Amy Suarez | |

________________So you’ve decided to buy some land and build an off-grid home. Good luck.

If you are in the United States, chances are strong you will succeed. In the UK and Canada you will be beset by bureaucracy and even if you triumph over the system, there are plenty other traps for the unwary. Here is a checklist of simple ways to stay on top and out of trouble.

Time is money
Unless you are going for a second home, building your off-grid place is no quick route to home ownership and it takes an average of about two years from finding a plot to moving in, so make sure you factor in the cost of renting or paying the mortgage on your existing home over this period. Half of this time is likely to be spent securing the relevant permissions and finding contractors.

Beware of false economies

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8 Responses to “Nine tips for land purchase and self-building”

  1. Lynda Jones

    Hi there,

    I’m looking to fund a sustainable eco-housing community somewhere around Mount Dora maybe (my daughter is there) where the land is affordable and there is potable water. My total outlay would be around $45,000 for land and building- a small inheritance. I’m 52, and female

  2. Mary Cheyne

    Klamath County Oregon is very progressive in helping others achieve a sustainable lifestyle. Even the college and many businesses here are heated entirely by geothermal. To see exactly what our area has to offer, check out the video clip on the “Green” Welcome Wagon and the video clip on the Klamath Sustainable Communities link. Plug into the Klamath Solar Association and build relationships with other like-minded folks. Life is good here!

  3. steve

    yes a mentor would be nice any taker in washington state ?

  4. starla

    Canada has the same beauracracy Mary Patricia. High police state, and control. all those things listed, happen in my community too. :S

  5. Mary Patricia

    P.S. I wholeheartedly concur with “Live Free Or Die” as one cannot so much as sneeze on one’s property without needing permits up the wazoo here in Cape May, NJ, Permits to plant trees, permission on the color you wish to paint your home, fines for not having the designated trash can color {I am not kidding!}, people screaming from their windows if you walk your dog AT THEIR CURB & subsequent fine if it poops and you are caught without a poop bag etc. etc. I have found creative ways around this policing but I am sick of paying tax money into this insane, corrupt NJ system and am praying/looking/struggling to move ON PRINCIPLE ALONE!! Why I am researching Canada

  6. Mary Patricia

    There are several off-grid properties in CA listed on AND on Page three of Cottages For Sale on there is a Leeds Celebration house in St. John’s. Listing # FS-12183 Nova Scotia, New Brunswick etc. These may not be dyed-in-the-wool survival properties (YET) but CA seems to be trying and what I have been researching is not merely a greenwashing of property sales. Granted, there is much of that as well.

  7. John

    Funny you should say that… Any tips for someone looking to do just that?

  8. Outlaw builder

    Or, you can find a remote area that has a like minded community and build outside the system. I feel it is our God given right to provide shelter for our families with out government intervention, providing it is a safe structure. Man has been building shelter for thousands of years with what ever he could find, seems to have worked out ok. Why now do we need someone telling us where, how, and why ? First time builders should seek out a mentor before going out on thier own.
    Live Free or Die.