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Living Off-the-Grid

Discover an Off-the-Grid Lifestyle

A home buying boom continues throughout the United States, driving up prices from the south

to the southwest.

Major markets like the greater Los Angeles area continue to remain high. Homes in the San Fernando Valley typically run in the $ 800,000 range while the typical middle-class home in Pasadena is easily in the $ 1 million-plus range.

Of course, many Californians have been moving into Texas. That state’s association of realtors reported that, “Texas home sales reached a new high of 114,772 homes sold in the second quarter of 2021, an increase of 24.7% from the second quarter a year ago.”

A client of Sandy Cantu’s isn’t worried about home prices or the demand for housing. She has land outside of Tucson, Arizona and is bringing a pioneering spirit to her homesteading efforts. For the sake of this post, we’ll refer to her as KB.

Buying land and setting up off-grid

What’s it like to blaze your own path, especially in the arid land in the valley just east of Kitt Peak?

It’s quite doable, actually.

KB is retired in her early 70s and moved from her home in the southeast to be close to her brother. She bought land and while deciding on the right type of home to build, she’s created a modular type of home with several components.

A recreational vehicle is her main living space for cooking, sleeping and storing her kitchen supplies and food.

What about the rest?

A 10 x 20 Dutch roof shed will be set up for porch and comfortable living space, or as she calls, it a casita of sorts.


No problem.

A water tank is set up behind the RV, while a solar-powered generator provides the juice.

A shade structure is set up that would be the envy of a U.S. army base in the desert. It’s not flimsy, either. Cinder blocks a few rows high form the base with thin poles to support the fabric used for the shade over top.

There are artistic hangings on the sides to let in light but provide comfort. Indoor-outdoor carpeting is on the floor along with a comfortable chair.

It’s taken planning and some ingenuity, but KB is making her off-the-grid lifestyle work just fine.

An off-grid set up

Buying land to either live off the ground or have an affordable home is a realistic option for homeowners of any age or stage of life.

It requires an independent and adventurous spirit, along with planning critical details.

But just what is living off the grid and how many people are choosing that lifestyle?

The term means you’re not tied into a municipal water system and can live independently with your own system. A simple way to think of it is a home and lifestyle that's independent of public utilities.

Having well water versus a water truck would be more independent.

· sewer - instead of a sewer you have either a septic tank or field bed, outhouse, propane or composting off grid toilet

· natural gas - no natural gas to heat your house, run your stove or dryer - but no natural gas bills either

In 2017, the former Home Power magazine estimated 180,000 people living off the grid.

Best off-the-grid states

Don’t think that living an off-grid lifestyle means you have to be isolated.

A 2020 article in Business Insider ranked California with its 39 million people as the #1 state for off-the-grid living. It noted that homeowners in the cities could be independent of public utilities.

The next 9 states were:








New Mexico

New York

Costs of living off-the-grid

The variables include your definition of what living off-grid means and what you’ll really need.

Some estimates like this one in the Augusta Free Press are as high as $ 300,000 for everything from land and house to solar panels, drilling for water, and food.

The Free Press has its own listing of states for off-the-grid living that include New Jersey, Florida, Arizona, Hawaii, and North Carolina.

If you plan on raising many of your own vegetables, fruits and chickens then you’ll need an average lot of 1-5 acres with costs ranging from $20,000-$30,000.

Other estimates say the costs average out to be from only $ 35 dollars a month and up to $ 2,000 dollars monthly depending on your housing, solar system, heating, well, transportation and costs of keeping up livestock.

Your set-up costs will run around $ 101,000 in the middle range and could go much higher.

Consult with Sandy

If you’re interested in learning more about buying land and living independent of public utilities then download the free guide from Cantu Land Plus: Your Guide to Buying Land, the Heart and Soul of America.

Sandra has an excellent reputation and works with buyers and sellers who want to dispose of properties.

Contact her to schedule a consultation.


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