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Old 12-04-2015, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,693 posts, read 49,482,998 times
Reputation: 19136

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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyme4878 View Post
Most of you are mixing up the terms "off-grid" and "homesteading." Off grid simply means you are not tied into the electric system, creating and storing all your electricity on site via solar panels/wind turbines/hydroelectricity and some very expensive batteries. Many people are able to produce most of their own electricity, but are still tied in so they don't have to purchase the expensive batteries.

Homesteading is a very general term, but basically meaning a person is trying to be as self sufficient as possible. There is a huge variety of people who consider themselves homesteaders: urban, suburban, rural, wilderland, tied in, off grid, hippies, tea baggers, retired folk, 20 somethings.... you get the picture. Some only garden and raise chickens. Some do the whole shebang.

And then there are preppers, which is a whole added layer.
I look at our solar-power system as being in three sections. The panels and their support framework, the E-panels and it's wiring, and the battery-bank.

My battery-bank was less expensive then either of the other two sections.



In our town we are the fourth home to go off-grid. Each off-grid home has done it in a completely different manner. None of these system resemble one another.

One home went to solar-power in the 1980s and he is still using his original photo-voltaic panels. His E-panel is an old Chevy voltage regulator that costs $30. His battery-bank is completely made-up of car batteries.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:43 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,693 posts, read 49,482,998 times
Reputation: 19136
Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyRider View Post
If living off the gird just means producing your own electricity, it doesn’t make a dent in our budget. $200 a month is what I am spending now. Our phone bill alone is higher. What about gas for the car, propane or natural gas, clean water, internet, TV, etc? In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think just cutting off from the electric grid is that liberating.
Your Cost-Of-Living is significantly higher than mine.

Our monthly electric bill was in the $50 to $80 range. Our cellphone bill is around $24, I know it just dropped a bit. My wife drives a prius and gets 50+ mpg. We go through maybe one tank of propane a month at $15. We do have clean water, but that is not a budgetary expense for us. Our internet is through our land-line dsl for $19/month. TV in this region is OTA with one local station, on a separate tower with radio shack's best antenna and signal amps, we can rarely get that channel clear, most of the time the signal fades in and out. We have not turned the TV on for a few years.

Grid outages here include a lot of power spikes. The week outage we had last Christmas blew-out a dozen CFL bulbs, it fried our home stereo, a couple power strips and our router.

I never did the math, but I suspect that on an annual basis, we paid more to replace appliances damaged by dirty power then we paid for the grid power.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,693 posts, read 49,482,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Cleric View Post
Don't forget about the rest of what 6.7traveler said:

"On our latest property we live on in Alaska, we bought 10 acres, 20 miles outside of town for $10k,"


That's the liberating part. No big mortgage, no big rent payment.
Low COL, cheap land, low taxes, I enjoy living in among dense forest with a river at my back yard.

None of our neighbors can see our home, and we can not see any of their homes.

It is quiet here, while gardening in the summer I am often startled by eagles that fly and shriek over head.

Our night skies are dark and millions of stars are visible at night.
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Old 12-04-2015, 07:54 AM
 
Location: Jamestown, NY
7,841 posts, read 7,338,037 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Cleric View Post
Don't forget about the rest of what 6.7traveler said:

"On our latest property we live on in Alaska, we bought 10 acres, 20 miles outside of town for $10k,"


That's the liberating part. No big mortgage, no big rent payment.
IMO, paying $1000/acre for acreage 20 miles from any town with no electric service at the road isn't a bargain.
  • A 100 acre parcel just a half mile away from my camp, less than 5 miles from a town of 2500, fronting a paved county road with both electric and natural gas at the road, just sold for about $1300/acre.
  • I can purchase a 10 acre parcel within 5 miles of the city where I currently live, with electricity at the road, for under $20k.
  • For $2-3k/acre, you can get a 5-10 acre parcel with electricity, natural gas, and water at the road that's only a couple of miles from the local mall.
You don't necessarily have to live in remote areas to find "cheap" land in the US. You just have to be willing to live in predominantly rural areas where jobs are relatively scarce and don't pay all that well.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:18 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,693 posts, read 49,482,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
IMO, paying $1000/acre for acreage 20 miles from any town with no electric service at the road isn't a bargain.
I agree.
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Old 12-04-2015, 08:39 AM
 
