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Category: Homesteading

Here you find all kinds of tidbits on homesteading.

How Much Does it Cost to Homeschool?

This is a question I get asked fairly often, so I thought I’d address it on the site. We’ve been homeschooling our kids for twelve years now, since the beginning of our oldest daughter’s education. We currently have an 11th grader, an 8th grader, a 6th grader and a 5th grader. The answer to the question “How much does it cost to homeschool? can have a wide variety of answers. Read more

5 Tips to Help You Dive into Property Investments

When my husband and I decided to invest our savings in property, all we saw were potential dollar signs in our future. We envisioned our money multiplying quickly. While it is possible, there are a few things we learned the hard way about property investments. It’s not just about saving up capital then investing, it takes calculation and thoroughness before, during, and after the process.

Now, I tell my friends that property investment needs a multi-level strategy to not just ensure that the basic value of the investment increases, but also the overall costs involved should not exceed your profit. Also, making the right choice between an unoccupied property and a rental is crucial.

Here are some handy tips that we can share from our long years of experience in property investment.

Your Financial Prudence & Future Target: Quite early on in our investment journey my husband and I understood the major mistake we made.

  • We invested in a property without clearing our debt.
  • We invested without properly calculating the kind of returns we must expect

As a result, our first investment was a huge loss, but the only reason we could recoup losses eventually is because we undertook a course correction. Don’t carry debt in your portfolio. For average investors like us, it always makes sense first to clear all loans and then make the fresh investment. When we bought our holiday home, we had to wait for 3 years to clear the existing mortgage. But as a result of that, the relative return was 5% higher. We could avoid all the extra expenses in terms of servicing two loans simultaneously this way.

Know The Builder: We learned another lesson in our initial property investment. My husband just invested in a land decided to build a home for family. We did not undertake any due diligence in terms of verifying the builder’s credentials. As a result, we got stuck with a problematic builder. It is extremely important to know your builder and at the beginning of your project. Often your return prospect is solely dependent on the quality of builder that you work with. When you are associated with a quality builder, you will be able to recover the value of the property quite simply and for a sustained period.

A Business like Approach: As you get into a potential property investment, you need to make sure that you treat it like your own business. You cannot just invest your money in a property and forget it. When we started, we made sure that we gave it as much importance as we would have to any business that we might have. In fact, be prepared to spend more time and efforts than you initially expect. Property Guru, Stephanie Brenan, says just like any business, it always helps to start small. Don’t aim to buy a multi-million dollar house right at the beginning. It is only through continuous attention, you will be able to give appropriate direction to your business. Brenan who has $2 million plus portfolio started with her birthday deposits.

Ways to Expand Capital: We started our property investment with the sole aim to grow capital significantly. Focus on growing your capital in the fastest and the least hassle free manner. It would mean you need to invest in a way that the pace of your return is the fastest and also would involve the least amount of additional cost. Take a look at the neighborhoods, property value, and required investment (also your efforts like we talked about before). Therefore, the choice of property and the market will play an important role in deciding your gains. For example, if you bought a property near a school anticipating demand for families with school kids, you need to ensure the school has a strong reputation. Supposing the school does not have a great reputation, your property value won’t scale up that much.

Interest Rates: If you are buying a property on a loan, this is a very important consideration. Once I was almost ready to invest in a property to take advantage of the low interest rates at the moment but only when my husband sat down with me and calculated the future rate implication, I understood the huge mistake I was about to commit. Please ensure that you calculate the future rate implications before committing cash. Only a property where your mortgage payment remains less than your profit margin goes on to become a profitable investment strategy. The entire Sub-Prime crisis in US and the eventual economic crisis was an outcome was the basic rate-expense mismatch in the housing sector.

Conclusion

That apart, you also need to pay attention to the kind of accessories that you use in your property. The type of fittings that has been used in the property you buy can go a long way in deciding the future worth. You can always refer to appropriate sites for getting the right type of home appliances and not be fooled by false claims of excellence.

So when you go ahead and invest in property, you need to be very careful. Just like my husband suggests, pay attention to the three main Ps of property investment,

  • Position
  • Profit
  • Potential

This is exactly what makes for identifying a profitable property investment with strong return potential.

Elizabeth is on the content team for Dynasty Partners, which builds high quality, architecturally rich homes with innovated designs. She enjoys decorating homes, hiking, hanging out with her family, and volunteering at the animal shelter in Des Moines, Iowa.

How to Choose the Best Garden Fence

Today we have a guest post from fellow blogger, Lucy. Enjoy!

You have managed to build a lovely garden, all bright and colorful, and have also used the best HPS bulbs to ensure proper, healthy growth of your greeneries. You spend enough time learning how to harvest buttercrunch lettuce, and how to grow other vegetables and flowers in a perfect way, so as to make your garden look beautiful. However, chances are bright that your garden is not attractive to you alone but also wild animals that live nearby. This problem is going to be bigger if you grow food in your garden. Read more

Best Items to Have During a Power Outage

Hey friends!!  Today we have a guest post from Angelica, who blogs over at Tactical Guru. Enjoy!

