Where’s the best place to live off the grid in the USA? What’s the best state to live off the grid? Here’s a list of the best places to purchase land and build your off grid cabin. It’s really up to you what you consider “BEST”, but this list is based on a few major factors and variables that you need to consider when picking out your off grid land. Price, water, building and use restrictions, zoning, access, convenience and your ability to grow food and disconnect from the grid are just a few. READ MY OTHER LIST HERE: How To Find Land To Live Off The Grid
After all, if you want to live off grid, the best place to do that is where there is no grid. Simple really. But finding that place is not so simple. There are many things you need to consider. Not the least of which is water, food, septic and power. Of course you’ll need to build your cabin, log home, earthship, hobbit house, tiny house, shipping container home, your travel trailer, or whatever you want to live in. There are a number of things you need to seriously consider. It’s not just all about the best priced land. You need access to resources. You need the basics to live, shelter, water, and food.
OK, there’s another very BIG issue that needs to be addressed. I see too many people trying to move off grid and they get into trouble with the local city and/or county government. Then they claim “Off grid living in _____________ is illegal!” “They won’t let me live off grid!” Which is untrue, they’re just angry the local city council won’t let them build what they want and they didn’t follow the rules. Let’s get something straight. Most people (not all) but most of those who complain like this are people who did not do their homework and/or are people who simply think the rules don’t apply to them. They refused to abide by the local ordinances and they got into trouble.
NOTE: This is not to say that some of the local ordinances and rules and restrictions aren’t just plain stupid, or worse put into place by corrupt politicians and city council members. Some stupid rules require you to be hooked up to the grid, and some rules that I think I corrupt are charging $10k $15k or more to hookup to local water. IT DOESN’T COST THE CITY/COUNTY THAT MUCH TO ALLOW YOU TO HOOKUP TO THE COUNTY WATER SYSTEM! No matter what they say. It’s a price gouging unethical practice that needs to stop.
Rainwater collection is illegal in some places. This is another overstep by the local government. No, they do not own the rain. They try to control the water, but it’s mostly just another way for them to make money…if they catch you they’ll fine you. So if you do it, don’t get caught. I don’t care what the local ordinance says, I WILL HAVE A RAINWATER COLLECTION SYSTEM! Their reasoning behind the anti-collection rules is that rainwater collection prevents water from reaching the aquifer. Uh huh. And what about all the water THEY collect on the roads, parking lots, and buildings that gets diverted to the cities water supply. It’s ok for THEM to do it on a massive scale and use the excuse it’s their job to provide clean drinking water to everyone, but you’re not allowed to collect rainwater to provide clean drinking water for your family? Uh huh. Double standard much? Hypocrite much?
The ONLY reason they have this rule is REVENUE and they use the science as an excuse of diverting from the aquifer as an additional diversion to divert your attention from what’s really going on. They charge massive amounts of money to hookup to local water systems and then they charge you a fee each month for the water you use. They say it’s for your own good by saying it’s clean drinking water and they charge you lots of money because it costs them millions of dollars to treat the water. Seems legit. And in big cities it is. But. That water is treated with chemicals. Chemicals like chlorine and others that are not good for you long term. Anyway…the point is don’t drink city water. Find a place to live where you can provide your own water. Haul it if you have to. Get a giant water tank for a few thousand dollars or build one.
RULES & REGULATIONS
Most county/city municipalities are ok and only have these rules in place to protect the public and their interests. However some are corrupt and government overreach is a real thing. This kind of unethical behavior sets un-followable nonsensical rules that are designed to hinder folks from setting up their own place without paying huge fees and other out of pocket expenses that can make it nearly impossible for someone with low or limited income to move to the area.
SAFETY & SECURITY
However, there is a legitimate reason for some of these rules. If some of the rules weren’t in place then vagrants and drifters could and would setup homeless encampments thereby endangering the locals. Now there’s nothing wrong with helping homeless people and those in need. But, a tent city down the road from a local suburban neighborhood could affect home values and poses a safety and security issue for local residents.
And let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
SEPTIC & WASTE!
Mainly how you’re going to handle your septic and trash. Because yes! It’s a BIG issue. If you don’t follow these rules they can condemn your cabin/property and forbid you from living there. People will get upset about this, but let’s make this very clear. You can’t just go dumping your human waste and excrement onto the ground or into the local rivers, lakes, streams, creeks etc. Not only is that not cool, its just plain disgusting and poses a massive ecological and environmental problem that could cause irreparable damage to the local ecosystem and pose a health risk to everyone including your own family. Besides that, it’s FEDERAL law that you must have proper septic system for health and safety reasons. Even if that’s just a vault toilet (outhouse), or a composting toilet (in some cases that’s only considered temporary).
