[before_listing id=0 images= youtube=null] Life likes to throw curve balls at you. Been dreaming of living off-grid for a few years now with my family, bought land to do so on, and now we cannot continue forward where we had intended to.

We own two plots, a total of 61 acres, in Brewster county TX. There’s grid power on one that would have made the build and transition easier, and a large wash with significant greenery on the other for raising livestock. Both are unfortunately for sale.

My wife, our two kids, and myself find ourselves stuck in UT. It’s not a bad state to be in by any means, just a lot colder than we wanted. But we’ve been blessed with a family member who’s a complete and total idiot. I figured for a long time that prison was her dream home, and now she’s reaching that goal.

Needless to say, she’s not worth staying in UT for. But seemingly unlike her mindset, her two wonderful children, our niece and nephew, are worth obeying the laws and freezing through the winters for. We can’t take guardianship of them unless we stay here, and that’s a change of plans we’ll gladly make.

So we’re looking around eastern UT, from Duchesne to Monticello, for land we can buy (once we sell the TX land), to raise all 4 kids in a small homestead on. We already live in the area, just outside of Price, UT. We already grow as much as we can on our small lot and really want to add some animals to the mix. But the house, lot size, and (most significantly) city regulations are insufficient for a truly self-sufficient homestead.

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We’re open to the idea of finding a sub-dividable plot with someone (or family) who’s like minded. We even hope that whoever does buy our land in TX is someone who’d want to live there and steward the land. Goats, chickens, rabbits, gardening, and aquaponics are all high on our priority list. 15 to 20 acres would be terrific, but 5 is certainly workable if not under a city council with a God complex.

Anyone interested in our TX land, has land in UT, or just wants to chat, can email me at william dot m dot cooper @ gmail dot com.[landbuddy_listing id=0 youtube=null]

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3 Responses to “Life changes”

  1. Chi


    Wow–you guys are pretty far out in the stix of UT as it is.
    Hope things have settled down, since you posted to Off-Grid.
    Just a few thots on your situation, though, that you might not have heard about….

    Family–can’t live with ’em, can’t live without ’em:
    Ya know, there’s no way anyone can help someone else, unless that person is ready and willing to make changes to better themselves.
    Without a sick person seriously wanting to get well on their own, all anyone else can do is pray for them, offer them bits of advice and good words, and place ourselves at a safe distance from them, as often happens. And we grieve their loss from the healthier family group.
    But NO helps are of any use or good, if we keep throwing yourself under the bus, so to speak, when that other person can’t or won’t take proactive steps to help themselves get better.
    Beating ourselves up over their behaviors, does no good, either.

    We, too, know how family can screw up one’s plans!
    [[Life’s what happens while we make our other plans]]

    Serious Off-Gridding:
    UT’s a great place for building an Earthship, or something like that, bermed well-into the ground, for greatest temperature protection!
    Or using Cargo-Tecture to build [containers can also be placed underground or bermed deeply–just have to add some supports]
    Even Pacific Domes geodesic frames, have an extra-heavy duty model for those wanting to gradually convert their tent covering to a hard-walled, underground home.
    Just make sure anything is well-above any potential flooding–even in context to 500-yr-floods.

    Possible Legal:
    IF you are in the depths of legal issues, and family issues—ANY land or other assets you get, needs protected from the vagaries of individual problems.
    Some folks FIRST form either an LLC [Limited Liability Corporation], or a Family Corporation, or a Family Trust, or even simply taking out a business license for some kind of non-profit learning venue, or, a small-time business that you will easily be able to show helps support your family in an on-going fashion, might help protect assets against losses brought by individuals.

    Once the business is formed, you all have to act like it really is a business.
    That means following the basic rules to comply with it being a business.
    It really doesn’t matter how much profit you turn–Counties or States usually have some kind of minimum $ amount on that, from zero to not much. ​
    IF the business shows at least some profits monthly or quarterly, then WELFARE also tends to approve, and backs off trying to take your assets away [which would also impoverish more people, causing greater load on the welfare system—get it?]

    THEN, get your property, and place ownership of that property into the business you’ve formed.
    That means, the property can be used by you and yours, but it doesn’t belong to you and yours–it belongs to the business—which makes it exempt from troubles caused by individuals—well, except for the IRS–they will take whatever assets they can, to repay taxes they are owed, if the person causing an IRS debt is listed as owner of the business.
    That’s why having it be a Corporation of some kind, beats simply having a simple business license….a small business owner is the owner[s]. A corporation is run by a Board of Directors–they’re not “owners”.

    While you said the Mom likely would never relinquish custody—that can change too. Have seen ti happen.
    A poor parent, faced with impossible situation, especially financial responsibility they can’t pay, etc., will sometimes give it up….never know. Just keep praying for it.

