You want to stop depending on the power grid and be more self-sufficient, but getting started with off-the-grid living isn’t always the easiest thing.
You need to find the right kind of place and region to live in so that you don’t find yourself loaded with expenses or battling to provide for yourself, such as if you choose a location where there’s not enough good weather to grow crops.
In addition, if you want to save money the most important thing is to look for land that won’t cost a lot – not just in its selling price but when it comes to taxes.
Are there really places to live off the grid for free?
“Free” is usually unrealistic, but choosing towns and villages is your best bet to finding such land. Sometimes, it’s also possible to find places in the country where you can become a caretaker for a farm in exchange for living there.
Your lifestyle decisions will go a long way to help you live off the grid for free, such as if you choose alternative sources of power and learn how to grow your own food.
Basically, the more sustainable you are, the more you’ll save money. With that in mind, let’s check out some of the best places in the U.S. where you can live off the grid.
If you’d like to see a graphical breakdown of best off the grid places, we got you covered:
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What To Bear In Mind When Choosing An Off-Grid Location
There are some important elements of living off the grid that you should take into account before you choose a state where you want to live or a piece of land where you want to set up your home.
Here’s a rundown of them.
- Access to water – You must think about what you’ll need to have in place to ensure you’ll have access to water. It’s also essential to have other plans for water in place should one or more of your resources not be available. While living in a desert might seem cheap and enable you to purchase more land than what you’d get in milder climates, you need to consider how you’ll obtain water so that’s something to plan ahead of time and have back-up plans in place.
- Food sources – How are you going to feed yourself and your family? Growing your own food is a vital skill, but you should also consider if you’re going to farm animals to supply your family with meat, eggs, and milk.
- Cost – Of course, cost is one of the biggest concerns you’ll have when choosing an off-grid property where you can set up your home. Don’t forget to include property (and other) taxes.
- Community – While you might want to live off the grid so that you’ll be on your own, it’s always a good idea to have other like-minded people around with whom you could team up if there is an emergency situation that occurs. If this matters to you, you might want to consider an off-grid community.
- State laws – What are you allowed to build on the land? You must stay up to date on your state and county’s laws to ensure that you will be able to have the lifestyle you want, such as when it comes to disconnecting from the power grid and sustaining yourself with resources. For example, in some states it’s more expensive to have solar power than it is in others.
- Home-schooling – If you have children, you need to figure out if you’ll be home-schooling them and what the state or county rules are in this regard. They vary quite a bit so you need to ensure that you’ll be able to meet them.
The Best Places To Live Off The Grid In The U.S.
When going off the grid, it’s clear that cutting down on your costs is important, especially if you’re keen on becoming completely sustainable and providing all of your own resources.
Here are some of the best places in the. U.S. where you’ll be able to live off the grid and save money.
While you’ll have to pay for land, you can get a lot for free because state laws accommodate off-grid lifestyles.
Take advantage of the fact that you can make use of many natural resources in Maine, such as water and timber.
It’s good to bear in mind that although the growing season isn’t as long as what you might find in other states, the climate encourages growing produce in greenhouses.
One of the benefits of off-the-grid living in Maine is that it’s friendly to homesteaders.
There’s lots of land and limited regulations, which makes it easy to start off-grid living in this state without a hassle. It’s perfect for beginners!
Ohio is one of the best places to live if you want to go off the grid. This is largely because it doesn’t have high living costs or high land prices. In addition, you get lots of natural resources at your disposal.
Best of all, Ohio is a state in which some counties don’t have zoning laws or permit offices.
The counties that are located along the Ohio River (situated in the East and South of the state), for instance, don’t have building codes or zoning.
You’ll only need to ensure you have a septic permit, but it’s worth checking the rules before you decide where you want to set up your home.
Missouri is definitely a place to consider if you want to go off the grid. You can follow a self-sustainable lifestyle completely legally and you’re not forced to have a septic tank system in your home.
When building your home, you’ll find many natural resources that are available in many places and this land can be used for farming, too.
There are also communities that have already been established. An example of a community that’s in Missouri is the Dancing Rabbit, an ecovillage that has 45 people living in it.
This community is all about using renewable energy, being sustainable, and following simple lifestyles.
Although you might be put off by the cold, Alaska has many good reasons for preppers to live in it.
Since there aren’t many people living here, there will be many resources available to you, such as water.
You’ll also be able to grow produce such as cabbage, potatoes, and carrots in spite of the cold weather. The laws aren’t strict in many places, and there are tons of opportunities for hunting and fishing.
In Alaska, taxes are some of the lowest that you’ll find in the country – there are no income taxes, estate taxes, or sales taxes, to mention a few.
In addition, you’ll find that only 25 municipalities in Alaska have property taxes.
When it comes to laws, Alaska doesn’t have laws in place that will inhibit you from owning animals or gardening, so it’s perfect for you if you want to be more self-sustainable.
The laws in Oregon generally accommodate people who want to live off the grid.
If you’re interested in joining an off-the-grid community that’s already set up, then the Three Rivers Recreation Area is found in Central Oregon and is worth checking out.
This is a community that’s on 4,000 acres of land fitted with high-speed internet, satellite television, and solar-powered electricity.
You can find a variety of properties here, from campsites to more expensive homes, so there’s something for everyone.
The bonus of choosing to live an off-the-grid lifestyle in a state where many people are already doing so is that the laws will accommodate you much more than in others.
In this state that’s prime for homesteading, you’ll also enjoy some of the lowest taxes in the country.
You’re allowed to collect rainwater, grow your own produce, and even share cows for milk. The properties in this state don’t have sky-high price tags, which is a bonus.
It’s said that this state is filled with lots of friendly people, which can also help you if you’re going to start out as a homesteader.
But what will appeal to you even more is the fact that the cost of living in this state is up to 10 percent lower than the national average so you can definitely save money.
With good rainfall in this state, you don’t have to worry about not having enough water resources if you choose to live off the grid in Washington State.
That said, the state does have strict laws when it comes to constructing a home.
Once you overcome that obstacle, you’ll love that you get many benefits, such as the chance to sell or buy raw milk, own various types of livestock, and be allowed to collect all that beautiful rainwater.
There are also many off-the-grid communities in this state that have been set up.
As an extra bonus, there’s no income tax in Washington State, so you can definitely cut down your costs by choosing to go off the grid here.
Which states are the worst for off-the-grid living?
Some states are best avoided if you want to live more sustainably. These include Nevada, where you’ll be charged a fixed fee for using solar-powered electricity, and Hawaii where the living costs are quite high.
What states offer the cheapest land?
If you’re purchasing residential property, the following states have the lowest prices: West Virginia, Arkansas, and Tennessee, as Land reports.
If you’re looking to save money when purchasing land, then these states are worth considering.
In what states is home-schooling allowed?
Home-schooling your children is allowed in all U.S. states, but the laws differ quite a bit from one to the next.
For example, in some states, you’ll be required to teach for certain hours per day and file paperwork, while in others you’ll have to do state testing.
Choosing to live off the grid is a big decision that will take time to think about.
Not only will you have to decide if you want to live independently or in a community, as well as work out how you’ll provide your own food and water, but you’ll have to figure out where you want to live.
In this article, we’ve outlined some of the best U.S. states in which to live off the grid and why they’re worth your time and money if you’re a prepper.