Install a proper septic system. NO humanure is NOT a proper system. Sorry folks…but humanure (using human feces as fertilizer in your garden) is not approved in most areas yet. This isn’t to say it’s not possible, or that it’s unsanitary if not done properly, but…this isn’t about that. This is about GETTING YOUR OFF GRID PROPERTY! What you do on that property once you get it is up to you. If you want to use humanure then by all means that’s your business. But personally speaking. YUCK! I would vote against it UNLESS you showed me some solid science that proves it’s sanitary and the methods of making it sanitary, otherwise…nope!
Other factors to consider are property access. Make sure the property you choose has legal and physical access. Those are two separate things. You can have legal access, but physical access might be hindered during inclement weather (WINTER) or monsoon season in tropical or subtropical areas. Arizona also has issue with access during certain times of year in certain areas. Roads wash out from rain, there’s flooding and it can be dangerous at times. The point is that you need YEAR-ROUND access to your property. Unless you don’t care. Maybe you like the idea of being snowed in for the winter. Then northern Maine, Michigan, Montana, Idaho, and Alaska might be a great place for you. If you’re willing to move there that is. It’s a long way from where most people currently live.
Here’s a bonus list of things you need to do your homework on to find the best (for you) place to live off the grid: Read the full article here
- Affordability – Cheap is good but only if it has what you need.
- Pay Cash For Your Off Grid Land! You don’t want a monthly payment.
- Buy Remote Land Equals Cheap Land (usually)
- Remote Land Equals Fewer Restrictions/Ordinances
- No Building Codes or Codes are not enforced (as much) on remote land.
- Year Round Access!
- Legal Access!
- No Legal Issues, (Encumbrances) Liens or Back Taxes Due!?
- Do Title Search!
- Do a Survey!
- Do a PERC Test! – A Percolation test tests the soil’s ability to drain water for your septic system. Very important!
- Zoning – Make sure the property you’re looking at is zoned AG (agricultural or residential or both).
- Have The Water/Soil Tested For Contaminants!
- Mineral Rights & Water Rights! You don’t want someone you don’t know or like drilling and mining on your land.
- DO YOUR HOMEWORK!
OK! Now that we got all that out of the way we can get down to the list of TOP 10 states I think are best suited for off grid living. Now this list may differ from person to person due to personal preference. I personally don’t like cold weather or snow. Some people love it. I don’t like it to rain all the time either, but some people don’t ming the cloudy stormy weather. Some people hate the desert, I personally love it. Though, not in the summer.
10 Best States to Live Off The Grid in the USA
- Alaska – I think Alaska is the dream of every off gridder who ever lived. What a beautiful state! Imagine building you own cabin in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness. Way out away from everyone where you can hunt and fish and trap and make your own way. You can live your life in peace and harmony with nature, and not be bothered by nosey neighbors and local authorities. Alaska has plenty of trees to build your cabin, plenty of rocks for the hearth, fireplace and chimney. It has clear clean water, lots of fish and game animals for food, and plenty of wide open space. Your nearest neighbor would be a long way away. This to me sounds like paradise. If it weren’t for the cold. Like I said, I hate the cold. So Alaska is OUT for me. But for you guys, I would imagine you’d love it. Prices on land up there range from $1000/acre to much more. I’ve seen it as high as $100k plus per acre depending on location. Remote properties of course will be much cheaper. This goes for ANY state. Usually. There are always exceptions to that rule. So to recap. Average Land Price Per Acre: $1k – $10k
- Montana – Great place to go off grid. It is in the northern part of the lower 48 states so not a lot of peak sunlight hours, but the terrain varies greatly and the price of land is reasonable. It’s also very beautiful country. Plenty of resources and lots of area to expand. Like Alaska it’s pretty wide open and you can really find some nice remote properties for very affordable prices. Average Land Price Per Acre: $1k – $5k
- Arizona – Arizona offers way more land than you would think and it’s cheap, if you buy land in the high desert areas. You will most likely have to haul your water though. It is the desert. Land near Flagstaff in the Coconino National Forest, or any of the other 4 national forest areas the price of land near the cities of Flagstaff and Prescott and Phoenix are all very expensive. You have to be at least 30 minutes to an hour outside of any major town to find the less expensive land. Again, this goes for any state, but is especially so in Arizona due to the sheer beauty of the land up in the mountainous and forested areas. And because most of the state is desert and not alpine forest, that makes the forested areas especially attractive to out of towners (snowbirds) who like to buy property down in Arizona and winter down there. This drives up property values, in my opinion artificially, but it’s a real affect on prices. Having said that. Land in Arizona is a good deal if you know where to look. Anywhere between Kingman and Flagstaff and south of Flag to Phoenix on either side of Interstate 17 is good. I personally wouldn’t buy land in the southern part of the state near the border due to illegals/drug trafficking from Mexico, however, it’s still beautiful desert land out there. You’d have to make that decision yourself. Land prices in Arizona can be super cheap. Average Land Price Per Acre: $500-$2.5k
