With the cost of owning or renting a house going through the roof, people are turning to undeveloped land. But how do you live on undeveloped land?
Many people wonder whether it is possible to be self-sufficient in this way. Understanding the steps to live like this successfully is no child’s game. Regardless of whether you have experience with land-owning or are trying this out for the first time, there are loads of things to know about living on undeveloped land.
To live on undeveloped land, you need to first find the correct piece of land. You must also learn to be a minimalist - understand that you do not always need more. This also includes going completely debt free so that you are not held back by financial restrictions.
Living on undeveloped land is achievable - don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It is a natural and simple life that comes with loads of benefits. You will start to feel more fulfilled, supported, and content, as long as you do it properly.
In this article, you will learn several strategies to live on undeveloped land. We have reviewed firsthand accounts, as well as scientific pieces to ensure that we provide you with a well-rounded guide so that you have no trouble when you shift to natural living.
Table of Contents
How to Live on Undeveloped Land
Here are some ways you can live on undeveloped land:
Finding the Right Piece of Land
How can you live on undeveloped land if you do not have the correct land to live off? If you are looking to move to a more self-sufficient way of living, this is one of the most important things that you must spend some time on.
Finding the right piece of land means thinking about the size and purpose of the land. According to our research, you would ideally need a minimum of 5 acres of land to sustain an income. However, you should not take more than you think you can handle. You may want to own 100 acres of land, but do you think you have the resources to successfully maintain all?
The purpose of finding the right parcel of undeveloped land is so that you can live on it without feeling overwhelmed. Moreover, loads of states offer land for free. If you are able to get your hands on it, you can start your new life by saving personal resources.
More is Not Always Good
In today’s world, everything we need is within reach. However, the truth is that sometimes, you don’t need more. As human beings, we have been conditioned to always want more than we have.
However, living on undeveloped land will help you understand that you can survive in limited means as well. Who said that you need loads of gadgets and cars to survive? It is completely possible to be happy with what you have- living on undeveloped land will teach you that.
Before you live on undeveloped land, you need to be willing to sacrifice some things. You must be comfortable with letting go of some materials rather than getting stuck in a rat race, trying to get the same gadget or jewelry or car as your neighbor. Even though this life might seem overwhelming in the beginning, you will soon find that it is peaceful in a number of ways.
When you have loads of debt that you have to pay off, you will feel tense all the time. This will restrict your financial freedom, making you feel uncomfortable. If you want to live on undeveloped land, it is important that you do not have any financial commitments to worry about every month.
Whether it is about getting rid of your credit card or paying off student loans, make sure to get rid of any debt you may have so that you can focus on living peacefully.
Grow Your Own Food
When learning how to live on undeveloped land, the first thought you may have is how you will manage to feed yourself. This is one of the best opportunities in life you will get to grow your own food. The best part is that with this, you can provide for yourself without having to rely on strangers.
First and foremost, you must be aware of your USDA Plant Hardiness Zone. Moreover, you need to have a plan that will allow you to grow on the land all year round. If you do not have any growing experience, your first few years on the land will be interesting as you learn a number of skills. Whether it is raising animals, food growing, preservation, fishing, or hunting, these skills will help you survive regardless of where you go.
Even though learning how to grow your own produce is a wonderful start, you must also learn how to fish, hunt, and trap. The first couple of tries might be frustrating but once you understand how to do it, you will be able to nourish and sustain yourself.
Many non-gardeners or those who have never planted a thing in their entire lives are of the misconception that all land is the same. However, this is not true- no soil is made equal. Before you buy land, we would recommend getting a soil test kit so that you can find out whether you will be able to grow your own food.
You can even speak to a couple of locals in the area and find out if they grow anything. Do your research and find out whether you can grow carrots, greens, potatoes, and tomatoes.
Look for a Freshwater Source
Once you have your food figured out, you need to look for a stable supply of water. An undeveloped land will not have taps that you can drink from or wash your laundry with so you need to get creative. After all, you can live without food for weeks but without water, you will be dead within a couple of days.
If you want to live on undeveloped land, a freshwater source is absolutely important. When purchasing a piece of undeveloped land, try to find one with a source of water that is drinkable. If you can’t find any such land, you will have to find out if you can access municipal water or take permission to dig a well. If you choose to build a well, you will have to pay approximately $2,000 to $2,500.
Cut Down on Junk Food
Since you are living so close to nature and adopting a new lifestyle, we would recommend that you change up your eating habits. While processed food, candy, soda, and takeout tastes great and can be addictive, it is time to switch things up. Did you know that millions of Americans find it difficult to live without junk food? After all, it requires superb self-control.
However, junk food can also be expensive. If you are looking to live on undeveloped land, you might find that the junk food that you previously liked so much may not fit into your budget. Why would you even want to spend money on junk when you can grow fresh food on your land for free?
Ditch the junk and start living a healthier, happier, and more affordable life!
Lower Your Monthly Bills
Now that you have started living on undeveloped land where you might find that facilities, like electricity, are different, you should start thinking about ways you can lower your monthly bills.
Over the years, you may have signed up for a number of subscriptions that you don’t even remember anymore. Regardless of whether or not they are in use, the money from your bank account keeps getting cut each month.
