You are not alone if you are pondering living off the grid. Moving your family and belongings to a more remote place can entice you for a variety of reasons. Off-the-grid living has long piqued people’s interest, whether it’s in response to current events, a desire to be more self-sufficient, or a desire to live in a natural setting.
Off-grid living, however, is not always as straightforward as it appears. Certain states lack resources, undeveloped terrain, and safe weather conditions for people who live an alternative lifestyle. Several jurisdictions appear to make a living off the grid difficult.
When deciding which state is ideal for you, you’ll want to think about land pricing, local rules and regulations, weather and climate, local building codes, and property taxes.
In our guide, you can find out, can I camp on my own land, and is it possible to live off the grid? Besides that, you can find the best places where it is legal to live off-grid with support and how to make the most of your off-grid camp. (Learn How To Start A Fire With Wet Wood)
What States Allow You to Live Off the Grid?
If you ask, it is. Is it illegal to live off the grid? Many states, if not nearly all states in the USA, allow you to do this to a particular degree. However, local laws appear to differ as they comprise zoning laws, among others. In some areas, they understand this and try to work with anyone wanting to live off-grid.
Here are some of the best states you can live off-grid without too much hassle.
Off-grid living is permitted under zoning and state legislation. The land is cheap in non-tourist and isolated sections of the state and has low population density and crime rates.
Natural resources, including timber, water, and rock, are often plentiful. However, the growing season is short compared to several midwestern and southern states.
One of the best reasons to choose Texas for your off-grid homestead is land affordability in isolated areas of the state. In most areas of the state, the growing season is long, and there is enough lumber and rock to use as building materials.
If you buy land in a desert area, you’ll have difficulty finding water, and your hunting and fishing chances are limited.
Montana can be an ideal site for off-grid living if you don’t mind the cold. The property is inexpensive, the population isn’t an issue, and state regulations support a self-sufficient lifestyle. The state’s cost of living and crime rate are also beneficial.
The growing season isn’t long as ideal off-grid living states, although it has excellent meadows and prairies for animals. Because of the windy conditions, wind turbines are a workable alternative energy source.
You can find standing timber on the property for structure building, furniture production, and firewood, except for the state’s grasslands zone.
Often left off many best off the grid living lists, Ohio has meager land prices, property taxes, crime rates, a low cost of living. It also has a wealth of natural resources.
Some counties may lack a permit office or possess zoning restrictions besides those septic tank laws, which the local health department regulates.
Tennessee offers low property taxes. The cost of living in rural areas is significantly lower, and natural resources such as hunting and fishing are ripe. The state’s raw milk herd-sharing and rainwater collection policies are among the laxest in the country.
The climate is warm, and trees are plentiful in the state’s northern parts. Although land prices in the same region are reasonable, water availability is likely to be a problem.
You would need to drill a well or purchase property with a natural spring to develop into a sustainable pond or haul water to your property. The growing season is long, and there is good sunlight to run a grid solar energy system and solar system panels all year.
Another ideal state for living off the grid is Vermont. The land is available and reasonably priced. Water, as well as lumber and rock for construction, are readily available. (Find the Best Reclining Camping Chairs With Footrest)
In most areas, resources are accessible, and zoning permits for living off the grid are available. Avoid larger cities and towns in search of counties that are more open to living off the grid.
Not only is it easy to see how to live off the grid legally without lots of red tape, but the state of Missouri as a state to live this way encourages it.
Residents are free to collect rainwater and are not required to have septic systems in their homes throughout the state. A composting toilet could satisfy sewage regulations.
On lots of land in Missouri, natural resources for building a home and other constructions are available.
Property prices and taxes are within reach, and land in the Cascade Mountain region has good timber. People ask, is. It is illegal to live off the grid here, but it appears they are welcome in the state.
You can find the Three Rivers Recreation Area, which operates grid solar energy and water supply for shared solar power systems, and the Breitenbush, Hot Springs area, which is two of the state’s largest off-grid regions.
Is it Legal to Live Completely Off the Grid?
Is off-grid living illegal? It is against the law to live off the grid sometimes.
Off-grid living means being cut off from the public power grid, so you need to produce your own energy. Off-grid living isn’t unlawful, and p[producing your own energy via solar, etc., is a safe and legal way to live off the grid.
Growing your own food is both a form of self-sufficiency and a legal form of living off the grid. Off-grid living has a home with no connection.
