Best Miami Movers Blog

What would it take to live off the grid?

The prospect of moving out from messy urban blocks and setting up a dwelling amidst nature’s wilderness is appealing. It is rather promising due to the positive impact on both mental and physical health, the possibility to harmonize your resource consumption, and lessen the carbon footprint. Living off-the-grid can also give a valuable insight into what you’re capable of when it comes to self-sufficiency and teach the same valuable lessons to your children. In a nutshell, you can derive a whole bunch of good from changing your lifestyle in such a way.

That said many difficulties and inevident hurdles might come along while you forge to adapt to living  autonomously. Starting from the choice of where to live off the grid and how to plan budgets for relocation to the land site to set up a freshwater source, house heating, and electricity supply. Having a well-laid-out and consistent plan for your accommodation and realizing what you need to live off-grid you’re likely to adapt quickly and prove yourself a pleasant and moderate living. However, failing to foresee some of the stumbling blocks may undermine the entire undertaking and cost you a great financial loss and waste enormous amounts of effort.

Let’s try to make crystal clear for ourselves what would it take to live off the grid. Read further to find out how you may cheaply and relationally handle the initial issues and get started living off-grid.

Living unplugged: what does living off-the-grid mean?

What do you need to live off the grid?

The purpose of such an unconventional sort of lifestyle is to deal without the confines of traditional utility structures. Such as water lines, sewer systems, gas and electricity connections. For that reason off the grid, houses are designed as completely autonomous. Instead of entrusting the utility servicemen to maintain the systems that fulfill inhouse comfort, people who follow these principles may get by with the minimum to sustain their living. It’s quite natural for an off-grid dweller to go without home internet and phone lines. However, almost every kind of an off-grid residence usually has a sustainable energy source: solar panels, wind turbines or windmills, battery banks to accumulate energy, and generators.

As you could have guessed, living off the grid definitely has its drawbacks because it requires you to invest a considerable amount of funds and labor into a sufficient and reliable energy supply system at first. That’s not to mention the private well which you’ll have to dig up and protect from the contaminants. After all, there is also a distinguishing pay off which accounts for several advantages:

  1. You are in full control of the expenses and don’t depend on the utility rates policy;
  2. You are naturally given a carte-blanche for facilitating a household engineering system: how to design and fulfill it, which materials and automatics to use.
  3. Maintaining the off-grid home makes you consume the resources much more frugally and purposefully.
  4. It gives you a distinct possibility to carry on an environmental-friendly life.

Frankly speaking, moving out from the warm and cozy apartment in downtown Jacksonville or Orlando straight to the cabin in the backwoods would be a tough one for the everyman. The set of conveniences for the die-hard doesn’t imply microwaves, air-conditioning, or cappuccino machines. For that reason, we advise you to make it easy on yourself: try to get used to similar conditions in an off-grid hostel and see how well it will go for you.

How much does it cost to live off the grid?

How much does it cost to live off grid

To understand better the winnings of living off-grid, let’s scope the expense costs you may face. Doubtlessly, people decide to go off the grid to set themselves free from utility bills payments. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), an average monthly electricity bill is about $126.44 which is 13% above the national average.

However, the burden of the utility bill laid on your paycheck still may be shrunk down in one way or another, whereas resettling to an off-grid location has complications. Finding a proper land for sale to live off-grid is fundamental to ensure that you’ll have no problems with the development of an autonomous home. Yet, it’s just a starting point for a rather durable process, so the eventual budget should include the installation of solar batteries, well drilling, and sewer development.

Parcel of land

What’s the price of land to live off the grid?

