The 2020 Guide To Buying Land For An Off-Grid Home

In this article, we'll cover buying land for an off-grid home.  Homesteading or living off-grid has become highly popular in America. Accenture, a well-known consulting company, has estimated that 12% of American households will be living off-grid in the next 15 years.

This rise in interest in living off-grid has come about because of the great benefits that this lifestyle offers. The increasing interest in protecting the environment has also contributed to the rise in homesteading.

In this article, we will discuss things that you must consider before purchasing land for your off-grid home. Let’s get into it.

How to Find the Best Deals on Land

There are several approaches that you can take when looking for the best deals for off-grid worthy land. Off the bat, there are many online listing platforms that you can search through.

These platforms typically allow you to search for listings based on your needs and budget.

Here are some of the platforms that you can use:

LoopNet
Land and Farm
LandWatch
Craigslist
LandLeader
CREXi
Lands of America

These platforms are great for finding listed properties that you can shortlist. While scanning these platforms can be beneficial, there are other things that you can do to secure great deals. These include:

  • Try to be the first to make an offer on a new listing.
  • Scan available foreclosed properties that are listed on the market.
  • Try to approach buyers directly and find out if they are thinking about selling.

Bear in mind that you may have to sift through a large number of listings before you find an incredible deal.

Making Your Offer

Buying Land For An Off-Grid HomeNow that you have found a great land that is appropriate for homesteading, it is now time to decide how you will finance the property and make an offer to the seller.

Before you make an offer, it is important that you do due diligence before making an offer to the seller. You need to get a recent survey of the land, do a title search, and check the zoning laws that govern the property. After considering these things, you will have a clear idea of the risk involved.

At the end of this thorough assessment, you will know just how good of a deal the land is. This knowledge will help you to understand the ideal amount that you would like to spend as well as the most that you are willing to offer for the property.

Financing Options For Land Purchases

There are a number of financing options available to you when you are seeking to purchase land to go off-grid. Here are a few:

  • You could approach a community bank or a credit union.
  • Try to negotiate an owner-financed loan.
  • If you are eligible, you could secure a government loan.
  • Home equity is another option. This is applicable to those who already own a home and have equity. You could secure another mortgage, use a home equity line of credit, or get a home equity loan.

What to Watch and Watch Out For

Searching for land to fulfill your homesteading dreams can be a joy, but it can also be tricky. Here are some things to look out for when land shopping:

  • Ensure that the lot is buildable.
  • Consider the location carefully. A bad selection can make for a miserable homesteading experience.
  • Ensure that the lot you are thinking of purchasing is free of environmental hazards.
  • You also need to find out who will have access to the property that you will be purchasing.
  • Another critical factor is whether the property is situated in a high-growth area.

These among other critical factors must be considered when you are land hunting. Never rush into a purchase. Always consult and do your research.

Off-Grid Factors When Shopping For Land 

The most critical factors in shopping for land to use for building your off-grid home are land usage, your family’s needs, and the location that you will be choosing. You need to think of the following while shopping for land:

  • How close the property is to a town with the different stores and services you will need
  • How far away are hospitals and other medical services
  • Driveway access to the property
  • How far the property is away from your place of work or schools (if you decide to work or attend/send your children to school)
  • The availability and cost of the requisite off-grid utilities
  • How easy it is to get building materials to the property

Laws to Know Before Buying Land For Off-Grid Use

Building an Off-Grid Home On Your Own LandThere are usually a lot of questions about the legality of off-grid living. It is possible to live legally off-grid in America. While this is so, there is still a wide range of local, county, and state laws that you will have to navigate through to enjoy off-grid bliss. Here are some of the laws that you will need to understand before going off-grid:

  • Local zoning codes
  • States or county level water and sanitation requirements
  • Community nuisance laws
  • State and federal environmental regulations
  • Local building codes
  • Municipal codes if any
  • Property covenants if any

Also, if you intend to install solar panels by yourself, you will need to be acquainted with the applicable sections of the international building code, international fire code as well as the national electric code. You will also need to know these codes when trying to determine the proper heating device for your property.

To successfully live off-grid without the fear of getting into difficulties with the law, you simply need to know and abide by the laws that regulate what you are trying to do.

Additional Costs Including Taxes and Fees

There are quite a few costs involved in going off-grid. First, you will need to purchase the land. You may then need to purchase solar panels, wind turbines, batteries, inverters, lumber, tools, and other things that are necessary for successful homesteading.

However, your biggest expense in going off-grid will most likely be property taxes. Property tax is based on:

  • The value of your land
  • Tax rates of your state or your county
  • The services that are provided by your county

One of the most effective methods to estimate the taxes and fees that you will need to pay for your land is to look up the tax records available on your county’s website.

Final Thoughts

Be sure to consider all that we have discussed in this article. We are hopeful that what you have learned in this short blog post will help you to fulfill your dream of homesteading. Ensure that you are patient in your hunt for a great land contract. It is also important that you remember to learn and budget for all the costs involved in the process.

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Building and Living Off The Grid
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