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The US workforce shrank by 652,000 in June 2010, one of the worst contractions ever. The number of foreclosures is still spiralling – especially in California, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. People who have worked hard all their lives, have saved money, have avoided debt, are unable to find work even scrubbing toilets. So what do you do if your home is foreclosed, or if you cannot pay your rent? Here is some useful advice. But instead of fighting to remain a mortgage-slave, some people are choosing the option of living off the grid. It might be on some public land, or your own land, or in a car, or an RV.


Melinda Secor was a care worker in upstate New York. (You can see her on YouTube here) Her low pay meant she was always struggling to make the mortgage payments, and her three kids were growing up in an increasingly drug-and-gun ridden neighborhood. She found it hard to know which was worse – the struggle to avoid having her home foreclosed, or the struggle to bring her kids up with decent values.

Last year she decided she had tried too hard for too long. So she bought some land near Big Bend Texas, posted the keys into the mailbox and drove down to Texas in a trailer with the kids. She had pooled funds with her brother and sister to buy the land.

I met her researching my book Off the Grid, published July 27th – order a copy here

Now Melinda and her family are happy. “We used to be quiet and withdrawn” she told me. But the open space, the sense of freedom, and the fact they have power again to control their own destinies has made them happier and ready again to face the world.

Buy our book - OFF THE GRID - a tour of American off-grid places and people written by Nick Rosen, editor of the off-grid.net web site

7 Responses to “Foreclosed home? Here is a solution”

  1. Wretha

    Patrick, I suspect she gets her food and water from town, up north, you just have to plan ahead and get what you need. It’s not unheard of for people who live in the Big Bend area to head north to stock up as often as once a week, many shop 2X a month, some shop once a month, people out there also help each other, if someone is going to town, they ask around to see if anyone needs anything or wants to go. I’m not that far south, but I still live quite a way from “town”, it takes a full day to go into town and shop, so it’s not something that gets done very often, but if you ask around, there is generally someone going into town, if not the same day, within a few days.

    Just because we live off grid, out in the middle of nowhere, doesn’t mean we don’t go into town to buy food and other necessities. :)

    To everyone who seems to be mumbling about Nick promoting his book, do you get upset when you are in a store and the store gives you a free sample to promote one of their products? It’s no different. YES he is promoting his book, that’s what book authors do, I don’t know why anyone is surprised by that, don’t think he is getting rich here, it cost a lot of money for all of the trips from the UK to the USA (there were multiple trips), plus car rentals, airplane trips within the USA, travel expenses and all that goes with it, I suspect it will be quite a while before he even breaks even here. That doesn’t even take into account the fact of all the time it takes to write, rewrite, edit, re-edit and all the other things that go into publishing a book. Nick charges nothing for all the information he makes available here, be happy that this is here and that Nick is so accessible to all of us here.

    Buy the book, or don’t, but please don’t grumble about Nick promoting his book, this is his baby and he has a right to be proud of it. :)

    Reply
  2. Ryan

    None of her children looked happy in that video. Actually, she was the only one who was smiling.

    Reply
  3. Nick Rosen

    Its only comments like this which make me aware anybody is even reading these stories, still less cares what’s in them, so thanks for your input, and more informative excerpts will soon be forthcoming

    Reply
  4. Drew

    Patrick makes a point here. I’d be more inclined to purchase a book if the article were to reveal more of the story.

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  5. Jason Palmer

    Best to buy the book, websites give you bits of information but something substantial, like a book, gives you a real wealth of information.

    Reply
  6. Nick Rosen

    Patrick – firstly thanks for your interest and your comment. Second – please feel free, everyone, to add information, make suggestions, ask questions. Finally, as the author of the forthcoming book OFF THE GRID, I will be making longer sections available after publication in a few weeks, as well as much longer clips from the interviews I did.
    Stay tuned.

    Nick

    Reply
  7. Patrick

    Once again, NO information here! … For instance, where is she getting FOOD and WATER on this desert plot?? Not a trivial question to ask.

    Reply

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