Off-the-grid living refers to living without any dependence on the government, society and its products. Recently, this movement has gained lots of buzzes. And these communities which lead a simple, sustainable life have been mushrooming in rustic areas all over the country. Even though those choosing off-grid living are isolated from traditional supplies of power, water, gas and sewage lines, they can generate electricity on their own and resort to satellite communication.
In the list below, I recommend the best states to live off the grid in the US you should consider when deciding to follow this lifestyle. Yet, before starting, I think you should first run your eyes over some critical factors that account for your land purchase to build an off-grid homestead.
The critical factors for purchasing land in off-grid living legal states
Climate – First, ask yourself what type of climate is your real appeal. Is it the temperate climate featuring all 4 seasons? Or the tropical one with only 2 main seasons? Do you prefer the weather to be nice throughout the year? Do you love the sun, heat, or the rain, snow, and cold? It may be simple for you to pinpoint your preference.
However, this task requires doing enough research. You can visit Citydata.com for more information. This site contains awesome records of weather charts so that you can consult and decide on the place you want to move to.
Water – A renewable, reliable and sanitary water supply is critical to your survival. However, a continuous source of water is scarce in the desert areas. That also explains why desert land is usually cheap. For an equal or smaller amount of money, you can purchase up to one hundred acres of land in desert areas as opposed to a piece of property alongside a body of water in areas with a milder climate.
Laws – Living off the grid, you have to ensure you could build your house and live your life at your own disposal. In other words, you are cut off from the electricity (or solar/wind power) grid and need to produce water and power by yourself. You must follow building codes but if you don’t want to, then look for a place where the codes are not enforced. Or, it’s better to find an area where little or no codes exist, that is to say, a remote place far from a town or city usually.
Taxes – Obviously, you want a property with lower taxes. Although agriculture land has lower taxes, it is often a larger parcel of property. This seems a good thing at first, but indeed it turns out quite a problem. Typically, a piece of land with a larger size is more expensive and you have to pay a massive outlay of upfront cash. A smaller property is categorized as residential land; however, taxes on the residential property are higher than agricultural property.
What Are The Best States To Live Off The Grid In US
Hawaii is arguably the best place in the United States for you to live off grid. It might cost you lots of money to move there. Yet after you’ve covered all the costs, you will see that Hawaii is a safe tropical paradise for you to live independently.
In fact, the best part of Hawaii to be called the best off-grid state is that the grid stretches so far. Actually, the main city is grid-bound, but if you move a little inward, you won’t have to worry about grid anymore because there isn’t any grid whatsoever!
In addition to that freedom, you will surely enjoy this haven in terms of its climate and soil condition. There is plenty of rainfall here, and Hawaii is always sunny in general. Moreover, the soil has high nutrient content. So, you are provided with a source of sustainable farming and energy. More interestingly, there are no other states in the US apart from Hawaii that allows you to grow coffee beans by yourself!
That’s right, Florida is a terrific place for off-grid living. You may hear some people say living off grid in this state is against the law. However, that is not true. In fact, it is totally legal to follow your sustainable lifestyle here. Similar to every other place in the US, a clean water supply, and an acceptable septic system are when you live in Florida.
There is a wild exaggeration about a story going viral online that it is not allowed to live off grid in Florida. Yet that story, which is a complete fabrication, has been posted and reposted over and over again by those who some ulterior motive and by those who had no idea of the truth.
What drove most people to publish this story is making money through advertising. Those spreading-like-wildfire bogus stories help them earn a lot. So, to put the record straight, I have to reconfirm that you totally can live off the grid in the US state Florida.
And, of course, all the cool offers from off-grid living such as solar panels, wind turbines, gardens and water wells are within your reach. And no different from other places in the US, you can even raise your own cattle whether it be chickens, cows or pigs.
In the countryside, you can relatively afford a piece of land, and there is plenty of water. Timber is also abundant. Yet, rock is scarce. Across Florida, there is mostly dirt and sand except for the southern part of this state which features petrified calcified coral beds as hard as rocks.
Especially in Homestead Florida, this place boasts extremely thick fossilized coral. The coral is so thick that in the past, there used to be a man who even built his own castle using the coral quarry in his backyard.
You will surely exclaim in delight after looking up the amazing “Coral Castle” by Edward Leedskalnin. So, it is entirely legal to live off the grid in Florida, and this state is ranked among the best states to live off the grid in the US.
Among the best places to live off the grid for free is Alaska.
It can be said that Alaska is full of natural beauty. However, everything has both sides, so you need to consider some drawbacks before deciding to live off the grid in Alaska.
Firstly, it is the weather that needs to be paid attention. Although Alaska is usually known to be exceptionally cold, you even can get shocked because this place may be far colder than expected if you are familiar with the temperate climate.
