Hi! I'm Heidi.

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

Hi! I'm Heidi, and here is my Homestead Journey.....

 

Hi! I'm Heidi--I'm a modern-day homesteader starting out in middle age! I'm all about plant medicine, raising animals for love & food, preparedness, traditional food practices, and being a natural health rebel for life! Join me on this journey!

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

I'm Heidi, and this is Ranger.  He has been with me for over ten years, and I love him dearly.  

Homestead on a Small Property...With Neighbors, the Trials & Joys

Homestead on a Small Property...With Neighbors, the Trials & Joys

When I told my boss in Las Vegas three years ago that we were moving to the mountains about an hour away, his response was, "On purpose?"  I had to laugh. That's often the attitude I get when I tell people where we live, and that we still drive into town for our supplies and to work (although I now work in a small rural town a little farther north now, so I am rarely ever in Las Vegas anymore...and I don't miss it either! 

This post is about trying to homestead on a small property (less than an acre) in a community with an HOA and....neighbors! It seems most homesteads have large amounts of land (5 acres or more) and are at least somewhat removed from neighbors being right next door.  

When we got our little 3/4 acre of land, we thought we finally had lots of space!  And at first, we did!  But as our property has gradually filled up with lots of animals (about 40 at last count, including chickens, goats for a time, turkeys, horses, dogs & cats), our spacious property has shrunk!  What seemed like a lot of space has become, not crowded at all, but a little close to others in the community.  

NOTE: Get your free eBook, Five Steps to Homestead & Simple Living Tips by completing the form at the end of the article.

 First of all, we are so fortunate to live in this beautiful place.  About an hour out of Las Vegas on the north end of one of the main mountain ranges our little village reposes.  There are probably about 100 or so full timers out here.  

The properties within the HOA (yes, we have an HOA), are all between half an acre and 3/4 of an acre.  Needless to say, yes, we can see our neighbors.  With property lines butted up against each other, sometimes there are some issues along with all the joys.  

EDITED NOTE: This post has been edited and updated from when I wrote it in 2017. We have since made a major move to the panhandle of Idaho on acres of pasture and pine.

You can find out a lot more about how to make a scary move and how to get your homestead started in my FREE eBook: Five Steps to Get Started on Your Homestead. Just complete the form at the end of the article.

Did you know? You can homestead anywhere you live. Even if you live on a small property, there are things you can do to start your homestead. Learn about how to homestead on a small lot, with neighbors around, and even in an HOA. #homestead #preparedness #homesteadskills #howto #healingharvesthomestead

Did you know? You can homestead anywhere you live. Even if you live on a small property, there are things you can do to start your homestead. Learn about how to homestead on a small lot, with neighbors around, and even in an HOA. #homestead #preparedness #homesteadskills #howto #healingharvesthomestead

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The Joys of Trying to Homestead in a Close Community with an HOA

1) The Neighbors

Most neighbors that live in a place like Cold Creek are AWESOME. We live in a place where we can call on others for help, and they call on us too. We have community functions like art shows, Fall, Spring, and Winter picnics, all are welcome, and it's just a great spot because of most of the people! 

Many of the neighbors like to come over to see the animals and bring their kids to see things they may not see in Las Vegas or even up here! I love that my neighbors are also my friends up here.  We count on them for unexpected help, and they can count on us too.  It's a real give-and-take community.  

2)  Being in Nature:

We are surrounded by beautiful nature in all its glory.  We are in a special place in this Mojave Desert, where we actually do have the seasons.  We don't get the fall leaves like people do back east, but we get to see the mountain outside our door turning pink/red/orange in the Fall, blue-white in the Winter, hopeful green in the Spring, and in the Summer it is absolutely glorious.  

The wildlife here is unbelievable!  Coyotes (which are a bother, but are beautiful creatures nonetheless), bobcats, once in awhile a mountain lion, elk, deer, wild horses (abundant wild horses), all kinds of birds (eagles, falcons, quail, roadrunners....), and of course the rabbits, squirrels, and the occasional badger...and lots lots more.

 I can't tell you how many times I have stopped just to look at the wild creatures around these parts.  

Early Fall on the mountain....The oak leaves are turning colors right now, but I don't have that picture. But everything seems golden tinged.

