How do you afford it!? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 9 Old 06-09-2010, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I desperately want to live off the grid. My husband works from home and only has to drive to his office once a month for a meeting. I am a SAHM and would love some advice for all of you for how you got started and how to keep it going...
Thanks!

*Courtney*
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#2 of 9 Old 06-10-2010, 11:29 PM
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First, I'd say you need some type of base income, which you have. My husband had a job and was willing to commute. (well, we thought he'd get something local, but those jobs didn't work out)

Then, it's a matter of making decisions. We aren't off-grid. We have electricity and a landline. But we heat with a woodstove, located in the basement, something I highly recommend. (heat rises) raise our own meat and some of our veggies, trade for meat we don't raise. I desperately want to go solar/geo-thermal.

How do we afford it? What, the lack of a heating bill? Dh just goes out and chops up trees felledin storms or ones that need to be culled and we burn them. Nothing to afford.

We did move FAR out from the city to find land we could afford. Dh built the house. And he'd never built one before. That was scary, but it's great. You can get a kit or a yurt, too.

For us, it was deciding what we were or weren't willing to give up, and working from there. Find a piece of land that speaks to you. Find a spot that you can imagine looking out over for the next 50 years.

Good luck! It's fun!
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#3 of 9 Old 06-11-2010, 06:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow Thank you for your reply Red! I just want some basic information I guess because we live in the middle of the city and I'm so sick of it here! All of our IRL friends would never consider leaving so I just have my MDC moms to ask questions to
Thanks again and I'm still looking for more information if anyone is willing to supply

*Courtney*
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#4 of 9 Old 06-11-2010, 06:40 PM
 
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We are hoping to move to a homestead this summer. It all depends on how quickly we can sell this house.

Dh makes enough (not a ton) now but we will be cutting our income when we move.

The house live in now, we bought as a fixer upper that was seriously underpriced because of it's condition. Now that it's been renovated to death (all diy) we'll fetch a much higher price for it (market is hot here) and be able to pay off all our debt and afford to move.

The house (farmhouse+4acres) we have offered on is in a different province in an area with a similar economy. Because we will cut out all our debt (just the new mortgage left), we'll be able to live on whatever dh gets for paternity leave (55% of wage). Sooo he'll do that until leave is up (8months) and then a min wage job would be all he would need to pay our bills afterward at minimum. Dh is really good at getting jobs he's not qualified for, so it's not unlikely that he'll land a much better job than we need.

The house has a septic tank and we'll be upgrading the wood stove to one big enough to be primary heat. The only ongird stuff is the electric and phone/cable. Electric is probably the most expensive to get rid of so we'll work on it over the years.

What I'm really looking forward to is having farm animals. We're hoping to produce most of our own food.

Sooo by selling our house and buying the homestead, we'll actually be much better off financially than we currently are. We'll have to move 3000kms to do so but we're up for the adventure!
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#5 of 9 Old 06-11-2010, 10:11 PM
 
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I would say there are two ways of living "Off Grid". The pricey buy-all-the-gadgets way and the living with less way. If you spend a lot on a big fancy house, solar panels with battery packs (whatever it's called) and all while living like a typical American, it's going to be expensive. BUT if you buy a simple house, heat with wood, get rid of the fancy tv and appliances and focus on living with less while putting in the physical work (instead of spending money, example, cutting wood for fuel) then it's cheaper/more doable.

Blogging about renovations in our first home
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#6 of 9 Old 06-14-2010, 10:47 AM
 
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good luck to you!
if you're thinking of doing this, as one pp suggested, if you have an income already, when you do start looking at properties, etc. it might frighten you depending on where you're moving from if you compare salaries in different areas. consider the cost of living where you're looking first!
for example, i woh while dh is a sahd. i make WAY less doing the same job than i would if we lived elsewhere; however, we have a great piece of property and a large-ish house that would have cost many times what we paid for it because it's so far out.
also, if you are looking, in rural areas, the houses seem to have been for sale for a lot longer.. it's hard to commute, and there are fewer jobs, so you may be able to find something much less expensive.
here's another thing to consider:
we had been saving for a while and had a good bit to put down, and decent credit, etc. we initially found an awesome undeveloped piece of land that i had my heart set on, but the way mortgage lending works made it nearly impossible for us to purchase it. we were much better off finding a property with an existing home... i would advise you to compare interest rates and rules for borrowing on land and building vs. finding a property with existing home. it was eye-opening for me.
otherwise, it's not much different affording where we're living than when we lived in town. we're striving for self sufficiency, and on a tight budget, so saving everything you can will give you a nice cushion for when you do move. bartering is pretty fun out in the sticks, too

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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#7 of 9 Old 06-14-2010, 05:20 PM
 
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We're trying to find/buy/set up our own homestead also. The property we're currently trying to purchase is 10 acres with a creek in a rural area. The property is awesome (location, schools, price, etc) but also undeveloped. Luckily DH is pretty handy and can operate equipment also and we have access (through friends of DH) to equipment, tools, assistance if needed so we can do most everything DIY.

Simplicity helps when going off grid though. We plan to have animals and gardens/orchard to supply a good bit of our food needs. I'm replacing a lot of smaller items with non electric (mostly kitchen items). I think the biggest thing with off grid is just taking it step by step and cutting back as much as you can.
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#8 of 9 Old 06-14-2010, 08:38 PM
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I feel I forgot to give my most important piece of homesteading advice!




Don't wait until you move to start. You can start canning anywhere. Buy pordoce at your farmers market and can it up. Learn some recipes. Find out what your family wiil eat.

Maybe you could start a small garden, even a container garden. Or get a couple of chickens. You can learn to knit or sew. Start grocery shopping for a few weeks at a time. You don't travel to the store as often in the country. Are you going to have TV? Do you have one now? If you're giving it up when you move, pratice going without for a week.

get to know your local library. Library and schools are social gathering places in the sticks. Even when I homeschooled, I often took the kids to events at the school. Our local libraries lend art to hang on your walls, a recliner (?), dvd's, cd's, toys, even a loom and have workshops on organic gardening, making your own storm windows, cooking, yo-yo's, etc. (Yeah, yo-yo's)

Build a solar oven. (My project this week!) Hang your laundry out to dry. Bake your own bread.

Don't let where you live limit you!
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#9 of 9 Old 06-15-2010, 10:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red View Post

get to know your local library. Library and schools are social gathering places in the sticks. Even when I homeschooled, I often took the kids to events at the school. Our local libraries lend art to hang on your walls, a recliner (?), dvd's, cd's, toys, even a loom and have workshops on organic gardening, making your own storm windows, cooking, yo-yo's, etc. (Yeah, yo-yo's)
Man, your library sounds like it ROCKS!
They lend out looms???
(just out of curiosity and waaay ot, would you PM me branch information so i can stalk your library??)

Is it getting lonely in the echo chamber yet?

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