    Building Blocks:
    ​Some of the hard parts we’ve encountered, are
    —Municipalities that have “minimum s.f.” for houses laws,
    —Counties that don’t allow tiny homes or RV’s to live in even on rural land one owns;
    —Limits on what can be installed for sewage, laws against water catchment or greywater use;
    —HOA’s or other rule groups, that prevent solar or wind installations on one’s home or land, etc.

    Water Leaks:
    In many areas, Huge corporations have taken over [privatized] water sources.
    We’ve already decided that we’ll have to make a sacrificial well for the State to have on it’s permit list, then use other sources as our main water.
    Privatizing means they can meter and charge/tax use of your private well that you pay to create and maintain; worse, governing agents can sell access to water under your land for their own purposes–fracking, bottling, irrigating, etc., otherwise taking or polluting your water….all while taxing the daylites outta you.

    Noxious Neighbors:
    ​People who may have really bad problems of their own, who take perverse delight in screwing over other people. ​

    Need for Backup:
    Amazing how fast aging and decrepitude sneak up on a person!
    Suddenly, we find ourselves older and smarter…
    but older—meaning, we’re gonna be needing people to support us, in a rural area that has NO public Transit, no real supportive community [read: plenty of alcoholism, dysfunctional personalities, no resources, etc.].
    …and smarter? they say elders have wisdom younger ones could use to their advantage…but in the rural area we’re in, seems like either people say they are interested, but aren’t really, or, they’re full of themselves already, and don’t wanna hear any but their own voices.
    We’ve NO family who can be any kind of helpful, anywhere near.
    SOoooo….aging in place becomes a super challenge….even if one has kids who love them–they may not love the area you’re living in, have no intention of moving back there, and can’t deal with issues of aging parents, or have huge loads of stress they’re already carrying.

    One really must consider, how strongly they feel about being brave enough to be their own doctor, use alternatives to help themselves where they are, OR beg for help from those around, who really aren’t interested, and who appear to feel very “put-out” if they ever had to help someone other than their own family.
    And then there’s the classic “go sit on the proverbial iceberg awaiting the Polar Bear to come get ‘ya.

    It’s challenging living in rural areas.
    More so, if one was not born there.
    One of the favorite, oft-repeated complaints about newcomers I’ve heard in our area: “Oh, don’t bother trying to help that person; all they ever want is help. It never ends.”
    OTH, those same “fine upstanding citizens who were born here…” are guilty of saying that about and directly to, those who have contributed not only to them, but also to the community.
    So, when that happens, I am not entirely sure what they are really trying to say—except maybe: “go away, we don’t want newcomers here”?
    Just make sure you keep in good standing with community, wherever you find yourselves.
    IF anyone says something like that, immediately have them explain why they feel that way.

    Planning Recipe:
    Before anything, make sure the people and area are those you can get along with well.
    Before anything, look at homesteading there in context of what it will be like if you can’t drive, or the nearest groceries are 20 + miles away.
    Make sure UPS and USPS can still deliver where you can get to them and thieves can’t.
    Make sure there’s good internet!!!
    1. water sources
    2. sewage system
    3. sauna / people shelter
    4. barn /animal shelter
    5. house.
    ​Put those out-of-order, and you will pay higher prices for trying to put things right later. ​
    Keep your plans a secret amongst you: sharing what you’re doing, before it’s completed, can be a recipe for disaster—except in cases where you need help trouble-shooting plans–then ask those elsewhere!
    If a church group offers a barn raising for you—think several times, before accepting–there are any number of reasons that can go terribly wrong.

    ​Hope you all got things turned around right for yourselves!
    Did you have any luck selling your TX land?

    …Choose Love!
    Inside the Great Mystery that is, we don’t own anything.
    What is this competition we feel then,
    before we go, one at a time, through the same gate? ~Rumi
    “What you do for yourself, you’re doing for others, & what you do for others, you’re doing for yourself.” ~ Pema Chodron

    Life changes
    by STUCK-N-UTAH on MARCH 22, 2012 – 2 Comments in I WANT TO GO OFF GRID

  2. Stuck-N-Utah

    Thanks. And yes, we looked into that. Would only work, per what we were told, if their mother gave permission or relinquished custody to us. Both of which won’t happen. But being with us would be a very significant change of environment no matter which state we’re in. Only similarity between where we’re at and where they’re at right now is cold winters.

  3. Toni

    Have you considered that once you get guardianship in UT to workon getting it in TX and the moving there. It really sounds like the kids would be better off with a change of environment. Sorry don’t mean to pry was just a thought is all.