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Apr 23, 2012 4:36PM
This is perhaps the most common way of investing your money.  A house loan is a good investment because you don't have to spend so much as opposed to buying a whole new house in cash. 

Mar 29, 2012 3:57PM
Now could be a great time to become a household owner.  Would you like to be notified when a new article is added to the real estate. There are a lot of things that you need to do is you want to be successful when investing, and one of these is to be patient when searching for a real estate property.

Mar 3, 2012 7:11PM
Riley Jr, I wondered about that, too, so I started reading through the codes for my state.  (Unbelievably dry and boring, by the way.)  I've found that there are strict standards and requirements in terms of door widths, banister heights, points of egress, fireproofing, waterproofing, etc., but I didn't find anything that would limit someone's proper use of strawbales and clay, or glass and steel, or tires and plaster.  As long as the essentials are fulfilled with regard to load-bearing abilities, the wall filler doesn't really matter.  
Some parts of the building are specifically limited to certain materials and sizes, but other parts just need to be able to withstand certain wind speeds, for example, regardless of what material it is.  Or it must be waterproof.  Or the vent can't be so many feet from something.  Or the wiring has to be a certain way.  Or the toilet composting area has to be so many feet from the house.  
It also depends on what kind of building you're putting up.  A garage can't have a drain in it, which I thought was strange until I learned that it's to prevent oil from going into the groundwater.
Odd stuff, but useful to know.
Mar 3, 2012 9:14AM
This, while supposedly about being off the grid, is actually, using an old 60's term, about communal living. One does not need to live in a commune to be off the grid. We live off the electric grid which is the off the grid this article purported to be about but isn't. We have no need to live a communal life. We have solar panels, a wind generator and a gas generator used for equalization charges monthly for the battery bank as well as remote power supply around the property {36 plus acres } that we spent just slightly over $700 per acre. We are 20 miles outside our county seat in NW, AZ and have quite a few other neighbors who have gone the same route. As for myself I have not had an power outage in 12 years nor a electric bill either. We enjoy all the normal conveniences so called grid tied homes enjoy without a monthly bill. We heat with wood, propane powers our refrigerator/freezer and while we can cook on our wood burner we normally use a propane powered stove/oven just like normal people. We are hooked into the telephone company as it's less costly for a DSL hook-up and we bundle that with our long distance and tv dish to save even more. I'm disabled  [industrial accident] but my wife telecommutes these days which sure saves on auto expenses. Please do not confuse living off the grid with living in a commune or co-operative. It's not the same. Not relying on commercial power plant energy is our way in lessening our impact on the earth while reducing our cost of living without giving up modern convienences but just the cost of the electricity to power them. I have lived in a cabin deep in the mountains far from anyone and anything so called modern but that was in my youth and much better health. When the neighbors lose their grid power I turn on a few extra lights to rub their noses in it just a little bit. Do what you can do to lessen your impact on earths resourses and you might even like it. 
Mar 3, 2012 9:08AM
Someone mentioned the costs. For me it is $150.oo to $210.oo average for power from winter to summer. $38.oo monthly for water /sewer. plus $62.oo a month for irrigation water during the summer 6 mo.  Which is required by the city. Mandatory cleaning the snow off the walk  ways. You must cut your lawn certain times and you cannot work outside after 7pm or start before 8 am. You even need a permit to fix your fence or dig a hole for a tree. Wow just to cover the front steps to keep them clean when it rains or snows take other people to tell you it is ok. Off grid living away from the rising cost of city living makes sense to me. I have none of these expenses of roughly $3300.oo per year that require me just to live in a house where you hear people, honking of the horns, sirens sounding, or trucks going by or even a plane flying. the neighbors music or people just watching what you do. And it seems that all you hear is people complaining about everything or anything. We are not all the same and it is getting so you cannot tell a joke or make one up without people complaining about it. We are not all made of the same mold. We are all different in many ways and we all live differently with different values on the same things. For mans greatest accomplishments are ways to kill, mutilate, and destroy each other. We are doing a good job destroying our world that gives us life sustaining food.
Mar 3, 2012 8:49AM
I'm curious to know how these "mother earthers" circumvent national and state building codes.
Mar 3, 2012 8:29AM

Living off grid is fine but you must plan things like a yaers supply of food. Growing your own food sounds great but think about it wisely.  A simple thing like green beans used in a week require for a family could be around we'll say 2 quarts. That is 104 quarts you need to can of just green beans. 2 per week X 52 weeks= 104 quarts. Food must be planned for living off grid doesn't mean go to the store three times a week. I heat with wood and cook with wood and my garden will take at least three years before it will produce a good amount of food for me to can or dry to keep for a year. The biggest thing is please plan on getting the land in the right place. Good water and good planning will make life easier. For living off grid is not for the lazy and requires work.  The rewards are better health, better food you grow yourself, and overall you can say this: For we raised this food ourselves for us as a family to live on. No games on the computer will grow it for me. You cannot live off a good score on a video game. But making things grow with your own hands has more satisfaction than trying to eat a CD disk. When the cities want more food they will come looking for off grid living people. When the power goes out off gird people are already ahead of everyone else.

