Consider investigating small rural communities with lax building codes for homesteading. Many of these communities are in slow decline and eager for new community members. Keep an eye out for properties for sale and related community information online. Many properties come on the market when seniors pass away and children want to live in big cities. Look for areas with good water and established gardens with good soil.
Our Natural Building Blog covers various topics including ways to restore degraded land for growing food and homesteading. The Natural Farmer shares a good story about Peter Ash of Embracing the World who helped restore some highly contaminated land in India. The main story is from 1:57 to 5:41 in case you’re in a hurry.
I’m hearing reports of large numbers of U.S. farmers going broke due to economic problems, drought, old age and no children to pass the farm down to, and excessive government regulations. Some newscasters are predicting higher food prices or even food shortages this year (2017) in the U.S.
Message from a reader: “Just wanted to add my experience as an example if it helps someone (not selling anything). I bought 75 acres in Blaine, Tennessee (20 minutes east of Knoxville) back in 2014 for $146K. Rural, forest and hills, 4 seasons, but close enough to bigger cities. No building codes. TN has no state income tax. I pay around $100 a year for property tax because it is designated as “greenbelt.” The surrounding counties are the same and are very open to alternative building.
Hi Owen, I plan to build in Cochise County, Arizona and they have what they call an “Owner Built” building permit program (for rural residential dwellings) that does not require regular inspections, etc. Owners can build pretty much anything they want as long as they apply, and pay for, a permit. After that there are no inspections or approvals.
When buying land, natural builders are faced with one of their biggest challenges trying to decide: what area is best?, how much to spend?, what will I need?, what about codes? It helps to hear firsthand advice from people actually living off-grid like the couple in this video.