Have you felt the urge to ditch the rat race, leave the city behind, and go live off the land somewhere a bit more rural? It’s a desire that a surprising number of Americans have but very few have actually followed through on.
Dropping out of society and living on a farm may sound like a good way to rearrange your life and prioritize the simpler things. However, getting a farm up and running might not be as simple as you might think.
Setting up a small farm can be quite an expensive enterprise. If the farm life is something you want to embrace in the coming years, you’ll need to ensure you save up the proper amount of money to make that kind of transition. Just how much might you need?
Read on and we’ll walk you through everything that you need to know.
Avoiding Debt When Starting a Farm
You’ve made up your mind: it’s time to return to the land and live how our ancestors might. Leave all this society stuff behind. Good for you.
However, you’ll need to avoid a number of scary obstacles when making this transition. Prime among them? Major debt. Debt has the ability to sink a farming enterprise more than just about any other factor. It’s real and it’s coming for you if you don’t plan your moves carefully.
You may be tempted to head to the bank or some other money lender to make your farming dreams a financial reality. After all, being handed a loan would sure accelerate things. It’s true that you might not be able to avoid taking on debt when starting your farming adventure.
However, and it’s important that we say this upfront: avoid taking on debt as much as you possibly can. Getting your farm up and running is going to be fraught with challenges, and the added pressure of steep monthly payments certainly isn’t going to make things any easier.
If you need to start small in order to get your bearings and avoid taking loans out, start as small as you need. It’s much better than throwing yourself in the financial deep end at the same time as you attempt to get adjusted to farming life.
What is Your Market Going to Be?
Farms don’t produce just one kind of product. No, they produce all kinds! From livestock to fruits and vegetables and everything in between, there’s a wide variety of products you can get into once you decide to run a farm.
The first thing you need to decide before even pricing out properties is what kind of business you see yourself getting into. Are you going to buy a bunch of cows, care for them, and sell milk? Are you going to have no animals around and grow radishes?
You’ll need to produce something to make some money and get by, but what it will be will greatly impact your start-up costs. It will create a list of things you’ll need to buy and learn in order to do the job properly.
Many products will require your investment in modern farming equipment. Others might require you to take a class and really get into the finer details of agriculture. None of this is going to be free, but some paths might certainly be more affordable than others.
Not that you should pick what you’re going to dedicate your life to off finances alone. It should be a factor, however, that you’re more than well aware of.
How Much Does It Cost to Run a Farm?
Now, we get to the golden question. How much is it going to cost you to get your dream farm up and running? As we mentioned above, there isn’t a single dollar value that’s going to be true for everyone.
The kind of work you’re looking to do, the size of the property, where it will be located— these all have a big influence over what your bottom line will eventually be. The numbers, as a result, could range wildly.
Running a small and humble vegetable farm could only cost a few thousand dollars a year, though the profits might be equally humble. A larger operation could end up costing as much as a million dollars to get going, if education, machinery, construction, and other such factors get involved.
It’s safe to say that you’ll need to decide your own path forward based on the resources available to you and your overall goals. It’s certainly possible to start a small farm for somewhere between $50,000 and $100,000 a year. You can then push and grow your farm bigger if you decide to.
The bulk of those costs is going to go to the mortgage for the land itself. On top of that, utilities like electricity and water are likely to add up. These are the base costs that are going to impact any initial farm plan.
On top of those? It will depend on your vision for your farm. The numbers can rise alongside your dreams, or stay low if you can keep your vision humble. More research is going to be required if you want to land on what the price for your farm would be.
Understanding Farming Costs
The idea of buying land and starting a farm sounds attractive to many people. However, it’s important that those interested in farming take the time to understand the potential risks and costs involved. The above information can help to make these factors a little more clear.
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