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Hello everyone. We currently live in Ashville, AL. but we are looking to move in the next 5 years so we can be completely off grid and self sustained. I need y'alls advice on the best area to homestead but one of my must haves on the list is great schools...my daughter is in elementary school right now and she does not do well with homeschooling and has to be in public school. We are looking for a minimum of 10 acres with some source of flowing water on the property (natural spring, creek, river...ECT.) We will be continuing to raise chickens and we will have horses and possibly cattle. My husband is a hunter so we need to be in an area that is accessible to game. We will be solar powered so we can't be completely tucked off in the woods and we will also continue our gardens. Any advice would be amazingly helpful! Thanks
 

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Best of luck to you. There are a lot of people here on HT living all over.

What is it about where you live now that does not fit the bill?
 
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The best place to start homesteading is right where you are! Which it sounds like you've already been doing....

There are many threads on this forum with folks asking the same question as you so if you use the search feature you will find many perspectives in addition to whatever members offer to you here on your post.

I have a hard time recommending place to people since I think it is a very personal decision. There are so many pieces to it. You might consider working with a realtor as you can tell them what type of property you want.

I can tell you we love Maine and years ago my parents moved my younger siblings here because they felt the schools were better than Massachusetts. At the same time we have friends who stay in MA because they believe the schools are better there. It's all opinion.

I will also note that property prices are on the rise big time so not sure I'd recommend moving here unless you liked snow and had some money to spend.

ETA - Good luck!!🌻
 

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Well the problem about where we live is like its the almost for us. We have 4 acres but the problem is that we still both have a 9-5 job and we work over an hour away from home one way. So that does not leave us much time but the weekends to do the things we need do. The soil here is nothing but rock and clay. And (last time I checked) you cant live off grid in Alabama meaning you have to be connected to power even if you have solar and you have to be connected to public water and have either septic or sewer otherwise your property is condemned by the state.
Basically we are tired of the rat race. We work in a very large and one of the wealthiest cities in the state and we interact with these people for 8 hours a day that think they are privileged and entitled and have the worst attitudes about life and I have been at my job for 13 years and it has provided a comfortable lifestyle but to be frank I'm tired of people and want a slower pace. My husband loves to craft and hunt and is a builder but he cannot do any of that because we don't have time for it.
I will say this however about Ashville...it does have above the national average schools and if someone is looking for rural but still convenient then this is your place. The interstate is 15 minutes away because you will have to drive to get to a job. The only restaurant we have is a Jacks and you will reach a big town in 30 minutes in any direction you travel.
 

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Well the problem about where we live is like its the almost for us. We have 4 acres but the problem is that we still both have a 9-5 job and we work over an hour away from home one way. So that does not leave us much time but the weekends to do the things we need do. The soil here is nothing but rock and clay. And (last time I checked) you cant live off grid in Alabama meaning you have to be connected to power even if you have solar and you have to be connected to public water and have either septic or sewer otherwise your property is condemned by the state.
Basically we are tired of the rat race. We work in a very large and one of the wealthiest cities in the state and we interact with these people for 8 hours a day that think they are privileged and entitled and have the worst attitudes about life and I have been at my job for 13 years and it has provided a comfortable lifestyle but to be frank I'm tired of people and want a slower pace. My husband loves to craft and hunt and is a builder but he cannot do any of that because we don't have time for it.
I will say this however about Ashville...it does have above the national average schools and if someone is looking for rural but still convenient then this is your place. The interstate is 15 minutes away because you will have to drive to get to a job. The only restaurant we have is a Jacks and you will reach a big town in 30 minutes in any direction you travel.
I live in Alabama, too. I have a home in McCalla and also in Cordova. I am planning on moving also, and like you, I plan on living off the grid. But I am looking for someplace with cooler summer temps. I am SICK of this heat and humidity. Search on Landwatch.com. Just choose a state, sort for prices "lowest to highest", and see what you can find. There are lots of properties in multiple different states that would meet our homesteading needs. There are some beautiful places, with several acres of land, open field area, wooded area, and streams running through property. I'm leaving AL as soon as my dad has moved on to heaven.
 

