This post continues the discussion about Counties with Few or No Building Codes, which has become our number one most popular blog post. Obviously this is something a lot of people want to know more about.
As mentioned before, one approach to building alternative housing is to buy rural property with an existing structure, septic, power and water supply already in place. To keep costs to a minimum, you could buy an old run-down farmhouse or trailer that’s technically livable, but undesirable by most potential buyers. I can only speak for the Western states, where I lived and traveled extensively. There are countless thousands of run-down buildings that fit this description. Many are inhabited, many are for sale. It shouldn’t be hard at all to find dozens to choose from if you’re willing to live in a remote area.
Okay, now you have a legal residence that’s below the radar, so to speak. Now you can start planning some ‘out buildings’ – accessory structures such as sheds, stables and chicken coops – that are not enforced by codes and do not draw attention to themselves in rural areas where literally everyone has tool sheds, chickens and other livestock. Some people choose to build small structures for dwelling. This may include one building or multiple small structures, each with a specific purpose – kitchen, bedroom, main living area and so on. While it’s not legal to live in out buildings, people do what they have to do to provide a roof over their heads. Proceed with caution and keep a low profile.