Off grid living is a great life plan and live it well. MTNMNROY

Mar 3, 2012 1:46AM
So it looks like the Amish are ahead of the curve
Feb 9, 2012 11:32AM
I built a house in the mountains in N W Calif. with all back up,and stream for water if need be, burn wood which is available from near by forest,s and 8 chain saws so do alot of wood cutting for heat and save at least 400.00 dollars a month alone on propane and generator for power and can cook on the fire place.  And a outside BBQ. Can hunt for meat ,venison, and grow a garden.
Jan 21, 2012 5:59PM
To the ill informed: I have been off-grid for going on 12 years. Never been without power. Whereas, my neighbors who are connected to the life saving grid, have lost power 5 times since last October. Some losing all food in reefers, and some in freezers. They were on the major electrical utility grid, some were grid tied....which means they have solar in order to off-set their elec. bill, but no storage facilities....namely batteries.
Jan 21, 2012 4:36PM
The following is especially to "Bald Baby".  When off-grid we didn't have to worry about electricity going out elsewhere.  Once forced back to city, our generator ABSOLUTELY took care of us during frequent power loss.  We still used oil lamps & camping stoves to cook, but freezer & fridge didn't cost us 100's of dollars in lost food!
Jan 21, 2012 4:25PM

We DID live off-the-grid in No. AZ off I-40 & 89 - unintentionally. Prescott had GROWN too much for 10-yr. Retirement Plan so drove west 'til seeing signs for land @ 1K/acre. That very day bought 40 acres w/a 2BD/1BA home (prev. weekend place). Former owner was electrician so it was wired. Have noticed many uninformed comments. County req'd. only inspected septic tank, but otherwise off-grid means OFF THE UTILITY GRID. As spouse started travelling for work, 10-yr plan became 1; could fly from anywhere! Yet DID need PC access to make travel plans. Have pic of husband out in field; cel phone on top of pole for reception, connecting to laptop! Otherwise, bought and installed necessary additions. Needed only 4 solar panels, backup generator, water tank (in-place) HEATER + PUMP to get water to shower at other end of house (otherwise gravity-feed worked fine to kitchen). 3500 gal water tank was outside + 500 gal. tank in Pickup.  Drove into town to fill smaller tank (approx. $5/mo. every few months), then pumped (using septic-type) into larger tank. Learned I used only 100 gallons of water/month; double when spouse home (while avg. LA resident uses 75 gal/day)! Had 8 barrels around home to collect rain during monsoons - only water used on gardening. Generator required only during rare overcast or having friends over for movie night on Big-Screen. Had inexpensive propane delivered to tank (they supplied) for oven/propane room heater, tho had iron wood-burning stove.

Main point being: beyond desire to live eco-friendly, ya gotta be OK with the actual lifestyle. I did things  never imagined: raising goats for milk; chickens for eggs, along w/rabbits, a cow & hog., etc; all for meat, too, & selling what we didn't use. Being isolated yet content with the peace and raising own food is crucial. Yet FRANKLY, our social life was livelier there (w/nearest neighbors 2-3 miles away) than in So. Calif!  SOMEONE had a BBQ / pot luck every other weekend & most played some kind of musical instrument so we always had a great band!  Lastly, you depend on one another.  Somebody has what you don’t:  a winch to get pulled out of mud/snow, various tools, and I personally bought half-ownership in a backhoe w/bucket & got good at using it for whoever/whatever was needed.  It’s a great life! 

Jan 21, 2012 7:22AM
To FG, who believes that checking facebook, twitter, telecommuting, cellphone usage, and such is not "living off the grid", Let me reiterate AGAIN what has been said over and over....."living off the grid" is no electricity piped in, and no water or sewer provided. It usually means no tax paid road clearing in the winter. It someone wishes, using solar panels and satellite usage will provide internet service and if you can deliver building materials to your site you can have as large a palace as you wish. Internet usage is ok. While I do agree that updating social networks defeats the purpose of what is trying to be accomplished, telecommuting is absolutely "living off the grid"! The whole purpose is to live a greener life and save the earths resources. What better way than NOT driving a car back and forth to work every day? It amazes me how people try to find a way to find something wrong with what people are doing here.....and they have to even criticize them for something as sensible as not driving their cars. Also, in this day and age, people NEED to have a phone. Not checking the internet on it, or playing games...but access to 911, family, etc. Even in my own life, I have a 70 year old mother and 4 grown children. I'm divorced, and I have desired for years to live off the grid, but I would NEVER give up communication to my family. would you? It takes common sense. And btw, to those who made the comments that "hippies are lazy"....think again. I was a child back in the 60's, and I remember people in communes and such. They are very hard working in their communities. People are all different, and we should celebrate that, not be scared of it. That's what makes us such a wonderful country. I'm not a fanatic, but I would really love to be in a place where there was an actual COMMUNITY, and not just people. Some of these places are a little concerning to me, but if they work for the people who live there, then more power to them. You have to do whatever works for you. If your part in going "green" is recycling, then fantastic!!

