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How realistic am I being?

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by HerbalGirl, Jun 27, 2012.

  1. HerbalGirl

    HerbalGirl Monkey

    My fiancee and I would like to move off the grid within 6 months. We have $15,000 for start ups and about $1,000 every month. This is what we want...

    1. Land in Oregon or Montana. Somewhere cold so AC isn't an issue. Could live with 1 or 2 acres but the more the better. Open to other states.

    2. Small cabin. Found some cute pre-built that I could live in. Price $5,000 to $10,000. They do have finance options but would have to pay for around 3 years. Might have to go that route.

    3. Water well installed. We could do it ourself if it would only require 25 or so feet. But I've heard that it take 250+ ft to hit water. If thats the case we would need someone to do it for us. Would like running water to the cabin (kitchen and bathroom).

    4. Septic system. My fiancee could do this himself. Just need to buy everything for it.

    5. Solar power and wind power. Kinda lost on this one. We are not big techy people with tons of electronics but a laptop and printer for my herbal store, a small tv and a small fridge/freezer (to run 24/7).

    6. Have to buy kitchen stuff. Gas stove, fridge/freezer, things so I can have canned vegetables and some meats.

    Would like to buy extra property and find someone (or a family) that knows about OTG living that could help and guide us. They could set up on the property for free and eat the food I grow or can. I grow organic vegetables now so I would start a new garden at the homestead. Found a great website on canning meats so that would be fun (chicken mostly). Would want to have chicken for eggs and chicken for meat. No clue how to butcher an animal...My fiancee could if taught how but I would prefer not to do that.

    Im sure I forgot something.....Does this sound like a good plan? Do you think it can be done with what we have to spend?

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

  2. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
    HerbalGirl likes this.
  3. HerbalGirl

    HerbalGirl Monkey

    Thanks Colt.

    Do you know of a website that sells OTG property with wells and septic already in place?
    HerbalGirl likes this.
  5. sorry for the second post, but it won't let me edit it with the software problem.

    BAckwoods home, older copies of mother earth news (70 and 80's) and countryside & small stock journel are wonderful resources. I think there are web sites that may have a lot of the content to look at also.

  6. ColtCarbine

    ColtCarbine Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Last edited: Jan 20, 2014
  7. Witch Doctor 01

    Witch Doctor 01 Mojo Maker

    If you are going someplace that won't require A/C then you will probablly have some tough winters BT has some input on how to build non conductive wall that will hold in both heat and cool that might help... as well as info on stoves and fridges for off grid use

    TnAndy is a wiz with solar power and can provide info on those aspects...

    As to land communications and access to propane could be an issue... not everyone will provide/fill a tank that is too far away/down an unimproved road/etc... before you make an offer check around... make sure you get water/mineral rights... if not don't buy.... (I'd hate to have someone tunnelling/fraking/drilling under my property....

    And you may not be able to get a phone line installed so consider HAM or maybe cell if the towers reach

    double check the growing season and water availability along with the ground improvements you may need with the localextension office if they have one.... some land won't grow wel with out extensive rehabbing with fertilizer/compost/etc

    Good luck with your search....
  8. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    Look at the tax laws in each state you're looking into. What will it really cost for you to live there?
  9. HerbalGirl

    HerbalGirl Monkey

    Thanks everyone! I will search more and let you know how it goes.
  10. Pax Mentis

    Pax Mentis Philosopher King Site Supporter

    One question...

    Are you looking at a place to move to immediately, or do you have the option of taking a few years of staying "on the grid" and continuing to work during the building process.

    I ask because we were able to do very nicely (though quite a few years back when things, especially land, were quite a bit cheaper) with low startup costs. One thing that helped us a lot in SW Oregon was getting wooded land where the trees that had to be eliminated for house, etc, were actually an extra source of money to do some of the improvements (not to mention materials for the buildings).

    If you can get the land, get at least a shell (or even a trailer) on the land in case time runs out before you are through and you need to "bugout" of where you are, you have a sot of pulling it off. The chances of getting everything in place to move immediately with the resources you quote are not really so good.

    Just IMO...YMMV
    HerbalGirl likes this.
  11. limpingbear

    limpingbear future cancer survivor....