Early Fall on the mountain....The oak leaves are turning colors right now, but I don't have that picture. But everything seems golden tinged.

 

3)  Fewer People and Less Crowding

Being OUT of the city is another absolute joy.  Las Vegas is not for everyone.  It's grown huge in the past several decades (I grew up there, and I'm in my 50's), and the houses are on these tiny little lots.  You can reach out a window and touch your neighbor!  Literally...I'm not joking!  

The older neighborhoods (like the one where I grew up) are largely low income now and can be dangerous.  Homesteading in Las Vegas (more so than other large cities, I believe) is a true challenge, but depending on the area you live, it can absolutely be done. 

The biggest factor affecting homesteading in a large city like Las Vegas, for us, was the water restrictions and whether or not you live in an HOA.  

(You can find out a lot more about how to get your homestead dream started in my free eBook—Just fill out the form below.)

4)  Off-Grid Living

Which brings me to another joy:  being off the grid!  It's an amazing feeling to know that our power comes from the sun (most of the time---although we do have to run a generator once in a great while), our sewage is on septic, our water comes from a community well, and our heat is powered by either a wood stove or propane that we keep on our property.  It almost feels like "freedom from big government."  

Almost.   

It's great to be able to have a garden! In the arrogant desert city of Las Vegas, NV, water restrictions make large gardening impossible. However, you can still container garden!

It's great to be able to have a garden! In the arrogant desert city of Las Vegas, NV, water restrictions make large gardening impossible. However, you can still container garden!

 

5)  Animals are allowed!  

This has been one of the BEST things about living here, away from the city.  We can actually keep horses, goats, chickens, turkeys, rabbits, and of course our cats and dogs.

Most HOA's in Las Vegas and other large cities have very strict restrictions on the types and numbers of animals one can raise.  I have a good friend in Las Vegas who actually does keep chickens in an HOA, even though she’s not allowed to. She went around to all the neighbors to be sure they didn’t mind, and she shares her eggs with them.

Out here, though, even though we are in an HOA, the restrictions are loose, and we are allowed to raise certain livestock for meat. Our HOA’s rules are mainly to keep the community safe as far as the roads and well water goes.

If you are in a large urban or suburban area, many of the old neighborhoods are grandfathered in to rural laws. You’ll just have to do some checking.

One of my grand babies with one of our goat babies...

One of my grand babies with one of our goat babies...

Chickens & Turkeys waiting for snacks!

Chickens & Turkeys waiting for snacks!

Don’t forget to get your free eBooks by completing the form at the end of this article!

Summer on our mountain....

Summer on our mountain....

Along with the joys, though, come a few trials.  The smaller the property and the closer the neighbors....sometimes little issues crop up.  

The Trials & Difficulties of Trying to Homestead in a Close Community with an HOA:

I used to say there aren't any trials trying to homestead on such a small place and where your neighbors are right next door---almost like in town!  

However, in the past three years we have been here, attempting to get our little homestead dream going, some trials have cropped up unexpectedly. Yes, living in close quarters with others who are not so like minded can create some problems.  

1)  Neighbors:

Although most of the neighbors in our rural are a joy, some are not.

Not everyone likes animals, even if they live in a community that is zoned for them.  Isn't that just something?  Why would someone who dislikes animals move to a place that is zoned for them?  

Well, people do.  When we got our horses, our neighbor behind us put up a real stink! But since we keep the corral pretty pristine and did not build it right next to his fence (about 40 feet away), he has not been too unhappy about the horses.

EDIT: We have since moved to a much larger property in a rural area in a different state. But since our move, we have learned from friends in our old community that one of the neighbors there actually poisoned the animals of another neighbor….simply because they don’t like animals. (WHAT?!)

TOTAL horrification over here!  

2) Busy Bodies

Everyone knows your business in a tiny community like this.  We thought that moving out of Las Vegas, where you could actually (literally in some cases) touch your neighbor's hand out your side window, would give us a lot more privacy!  

Well, in the Las Vegas suburbs, like most large cities, people don't really get to know their neighbors anymore.  People drive into their garages, and perhaps they'll make a friendly wave in passing, but there is not a lot of true cohesiveness in these modern urban and suburban neighborhoods.  