- New Mexico – Another desert state. Lots of cheap desert land for sale at very affordable prices. Again, depending on where you purchase your land you’ll probably have to haul your water. You could drill a well if you’ve got the cash and pick land that’s in an area that’s open and feasible and affordable to drill a water well. Good luck with that. Average Land Price Per Acre: $500-$5k
- Texas – A state so big it could be it’s own country! Tons of wide open spaces and more land than you can shake a stick at. I’d advise not building in the southwestern part of the state west of San Antonio toward the New Mexico border just because it’s so darn remote out there. I’ve driven through there ONCE and I don’t care to do it again. But. If you’re looking for remote desert land, then that’s a great place for you. be advised it does sit on the border with Mexico. So there’s that. This isn’t to say you’ll have drug mules and illegals invading your property there in the southwestern part of the state, but…well..it happens from time to time. But Texas is a HUGE state and there are lots of other areas to build your off grid homestead. I found land in Texas for as low as $187.50/acre. Now THAT is cheap! It’s near El Paso and in that southwest Texas area. It’s beautiful land though and a parcel I would seriously consider. Texas is known for it awesome hunting and huge expanses of land. Average Land Price Per Acre: $200-$2.5k
- Nevada – Another desert state. Nevada has lots of cheap land in the northern part of the state. It gets cold up there and it does snow, but the price is right and there’s lots of land up there. Also, if you own a business, Nevada has awesome tax benefits for your company. So there’s a BIG reason to move there. Nevada is home to the cheapest land I’ve found at about $93.59 per acre! You can get a 640 acre full section (1 mile by 1 mile square parcel) for about $60k. In my opinion I would buy it just for the hell of it. It’s land! And they ain’t making it anymore. (oh wait, yeah they are. Volcanoes and stuff.) But anyway, if you’re looking for cheap land Nevada is the place for you. Again, this is desert and if gets cold in the winter and hot in the summer. The climate is not ideal and you will most likely have to haul your water. To some folks this is just too much hassle and needless work. They might want a place close to civilization and they just don’t want to consider moving to a place like Nevada. I’d buy land there anyway, even if just to build there later, or resell it for a nice little profit. Resources are kind of scarce which is why the desert area is so sparsely populated. But if you’re willing to deal with the discomforts of that, and the harsh climate, you might be at home there. Average Land Price Per Acre: $100-$1000k (on the low end)
- Colorado – Part desert part alpine forested mountains with the Rocky Mountains splitting the state nearly in two Colorado is one of the most beautiful states in the USA. It’s also one of the most expensive, if you’re living anywhere near Denver or Colorado Springs area. Also if you’re up in the mountains that property up that way is extremely expensive. This isn’t to say the Colorado doesn’t have a great selection of affordable land because it does. Lots of it. Average Land Price Per Acre: $1k – $2.5k (on the low end)
- Florida – Florida is a subtropical and tropical state with LOTS of coastline. It has plenty of water and natural resources, fairly good soil and lots of sun. They don’t call it the sunshine state for nothing. You can hunt and fish here year round, and there’s a good amount of affordable land, mostly in the forested areas. The forests in Florida are more dense than the forests in the upper midwest, the east, to the forests of the northwest USA. Land prices vary greatly depending on whee in Florida you are. Since there’s lots of waterfront and coastal areas you can imagine those properties are in the MILLIONS of dollars. However, if you pick a property further inland, you can find some great deals. Central Florida is good, south central and north central, as well as the panhandle, all provide affordable land with lots of natural resources to build your off grid home. Average Land Price Per Acre: $1.5k – $5k
- Maine – Maine is an absolutely beautiful state to live in. It is very far north and it’s remote even in the United States. It’s way up in the northeast. It’s a long ways away from anything but oh boy the beauty up there. Forests as far as you can see. The land up there has plenty of everything you need. Hunting fishing, natural resources for building your cabin and the land is cheap if you know where to look. Also a good feature of Maine is lots of water. There’s a many lakes and streams all over the land so the chances of you getting a nice waterfront property is very high. Average Land Price Per Acre: $500 – $2.5k
- California – Depending on where you move to in California you can have a very nice off grid homestead there. Land is being bought up rather quickly though. It’s got water, trees and rock for building and the climate is relatively mild in the southern part of the state. Northern California does see snow and lower temps, but the land up there is cheap in places. Also, the terrain is absolutely gorgeous. Mountains and flat land are abundant, lakes rivers and streams are everywhere, or at least more prevalent than in the southern part of the state which is more desert. Land prices if you know where to look are relatively cheap. There is one big drawback though…because California is so highly regulated, finding an area to go off grid might be difficult. It’s still on my list because it’s so diverse and the amount of resources are worth it if you can find a nice property far enough away from a major city. Average Land Price Per Acre: $250 – $1.5k
Well there you have it. There’s your list of the TOP 10 states to live off the grid.
