“Homesteading in Idaho” Are you thinking about establishing a homestead in Idaho? Idaho is one of the favorite states due to its stunning scenery, abundant farms, and easygoing way of life. With more than 70,000 homesteads spread out over the state, it is also welcoming to homesteading.
Many questions arise as potential new homesteaders look for a spot to plant their roots, and that uncertainty may set in. If you are considering Idaho as the state to settle down in and begin your homestead, this article may allay your doubts and fears.
Homesteading’s Broad Definition
A spectrum of homesteading exists. The biggest description, in the end, is that it’s a way of life that prioritizes independence. This can include producing your own food, using solar, wind, or water power to generate your own electricity, and even creating your own fabric and clothing. Some people who live off the land desire to never use money; instead, they want to manufacture everything they need or trade for it. While some people take a more methodical approach, they may be okay with utilizing some money and working for pay—either as a final aim or while making the move to homesteading.
IN IDAHO, HOW DOES HOMESTEADING LAW APPLY?
Section 55, Chapter 10 of the Idaho Statutes, contains the homesteading regulations of Idaho. During times of economic hardship, it protects a person’s primary residence, which may include a mobile home.
Who homesteads and why?
Homesteaders can be a diverse group who don’t necessarily share the same ideals and motivations. Some people may be leaving profitable employment that provided them with the resources to invest in the infrastructure required to entirely support themselves on the land. Others might start homesteading from scratch and build a flimsy stronghold to support themselves in the event of a financial crisis. Despite the obvious differences between these two circumstances, both parties consider themselves to be homesteaders.
In some way, shape, or form, these people yearn to get back to the land. Perhaps they have become frustrated with the gap between urban life, food production, physical labor, and the seasons. Perhaps they wish to abandon the “rat race” and adopt a more leisurely way of life. They might like to learn how to take care of animals, farms, or gardens in order to support themselves. There are many different reasons why people wish to homestead, and it is unquestionably a very fulfilling activity.
Homesteading in Idaho: Does Idaho provide an exemption for homesteading?
Yes. As long as a declaration of a Homestead is on file, Idaho’s homestead exemption offers the owner $90,000 in protection from creditors. That is to say, even if you have unpaid obligations, your primary dwelling (and any other personal property valued up to $90,000 that was previously declared under the Homestead Declaration) cannot be confiscated if you are a homeowner.
The filing of a “Declaration of a Homestead” is the essential phrase here, in case you missed it.
A declaration of homestead must be signed by the owner who chooses a homestead from unimproved or improved land that has not yet been occupied in accordance with Section 55-1004, and it must be filed for record in the county recorder’s office where the land is located.
The state won’t provide you with this level of protection without a declaration. You must resubmit all the necessary papers with your new permanent residence if you have already done so for another property. Idaho only permits one property to be listed in a homestead declaration—the primary dwelling.
Homesteading in Idaho: Is the State of Idaho the best for you?
It’s not easy to relocate your family to start a farm. Since there are so many variables at play, there is no surefire solution.
Many individuals have a rough concept of certain things they must have and others that may be compromised, even though it might be challenging to find a spot that satisfies all the criteria that one finds ideal in a homestead.
I identified some “make it or break it” requirements for homestead planning. This will help you determine whether Idaho is the ideal location for you.
Idaho has a widely varied climate. The state’s northern region often experiences greater winter cold and year-round precipitation and snowfall. Since the southern region of the state experiences more dryness, it gets warmer there, especially in the summer.
Solar and wind energy are significant factors to take into account. If you’re thinking about constructing an off-the-grid home that is powered by solar or wind energy, be sure to seek out a location that has lots of sunshine and/or wind all year long.
Average Precipitation for the Year
For any property, the amount of rain and snowfall is crucial since reliable irrigation is a big concern. Idaho receives a lot of water each year; however, the amount differs between the northern and southern parts of the state. The US Climate Data website provides information on each city’s annual precipitation statistics.
Idaho doesn’t typically encounter significant natural catastrophes; instead, it experiences wildfires and strong wind gusts. This makes it the ideal location for setting up a farm without having to worry that all of your hard work will be undone at any time.
An Idaho Firewise program educates individuals on how to create low-ignition landscapes and dwellings. You can look them up.
You should consider how much labor will be necessary to cultivate the land while looking at potential properties. The rocky terrain might be a problem for you unless you’re prepared to put in the necessary effort and/or have the required tools. If not, you might try to search for properties with some mature trees and ground that have been used or at least slightly prepared for seeding. Both of these are undoubtedly available in Idaho; it just depends on your budget and available resources.
Some of the best soil in the country is found in Idaho. Your crops’ success is strongly associated with the health of your soil. Look up useful resources from the US Department of Agriculture that offers some details on Idaho’s soil health.
Perhaps the most crucial aspect of starting a homestead is having access to water on your property.
Even if you get a lot of rain and snow, your crops might not always have access to enough water. All other parts of existence, including drinking and personal cleanliness, depend on water.
It is advantageous and advised to purchase a property that already has water rights because it is difficult to get them otherwise. You have the right to use the state’s public water by diverting lakes and rivers to your property, but you do not actually own it. Because the licenses are different, make sure you are aware of the restrictions on the water rights that come with your property. To avoid fines, you must adhere to your license’s restrictions.
Having water rights is advantageous, especially if the property is larger than one acre and situated in a western or arid region.
For all the details you require on water rights, go to the Department of Water Resources in Idaho.
Another alternative that many homesteaders use is to drill or already have a well on the property, but you must obviously plan and budget for this.
Travel time to the town
Both properties that are absolutely secluded and those that are somewhat close to the city can be found in Idaho. Each has advantages and disadvantages, but the most crucial factor is your preference. If you’re considering buying property in Idaho but haven’t traveled there yet, you can use Google Earth and Google Maps to obtain a general notion of the kinds of stores that are found in or close to the city that interests you. Although they might not be entirely current, they’re probably the most accurate free resource out there.
Consider your transportation choices if your property is far from the city. In the winter, a 4WD vehicle will probably be necessary.
A brief summary of Idaho Homestead Protection Laws
The homestead designation limit in Idaho is $200,000 for all real estate, including all land, houses, mobile homes, upgrades, etc. Although married couples cannot double that amount (as in some other jurisdictions), it is still a reasonably generous cap.
What Idaho region is ideal for homesteading?
Here, there is no right or wrong response. What you and your family want ultimately determines the outcome.
The geography, the natural resources, the people, and the culture are all quite different in North, Central, and Southern Idaho. Decide which requirements are crucial to you in a homestead before settling your heart on a certain area. This will enable you to focus your search and decide, in light of your tastes, which area is more appropriate for you.