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Old 05-01-2011, 12:17 PM
 
42 posts, read 54,066 times
Reputation: 30
Default Off the grid?

Is it possible to go "Off the grid" in Southwest Missouri?

If so what is the estimated costs for

1) Raw Land

or

2) Convert a previously built home


Also what are your property rights in Missouri? If you drill a well on your property are the water rights yours? Or can the government come in at anytime and take your water?
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:25 PM
 
29,990 posts, read 18,683,229 times
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When it comes to land, as long as it isn't tillable acreage, Missouri land is relatively inexpensive compared to some other parts of the country.

Costs to convert a home and go off grid are going to depend on what systems you choose, if you are installing yourself, and how large you live in regard to energy consumption. Your questons are much too broad. Suggest you begin your research at a library or on some of the self-sufficiency websites that address off-grid living. There is a self-sufficiency subform here on SD and a thread by a fellow with an off grid home, that may help you find more of the info. you seek.

SW Missouri is prone to ice storms in the winter and can be overcast for long periods so take that into consideration.

Some info. on wells in Missouri:

http://www.dnr.mo.gov/env/wrc/welltypes.htm

http://extension.missouri.edu/public...aspx?P=EQM103F
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Old 05-01-2011, 12:46 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
14,648 posts, read 16,109,624 times
Reputation: 18557
Quote:
Originally Posted by drvasek View Post
Is it possible to go "Off the grid" in Southwest Missouri?

If so what is the estimated costs for

1) Raw Land

or

2) Convert a previously built home


Also what are your property rights in Missouri? If you drill a well on your property are the water rights yours? Or can the government come in at anytime and take your water?
As with everywhere else, the local, county and state government is trying more and more to stick their collective noses into property owners' rights and privileges. Therefore, the information that we give you today may not be accurate tomorrow depending on what legislation may or may not be under consideration at any point in time.

That having been said, as it stands *right now* I believe that you have all the rights to your water. Mind you, if the government (Department of Natural Resources) can somehow prove that your water is contaminated and unfit for human consumption, I'm sure that they can stop you from using it. I do not know if the DNR has the right to test your well without your permission. I know that with community wells they can, but I don't know about private wells.

If you have children the Department of Family Services can investigate you if you do not have any type of heating or cooling. They may not "allow" people to use solar-based heating and cooling since it may not be "approved". Also, you would probably have to prove that you have refrigeration to keep food safe for the children. Usually, however, if there is no complaint, the DFS will not investigate.

The big thing seems to be septic. Where I live, they would not allow me to forgo a septic system in favor of a composting toilet. We were FORCED (yes forced) to put in a septic system. Fortunately, they cannot monitor our bathroom habits, and they cannot force us to use it. So we use our composting toilet and run our grey water out to water our vegetation in the summer and completely ignore the septic system. My understanding that in Stone County, (other counties may be different), the health department now requires an inspection of septic systems prior to any sale of an existing home to make certain they are functional and "up to code" (whatever that means). I am not certain how they expect to enforce this for private sales, however.

My understanding is that some counties (Barry for example) is less stringent than where I live, and others (Christian, for example) is more stringent. It just depends on how much control each feels the need to exert over their residents.

My advice would be to contact the county planning and zoning and other agencies (including talking to a local builder), to find out what the reqirements are for where you are planning to live.

One thing you might want to consider is buyiing property that has a year-round creek, spring or other running water which you could use to generate electricity as well as solar and wind generator.

You can figure on paying $3,000 per acre for rough land and up to $10,000 per acre for good, flat, usable land. Once in a while you can get a screaming deal, if you keep your eyes open and buy some land when someone *really* needs to sell it.

Recently, there was a good chunk of land (93 acres) that sold for a little over $1,000 per acre, but access was difficult.

If you go farther out, you can still get some parcels for around $2,000 but they are hard to find.

There are certain distressed areas where you can buy land very cheap, but they are rare. There is cheaper and better land elsewhere (around Theodosia, Ava, and in Arkansas around Norfork Lake).

DM me if you have any other specific questions.

20yrsinBranson

Last edited by ShadowCaver; 05-01-2011 at 07:51 PM..
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Old 05-01-2011, 03:27 PM
 
42 posts, read 54,066 times
Reputation: 30
Thanks for the info lifelongMOgal & 20yrsinBranson. The wife and I currently live in Cypress (Northwest Houston) Texas. We have been to the Ozarks a couple of times and really enjoy it.

Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, I have been researching the area for months and all the nice folks on City-Data.com have helped a lot.

With my current job we can live pretty much anywhere in the country we are just looking for the most bang for the buck. We love the country outdoors living but also want to be near a city but not in a city.

We are really drawn to the area because of the terrain and the millions of gallons of fresh water that comes out of the ground daily.

We also want to enjoy all (4) seasons.

And the eventual potential of going off the grid or close to it sometime down the road.

We have been focusing around the Nixa/Ozark/Highlandville area but are willing to look anywhere close enough to Springfield.

I have used every real estate search engine I could find on the internet.

We want our own creek and pond/lake and pasture for future cattle and horses and with plenty of spare wooded acres. So far SW Missouri has been recommended for what we are looking for by many people on this forum.

We are still looking and will be visiting Springfield area in June to look at as many properties/houses as we can. We are still not 100% but for the most part sounds like what we are looking for. If you know of any other are in the country that is similar please let us know.
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Old 05-01-2011, 04:39 PM
 
433 posts, read 509,757 times
Reputation: 461
Quote:
Originally Posted by drvasek View Post
Is it possible to go "Off the grid" in Southwest Missouri?
Also what are your property rights in Missouri? If you drill a well on your property are the water rights yours? Or can the government come in at anytime and take your water?
Certainly it is possible to go "off the grid" - check in with any number of Mennonites in the area. But what you are willing to live with or without will determine your success.

Heat from self sustaining woodlots is possible with as little as 10 acres of trees. This assumes a reasonable size house, decent insulation, and woodlot management. Heat from wind or solar is probably not truly sustainable here, although you could come pretty close with domestic water heating. A/C from a geothermal heat pump could be powered with enough solar panels. Keep in mind that most of us want water 24/7, so a constant, reliable source of electricity for a well is a must.

The potentials of small scale hydroelectric is vastly underappreciated here. Adequate fall is available on nearly every hillside. The DNR may well want to get involved with a substantial impoundment, particularly if there is any possibility of runoff from livestock operations. In general, you cannot dam running streams without permits, but I know of several two-plus acres lakes formed on open hillsides.

If you drill a well, for the most part the water is yours. Start drawing enough to lower the water table, however, and you may run into legal problems.
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:04 PM
 
1,267 posts, read 845,560 times
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Regs no Regs! We lived here No Electric of any kind.Collected Rain water for our needs.Do have one neighbor that gets their water out of two Ponds,they have Solor and Wind Generators.

Family Services don't do Squat had a Neighbor kids never went to school because they were suppose to be Home Schooled but were never tested,I know the Boy was 17 couldn't read or write,not even his name.

Can get land for $1,000-$2,000 an acre.

brushrunner
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:47 AM
 
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well i know your area of the world well n i know electrical nrg like my own family and ive found that electricity currently runs about 15% less n cost than goin off the grid with modest power needs but who is to say power prices wont skyrocket n that independence aint a good thing n its nice to budget without a electric bill I have designed a system for myself a hybrid one that pays for itself in 2 to 2 1/2 yrs so if you r serious ask me ne specific questions you may have.
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