DESERT LAND MIGHT BE THE BEST LAND
In conclusion I want to say something about the reason there’s so much desert land on my list of best states for off grid land. In my opinion I think desert land is way UNDERVALUED and it is a natural goldmine of untapped riches. How so? Well, desert has more of ONE thing that most other states don’t have as much of. Desert land has more of this resource than any other land. SUNLIGHT! And living off grid requires that you produce you own power. Solar is the way to go. It’s sustainable and I believe 100% wholeheartedly that solar power is the future of power. The science doesn’t lie, the sun provides all the energy we need for living our lives. And, with technology advancing exponentially the efficiency of solar panels will advance too at a much faster rate into the future. Battery technology is also advancing at an exponential rate and provides an efficient and affordable way to store energy collected by giant solar arrays.
We’re on the verge of a major shift in how we all do business and live our daily lives. Brick and mortar stores are no longer a thing. They’re dying. They will go extinct. Retail stores are going extinct and online stores are taking over. One day we will no longer go to the store except maybe to dine out and have a nice romantic dinner or take the whole family out for a nice fun entertaining meal. Everything else including clothes will be purchased online FROM YOUR HOME, on your phone, tablet, laptop, Mac or PC. What does all this mean? It means that you will be able to move ANYWHERE in the world and make a living from ANYWHERE in the world that you have an internet connection.
NOTE: There are companies today planning a to launch a network of satellites that will provide high speed internet anywhere in the world. THIS MEANS YOU CAN WORK ONLINE FROM ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD!
You can buy anything you need to live right from the comfort of you own off grid cabin. Any supplies, tools, equipment, materials, hardware, anything to build and run your off grid homestead.
The power of this is astronomical. This give you the ultimate freedom. The ultimate independence. It give you EVERYTHING you need to live a civilized life wit hall the creature comforts of modern society with none of the hassle of living in the city with a bunch of people who don’t even know how to change their own tires or oil on the car. Think about that, take all the time you need. How attractive is that to you? You can have you big screen TV and STILL be so far away from a major city, not be connected to the grid, produce you own power, grow your own food, build your own cabin and live you life how YOU want to live and raise your family however you see fit. You can teach your kids how to hunt fish and live off the land as well as give them a FULL EDUCATION ONLINE. They can get a free college level education and with modern technology, you’ll live a healthier lifestyle and be more comfortable too.
The world is changing! It’s already changed! You just need to catch up. It’s coming. Much of it is already here.
Thanks for reading.
A NOTE ABOUT REAL ESTATE – Land is getting scarce. At least affordable land is getting scarce. Now is the time to buy real estate if you’re going to do it. If you’re buying land for living off the grid it might pay to NOT go through a real estate agent. Why? Because that’s the traditional way of doing things. You have to finance the real estate through a bank and get a mortgage at a low interest rate. If you don’t qualify, well, you’re out of luck. You have to qualify for the loan through the bank, and you have to pay the agent a commission, or rather the seller does, but you can be guaranteed that cost is being paid by YOU in the form of a higher price. The seller wants the highest price possible, the real estate agent wants the highest commission possible, and you just want the best land for least amount of money out-of-pocket. Find the best deal is not going to be easy. I suggest you try not to go through a real estate agent unless you absolutely have to. Look into buying your real estate direct from the landowner rather than going through an agent. There are enough free downloadable contracts online that you can use and enough information that you don’t need an agent (unless of course you feel more comfortable, then go ahead). You may be forced to go through an agent because if you find the perfect property listed online, if the landowner has a contract through a license real estate agent then you’ll need to go through the agent to complete the sale. The landowner cannot sell direct to you if they signed a contract with a real estate agent so keep that in mind when you’re searching for your property. You might want to search on real estate websites that allow you to choose “For Sale By Owner” type listings.