For most individuals, power outages are a given. While many homesteaders and homeowners have the option of relying on alternative power sources, most of us are simply less equipped to deal with downed lines or grid failures. Usually, these events are brief—more of an inconvenience than a danger. However, in extreme situations, power outages last much longer. They can quickly become a crisis if you’re unprepared, especially for the young and the elderly. Read more

7 Ways to Get the Most out of Your Garden This Year

 

 

Gardening is not just a fun hobby – it can be a powerful, money-saving, life-saving skill. Back in the pioneer days, if you wanted to eat, you grew a garden. There weren’t mega stores in every town, filled with lush, 3-week-old fresh greens to fill your tummy. No, if you wanted food, you had to grow it yourself or work for someone who did. The thing about gardening though, is that learning to do it well doesn’t happen overnight. The blessed skill of gardening, once a must-have skill for every person, is now mostly a lost art. Most people don’t know how to garden – or to preserve the food that grows in the garden. Never fear, though, because today we’re going to share with you how you can get the most out of your garden, even if you’re a beginner gardener. Read more

5 Effective Ways to Improve Garden Cultivation

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Today’s post is a guest post from fellow blogger Ann, who owns the Sumo Gardener blog. Enjoy!

 How to Improve Garden Cultivation

We always want to maximize the crops we harvest after a season of hard work. Our goal as gardeners is to produce sustainable food for our own consumption while maximizing our use of land and minimizing waste and losses. However, gardening should not only be focused on taking care of the crops that we will harvest at the end of the planting season.

One of the most important steps in determining your planting season’s success is usually the first step that you have to do: land cultivation. Today we’ll talk about five different ways that you can improve land cultivation in your garden, no matter how big or small it is. Read more

What You Should Consider Before You Buy a Farm

 

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It will be four years ago next month that we sold our home in the ‘burbs and moved to a hobby farm about forty-five minutes out of town. The farm life is in many ways a much harder life than suburbia life, but the blessings are well worth the effort and we wouldn’t trade it for anything. Since a fair number of people seem to be considering moving out to the country these days, I thought I’d share a to-do list of things one should consider before making the move to a farm, whether it be a smaller hobby farm like ours or a larger working farm. Here are some thoughts. Read more

Four Heirloom Tomato Secrets for Maximum Yield

Tips for Maximizing Your Tomato Yield
Tips for Maximizing Your Tomato Yield

Happy Monday, my frugal friends! Today we feature a post from our blogging pal Cameron over at Thrift Hounds. Cameron shares on his blog funny and inventive ways to save money and live frugally. And as a bonus, his wife has an awesome food blog. 🙂 

There’s probably still a snowstorm or two on the horizon here where I live in Denver before summer arrives, and yet I – like you, maybe – am already already obsessing over how to coax as many pounds of tomatoes as possible out of my beloved tomato plants this year.

Tomatoes, like zucchinis, have the reputation of surprising gardeners with more produce than you thought possible (to the point where you start bribing reluctant coworkers to take them off of your hands).

In fact, most gardeners are ecstatic to get 10 or 15 pounds of fruit out of each plant.

But with some careful planning and maintenance, you can push your plants to produce up two or three times that amount. Read more

two chickens next to the side of a red barn

Finding My Frugal Farmer in Spain

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Finding Love and Farming Joy in Spain

Greetings, my frugal friends! Today we’re featuring a fun and heart-warming post from life coach Lisa Hoashi. Lisa shares about the hard work and also the inevitable joys of living life on a working farm. Her words will bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart. Enjoy!  

 

How I Met the Love of My Life

I didn’t set out to find love. Truly.

The reason why I quit my job and gave away most of my possessions was because I’d long had the dream to travel for at least a year, unfettered and carefree. Sure, as I talked about my plans with my other single friends, they often looked at me with a twinkle in their eye. “You’ll be sure to meet someone when you’re traveling,” they said. Read more

Gardening for Self-Sufficiency – Our 2016 Plan

canning spaghetti 3Gardening for self-sufficiency is different than gardening for fun. When we lived back in the suburbs, we had a small 10×15 or so garden plot, and each year we’d sit down and talk about what “fun” types of things we’d attempt to grow for the year. Preservation had that same “fun” theme, as we’d can pickles for the purpose of always having one of our favorite foods around, and we tried freezing green beans simply because we wanted to learn the process.

However, one of our goals in ditching suburbia for the sake of country living was that we wanted to begin to really turn our garden into a serious source of food for our family of six. What started out as a fun hobby is slowly becoming a vital source of food for the entire year. As such, the gardening we do now is vastly different than the gardening we did back in the suburbs. Read more