All about our 1 acre homestead in Idaho! Check out our homestead layout and some FAQ’s that people commonly ask about our little homestead!
Do you ever wish there was a “House Hunters” style show for homesteads? I would tune into that every week! I loooove seeing other people’s homes and homesteads – big and small and everything in between! Maybe I’m just nosey! But it’s always incredibly inspiration and educational to see how people have designed their homesteads.
Undoubtedly, I’ve always been a bit of a design junkie! I absolutely love learning about graphic design, landscape design and interior design. So when we bought our homestead, I was very picky about it having a good basic layout. We’ve changed a lot of things over the years, but I knew that the layout of this property would allow us to create a functional and efficiently laid out homestead.
So, let’s pretend this is an episode of “Homestead Hunters” and you can come snoop on our homestead and learn how we get the most out of our one acre homestead!
*If you want to see even more photos of our 1-acre Idaho homestead, check out this post for a “before and after” photo tour!*
Our Homestead Stats:
- Location: Nampa, Idaho
- USDA Growing Zone: 6B
- Size: 0.81 acres (It’s not even a full acre!)
- Date purchased: We bought our homestead August 2016. It needed some renovations to make it livable, so we didn’t move in until October 2016
Our 1 acre homestead layout:
Our property was a fixer upper, but it had “good bones,” as they say! The layout of our property is one of the things that made me instantly fall in love with it! It had the potential to be a fantastic homestead property, with a lot of love and hard work. And, oh how we have worked over the past 3 years! Our homestead will continue to change, but here’s a look at the basic layout of our homestead currently. You can also get a better look at our pasture layout in this Behind the Scenes post.
2020 Update: We have sold our Idaho homestead! Check out the final before and after pictures of it here to see the progress that happened in our 3.5 years of developing the property!
I made this super-sweet graphic by taking a screenshot of our property on Google Earth. Since the photo was at least two years old, I plugged it into Microsoft PowerPoint and used the picture as an outline. That way, the dimensions are all pretty accurate. There’s nothing that I hate more than those totally mis-proportioned “1 acre homestead layout” pictures that you see online! If you are trying to plan out your own homestead, I highly suggest doing it this way since it’s an easy way to get fairly accurate dimensions. Feel free to click on the layout image to see it enlarged.
Some common FAQ’s about our 1 acre homestead:
Do you own or rent your homestead?
We own our homestead. We wanted to buy so that we could really settle down, make it our own, and build equity in the property. Also, Lindy is a realtor, so buying a home is something that is familiar and “easier” for us than it is for most people.
Did you buy your homestead debt-free?
I would love to say “yes!” but that’s just not the case for us. We used a conventional housing loan to buy our home. Since the property and home were not in good condition and since it’s a very basic home (no HVAC system, no garage, etc.), the purchase price was very low (like, unheard of low!) for our area at $124,900. We got a good interest rate and put as much down as we could which helped reduced our mortgage payment.
How do you fund your homestead?
We work very hard! We both work formal jobs in Boise, which is a 45+minute commute from our home. We live very practically and are very thrifty. About a year ago, I went down to part time hours so that I can be home more to work on the homestead and the blog. We also find as many supplies as we can for free or cheap which allows us to continue building our homestead even when funds are tight. All renovations that have been done on the home and homestead have been paid out of pocket, so we haven’t acquired any new debt from the property.
Why did you choose a small property?
Once upon a time, we thought we wanted a million acres in the boonies. Land is very expensive in our area right now, so that definitely limited us because we didn’t want to incur a lot of debt from buying a property. We also realized that what we actually wanted was a small, cozy and well-kept property that we could make our own while still being able to enjoy all aspects of life.
We have some physical limitations, especially with Lindy’s multiple sclerosis, so a small property is much more ideal for us. I also believe that learning how to sustain ourselves on a smaller property is a very vital skill as the future of commercial farming is so shaky. Imagine the change that could happen if more people felt empowered to start growing a portion of their food, regardless of how much land they live on! You don’t have to go big to be a homesteader!
Why did you buy an established property instead of bare land?
We almost bought bare land before we bought this property. And every day, I thank my lucky stars that we didn’t! Since our property was in pretty rough shape, the amount of time and work that we’ve put into this property has been huge! We work on it pretty much non-stop. But when I think about how much more work it would have been to develop a homestead on bare land, I am soooo grateful we chose a property that already had so many existing features and amenities. I talk more in-depth about our experience buying a fixer-upper here.
Is an acre really enough space to grow your own food?
Absolutely! But, layout is super important! You have to make every nook and cranny of space functional. Even with less than an acre, we still have so many plans to expand our food production space, including more fruit trees, a berry hedgerow, and an aquaponics space where we can grow prawns and tilapia! We can also convert the pasture to growing space instead of having dairy goats! But, if you are still skeptical, check out this post where I talk about exactly what we grow on our homestead and what we still have to buy from the grocery store.
Have you done all the work on your own or do you hire out?
We have done almost all of the projects on our homestead ourselves. We did hire out for the following projects: rewiring some of the rooms, wiring for kitchen disposal installation, quartz countertop installation and replacing all the plumbing pipes. Everything else, we’ve done just the two of us. Some projects are pretty easy but others have been a challenge… yeah, looking at you, hay barn! I swear we almost died at least 5 times while building that beast! 🤣
Is your homestead out in the country?
Kinda yes and kinda no. If you’ve seen pictures of my garden, you’ve no doubt seen that there’s a bunch of houses right behind the fence. We are backed by a neighborhood (isn’t that what people call them now instead of subdivisions? 🤣) so there are 3 houses that we share a property line with along our back fence. Even with those houses, I’ve always felt a great sense of privacy here.
We live down a little unmarked dirt road that we share with 3 other houses which all have anywhere from half an acre to 5 acres. Our neighbors are amazing and also live a homesteading lifestyle. And even though we are all quickly getting surrounded by subdivisions (err… “neighborhoods”), I still feel like we have our own space. The houses surrounding us are in the City limits but our little dirt road is grandfathered as county land for the time being – thank goodness! We actually really love our location because it feels like we are in the country as soon as we turn down our little road, but we are still super close to amenities, walking paths, etc.