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Old 01-31-2017, 02:01 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,564 posts, read 51,767,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTE1969 View Post
By off-grid I meant it isn't connected to utilities. But that Rockford garage only had electricity installed. I was going to use it as storage and home base. Except I backed out because I realized there was a big piece of grassland to take care off [I hate landscaping].
By code probably uninhabitable. If you want to convert non-living spaces to living spaces, you will need to get appropriate building permits, make sure your modifications are up to code, and undergo all required inspections. Local and/or state laws prohibit unfinished spaces like garages, from being used as living spaces. These laws are usually enforced through fines.
Just for your own sake you need not only electricity, but also water (and septic tank) to install toilet and at least a shower, and perhaps a connection to a kitchen sink and washer...
Without simple necessities, how you want to live there?

If you want to take all proper and legal steps, you would have do most or all of this ( depending on your local laws):
Legalize an order/notice to comply for illegal garage conversions
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Old 01-31-2017, 02:12 AM
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston
33,564 posts, read 51,767,813 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTE1969 View Post
Well, there was a bargain deal 6 months ago on a big garage built on some land in Rockford, IL. I was going to buy this $32,000 deal but my brother told me they will kick you out for living in a garage. I said, who will know?

Does that mean you can't buy land in certain places and then you can't build a shack and garage to live in [off grid, too], too?
Find a cheap land and build or order a tiny house:
https://tinyhousebuild.com/the-incre...00-tiny-house/
probably cheaper than your garage "deal", and actually pretty adorable!

More ideas:
Tiny House Living on a Budget
5 Tiny Houses That Cost Less Than $12,000 to Build
Transforming Tiny Home built for under $500
Where to buy tiny houses

etc... https://goo.gl/WFMESZ
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Old 01-31-2017, 06:49 AM
 
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
8,880 posts, read 15,628,961 times
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Rockford, Illinois is a large city. I'm not sure why anyone would expect to be able to live off-grid there.

There are plenty of places where you can do what you want to do.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:25 AM
 
Location: Old Hippie Heaven
16,179 posts, read 7,095,017 times
Reputation: 9177
Off-grid to me means simply that a house is generating its own electricity and taking care of its own sewage. People in cities can and do build houses that generate their own electricity, but they are hardly shacks.

If you want a shack, what you are looking for is a county with no or minimal building codes.

They exist - but not in any county with a real city. Cities always have building codes.
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Old 01-31-2017, 08:52 AM
 
Location: 76102
3,205 posts, read 1,485,423 times
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Rural property can be expensive. Check out what a septic system and water well would cost. You may abandon the idea.

Been there, done that.
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Old 01-31-2017, 04:03 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,722 posts, read 47,483,706 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTE1969 View Post
Well, there was a bargain deal 6 months ago on a big garage built on some land in Rockford, IL. I was going to buy this $32,000 deal but my brother told me they will kick you out for living in a garage. I said, who will know?

Does that mean you can't buy land in certain places and then you can't build a shack and garage to live in [off grid, too], too?
Different places are different.

I have been seeing articles about rural homesteads being booted for being off-grid, in some places. Other places encourage homesteading.

I bought rural land and I built my own house off-grid [meaning solar-powered].

Building codes are not equally enforced.



Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
... If you want to convert non-living spaces to living spaces, you will need to get appropriate building permits, make sure your modifications are up to code, and undergo all required inspections. Local and/or state laws prohibit unfinished spaces like garages, from being used as living spaces. These laws are usually enforced through fines.
That likely applies many places, doesn't really apply in most of Maine though.



Quote:
Originally Posted by mschrief View Post
Rural property can be expensive. Check out what a septic system and water well would cost. You may abandon the idea.

Been there, done that.
I paid $350/acre. There is a parcel adjacent to us that is on the market for less. But you are correct, land can be expensive.

Our well and our septic systems were not too bad either.
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Old 01-31-2017, 09:13 PM
 
1,139 posts, read 670,973 times
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There are other ways to get water, like collecting rain water and purifying it. Sure beats purifying river or pond water, which is yuck full of algae. Also, I can buy water from groceries for 37 to 40 cents a gallon. Living in my minivan for 1 year, I wouldn't even go through 5 gals of fresh water in a month. But I bathed at Planetfitness. Drinking water and such - well I often ate fast food or grocery food.

Yeah, if I perfect my ways of earning money not dependent on an employer, I could save a lot of $$$ having rural land, a shack, and a garage. It's hard to believe America would prevent you from living off grid... Maybe the GOV ALWAYS WANTS TO HAVE EYES ON YOU!

I skipped the Rockford place because I realized that paying $155 / month on a 12' x 50' outdoor access enclosed storage lot with no hassles of maintaining landscaping is a way better deal.
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Old 02-02-2017, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Gulf Coast
1,036 posts, read 546,064 times
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Yeah, most places it's not little house on the prairie any more. Building codes, state and county zoning laws, fema (in a flood zone?) laws etc. Most places one can't live permanently in an RV either. I have a friend, though, who hasn't been caught yet. He lives in his RV on his property (illegal) and also uses space at the end of his pole barn. Lots of places even an outhouse is illegal unless it's attached to a legal septic system.

Me, I'm happy and cozy in my brick and mortar house. I feel blessed to be able to afford it.
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Old 02-03-2017, 12:39 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
20,792 posts, read 37,451,783 times
Reputation: 20799
Quote:
Originally Posted by JTE1969 View Post
There are other ways to get water, like collecting rain water ....
Note, the water that falls from the SKY onto your PRIVATE property is not YOUR water!!!

in fact many states / locales RESTRICT you from collecting rain water.

At minimum, you will have septic requirements.


MT and TX still have counties that don't require building permits (but do require septic and well permits).

I'm sure there are many other places with EZ requirement as well.

Someone can enlighten us if there is a location in USA that does NOT require septic permits. (there probably are some places that don't)

I often build pole barns and add apartment and RV hookups.

It is very fast (2 months) and leaves the prime building site for the next guy to build his dream house.

The cheapest / fastest way is to find a site with a legally placed, but trashed mobile home... and replace it with a used MH. (~$3000). Access, septic, water, driveway, power... all free / included with purchase.
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Old 02-03-2017, 05:23 AM
 
1,139 posts, read 670,973 times
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Man, the incredible BS America is now! Not even rainwater to purify? What if you bought land in near desert areas, like NV or TX? F them, - whose goes to check PRIVATE PROPERTY ANYWAY? Why, does the GOV do checks on what your doing on Private Property?

Septic? I'll use my S--T for land fertilizer. Animals naturally fertilize everywhere in the wild, anyway.

Nowadays you can buy 120W solar panels for $139 each on ebay. Last year I got 100W panels for $150. So it'll be very easy now to have a 2400W panel array. And I'd look for a 48V invertor.

And you know what? It's disgusting to think of drinking pond water. But there are movie scenes and pics of women coming out or lying in a pond. And soldier bathed in ponds... Whatta sacrifice.

America today is OVER REGULATED. AND TRUMP IS GETTING RID OF SOME STUPID REGULATIONS TOO!
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