As the idea of living off the grid goes steadily mainstream, increasing numbers of properties are being offered on the market. Here are two, at very opposite ends of the spectrum….. and the world.
In Argents Hill, Coffs Harbor, Australia, a dwelling for 230,000 ozzie dollars. In Woodstock, NY, a 2.3 million dollar property.
If you want your own private bushland oasis of 100 timbered acres, there is a council-approved two-bed home plus 7m x 5m Colorbond shed. The basics are all in place. A small solar system, generator, water tanks with pump, two seasonal creeks and a hidden dam. An extensive list of fruit trees are already planted.
In Woodstock, an iconic village north of Manhattan, an off-grid retreat for the 15.
“When I first bought this property,” Miller said, “everyone told me you couldn’t build here. But it was exactly where I wanted to live.” Woodstock is one of those iconic places, both beautiful and convenient, and it s great to see an off-grid home there – a showcase that might encourage many others to do the same.
He started with a small cabin at the edge of a field, which now serves as a guest house, then began construction of his dream house. His plan was to create a huge open space where he could host Sufi dancers, martial arts classes and yoga retreats. He built off grid and green as much from necessity as preference.
A half mile long private drive through state and city land that will never be developed leads to a wooden barn-style home nestling within an180 acre estate. The open meadow around it gives plenty of light for both passive and active solar power.
“Solar power was really the only sensible way to go,” Miller explained. “Running power lines up here would have been a fortune and I didn’t want to be connected to the grid anyway. And with a place this big, making the building tight just made sense.”
The builder took the concept of a tight building to an extreme. He double built everything – the roof, the walls, the floors. Fifty five windows in the house take advantage of every ray of sunlight and the cupola is designed to open to allow heat to escape in the summer.
“If this place gets up to seventy, I can turn off the heat at night and it will still be comfortable in the morning.”
Soaring thirty foot ceilings and an open concept living space make the home feel even bigger than it is – and two guest rooms were constructed with walls that can be moved wherever wanted. The master bedroom is a large open loft with built-in furniture to maximize open space.
The lower level is a massive garage workspace with high ceilings and Miller doesn’t sacrifice any amenities while living in a natural paradise. He has satellite phone and Internet and keeps a sander truck in his garage so he never gets stuck, no matter how high the snow.
There’s a clear mountain stream on the property and a pond, as well as a drilled well and traditional septic.
“It doesn’t much matter what happens in the rest of the world,” he admitted. “There’s everything you need to make it through anything right here.”
Why is he selling?
“I used to travel a lot – Afghanistan, India. I realize I miss it. I want to travel again. This chapter of my life is done. Building this place was my dream and I’ve loved it. But I’m ready for the next thing. I mean, really – how many people can say they’ve built their dream?”
Miller’s dream can be yours for $2.5M US. Contact Susan Barnett at Freestyle Realty in Woodstock, NY. 845-679-2929 X108 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Australian property:Address: 1781 North Arm Rd Price: $230,000
Inspect: By appointment Agent: LJ Hooker Coffs Harbour Contact: Karl Stevens 0428 648 628
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
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