I say good luck to everyone, and I would absolutely love more information on going off the grid if anyone can help me.


Jan 21, 2012 3:38AM

My family moved from Corpus Christi in 1968 to northwest Arkansas before progress really took over. My dad bought 80 unimproved acres away from town. We lived from 1968 to 1974 with no electric or phone and we hauled water every week in 20 gallon barrels from a spring 6 miles away. I was 14 years old and  I took to that life. We heated with wood and had a propane refrig. We rented a meat locker in town to keep meat we butchered.  We used kerosine lamps at night. Without all the distractions of modern conveniences I became a fairly good reader and  have even written a few things.  

I am now 58 and the memories and skills learned are priceless. I like knowing I can get by when others are stealing and killing to get theirs.

When a major disaster strikes and the stores have been pillaged where and how will you get yours? Can you honestly say you will not eat rats, cats, dogs and possibly each other before killing and stealling just to survive? 

Jan 21, 2012 2:57AM

I'm not all convinced that these examples are "off the grid." If there is a power failure, the majority of solar panel and wind generator setups are useless. Unless there is some type of special equipment or batteries (more $$$), these systems cannot supply power to a home when there is a power outage.


Also, if you think you're going to save a lot of money you're mistaken. There is a reason we have a power grid and power companies: the grid is reliable and  the power companies have the expertise to keep it running. I don't mind solar panels so much, but I know a few people that have those small wind generators and if they need maintenance, it takes special equipment to take them down; it's an expensive and time consuming process not to mention the noise.

Jan 11, 2012 2:25AM
If 'Ifs' and "butts' were candy and nuts we'd all have a merry christmas....personally i LOVE the idea of living off the grid, and it's good to see that people are actually doing what it takes to make it happen...one time I ate a bunch of shrooms and was completely convinced that i wanted to start a commune in the mountains of Virginia....so much so that i spent the next two weeks pitching my novel notion to ANYONE who would listen. What's my point you ask? Well, we all have things that we say we would do if we had the chance, and really all it takes is the true desire to make it happen, but face it, we live in a world where it's much easier to conform and accept the convenience of modern day living. It's a true challenge to live a life of real hard work and literally bearing the fruit of your labor. THE BIGGEST EPIDEMIC FACING THE WORLD TODAY IS CONVENIENCE!!!! 
Jan 8, 2012 10:25PM

It takes a lot of getting use to living totally away from the grid, but once you learn how.  It is a worry free life or a bad idea. 

First of all, I like the idea of not counting on the grid for my electricity needs.  Having my own photovoltaic resources and not paying an electricity bill is wonderful!  I don't have to choose a plan or join in a 2 years plan to save less payments.  But having internet is a must too.  The power of communicating and entertaining my family helps us keeping in touch will the happenings in this world. I purchase an internet phone system that I will not need to pay a phone bill for life.  Cell phones are nice to have around, but I like having more time doing things with total freedom and not being called by some guys who wants me to buy something to save more money. I have a solar water heating system, but I am connected to the city's water source since water is still cheap and clean. I plant some of my favorite veggies, apples, oranges and pears.

But the bottom line is that I save about $5,000.00 or more with this lifestyle per year.  I think of it as having a month paid vacation or not going to worry working for someone for a month.  I have tried staying off the grid for a year with only buying batteries for my fm radio. I learned to save a great deal of daily resources that I took for granted when I was connected to the grid. I tweak it a little and I found a way of life that my kids would not have it in any other ways.  So,  half grid is good for me.  I hate strangers freely going to my backyard to check my meters anyways.

Dec 31, 2011 5:49AM
triangula, You twitt, I am interested in being off the grid because I know how to make it happen as I have been an Electrical  High Voltage Lineman for 45 years . Off Line interests me and I perfer a large amount of acreage because I was raised on a ranch and I want to return to that life style. City boys like you need not worry about this article because you will never leave your apt. 
Dec 30, 2011 10:14AM
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Dec 29, 2011 10:19PM
I have found the most bang for the buck is in conserving energy. Windmills, solar panels and batteries won't take New York City off the grid but conservation technologies could cut their energy usage in half for not too high of a price. When we save energy it reduces oil imports, trade deficits, pollution and there are jobs that would tie in.
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