctions to make sure you understand the process.
Sales after the death of the owner.
This works out great when the owner leaves the land behind to multiple descendants who just want to sell and split the funds between them. I also want to suggest in this case, if the sellers are having trouble getting the land sold because its in bad shape and you’re not financially ready to buy – ask them about renting it. Offer to clean the land up for them to sell as part of your rent. Also ask if they will consider your offer first as part of the deal when the time comes to sell.
Look into Agriculture Grants
I throw this in here for those of you who already have access to land through rent, barter, or ownership but don’t have the funds to get it into production like you dream. When it comes to how to afford a Pagan homestead, or any agricultural endeavor, its good to look at what is available, even if you don’t think your operation is big enough. A lot of people believe that they can’t get farm funding because they don’t call their small homesteads “farms.” However, you are eligible for funding no matter size or capacity.
While an older post, here is a list of agriculture grants that can you can look into for your homestead funding.
When it comes down to how to afford a Pagan homestead, you have plenty of options. We truly hope you are well on your way to obtaining the homestead of your dreams and we bless you.