7 Crazy Expensive Homestead Essentials & Why We Need Them

by HomeSteadHow

I’m going to show you some of the most ridiculously expensive homestead items out there, if they were worth it for us, and whether we consider them homestead essentials. These are the things you need to think about if you’re going to be a homesteader.

Over the past several years we’ve had to make a lot of big purchases on our homestead. Let’s get started so you can learn from our mistakes or put some consideration into your homestead expenses.

Outdoor wood burner

1. Outdoor wood burner: $17,000

This holds a couple of hundred gallons of water and it heats multiple units, including our Airbnb rental, our entire main house, and all of our water. It costs $17,000. Ridiculously expensive, but I look at it like it’s an asset.

A lot of people think they can’t afford this, but meanwhile, they are driving fancy cars and have $1,000 monthly payments. We have junky cars, that’s one reason we could afford this wood burner.

We paid $1,500 for a minivan a few years ago and paid in cash. I’ve never had another payment on a car since. Cars are liabilities. Wealthy people invest in assets.

About a year ago, the wood burner unit paid for itself. Because of this, I have no propane bill and it greatly reduces our electric bill. I hope to get another decade out of this asset. 

Maintaining a long driveway

2. Driveway: $2,400 annually

We have a super long driveway that leads into our 20-acre lot. I didn’t realize how much work it would be to maintain this long, long driveway. Every year we have to have stones dropped in to fill the ruts.

I also had to purchase a plow to plow off the snow. But, in the spring after our snow melts, we’ll get a lot of water, which will create a lot of ruts. It happens every year.

We paid $2,400 to have a bunch of stones dropped in just to maintain the driveways. We foolishly overlooked this aspect of this property.

Investing in a snowplow

3. Snowplow: $3,500

I tried to go cheap and bought an old tractor from the 1950s. We did use it to do many things but I froze when I used it because it was inefficient and took a long time to get anything done.

So we put money into a new snowplow and it is one of the best investments I have made. I look at this as an asset, too. Equipment, like plows and Bobcats, retain their value over time, much better than buying a new car.

If you’re considering homesteading, a lot of homesteads out there are secluded so you need to think about that going forward.

Cost of buying a homestead

4. Our property: $115,000

One of the most expensive items, of course, is the property. We are on 20 acres. It was $115,000. How did we achieve that? We bought a fixer-upper. This thing required a ton of work.

It’s a two-family and we turned the upper level into an Airbnb rental and it’s been a profitable asset. It’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

If I were starting over today, I wouldn’t purchase a property unless there was potential space for an Airbnb rental. Our Airbnb rental has made us on average about $2,000 a month for years now. It helps pay our bills and it’s on autopilot. 

Homestead fencing

5. Fencing: $3,000

We made a bunch of mistakes with fencing so learn from us. We used welded metal fencing that’s breaking apart and all patched up. It’s a mess. And, it doesn’t hold in goats–they chew through it, break it, and knock it down.

We had to upgrade to coated steel fencing, which is the proper fencing for goats. I look at it as an asset if we sell the property down the line.

Off-grid dog retreat

6. Dog retreat: $10,000

We built an off-grid dog retreat on our property that runs on solar. My wife and girls run the business and it’s turned profitable. We’ve never had to work outside of our property to support our homestead. 

Expensive homestead essentials

7. Kitchen Queen stove: $4,500

Why do we have this wood-burning stove inside if we have an outdoor wood burner? I can’t fully answer that. This stove replaces so many appliances on your homestead. It’s a good solution if you don’t have an outdoor burner.

This heats our entire downstairs, but not the upper part, which is part of the reason we needed to have both this and the outdoor unit. This stove replaces the need for a furnace. It’s also a cooking appliance because it has a built-in stovetop and oven.

It also has a warmer on top of it to keep food toasty. It replaces your water heater. There’s a tank on the back. This stove was ridiculously expensive, but we’ll have this for a lifetime. 

Expensive homestead essentials

The purpose of sharing all of this is not to scare you, it’s to prepare you to think about how much it costs to start a homestead.

We do things differently–I’m happy to spend a bunch of money if it’s an asset that will give me a return on my money, rather than spending it foolishly on a new iPhone or a new car, which aren’t necessities.

We have a lot of disposable income now, which I use for assets, even before investing it in the stock market. Let me know in the comments what you think about our way of homesteading and what we’ve had to buy.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Christopher Miller Christopher Miller on Mar 23, 2023

    Well done on asset investments. I applaud the direction your family has taken to utilize the property for business purposes. Love the off grid dog retreat idea. You all must love dogs so turning something you love & find joy in to serve as your business is wonderful. Cheers to you and thank you for sharing.

  • M T Dietz M T Dietz on Mar 23, 2023

    I so agree with you about cars! A car depreciates while a house appreciates. We have always paid cash for our used cars and then run them into the ground before buying another, and buying a house was the smartest thing we've done.