How much does it cost to go Off-Grid and to live on the Land?
Categories: Tips & Tricks
How much Money does it take to Go Off Grid?
There are 10 things that you need to consider when going off grid and living on the land.
1. One of the most important items to find when preparing to go off grid is land with running water on it. Everything else can be brought in but water is essential, one must have a good water source. Ideally, it would be nice if you also had a well on the land. It doesn't matter if there is a house on the property because you can build your own house for as little as $1,000 or for as much as you want, but water...running water would be a nice luxury. Not only do you need water for drinking but you also must have it to irrigate plants, support animals and if you have a decent running stream of water you can have all the electricity you want for FREE! However, even if you can't find a tract of land that has a stream or creek on it you can still set up awater catchment system so don't despair if you can't find water on the land...it's still in the sky!
2. Regarding land, some people say that the least amount of land you can get by with is ½ acre. Personally that seems rather small to me. I think 5 acres is more like it. You want to make sure the land is habitable, that it can grow crops, that it's not in a flood zone and that it is relatively flat enough to put a house on and farm. As I mentioned previously having running water on your land is like having a gold mine, that is very important. You can find land for as little as $1,000 an acre and less but it probably wouldn't have water on it. I'm thinking it might cost about $5,000 to get a decent amount of land with some water on it but it's an educated guess from what I've researched. I recently did a little research on Craigslist and found a beautiful tract of land that was $123,000 for 160 acres of beautiful land. It was about one hour south of Portland, Oregon. If you went in with 16 people that would be approximately $7,500 for 10 acres of land in a great area! You could even divide it into 5 acres for less than $4,000. So you might have to look a bit but deals are out there and believe me the prices will continue to go down.
3. When it comes to shelter most people think that that is the most expensive part of the equation, but I have recently discovered Earthen houses and Cob Cottages. What are Cob Cottages? Cob Cottages also known as earthen houses are homes made out of mud, sand, straw and lime. They do not require wood framing although you can use it. And you do need some rocks for the foundation. But, the main advantage of cob is that anyone can do it and the materials are very cheap and in many cases completely free. I have included a website that teaches you how to build with cob. They say you can build a house for as little as $1,000, but I am conservatively estimating about $5,000. I am not sure if their definition of house is the same as mine but nevertheless, watch the videos and learn. People have been building cob houses for millenniums, some are still standing. They are much more durable than houses made out of wood and plaster and it's easy to repair them. And...they are so cute!
4. It goes without saying that food is very important. A greenhouse is a must as well as a garden. There are books on how to build underground self-heating greenhouses for as little as $500. With all the chem-trails in the sky a greenhouse makes a lot of sense, not to mention having a food source year round. Animals also provide non-GMO, fresh food. Chickens, pigs, sheep, goats, ducks and cows all replenish themselves and take relatively little care. They also provide other products like wool, feathers, and lanolin. The cost of your animals will vary as well as the cost of seed but I would estimate it to be about $2,000.
5. Communication is also very important. Satellite Internet Services are one way to go and they are relatively inexpensive. Also ham radios are another source of off grid communication. I think communication is very important as you need to protect yourself and how can you do that if you don't know what is going on. The cost for this is about $300 start up and $60 a month. However, if no satellite service is available or if you just don't want the government knowing exactly where you are via your computer or cell phone you can always opt out and get a CB or ham radio and save the $60 bucks a month.
6. These days there are many different sources of off grid power, some of them are solar power, wind power, hydro-power, and human power. All of these cost money, but I think that hydro-power is your best bet. You can buy a “backyard” hydro-power generator for about $2,000 and they say it will generate more than enough electricity for a good sized household. Of course if you are up north the water may freeze over the winter so you would have to have a back-up plan like a windmill or solar panels but if you are not up north water runs constantly (unlike the wind and sun) and you can meet all of your electricity needs with one source. Most of you are well aware of wind turbines and solar panels but there are also human powered bikes out there that can also help in a pinch, besides why work out on a treadmill that doesn't generate any electricity when you can work out and generate electricity at the same time?! Hydro-power is the most economical of the three, it provides the most power for the least amount of money. Wind turbines only work when the wind is blowing and solar power only works when the sun is shining and both are more expensive than micro-hydro power. Having said that, conserving power is one of your best bets while living off-grid. The less power you need the less you have to get. So before you do anything your home should be positioned and created in such a way as to require LESS power in the first place.