6 Seldom Followed Tips for How to Buy Off Grid Land
If you’re looking to live off the grid then learning these 6 must know tips for how to buy off grid land is the perfect place to start.
We bought our 3.5 acres last year and actually saved $20K off the $40K price tag all from one simple typo. You can read about how we bought our land, how we saved the money and why we picked that land here in on our website.
Can You Even Live Off Grid?
Anyone interested in living off grid wants to know the best way to find the perfect land for your homestead and we’ve got our top 6 tips for you. Was it easy finding land? No. Did we get frustrated along the way? Yes. Did we give up, walk away from our dream, and go back to living in the city? NO WAY!
There are millions of acres of off grid land all over the world where you can live completely off grid and don’t let anyone tell you other wise. We listened to people who said “It’s not possible. You aren’t allowed to live off grid. You have to put in a septic field, drill a well, live like nomads.” Wow… imagine if we had actually listed to all those people?
Don’t Buy Land With Covenants!
Let me repeat that. Do not by land which have very restrictive covenants or restrictions. These rules are made by land developers and are made to protect the land from development which is not in line with the original subdivision. Covenants pose many problems for off grid living such as the types of buildings and structures allowed as well as minimum building sizes. Many covenants will prevent you from growing a garden, building a small cabin, and especially raising livestock. Do not buy land with covenants unless those covenants allow you to do what you want with your land.
Check County Planning & Zoning Ordinances
Don’t buy a parcel of land which has overly restrictive zoning and ordinances. For example most counties in the U.S. require a minimum building/dwelling size in square feet. Find out what the minimum square footage your home or cabin must be. If you want to live in a tiny house it might be too small and the county may prohibit it. In addition there are some counties which do not allow camping on your land for extended periods of time. Yes, you read that right. It’s illegal in many place to camp out on your own land. Even counties which allow camping, you’re only allowed to camp for short periods of time while you build a home and the home you build must meet their rules or it’s prohibited.
Buy Agricultural Land
If you buy agricultural land you’re almost guaranteed the ability to raise livestock and grow your garden and farm. Think about this and the future. Right now you may or may not want to raise livestock like chickens, goats, pigs, cows or rabbits, so just play it on the safe side and choose a property that allows livestock animals on your homestead so that in the future if you decide you want them you won’t be locked into a property you can’t use.
Don’t Buy Property With No Access!
You need access! Period. End of subject. If there is no way to access your land, if you can’t drive or hike in, or by 4 wheeler or snowmobile, the land is completely useless to you. There are many very inexpensive parcels of land which at first glance look like a great price, but there is no legal access, or access is very difficult. Don’t buy it. The property could be very remote (which could be a good thing if that’s what you are looking for) or the property could have only summer access because in the winter there is no road maintenance and the snowfall cuts off access in northern regions. Be sure the property you buy has easy or fairly easy year round access. Also, if you’re looking to go solar (AND YOU SHOULD) then you’ll want to make sure you can position your home/cabin so that you can get the best possible exposure i.e. southern exposure , slope, shade, debris…etc.
Buy Land That is too Remote or Secluded
Remote properties are better for off grid living if they fit the lifestyle change you are comfortable with. The advantages of buying a remote property are many.- Remote land properties are less expensive and more affordable long term
– Remote land properties do not have as many zoning or building restrictions
– Remote land properties provide protection against a political or financial collapse of society
– Remote land properties give you more privacy
– Remote land properties provide more natural resources and building materials
– Remote land properties are easier to purchase because landowners have a hard time selling
– Remote land properties are simply better all around. Keep in mind that you must make sure you have easy access to the land, especially in winter. If you can’t get into the the you can’t get out in the winter if it’s in a northern hemisphere and you’re snowed in. Make sure you have easy access to get supplies and equipment in and out of your remote property.
Title Search & Insurance!
Make sure the land you’re thinking of buying does not have any liens or encumbrances. You don’t want to put money down on a piece of property or start building only to later find out the property wasn’t even owned by the seller, or that there are any tax liens, or legal action against the property. Get it done! This will save you money and time, and give you peace of mind.
This list is simply to give you an idea for the most fundamental and important aspects of picking out your off grid land.
There are millions of acres of off grid land for sale and your own off grid cabin is just waiting!
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the most important one is water….you must have access to water…branch, stream or pond or lake…….WATER!!!!!
I like that you suggested buying land that could later be used to farm. I have been looking for a plot of land to build a house on, and I wasn’t sure what I wanted. I can see how it would be smart to choose a place that can hold a farm, in case you need to grow food in the future.
I found your tips useful and I hope people will get benefits from them. Thanks
I think it would be really cool to live off the grid. I’ve always wanted to live in a small house somewhere. I agree that remote properties will be perfect for the lifestyle change you want. It’s good to know that remote land is less expensive and more affordable long term, like you said.
My husband and I have 5.2 acres of land. Our plan is to build off grid. Thank you for this list. It was very helpful.
I’m looking to buy some land as part of an investment where I can put my bees on. It’s good to know that you should buy land that has access to it and is easy to get around. I’ll be sure to remember these tips as I preview a few plots of land that are on sale.