Location: Land of the Great Bears
3,498 posts, read 1,924,879 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda_d View Post
IMO, paying $1000/acre for acreage 20 miles from any town with no electric service at the road isn't a bargain. .
it's all relative to property values in the area you're looking to live in. The appealing prices you've shared from NY are not to be found in Alaska or Hawaii.

Also, I get the impression that the properties Submariner and 6.7traveler own are more rural and private than the ones you've identified. Some people look to avoid paved road access to their properties.

With acreages on a road with power poles in rural Hawaii, owners are faced with the dilemma of either building close to the road for a relatively cheap hook up fee or paying thousands more to bring multiple poles further into the property, if they desire to escape the road. Sometimes they decide to avoid the high pole costs and monthly fees altogether by going solar.

We have friends on the Hamakua coast who have done this, with a combination of hydro and solar power. They're wealthy, probably millionaires, and are certainly not lacking any modern conveniences in their home.
They strive to be more self sufficient, and want to avoid the dirty diesel grid power.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:08 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,693 posts, read 49,482,998 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blind Cleric View Post
... it's all relative to property values in the area you're looking to live in. The appealing prices you've shared from NY are not to be found in Alaska or Hawaii.

Also, I get the impression that the properties Submariner and 6.7traveler own are more rural and private than the ones you've identified. Some people look to avoid paved road access to their properties.
I have paved public road access to my property.



Quote:
... With acreages on a road with power poles in rural Hawaii, owners are faced with the dilemma of either building close to the road for a relatively cheap hook up fee or paying thousands more to bring multiple poles further into the property, if they desire to escape the road. Sometimes they decide to avoid the high pole costs and monthly fees altogether by going solar.
Same thing here.



Quote:
... probably millionaires, and are certainly not lacking any modern conveniences in their home. They strive to be more self sufficient, and want to avoid the dirty diesel grid power.
It is common here for solar-power off-grid to be cheaper than getting power poles and wire strung out to your home, even if you live on public paved road. The ROI is one month.

Regardless of relative wealth, modern conveniences are available to every one.

I may not have good TV reception, but nearly all TV shows are available online.
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Old 12-04-2015, 10:20 AM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
14,409 posts, read 9,091,615 times
Reputation: 9677
Quote:
Originally Posted by 6.7traveler View Post
. My wife and I are 28 and 29.

.


It's all great until you get older & can't shop wood the way you could when you were younger. I am 48 & my wife is 41. When you hit your 70's I doubt that your going to be doing that kind of work, which thing at that point are going to be much harder. This is my only worry about going all the way off the grid. Unless one does a off-grid community & your going to have some help then I can see that.
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Old 12-04-2015, 11:40 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
30,693 posts, read 49,482,998 times
Reputation: 19136
Quote:
Originally Posted by reed067 View Post
It's all great until you get older & can't shop wood the way you could when you were younger. I am 48 & my wife is 41. When you hit your 70's I doubt that your going to be doing that kind of work, which thing at that point are going to be much harder. This is my only worry about going all the way off the grid. Unless one does a off-grid community & your going to have some help then I can see that.
So get into a net-zero house.

I may live in forest, but I see no need to chop firewood.
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Old 12-04-2015, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Rutherfordton,NC
14,409 posts, read 9,091,615 times
Reputation: 9677
Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
So get into a net-zero house.

I may live in forest, but I see no need to chop firewood.
Yeah, but at what cost? I can you can do Pellet wood stoves instead of regular wood stoves.
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