The cost of real estate takes the lion’s share of the budget for building a sustainable home. However, there are several states considered rather off-gridder-friendly and acreage costs are significantly lower than average. For instance, Alabama, Missouri, Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi, and Hawaii are acknowledged as the best states to live off-grid. Florida, for instance, has some of the highest costs per acre – about $5,950. But that is explainable due to the remarkably favorable weather conditions and fertile soil. One of the lowest rates are available in southern states: you can purchase land parcels for about $600-$800 per acre in Arizona, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

The area of about ¼ acre would be sufficient for the small family to have enough cropland to provide them with self-grown provisions. That said some other demands for living sufficiency must be considered as well:

  1. Lumber for wood heat – regarding your home is energy efficient, the area of 5-10 acres of timberwood would be just enough.
  2. Grazing livestock – for herding sizeable livestock on natural pasture there should be at least 4 acres per month for a single cow.
  3. Solar energy panels – approximately 400 sq ft of photovoltaic panels are required to supply an average housing of one small family with 11, 000 kWh per year.
  4. Living space – taking note of statistics, the median house in the U.S. provides at least 950-1000 sq ft per person. Keep in mind that you have to add up to this residential area driveway and parking lot, kids playground, e.g.

Overall, the moderate cost of an off-grid land purchase would be $3,160 per acre and with the entire size of the property of 5 to 10 acres, you’re likely to spend $23,700 on it.

Individual solar system

How many solar panels are needed to live off grid?

To launch an effective and life-sufficient solar RV system would demand about $45,000 to $65,000. This is a total value including the pre-rebates, tax credits for green energy, and state incentives. This total cost for grid replacement may greatly vary regarding the number of tenants living with you and how high or low your electricity consumption may be in fact.

The best way to find out how many solar panels you need to live off-grid is to check out the latest energy bills and calculate a median value. On average, the American household consumes 893 kWh per month according to the EIA’s latest research. Proceeding from this amount the daily consumption is about 30 kWh. To fulfill such a need for electricity the off-gridder must have at least 6 sq m of solar panels at his disposal on occasion when power production in his region is around 5 kWh/sq m. Please remember that the amount of sunlight isn’t consistent day-to-day. Therefore, providing yourself with additional power cells and a generator could be a rather smart move.

Private borewell

Cost of well drilling for off-grid home needs

In the cheapest way possible, drilling the private well costs $25 per foot. The average cost of the entire scope of work including drilling, casing, installing a pump, and wiring pipelines may cost from $3,750 to $15,300. Alabama, Arkansas, and Idaho top the charts among the areas with the lowest pricing for well drilling.

Septic system installation

Along with the septic tank itself, your off-grid sewer systems should be accomplished with the drain field and pumping. Altogether this would cost you between 10,000 and $25,000. The sewage disposal can be dealt with alternatively by installing composting toilets with greywater systems. Although, they are a bit demanding in maintenance.

How to start an off grid homestead - sewer options

Summing up the essential expense items for sustainable home development it would be fair to say that they are far from enormously big. To be honest, on many occasions, there is no substantial difference between setting up living off the grid from scratch and buying a new home with municipal utilities. Yet, you should be cautious and deeply aware of what would it take from you to shift from the concrete jungle to an eco-friendly home.

FAQs considering living off the grid

Are there legal restrictions for living off-grid in the U.S.?

Virtually, living off-grid isn’t prohibited by law as long as it meets the building codes and you pay off property taxes. We advise you to consult with a legal advisor to get acquainted with the zoning regulations so you won’t slip up on some inappropriate act that isn’t allowed for the particular area.

What are obligatory taxes when you live off the grid?

Off-gridders, much like every citizen, are obligated to pay property taxes according to the local policies. Those who graze livestock, harvest crops, or produce crafts for sale should also pay off the sales taxes.

What about the home insurance? Is it obligatory too?

Yes, and it largely costs the same as for regular homes, although there the number of offers might be not as big as if applying for it in densely-populated areas. At the same time, off-gridders have an advantage because plenty of companies provide a discount for going “green”.

Ready to go off the grid?

If you are, then Best Miami Movers are already set to ensure your convenient and affordable relocation to unscathed lands where you can start all over without the stressors of a big city. We provide thorough and expeditious planning in order to schedule moving operations that would be easy to go through. Every type of movers’ assistance including loading/unloading, pre-transport packing, and arranging of bulky items after group-out will be quickly handled and supervised by our relocation managers. Apply for a moving quote estimate now and see your dream of sustainable living come true!