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How to Pick the Best Place to Live Off the Grid

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Do you ever feel like getting away from it all? Maybe you even dream of quitting your day job and moving off-grid. You’d grow your own food and live minimally enough to focus on the important things in life. If this ignites a fire in your soul, you probably want to know about the best places to live off the grid. After all, some states are better than others when it comes to natural resources, legalities, and the weather. 

In this article, we dive into what “living off-grid” really means, the important factors you should consider when choosing where to live, and the eight best states for living off the grid. Let’s take a look. 

What Does ‘Living Off the Grid’ Mean?

Living off the grid has different definitions depending on who you ask. For most people, it means disconnecting from society in some way or another. It means not relying on your local utility company and instead creating your own renewable power. Also, it means independence and self-sufficiency. Depending on how bare-bones you want to live, there are many ways to make this happen. 

Martin Johnson and his family are building an off-grid home in Northern Idaho.

Unless you want to live a life completely independent from electricity, solar power is one of the best ways to separate yourself from the electrical grid. In addition to finding renewable energy to power your home, you’ll need a water source. This could be a well, a rain catchment system, or even a running stream on your property.

When it comes to self-sufficiency, natural resources are vital. This is why it’s so important to pick an optimal location. 

New to Off-Grid Living? Start Here: 5 Biggest Challenges to Living Off The Grid ☀️

What to Consider When Picking a Place to Live Off the Grid

Below, we discuss the key principles you should consider when choosing your location. This includes everything from the climate to any legal hurdles you might face. Let’s begin.


Weather is an important factor to consider when deciding where to live off the grid. For example, will you rely on solar for your electricity? If so, you’ll want to make sure you’ll have enough sun exposure to power your home. You might not want to pick a wooded area that tends to block the sun’s rays, for example. 

You’ll also want to think about the seasons. Will you be able to grow your own food for most of the year? Or will you experience below-freezing weather from October to April? 

off grid house covered in snow

Building Codes

Before purchasing land, you should also look into the local building codes. As a general rule of thumb, the laxer they are, the better the place is for living off the grid. You want to have the freedom to build as you like. Even if you don’t plan on building a house on the land, you’ll appreciate the flexibility. 


While building codes tell you how to build your house, zoning codes tell you what you can do with your land. This is equally important when purchasing land. For instance, will you want to cut down trees? Build a woodshed? Park your RV for extended periods? The zoning codes will tell you whether or not you can do these things. 

Water Sources

As mentioned before, it’s important to think about where your water will come from. Does the land already have a well on the property? Is it dug or drilled? And if not, will you be able to spend the money to drill one yourself? 

If a well isn’t in the cards, you’ll have to get creative. Luckily, many alternatives don’t involve hooking up to city water. Is there a natural source of water nearby? Or will you have to have to source your water by other means? These are all critical questions to ask. 

Septic Systems

Ah, septic systems. The bane of every off-grid dweller’s existence. Like it or not, even the most relaxed zoning regulations require a proper way to dispose of your wastewater. This means that even if you plan on using an alternative toilet (like a composting one), you’ll still probably need a septic system for your gray water. For more information, check with your local municipality. 

Solar panels on the roof of a house

Property Taxes/Fees

This is an obvious concern for most people looking to live an alternative lifestyle. After all, you don’t just have to worry about the property’s price. There are those pesky property taxes to think about as well when searching for the best places to live off the grid. Most real estate listings will show the price of the yearly property taxes. Be sure to factor in any taxes or fees when deciding what you can afford. 

The Best States to Live Off Grid

Now that we’ve discussed what you should keep in mind when deciding where to live, let’s discuss where you can find those things. These are the best states for off-grid living.

Northern California

If you’ve ever experienced California’s natural beauty, you know why it gets so much hype. California has everything–the ocean, mountains, desert, and lush greenery. This is why we’ve picked it as one of the best places to plant your roots. The land is abundant, the growing season is much longer than most northern states, and there’s plenty of sunshine. There’s even an off-grid community called Emerald Earth. Check it out for yourself!


Oregon is a hidden gem that’s not talked about often enough when bringing up the best places to live off the grid. The length of its growing season hovers between 150 and 200 days per year. There’s a decent amount of sunlight, especially inland, and there are many flourishing off-grid communities. Couple this with copious amounts of land, and you have a near-perfect recipe for a prosperous homestead. 

Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” lives off the grid on an amazing property in Oregon.


Colorado is hailed as one of the most beautiful states in America, and rightly so. The epic mountains, the vast scenery, and the temperate winters lend to its appeal. As it turns out, it’s a great place to live as well. There’s plenty of wind and solar availability and approximately 150 to 200 growing days per year. It even has three counties without building codes.


In addition to its toasty climate, Alabama has low property taxes, plenty of counties without building codes, and unrestricted water harvesting. Thus, if you want to truly disconnect from society, Alabama might be your perfect state for living off the grid.


Florida can get a bad rap, but it’s actually one of the best places to live off the grid. For one, you can grow your own food almost all year long. And like Alabama, you won’t have to deal with any restrictions when it comes to harvesting your own water. Florida also experiences plenty of sunshine for your solar panels. Plus, it doesn’t snow there. 

solar panels on the roof of a house


If you need any more reasons to visit Big Sky Country, this is it. Montana is largely underrated and incredibly beautiful, but that’s not all it has going for it. It has many counties without building codes, plenty of wind and solar energy, and ample amounts of land for you to call your own. 


Are you looking for plenty of acreage without having to sell a kidney? If so, Texas might be perfect for you. It’s not unheard of to find over 20 acres of land for under $50,000, especially in West Texas. You won’t have to deal with strict building codes and other regulations as much, either. 

North Carolina

Not only will you have the scenery if you decide to settle here, but you’ll also have a temperate climate and plenty of growing days. It also experiences a decent amount of sunshine and has an abundance of off-grid communities, making it a great state to live off the grid.

Is It Illegal to Live Off Grid in Any U.S. State?

Luckily, there are no places where it’s completely illegal to live off the grid. There are just certain states and municipalities that make it harder than others. For example, some communities have strict building codes and zoning regulations. Some don’t allow you to harvest your own rainwater.

Also, some places simply don’t have an abundance of natural resources. As long as you’re adhering to local ordinances, staying off private property, and paying your taxes, you’ll be just fine. 

Should You Try Living Off the Grid?

Living off the grid is a growing trend across every state. Many people see it as a way to gain independence and become self-sufficient. It can be a fantastic excuse to become more minimalist, live beneath your means, and spend more time doing the things you love. 

Of course, your experience living off the grid will be influenced by many factors, the biggest one being location.

So tell us, which state would you choose to settle in off the grid? Let us know in the comments below!

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