If you have a cable subscription, it would be best to cut it off. After all, you might find it difficult to handle when living on undeveloped land. Who knows, saving money on subscriptions may also allow you to save up and buy a nicer car?
You can also lower your cell phone bill every month by using a different provider. There are loads of things that you will find society deems “necessary.” However, when living in the open, you realize that most of these things do not matter. What matters is whether they fit into your current needs.
Learning to Barter
In today’s world, money is a necessary commodity. You cannot go anywhere without money and no one will take someone with empty pockets seriously.
However, when living on undeveloped land, the concept of bartering comes into play. Back in the day, rural communities would use this to get what they wanted. Who’s stopping you from using the same concept today?
If you have a service or skill that you are good at, you might be able to exchange them for a product or service that you need. Not only will this help you build close ties with your community, but it will also ensure that everyone continues to help each other in times of need.
Practice Living Off the Grid
Before you learn how to live on undeveloped land without utilities, it is important that you practice first. Usually, it is difficult to find water, power, and other additional amenities on undeveloped land. If you’ve never lived without these before, you can have a hard time settling. After all, it is a big jump to have all your services in hand to completely having to source everything yourself.
If you have a family, you might even find this harder. There is a lot to grasp, learn, prepare, practice, and accept. Many people go cold turkey, which is why they have a harder time living on undeveloped land. However, we would recommend making a gradual transition. You must accept that you will find some unexpected happenings on the way.
A good idea is to rent a cabin that is off the grid and try living there for a week. This will give you and your family to adjust to how life would be like on undeveloped land. Moreover, during this period, you will also understand whether this is something you would like to pursue in the long run. After a week, try living off the grid for three months. By this time, you will have a fair idea of the skills required to help you get through.
Polish Your Skills
When you are living on undeveloped land, you will have to learn to survive. This is a full-time job where you might be required to hunt, chop, haul, and gather so that you can feed yourself and your family.
Even though this physical work is extremely rewarding in the long-run, you must be prepared for the constant hustle. As long as you are prepared to work rather than lying in a hammock sipping martinis all day, you should be okay. A plus point is if you are strong and fit and mentally prepared. However, if you are someone who does not like working hard, this decision may not be the right one for you.
One of the most neglected questions when planning to live in an undeveloped area is where and how you will treat any possible medical emergencies. You must do your research beforehand and know where to find a doctor. Moreover, you should know where the nearest hospital is and how to get there.
When living in a new place, you need to be aware of any calamities that might occur. Floods and blizzards are common, and it would be silly to not keep yourself prepared for such instances. It is important to always have a first aid kit ready, regardless of how basic it is. We would also recommend having an advanced first aid kid. Think about whether you can splint a fracture, or extract a bullet from a wound if you ever got shot.
With the basics, you should know how to use antiseptic in case you or your kids ever fall down. Moreover, snake bites are common in undeveloped areas- do you know how to deal with one? What happens if you have food poisoning and do not know which medicine to take? When you live remotely, these are questions you need to be aware of.
Things to Know When Living on Undeveloped Land
Now that you are aware of how to live on undeveloped land, here are some things you should know:
It is More Affordable
When you know that you will never be paying a gas, electric, or water bill again, you will be able to save tremendous costs. While not paying any bills for the rest of your life has its fair share of advantages, it also depends on how you plan on setting up your own energy needs.
Living on undeveloped land requires you to figure out your electricity and water needs. This means that you might have to get solar panels, water storage tanks, generators, and may even have to drill a well into the ground.
Since you will no longer be reliant on a company to pay for your necessities, you do not have to worry about paying inflated prices or random companies forcing you to pay bigger fees than you had anticipated.
Don’t Place Your Trust in the Authorities
Many people who live on undeveloped pieces of land do not trust the government to protect them. Whether they are afraid of bio-terrorism, gas leaks, life-threatening viruses, or consuming poisoned food or water, they have learnt to be self-reliant.
When you decide to live on undeveloped land, you are deciding to take control of your life. This means that you choose to buy your own land, and get away from hundreds of regulations and rules. You have the liberty of figuring out your own water and energy needs, food sourcing, building bunkers, or choosing to ignore a list of unnecessary services that you will never really use.
You can also gain access to more privacy as you live away from big metropolises and cities where things are always on the go.
Back to Nature
Many people who live on undeveloped land work hard to reduce their impact on the environment. Since they are not using many facilities, they are also constantly working to reduce their carbon footprint. People who make their homes on undeveloped land often find themselves attached to nature. Hence, they try to be less wasteful and use as few resources as possible.
When you learn that a single tank of water can be used for an entire week by your family if they are careful, you will understand how wasteful you have been in the past. A tank of water that can be used for showers, drinking, washing up, and washing vegetables for a week on undeveloped land will be finished within two days if you were living in the city.
About THE AUTHOR
Brittany has been in the land business since 2020 when the world was starting to shut down. Since then, we’ve sold to dozens of people from ATV weekend warriors to camping enthusiasts to retired truck drivers. Our inventory spans mostly in the western United States. We’ve been trained by experience, land acquisition courses, and hundreds of hours meeting with county assessors and clerks, zoning officials, realtors, and land investors. We’ve answered hundreds of questions from people regarding the buying and use of land.Read More About Brittany Melling