Off-grid living is a way of life that emphasizes independence and self-reliance. Some homesteaders also choose to eschew public resources such as gas, water, and sewage systems, despite the fact that the term “off-grid” is most commonly used to refer to living without access to the electrical grid. Choosing a state for off-grid living involves a number of considerations. Important factors include climate, land cost, energy availability, and legal regulations.
7 Things to Consider Before Choosing Where to Live Off the Grid in the United States
Water supply. To live off the grid, one must disconnect from the water supply. You should purchase land in close proximity to a reliable and clean water source. This could be a lake, river, spring, or even a location with a working well. There is no way to survive without water.
Determine which climate best suits you and what challenges you may face during the cold winter, the hot summer, when it rains, and when a tornado passes through. And if the area is prone to natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, drought, hurricanes, wildfires, etc.), it may not be worth the effort. The number of sunny days per year can also influence your decision between off grid and on grid solar (click to learn the difference).
A land’s price tag can provide insight into its quality. The land that is too inexpensive may consist primarily of swamp or desert. You should probably look for land with natural resources and agricultural potential.
Even if you intend to produce your own food and materials, you will always need to purchase something from a local shopping center. Determine if you can afford the cost of living in the state of your choosing by conducting research.
Additionally, it is advantageous to reside in an area with trustworthy and compatible neighbors. These may be your newest companions. They will trade services and goods with you in exchange for their knowledge and information about the area.
State laws and rules
If local laws are too restrictive, pleasant weather and pleasant people cannot improve your off-grid existence. Before relocating to a state, ensure that you can accomplish all of your goals. Do local regulations permit the construction of a home that is not connected to the power grid? Are there repercussions if your home is not connected to the sewage system? What are the local building regulations? Do they require the use of particular materials when constructing a homestead? As these few examples demonstrate, laws vary by region and are not always compatible with the off-grid lifestyle.
Real estate taxes
These can consume a substantial portion of your budget, so choose your state accordingly. Taxes may also influence your decision regarding the land’s size. If a large parcel of land is zoned as agricultural, you will pay less in taxes but will have to pay a higher purchase price.
Continue reading to discover which states are most compatible with this distinctive lifestyle.
Northern California is a homesteader’s paradise, while Southern California is a popular tourist destination. This region is ideal for living off the grid due to its temperate climate, low property taxes, and affordable land prices. There is also easy access to an abundance of potable water. Those seeking companionship in their sustainable lifestyle will also appreciate the state’s abundance of off-grid communities.
Off Grid Permaculture’s Daniel Mark Schwartz ranks Alabama as the best state for off-grid living. Alabama has a low cost of living, with relatively inexpensive land costs and some of the nation’s lowest property taxes. There are also several counties without building codes. Alabama is an ideal location for rainwater harvesting due to its abundant rainfall (56 inches per year) and state regulations that permit unrestricted water collection.
Not into small talk? The northernmost state in America will gladly indulge your antisocial tendencies. Alaska may not be the most off-grid-friendly state, ranking 42nd overall, but it has the lowest population density and lowest phone penetration. Even Henry David Thoreau would have felt isolated in this location. This is what makes Alaska such a magnet for ex-convicts: it is extremely difficult to encounter another human in The Last Frontier.
The northern part of the state of Arizona Land at a reasonable price, with a mellow climate and some trees. There is a problem with water, and it is likely that you will have to transport water to your house, but it is still possible.
Some counties in Colorado are loosening their building codes and permitting more sustainable and off-grid structures. Since much of Colorado is desert, water could be an issue in some areas, but it’s not a major issue and there are solutions. Away from the major cities, land costs are quite reasonable.
Florida is fantastic for off-grid living. Contrary to popular belief, living off the grid is NOT illegal in Florida. Like everywhere else in the United States, you must have a functional septic system and access to clean water.
The internet is rife with exaggerated claims that Florida does not permit off-grid living, but these claims are completely false. This story has been published and republished by individuals with ulterior motives and agendas, as well as those who were simply ignorant. The majority of those who posted the story did so solely to profit from advertising by spreading false, untrue stories that spread like wildfire.
Maine is a paradise for off-gridders. Numerous properties are for sale, and much of the land is inexpensive and remote. Water is abundant, as are building materials such as wood and stone.
The only disadvantage is the weather. It gets cold there, and the cold is wet. However, if you can tolerate the winters, it has beautiful seasons. Summer is tolerable, while spring and autumn temperatures are agreeable. According to my research, the zoning is open to off-gridders and the building codes are reasonable.
Tennessee has incredibly low property taxes. The cost of living in rural areas is notably affordable. Abundant hunting and fishing opportunities and natural resources exist.
All regions of the state have a sufficient growing season (approximately 260 days per year) and temperatures are generally mild year-round. The state’s raw milk herd-sharing and rainwater collection laws are among the least stringent in the nation.
Vermont is another great state for off-grid living. Land is abundant and inexpensive. Water is easily accessible, as are building materials such as timber and rock. In most counties, resources are available and zoning is permissive for off-grid living.
Again, avoid larger cities and towns and seek out counties that are more accommodating to off-grid living.
The state of Washington is an excellent option for those of us who dream of living off the grid in a verdant, lush forest. The moderate climate (45 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter and 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer) makes Washington even more attractive.
Despite the fact that it sounds like a paradise, keep in mind that the local laws are extremely stringent. They detail the manner in which the construction of your home is permitted. On the other hand, the laws also permit rainwater collection and encourage the raising of a variety of livestock. Numerous off-grid communities are already permanent residents of Washington. In addition, you can purchase a lot that already contains a fully operational off-grid home.