Who says you need 100+ acres to live self-sufficiently?
There are many families moving to Montana with that deep desire to live closer to the land, and to be safe in the event of socioeconomic distress. They are picking up and taking that leap of faith, following the calling to move to the mountains. You know the feeling, don’t you?
This is a lifestyle that you can achieve, even if your nest egg is only big enough for a few acres. Here in the Flathead Valley, we have clean water, wild game, fertile soil, and fairly decent weather for growing and storing food. We have a local population of like-minded folks whose families live the common-sense lifestyle; they’ve walked the walk and are willing to mentor. We have excellent public and private schools, and a network of home-schooling families and resources. With a little ingenuity, your dream of a Montana homestead is attainable.
As you search for your land, keep in mind that you’d like to be off the major roadways to achieve privacy and security. While two acres is plenty for a small homestead, ask your Realtor to keep their search parameters wide, and you can pare properties down together. Pay attention to CCRs (Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions); many CCRs have limitations on animals, especially swine. If your homestead means having chickens, goats, bees, etc., make sure you know if it’s permissible. For me, no homestead is complete without chickens. And because we live in an area where there are large (and small) wild predators, you will want to have a good outdoor dog or two to warn you of unwanted visitors. But you do not have to be fearful of wildlife! Montanans have been coexisting with our incredible natural world for generations. Have I mentioned common-sense?
A source of water is a must, whether from a natural spring or creek, or from a well. If you find a chunk of raw land you want to make an offer on, include a contingency for well and septic approval. Your Realtor can help you figure out these items, and already has a list of contacts to get the ball rolling. If power is to the property, you’re in luck. If not, your Realtor can help check that out too. Alternative and back-up energy forms are commonplace these days, including solar and wind power, and off-grid living is a lifestyle that many are choosing and enjoying. With experts and contractors here in the valley, there are possibilities that align with your dream. So, listen to that still, small voice…the one telling you that it’s time to boldly follow your heart to Montana! We’ll be waiting for you.
Nikki Frizzell is a Realtor with RiverBend Realty, located in Bigfork, Montana. She and her family moved to the Flathead Valley from Minneapolis in 2006. She has a special passion for Off Gird Properties, which include homesteads, family farms, and preparedness properties.