When my husband and I found our off-grid homestead, it was more or less by accident. We were looking for our forever homestead, far back from the road and with plenty of space to stretch out. As it turns out, it’s hard to enjoy the type of privacy and independence we wanted when you’re tethered to a power pole.
I’m constantly asked how on earth you find an off-grid homestead, and there are fewer resources than you’d think. Plenty of people are looking for off-grid land, but traditional realtors are focusing on the suburbs. As preparedness becomes more main stream, and more people leave the city for their homesteading dream, off-grid real estate sites are popping up right and left.
Though it’s a conventional real estate site, you can use the advanced search feature on Zillow to help you find off-grid properties and land. There are a number of filters, and if you set them correctly it’ll save you a lot of time searching for off-grid land. Start by eliminating any apartments, condos or townhomes from the “home type.”
Set the lot size to 10+ acres and that’ll remove most of the suburban lots, which gets you closer to your goal faster. Depending on where you are, 1+ acre or 5+ acres might work just fine. Out here in Vermont, most towns have minimum suburban lots set at a minimum of 3 acres.
Finally, under “more filters” you can type in keywords. Just add in the keyword “grid.” Now you’ve got a custom search, and the vast majority of these properties will be off the grid.
Using this method today, I went from 1 property for sale in Vermont, to a total of 47 off-grid homes for sale. They ranged from cheap off-grid homes as low as $23K to some serious mountain compounds for around $2.2M. You can refine your search a bit more based on your budget.
As the name suggests, Survival Realty is a real estate site that caters to preppers and survivalists. Since it’s in that niche, you’ll find a number of impressive compounds, most of which are off the grid.
Prices vary greatly, and there will usually be a few in the $100K range and some in the $3M plus range, as well as everything in between. The site has listings from every state in the US, and often overseas options.
Even if you’re not a survivalist, this site is good for entertainment at the very least. Some of the places listed are a bit over the top, but others have nice features that you may eventually want to incorporate into your homestead.
Sustainable Properties Real Estate Listings
Sustainable Real Estate advertises that they’re “a destination real estate website dedicated to featuring sustainable, off-grid, survival and alternative energy properties.” Their listings cover the entire united states, which gives you far more options than the smaller regional off-grid real estate listings.
They have some serious off-grid setups for sale, the largest of which is currently listed at $49 Million! To be fair, it is 8300 acres. They also have some cheap off-grid homes for sale, with over 100 listings for off-grid cabins selling for less than $50k.
Specific to Northern Idaho, Revolutionary Realty specializes in remote off-grid land purchases. Since Idaho has issues with water rights, timber rights and mineral rights, the site walks you through all the basics along with helping find off-grid land. Still, Idaho is one of the best places to live off the grid, and you’ll be in good company with like-minded neighbors…none of them too close.
Retreat Realty specializes in homesteads, off-grid, retreats, and prepper properties in Western North Carolina. Many of the properties are over 50 acres, and just about all of them seem cherry-picked for independent-minded buyers looking for real treasures. While they do have a few cheap off-grid homes for sale, they seem to specialize in beautifully finished off-grid cabins with unique features.
Off-Grid Land For Sale By Owner
For sale by owner land is a bit more difficult to find, especially if you’re not local. There are a number of properties in our local area that are only advertised by a painted piece of plywood tacked to a tree near the road. Owner-listed properties tend to get less exposure in general, but they’re also often much cheaper.
Since there’s no 6% fee paid to an agent, the owner can sell the property for far less. There are also fewer potential buyers, so that puts you in a much better position to negotiate for your off-grid cabin.
Sites like for sale by owner don’t have a very robust search engine though. Location and price are all they give you. Check your local papers, and you might just get lucky.
Just like for sale by owner listings, Facebook groups can also be a good place to find cheap off-grid land. There are a number of Facebook groups dedicated to land listings, and helping connect buyers to sellers. I won’t link to any in particular, since these change all the time, but go ahead and search for off-grid land for sale on Facebook, and plenty of groups will come up.
Keep in mind that like craigslist and Facebook listings can be sketchy. Buyer beware and make sure you’re safe if you arrange to see land listed on Facebook.
Other Considerations for Off-Grid Land
While you’re shopping, keep in mind that while there are plenty of cheap off-grid homes for sale since off-grid homesteads are generally more affordable, they’re also trickier to finance. When you do find your dream homestead, be prepared to either pay cash or jump through some serious hoops.
When you’re buying directly from the owner, you often have the option of owner financing, which is one benefit of taking the time to find off-grid land for sale by owner.
Before you buy an off-grid cabin, be sure to learn from our mistakes. Give these other posts a look:
- 3 Things I Wish We’d budgeted for Before Moving Off-Grid
- 6 Things I Wish I’d Known Before Moving Off-Grid
- 10 Luxuries We Have Off-Grid That Most Suburban Homes Don’t
- Tour of Our Off-Grid System
- Tips for a More Dependable Off-Grid System
If you know of any other off-grid real estate resources, I’d love to hear about it. Leave a note in the comments below.