The temperature in some areas here, especially the north part, can be under – 65°F. In addition, you still can adjust yourself to adapt the weather here in spite of the fact that its average temperature reaches about 37°F. For this reason, you need to take your health into account thoroughly before coming to this place. For living off-grid in the cold weather like Alaska, I suggest you should have a pellet stove. It’s not only eco-friendly but also produce enough heat to warm up your whole house.
Some other useful information you need to know is about snowfall and rain. Two factors do not matter because they both are at a normal level. While the precipitation is about 16.57 inches, the average annual snowfall in Alaska is approximately 74 inches.
In case you have children, then you do not have to worry about their education because there are no laws for homeschooling in Alaska. It is not necessary for parents to give their notice about their children’s education even though they apply the method of homeschooling. Moreover, your children also do not have to take any standardized or under inspection.
Another amazing thing about Alaska is the taxation. You may be glad to know that Alaska is the place which imposes the tax at the lowest level in the US.
In other words, there is no inheritance tax, income tax, sales tax or even estate tax in some areas through a property tax is still imposed only in 25 municipalities. This may be the reason why Alaska is such a famous off the grid place.
One more thing is that the laws in Alaska are seemingly created to make favorable conditions for those who want to enjoy the experience of living off the grid. Besides, you can do gardening because it is not prohibited, or even raise some farm animals you like if there are fenced pastures and warm housing provided. For the reason of safety, the gun ownership is not restricted, either.
While off-grid living in some states such as Florida is considered illegal, this is encouraged in Missouri. There is no existence of building codes or zoning codes in some areas. You should remember that real intervention is not made through the state authority claims to provide you with a septic and good safe system.
In comparison with the weather in Tennessee, the weather in Missouri is far milder and not extreme as in Alaska. The lowest temperature ever recorded in this state was – 40°F, but the winter is becoming more moderate. Its average temperature now is approximately 50°F.
Regarding the precipitation, it reaches about 41 inches while the annual snowfall for this region is 25 inches. Moreover, you can collect rainwater because it is allowed to do that, so water is not your concern when coming here.
One thing you should notice is that the summer in Missouri is usually humid and hot, so make good preparation first.
In general, the state of Missouri is quite free. Like Alaska, you do not have to give your notice of your children’s homeschooling because no regulations about that are required.
Furthermore, the taxation in Missouri is also at a low level, and gun laws here are not strict. Coming to this place, you can see farm animals graze around the year, even growing grain for raising livestock or feed is allowed in a few certain areas.
Compared to the average cost, the utilities’ price in Missouri is higher a bit, but its cost of living is lower than the average level nationwide. There are some rules about wells and septic systems in Missouri which are optional on your property.
If you intend to live in rural areas for a long time, then there is not any zoning or building codes at such places. For these reasons, Missouri is considered an ideal destination at which you can live off the grid freely.
You may believe that Oregon’s population is thinly scattered but its population has, in fact, been increasing quickly and this shows no signal of stop.
In Oregon, most of the people are seemingly independent-minded. In case you are left – wing, then you will feel like those on the coast are the same as you as well as people in many different areas in Oregon.
If you are right-wing, you also do not have to worry about so much because you can have a chance to meet a few off-grid communities such as the community called Three Rivers Recreation Area including 625 members.
That there are many off – griders here has proved that off-grid living is legal in Oregon, so you do not need to worry when coming to this state. Buts property taxation in this state is quite high compared to that of other states.
Regarding the weather, it is rainy in Oregon in general; however, you still can get enough your power needed thanks to solar energy. Generally, the climate here is quite moderate, but you should note that there is a big difference in terrain among the Cascade mountains or even a few arid areas.
In addition, there is also an off the grid community called the Breitenbush Hot Springs which is holistic and certainly makes your vacation much more interesting. After experiencing the life here about one year, whether you can stay here for longer will be decided by voting. In case you are not familiar with getting off the grid by yourself, many communities in Oregon are ready to help you with it.
6. Washington State
If you want to try to live off the grid in a dark green and lush forest area, Washington State is truly a wonderful choice. In the summer, the average temperature here is approximately 80 degrees F while this figure in the winter is about 45 degrees F. This definitely will make you feel more comfortable than in a crowded and noisy city.
In addition to this, the average rainfall annually falls to 39 inches. So it can be said that Washington State is really a perfect place to live off the grid.
There are some strict laws regarding the construction of a house in Washington State. However, you also will receive a lot of benefits when coming to this place. You can collect rainwater freely, sell or buy raw milk, and raise many types of livestock because such things are legal here.
Moreover, many off the grid communities have already been established in Washington and even established and built off the grid property sales are available too.
One of the increasingly popular trends of using energy now is living off the grid or using renewable energy sources. It is estimated that there are now approximately 750.000 households which live off the grid in the US.
This figure is increasing by nearly 10 % annually and expected to continue to grow rapidly in the future.
So, what states do you choose for best states to live off the grid in the US? Let’s share your opinions with others in the comment section.