Up here in our tiny village in the mountains, we certainly do have closeness!  Even though our homes are much farther apart, the neighbors know EVERYTHING about everyone up here.  So when we have to cull our flock of chickens or harvest a turkey or have a birth....everybody knows what's going on.  

This would be fine if everyone were homesteaders, but not everyone is.  We just try to educate people about what and why we do what we do.  But we still hear, "How can you kill your pets?" from some people.  

3)  Generators=Noise 

Not everyone has state of the art solar systems set up out here.  So if a neighbor has a generator that is not enclosed and is fairly near one side of your house....well, basically, you have a generator IN your house for a little while.  

Not fun.

This is something we just deal with up here, but sometimes it can cause a little rancor.  Actually, a generator is the reason why I keep a gun in my kitchen.  I'll tell that story later! 

4) You May Just Be Too Close to Each Other

People don't always like how you decide to store your hay.  (I'm being a little facetious here.)  We have a neighbor (the one behind us who complained about the horses) who doesn't like the appearance from his back yard and deck of our hay storage area.  

We had the opportunity to purchase a non-working box truck from a friend for a very low price and couldn't pass on it.  

So now it's storing hay in the back of the yard.  

We are not breaking any HOA rules with the truck, but because our neighbor doesn't like it, there is a little ruckus going on right now.  That's what prompted this post, actually.  It's a reminder to myself that things are truly great out here....and I'm not going to let one bad apple ruin things.  

4)  Total Responsibility for Utilites Can Be Worrisome Sometimes

Total responsibility for ourselves in terms of utilities is another sometimes uncomfortable (for me--my husband does not have this problem) very occasional occurrence.  

The first year was actually the hardest because our solar system was less than wonderful.  Suffice to say, I learned a LOT about generators and solar and also going without power.  While being off the grid is truly wonderful and gives us a sense of freedom, there is always the fear of being off the grid too.  

If your solar system fails...you have no power, and there is no utility company to come on out and take care of it.  I cannot tell you how many times I have had to try to get ready for work in the dark without power because I need to be at work early in the morning!  

If your septic tank backs up (like ours did last New Years Day), you have to take care of that yourself by calling a company to come pump it.  If the wells go down...well you'd better have some emergency water and hope the HOA gets things going quickly (which they did).  And on....  

Regardless, I would rather be off the grid and not beholden to any government or monopolized utility company.  

Final Thoughts on Homesteading on a Small Property, Urban or Not

The bottom line is that the JOYS OF HOMESTEADING, EVEN ON A SMALL PROPERTY, FAR OUTWEIGH THE TRIALS! I have loved homesteading in Las Vegas, NV. I have loved homesteading in Cold Creek (off-grid). And now, I’m loving homesteading in Idaho.

 I wouldn’t change a thing!

I love the kind of people who choose this lifestyle, the wildlife, the relative freedom, and the experiences.  It's hard work.  

People look at me askance when I try to explain how we live sometimes. But I don’t care. I love being a homesteader. I love being a prepper.

I hope you’ll learn about this lifestyle and start your own homestead no matter where you are living right now!

What are your homesteading challenges? Do you deal with neighbors close by? I’d sure love to hear your thoughts about this, so leave a comment, questions, anything thing you’d like to say! 

Hugs & Self-Reliance!

Heidi 

P.S.  Don't forget to sign up for the Newsletter! Guess what? When you do, you’ll get a free eBook on How to Start Your Homestead and Simple Living Tips. You’ll ALSO get access to the free Resource Library that’s filled with other eBooks, guides, checklists and lots more about all the things I write about here on the blog! Just complete the form below:

Complete the form below to get the free eBook, and LOTS more in the Resource Library. It’s updated weekly too!

Here are a couple of really great books to get started with! 

How to Make Perfect Pickled Eggs and My Two BEST Recipes for Pink & Yellow Pickled Eggs (Adventure #1 in Preserving Eggs)

How to Make Perfect Pickled Eggs and My Two BEST Recipes for Pink & Yellow Pickled Eggs (Adventure #1 in Preserving Eggs)

How to Make Elk Tallow and Use It to Make Homemade Elk Tallow Soap

How to Make Elk Tallow and Use It to Make Homemade Elk Tallow Soap

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