Much of the rules and regulations are with building codes and what the local counties or states determine as legal by how you live.
Off-Grid Regulations: No matter how nice the view, it won’t help if your state’s laws are too restrictive. You can find building codes and material requirements, as well as prohibitions on disconnecting from the electricity grid and sewage system. In a rural region, you typically discover fewer laws.
Property Taxes: Annual property taxes can affect how much land you can purchase and if living on the site long-term is workable. Can you camp on your own property? In fact, you can’t camp easily on your own property, and regulations go much deeper as to why you can’t.
Weather and Climate: Depending on how you live, growing seasons may be vital for an off-grid homestead to sustain itself. Agricultural-grade land and natural resources are also worth considering.
Cost of living: Being off-grid doesn’t mean you won’t have any cost of living. There is much more to this life than restrictions, permits, and electricity.
Can You Live Off the Grid With No Money?
Can you camp on your own land be a major hurdle to overcome, yet the dream of living off-grid has another obstacle, and that is what to do for money?
Is it legal to live off the land? In the above states, you can get a good idea of which regions allow you to live from the land as long as you have your other things in place first. Freshwater, a septic system all permit whether you can do such a thing.
Each county has its regulations, so understanding these is vital before picking a country to set up camp or even consider purchasing land.
Money can be an issue of how you live unless you have enough not to worry about it. Being self-sufficient is another step of how to live off-grid.
Here are a few ways you could do this if you are in the right situation.
- Get free or low-cost land
- Build a free house
- Gather and grow naturally abundant foods
- Purify spring water
- Set up cheap waste disposal/sewage or septic system
- Locate a free-living community in your county
There is still free land out there, and it is still available. Many out-of-the-way towns and villages are currently giving plots for free or near-free if you want to live there. There are other prospects for farm caretakers or land contract transactions that aren’t posted online. You must know where to look for information. (Read What To Do While Camping)
While the original homesteading act is no longer in effect, several distant cities around the United States are giving free land to construct off-grid homes and a commitment to live in the city for a defined amount of time.
USDA Farm Grant and Loan Program
USDA Grants & Loans has programs to provide money for family-size farms and specifically for new farms. In exchange for accepting these funds, you will be obligated to start a farm in that country that conforms to the USDA’s farming standards.
One way to start off-grid for no money is to become a Farm Caretaker. Farm caretaking is a free rent situation where you work for free rent. And, it can often be a long-term arrangement, lasting years if you choose.
With labor in rural farmlands low and children of farming families moving to the city, many farms are looking for people to watch over them.
Some owners may ask you to work part-time on the farm to tend livestock and other tasks, while others need a pair of eyes to watch over the place and carry out occasional maintenance work in return for an off-grid home.
You will not find offers for farm caretakers advertised online; you’d have to search in the county or state you want to live in.
Because undeveloped land is difficult for banks to finance or mortgage, land contracts, also known as owner carry, often obtain off-grid acreage.
A land contract is an agreement between the buyer and the seller to pay off the purchase over time at a specified rate, with the buyer becoming the complete owner of the land at the end of the contract.
Making Money When You Go Off-Grid
A small amount of cattle is normally tolerated in rural areas. On most agriculturally zoned rural land, cows, pigs, chickens, goats, horses, and other livestock are permitted. The closer you approach the city, however, the more restrictions you’ll face.
It is normally prohibited to have animals on a property that is not zoned for them. Before you can have any form of livestock, your property must be zoned for agricultural use in most circumstances.
Most counties make it illegal to sell surplus food from your garden without permission and a health inspection for health and safety reasons.
Living off the grid isn’t unlawful in the strictest sense of the word. Overly restrictive zoning and rules that prohibit certain operations and development on your own property are the sources of the problem.
In most regions, this implies that getting a piece of land, setting up a tent, RV, travel trailer, or tiny house on it, and camping there while building your off-grid dream lodge is certainly unlawful.
This restricts your options unfairly and severely, especially if you have a restricted budget and can’t purchase the permits required to jump through all of the legal hoops most communities have constructed in their legislation. (Find the Best Camp Chef 3 Burner Stove)
Off-grid living should be allowed in counties, and rules should be updated to match modern technologies. All ordinances were originally enacted for two reasons: health and safety. Another purpose could be to increase county revenue through permits and taxes.
Before you dive in, to live off the grid, it’s important to understand which states, both legally and logistically, allow you to do so. Note that certain square footage of land may be required to meet zoning codes.