Many people have romantic notions about what it means to live off of the power grid. Here are a few pros and cons for alternative living.
Living Off Of The Grid Pros
1. No building codes. Building codes are based on decision by a community’s government protect the health and safety of people from the environment. However, problems arise when the building codes interfere with the rights of individual citizens.
The government may not be as concerned about the effects of construction on the planet’s environment. If building codes aren’t an issue, a greener, more frugal, experimental housing plan
may be used. And no building codes mean you are free to use your land to raise animals and to grow a garden.
2. No dependency on the power grid. If the power goes out in a city, the citizens are at the mercy of repair crews. However, living off of the grid (as in power grid) may use alternative energy sources, such as solar and wind energy, and often can be accomplished as a DIY project. Thus reducing your dependency on the frail power grid.
You may say, “Sign me up for that!” But what are you really agreeing to?
Living Off Of The Grid Cons
1. Sewage regulations. Even in areas without building codes, you’ll probably run into sewage regulations. Allowable off grid options include septic tanks with buried leach fields and open-air lagoon pits. Composting toilets are acceptable in many regions. Personal septic systems require ongoing maintenance and inspections to keep them functioning correctly.
Going off grid can be an expensive proposition if you try to replace all the modern amenities (running water, flushable toilets, washer/dryer) and most people prefer their amenities.
2. Clean water source. A site with a reliable water supply is essential to off grid living, and prospective landowners. If you’re buying land, you’ll still need a reliable water source. Can a stipulation to include the use of potable water?
3. Property taxes. I don’t know of any vicinity that doesn’t collect property taxes, unless you rent the land from someone else. Make sure you know what the property taxes are and the permits necessary to build a home, if that is permissible.
Consider this, will you have the legal right to use any existing roads, paths or waterways to reach your land? If you do not have access to water or road ways, then consider another plot of land.
Is living off the grid for you? What could you live with or without? Could you sacrifice those
things you take for granted everyday such as running water, electricity for all your electronics,
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