    Just FYI, income and property taxes in oregon are a tad on the steep side, so i would look to montana for property. I also here Wyoming is nice property wise....
    Tracy and HerbalGirl like this.
  12. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    6 months is a very ambitious time frame, methinks. If you do nothing else but construct and plan (not even earning that grand a month) odds are not good for successful completion even with land already in hand. I would recommend extending it quite a bit, should allow for a better outcome. Finding the land will take a significant fraction of the 6 months, allowing for going to see the property (do NOT buy without boots on the ground walking the borders) and investigating the local codes and laws for deal breakers.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    I have a BLOG on Alaska Wilderness Building, that might be of interest to you, and your Man....


    As far as Off Grid Comms goes there is another Blog I wrote for that....


    These were written for the Alaskan Bush, but the principals will be the same for just about any Off Grid location, other than the local Building Ordinances, that might be in place, that are not much cared about, up here in the Alaskan Bush.

    Colt Carbine is our Resident Expert on all things Water & Sewer... especially for Oregon. I would suggest that you look very carefully at the Annual Rainfall Data for any place you decide on. If it is high, then a well can come later, as you can collect the rainwater off the roof, for Domestic Potable Water. Momma and I use this method for ALL our winter water. (Sept - May)

    As far as power goes, TnAndy is the go to guys for Solar...
    I generate ALL my own power, using Diesel Gensets, and Battery/Inverter Systems. Solar isn't a big hit in Rain Forest Alaska, but Micro Hydro is the cheapest Renewable Power source if you have a Stream, and Head to work with....

    ..... YMMV..... Updated 2/26/14
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2014
    chelloveck and HerbalGirl like this.
  14. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++


    A considerable chunk of money is going to be taken by the surveyors, title search, and drilling the well....perhaps as much as 2k.

    I agree with Ghrit and would add that if possible, talk with neighbors in the area. They may be able to tell that you'll have to drill 800 ft before you get to the water, which will cost more than drilling 80 ft.

    If possible, I would suggest getting enough land to have a pond. In most places, you can get the DNR to come and help you stock it.

    You can offset some of the costs by selling some timber on the land.

    Look at topo maps of the area. Topo maps are added to, but old stuff is not taken off. You might see issues that need taking care of from that.

    I would say that you've got at least 6 months of research and leg-work to do before buying.

    Check this out: SurvivalBlog.com
    HerbalGirl likes this.
  15. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama Monkey++

    THeres a whole lot of small travel trailers for sale for next to nothing and occaionsly some can be had for nothing.
    Conceveibly you could travel and stay in KOAS on 1000$ per month till you found exactly what you want.
    I alaways wanted a abonded mine and there are many in Montana on the cheap.

    Just remember country or alternative living is not an end to anything but the city, its the begenning of a hard but rewardng live.
    HerbalGirl likes this.
  16. -06

    -06 Monkey+++

    If not determined on the west coast I have a friend in the NC mts that may have some ideas that you may like. She has a small animal farm, camper, small cabin, and making it nicely. PM if interested and will get you together.
    HerbalGirl likes this.
  17. Jeffersonian

    Jeffersonian Monkey

    Good Luck on the hunt, If you ever decide maybe a different locale I could help you on a lot of your post. I copy and paste my other post so you can get my email.
    Edited to remove duplicate info from post 25 in this thread:
    Wife and I eventually moving...living expenses question
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 20, 2014
  18. cjsloane

    cjsloane Monkey

    Fridge/freezer will be your biggest load. Make sure it's not a "frost-free" model. I've had medicore success with a sunfrost DC fridge/freezer but to be fair it's probably 18 year old (though the last 5 years the fridge part has not been cold enough for me).

    Try going to the website walkingtofreedom
    I'm settled so I haven't really checked it out but it seems like a good way to check out states, especially from a prepper perspective.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 26, 2014
    chelloveck likes this.
  19. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    6 months hum it took DW and I about 4 months to settle on which place to buy and we lived in the area. Don't rush buying land!!!!!!!!!!! Once you've got it your stuck with, needing to turn around and sell will cost lots of time and money. If you rush into a really great deal your likely going to regret it. As far as living somewhere you don't need AC we live in the Ozarks and we don't have AC, of course we are the only ones I know of that don't have AC. Humans have lived a long time without AC. The places you have listed are very pricey, your money will go further in other places but thats for you to decide. Can you do the things you want, yea you can but not all in one day. ;)
  20. cjsloane

    cjsloane Monkey

    I don't have any first hand experience with this site but I did think of this post when I ran across it:
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