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Old 09-06-2008, 03:23 AM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,880,177 times
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Hello people.

I am starting to save up a little money and soon I want to begin making my dream come true. Building my own homestead, on my own land, in a rural area.

I am going to create my homestead on a very low budget and cut every corner I can. I basically want to build the most simple, primitive type of dwelling possible. If the weather is warm enough I woudn't mind just building a shack or something like that. Maybe just live in a yurt or trailer? I plan on buying a few acres of cheap land and going from there.

My question is, what states would allow me to do this without making me follow a million building codes and land laws? Are there any states that will just let you build anything you want one your land without a hassle? Do any of you have any experience doing something like this and any words of wisdom?

One more thing I should add. I am not interested in the East coast. Any other area of the country is fine with me though. I am especially interested in the West and midwest though.

Going low budget is key. I do not have a whole lot of money to do this, and I do not want to do into debt doing this, but I am not going to let that stop me from following my dream. If I were rich, I would build a lavish dream home by a lake somewhere, but that is not the case unfortunately.

Thanks a lot.
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Old 09-06-2008, 02:16 PM
 
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Be careful just looking at the state codes. Many county and townships also have them.
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Old 09-06-2008, 03:30 PM
 
Location: Oxygen Ln. AZ
9,321 posts, read 16,756,797 times
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It is getting harder and harder to build a home nowdays. The codes are always changing and the agencies seem to intrepret them the way they choose while constantly changing their positions. CA is one of the worst as far as I am concerned.
I am most curious if you have found some reasonably priced land someplace not too far from a city.
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Old 09-06-2008, 04:35 PM
 
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,521 posts, read 26,708,702 times
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Tennessee is very lenient. Each county is different but I know Johnson County has no building codes. I also think Mcminn(?) County is very easy.

My dh and I are building our own house in TN and it is so peaceful to build what you want and live the way you want.

I know you said you don't like the east coast but you might like western TN. Personally, I like the mountains the best.

Lisa
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Old 09-06-2008, 05:26 PM
 
Location: The Woods
17,089 posts, read 22,605,396 times
Reputation: 9373
Unorganized areas in Alaska. There basically are no codes or property taxes there. Have to stay out of organized/incorporated areas like Fairbanks, Mat-Su, Anchorage, etc., and there are some incorporated cities within the Unorganized Borough, but it's a very big portion of the state. My land is in an unorganized area, I can do whatever I want whenever I want for the most part. There are some state laws on distance from septic/outhouse to water sources but they're pretty basic/minimal and common sense rules...but then again no one is really out enforcing them either in the remote parts, FWIW, but you don't want to get yours or your neighbors water polluted so don't do anything stupid with that, obviously.
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Old 09-06-2008, 07:28 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Maine is good for owner building.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:20 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
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Parts of Alabama fit the bill as well. Usually, if land is under $2,000 per acre, and considered agricultural or forest, you stand a better chance of their not being building restrictions. Be aware that in addition to all the other layers of government, you can buy land that has deed restrictions that will thwart your plans. Figure that you'll have to at least get a septic system in most locations.

If you are going on the cheap, think used camper trailer or used singlewide on a lot that already has septic and an electric hookup. And be sure you have your own source of reliable water.
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:42 AM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
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Rural Montana is fairly 'code-free' (except electrical and septic and well)
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Old 09-07-2008, 12:42 PM
 
1,115 posts, read 2,880,177 times
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Thanks a lot everyone.

I can tell it varies a lot from county to county. As I have seen very different codes and standards within the same states. In California's rural areas I often saw the most bizarre houses, like a house made out of stacked tires. And I also saw a lot of rickedy shacks that people seemed to be allowed to live in permanently. Yet in Californias cities the codes are incredibly strict. I guess it all depends on exactly where the site is.

I am open to any place and am looking at land in all 50 states, but I love the West and that is my first choice. I grew up in the wild west and that is where my heart is.

I am mainly looking at Colorado and the surrounding states, because Denver will be where i'm at when I start this up. I also love Oregon and Washington, but they seem to be more pricey.

Montana is a beautiful state too. I've spent most of my winters in fairly mild, coastal climates and deserts though. So the winters there would be harsher than anything i've ever experienced for sure, but i'm up for it.

I am currently living in a filthy city of 5 million people on the other side of the world. This place is so packed with people, I find myself escaping into the countryside every weekend to find some peace. The thought of living out into the great outdoors again sounds like pure heaven. I am come to the realization that I am NOT a city person

Thanks again people.
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Old 09-07-2008, 01:25 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
31,146 posts, read 50,304,308 times
Reputation: 19849
In this area a lot of it is directly connected to how high your taxes are.

Higher taxes, means more folks on payroll.

More offices and inspectors, so they can more leisurely route a building permit from office to office, and you have more inspectors.

More offices routing inspectors out to a site to sign-off on each part of the process.

I have a friend in a far distant city where he is an inspector. He inspects ditches to ensure that all ditches are deep enough and wide enough, before any pipe or cable can be laid.

Whereas in my township, we have low taxes, so we have no inspectors. We fall under the state. The state has one office. They review permits and issue them. No state inspector ever comes to our township, so we can mostly do what we want.
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