How to buy off grid land and the best way to find the perfect land for your homestead is something that most people who want to live sustainably want to know. It’s not easy. You will get frustrated but don’t give up. There are literally millions of acres of land all over the world where you can live your off grid dream. But to purchase and start your homestead you’re going to need to know some basic information first.
This information is simple but extremely valuable and can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Land is probably the single biggest purchase you will ever make in your life, so it pays to know some basics that will help you choose the best possible property for your off grid cabin.
To start off let’s go through some of the most important things to look for when buying off grid land.
How to buy off grid land
1. Don’t Buy Land With Covenants! – Let me repeat that. Do not buy land with 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.
2. 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 places 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.
3. 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.
4. Don’t Buy Property With No Access! – You need access! Period. 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.
5. Buy Remote or Secluded Land – 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.
6. 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 land for sale.
Your dream is right there in front of you.
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