Living off the grid is available to people in all walks of life. Alternatives for suburban living to rural farms or intentional communities provide options for all personalities.
How to Find a Place to Live Off the Grid
Living off the grid accommodates many different lifestyles and personalities. Suburban dwellers, nomadic travelers and pioneer spirited individuals all have a place in the off-grid communities across the country. Getting unplugged from big utility companies is the primary goal for many in the off-grid movement. Another goal might be to live a sustainable green lifestyle with a minimal carbon foot print. Still another may want to live an anonymous lifestyle.
This is a great way to live for a personality that enjoys a bit of isolation and wants a nomadic lifestyle. You will still be dependent on the oil and gas industry as you will need to move your floating home from time to time.
You must contact your state marine board for rules, regulations and permits. Many states only allow for a certain amount of time before you have to move your houseboat. For federal waterways, you will have to contact the United States Coast Guard for specific information on each waterway in which you wish to travel. You will be required to register your floating home and comply with all the local and federal laws. To find more information on the Houseboat culture and classified ads for purchasing houseboats a good resource is All About Houseboats. There you will find a whole community of people along with their stories and tips.
Motor Home Living
Traveling the country in a motor home is a style of living embraced by retirees as well as families with young children. Although you will be living off the grid, you will still be dependent on the oil and gas industry. If your motivation for off-grid living is to live a green sustainable life style then motor home living is not an appropriate choice. It is however a great way to see the country and meet like-minded people. Your RV Lifestyle is a website devoted to educating people and providing resources and tips for motor home living.
People living their lives on the road have many jobs that still provide incomes for their families, working from computers in virtual jobs, working at resort locations and campgrounds or working temporary positions in whatever town they happen to land. Educating your children while on the road is no longer a problem with the ever growing population of homeschool families and organizations. Indeed, opportunities for education become broader and much more interesting.
Rural and Back Country Property
Purchase property that already has an off-grid infrastructure. An off-grid property would already have a septic system, well, cistern, plumbing for propane and perhaps a solar array. Be sure to have it thoroughly inspected before closing on the property. You may have to repair or restore or upgrade componants or dig a new well.
You may want to purchase unimproved property outside city limits and improve the lot using off-grid power sources. Call your county building department for specific requirements for building and water rights on unimproved property. It would be helpful to use a realtor who specializes in back country or rural property. They often will have valuable information and insights on how to go about building in the area.
Join a Community
Join an intentional community that is committed to off-grid living. There are off-grid subdivisions and green communities popping up all over the country. The Living Energy Farm Project in Louisa County, Virginia seeks to support and encourage off-grid communities. The Three Rivers subdivision, near Bureau of Land Management property is an off-grid community in Lake Billy Chinook, Oregon. Abundance Ecovillage is an off-grid community in Fairfield, Iowa built on the Sthapatya Ved principles of harmonious design. An interactive map called LandBuddy is offered by Off-Grid.net is a good resource to find off-grid communities or other like-minded individuals. Off the Grid is another community resource website for finding off-grid resources.
Start Your Own Community
Start your own off-grid community by gathering together a few like minded individuals. Decide how large the community will be and the philosophies and values, upon which, you want to base the community. Find a property that is large enough to support the number of people along with the activities you want to carry out on the property such as food production or raising animals.
Visit the county building offices for rules and regulations regarding subdividing and building on property in the area of interest. Building requirements and permits vary significantly from county to county and state to state.
Off-grid living can provide great freedom for individuals and families. No longer does "living off the grid" mean disappearing into a desert community of tents and shacks with questionable sanitation and little security. Off-grid living is happening all around from suburbia to back country ranches to coastal waterways.