By: Guest Blogger, Erin Vaughan
Urban homesteaders are inspired by urban agriculture and driven to a sustainable lifestyle. They represent a small pocket of buyers whose aesthetic has slowly trickled out into the larger mainstream public, mirroring homebuyers’ growing interest in green homes and revitalization. Although urban farming has previously been blamed for lackluster markets and high housing costs, it’s much more likely that the opposite is true. In fact, agricultural projects on vacant and undesirable lands in the rust belt have served to both foster community and spur economic development.
The urban homesteading movement is not an official group, but an informal ethos shared by those homeowners who hope to reconnect to the land, energize flagging city properties, and support environmental projects through their homes. As such, it’s difficult to find precise statistics about how these homeowners’ actions are shaping (or are shaped by) current housing trends.
Still, the interests of homesteaders are compatible with those driving the housing market at large. Properties with green features, like renewable energy systems, energy-efficient features, and water-saving landscaping, tend to sell faster than their traditional counterparts. Meanwhile, when UCLA investigated whether labeling a home as “green” affects its worth, they found it raised the selling price by about nine percent. And some consumer research indicates that young homeowners are more interested in gardening and other outdoor projects than previous generations, so you can see how the interests of urban homesteaders are reflective of the homebuying population at large.
How to Integrate Urban Homesteading Ideas into Your Land
Given the trends shaping the market, it’s a smart move, both socially and financially, to look into the thought behind urban homesteading. Many of the projects are designed with a home’s energy-efficiency in mind, meaning homeowners continually save money by reducing or totally eliminating utility bills. But there are also deeper benefits in community engagement and environmental improvement that are difficult to quantify.
Of course, your agricultural dreams can’t become a reality without first locating a piece of land. Best of luck building your own little homestead in the urban jungle!
About the Writer
Erin Vaughan is a blogger, gardener and aspiring homeowner. She currently resides in Austin, TX where she writes full time for Modernize.com, with the goal of empowering homeowners with the expert guidance and educational tools they need to take on big home projects with confidence.
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