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We live in a wilderness territory and the people who come here - and stay - are looking for a different life. But everyone we know has to earn a living and this means that their life is half in the modern world and half in the life they want to live.

Having to drive an hour or more to and from work in the few cities we have is just part of life and we all use the time we have off to do what we want and live how we want. There is work available in the small communities which means you can buy remote properties or have remote placer mine claims but you have to have the career or trade or skill that is needed. You cannot live on a placer claim all year round,

Medical, teaching, agriculture, mining, forestry, trades and all other science fields are all needed but even so the area covered by these jobs can mean a lot of time away from home. And you have to make adjustments. My neighbour is a nuclear physicist. She does a lot of work from home and travelling especially in winter but is also an Outfitter - taking people into the wilderness for hiking, canoeing and hunting. Another friend was a French military submariner. He now lives off grid and has an off grid cafe in town which he runs with his partner. An Australian friend was a crop duster is Australia but now flies helicopters here. And there are never enough helicopter pilots. A paramedic neighbour was a high school teacher but changed to suit where he wanted to live and what he wanted to do.

Deciding where to homestead depends on what you do and what your income is because you will always need money. People can make homesteading a fully self sufficient enterprise but that is rare. One of you may be able to stay home but unless you have a private income or win the lottery it is not likely that you can be self sufficient - especially when you are young. Now that we are retired and have our pensions (after 45 years of work) we have enough income to do whatever we choose. But not the health and stamina so adjustments continue to be made.

I am not trying to be a downer. You can have exactly the life you want but reality is that it takes time and patience and you cannot have it all at the same time. But you can have a great life by being practical and pragmatic and not looking upon the sacrifices you may have to make as a punishment. We had to drive two hours a day for over a decade for work and like you only had the evenings, weekends and holidays to spend completely alone on our property. Then we moved to withing 5 minutes of my husband's work and I worked from home. Still not all we wanted but enough.
 

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Funny, I pulled up an article through google for best states for living off grid and 'bama was tops on the list. Maybe they didn't look at state utility requirements.

Land is good for growing crops in most of Ohio but you'll face the same electric requirement as where you are. You can have your own well but you are required to be connected to the electric grid in most of the state.
 

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Funny, I pulled up an article through google for best states for living off grid and 'bama was tops on the list. Maybe they didn't look at state utility requirements.

Land is good for growing crops in most of Ohio but you'll face the same electric requirement as where you are. You can have your own well but you are required to be connected to the electric grid in most of the state.
I live in Alabama. And ive never heard about having to be connected to the grid. Not doubting that, but just saying that no one here has ever payed any attention to that. People pretty much do what they want to around here. I have a cabin on the river that I built myself, no inspections, and even though the power lines come onto the property, my cabin is 300ft away from the meter box. I run power on a cable, laying on the ground, from the box to the cabin. And as far as living off the grid... The heat and humidity here can kill you. I dont see how anyone could make it through one of our summers without a way to stay cool. It's mid September and its still 90 degrees with 500% humidity. Lol. The AL power police will probably find me know after this post and stick it to me.😄
 

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Funny how homeowners must abide by a set of rules that don't apply to homeless folks. I am starting to really envy the homeless at times... dont have to work, no need to obey those pesky city and state laws, just crap on the ground wherever you please don't have to pay all those land and school taxes, just do what they please. The ones here don't even have to pay for a place to put their RVs, any public park will do. I'm gonna be homeless when I retire.
 

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I live in Alabama. And ive never heard about having to be connected to the grid. Not doubting that, but just saying that no one here has ever payed any attention to that. People pretty much do what they want to around here.
Just going by what the op said. I don't know Alabama law. Might be just their county, might be the whole state, IDK.
 

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Have you tried the on-line sources like zillow and unitedcountry.com? Poke around and enjoy yourself!

Just remember to not buy land that you have not seen. I remember looking at one parcel after a heavy rain and most of the land was underwater. And the realtors had NO! idea as they had only seen it when the sun was shining.
 
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