Off The Grid Land – 6 Things To Look For

When you start looking for off the grid land, whether it is for your main residence or just a cabin for use as a weekend getaway, there are 6 things you will want to look for. These 6 things can make the difference between being happy with your choice of land or wishing you had looked a little longer and found a more suitable piece of property.

This is what to look for and why;

1. Access; in many rural areas you will find parcels of land that are priced much lower than the surrounding properties. This may be very enticing to the uninformed buyer. Lack of access is usually the reason for this. While a low price on a piece of land can be tempting, the land isn’t worth much if you cannot get to it. Many smaller parcels of land are surrounded by larger landowners that do not want you to cross their property to get to yours. Terrain can be another reason for lack of access. It is very difficult to build a road across a swampy area or up a rock bluff. A foot trail may seem quaint until you need to bring in supplies or have a well drilled. Then it becomes a different matter.

2. Water Supply; everybody needs water. There is no way around it. It is one thing to haul in water for a weekend but to do it as a way of life gets old quick. Whether it is from a well, a spring, or a creek, you will need a dependable supply of water. You can filter water from a spring or creek and use it but a well is my idea of the safest water supply. Just make sure you have a way to draw water from it with a well bucket and rope if you need to.

3. Wood Supply; every rural homestead needs an ample supply of usable wood (trees). It is useful for everything from heating your home or cabin in the winter to making fence posts. Pole barns and sheds to protect your equipment, shelter for any animals you may have, or to keep your supply of firewood dry are some of the things you can do with trees and saplings.

4. Suitable Garden Spot; you may not be planning on growing a big garden but, sooner or later, you are going to want a place to grow things. You do not want a spot on the north slope of a mountain as it will have a shorter growing season than a south slope. This is due to the angle of the sun. A north slope will stay cold longer in the spring and freeze earlier in the fall. A south slope will receive more direct sunshine and will warm earlier and freeze later in the year. This is also something to consider when it comes time to decide where to place your home or cabin (south slope- warmer in winter, hotter in summer, north slope- cooler in summer, colder in winter). You also do not want to place your garden in a low lying marshy area.

5. Homeowner or Landowner Associations or Covenants; you will want to avoid these like a case of cancer. In some cases, they allow your neighbors to dictate what you use your property for, or what you can build on it, and in some cases, even tell you what color to paint your house. If you do have to deal with these things, make sure you can live with the rules before you agree to them. Remember also, that rules can be changed after you become a party to the agreement, usually by a majority vote and you may be required to conform to rules you did not agree too.

6. Neighbors; good neighbors can make an area a joy to live in, bad neighbors can make it miserable. Take the time to find out who your neighbors will be. It is time well invested. Visit them, if possible, and let them know you are considering buying property and talk with them a bit. You will be surprised how much they will tell you about a piece of property that your real estate agent does not know. Some of the things you discover by visiting with the neighbors may affect your decision to buy or not to buy.

These are only some of the things you will want to consider when you are looking for a piece of off the grid land. An understanding real estate agent can be a valuable asset in your search for the right place. He will have earned his commission when he finds you just the right place for your needs, and takes care of the legal paperwork. You can find the perfect place on your own; it just takes a lot of research. When you are looking, keep these 6 points in mind. The perfect place is out there just waiting for you to find it.

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