Best places for Off Grid Living and Homesteading in California ( Top 5 )

California has to be one of the most beautiful states in the entire country, with plenty of sunshine all year round and a lot of options when it comes to growing crops. Although there are not a lot of people who do live off the grid or in a homestead in this state, but those who do tend to thrive.  California has its own share of problems when it comes to living off the grid, but there are some areas that do facilitate off grid living and homesteading as well.

The best places for off grid living and homesteading in California are Ventura County, Siskiyou County, Mendocino County, Inyo County, and Modoc county. The main reasons why these are the best ones is because they all have a low population density, low cost of living, and low costs of property. In addition to this, the off grid living and homesteading laws are also fairly relaxed in these counties.

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More and more people are moving out of California every year, mostly due to the high cost of living and the high cost of property. If you want to live off the grid in a homestead you can do it in California, as there are plenty of counties that do not have such a high cost of living. The main problem with California when it comes to homesteading and living off the grid is the lack of affordable land and housing.

The truth is that there are counties in California that do not have such high property prices, and with some research, you can find an off grid paradise in this state. The best part about homesteading or living off the grid in California is that you have a lot of options to grow crops and generating power with solar panels is fairly easy. In addition to this California does have several incentives of which you should take advantage of if you are planning to live off the grid or in a homestead.

Overall California is not a good state for homesteading or for living off the grid, but if you have no other option than to live in this state then you still have a couple of options. If you want to live off the grid or homestead in this state then you have to stay away from areas with high population density, as you will simply not find any affordable land. If you want to know how is living off the grid in California then check out my recent article Off grid living in California ( The Golden State ).

Ventura County Off Grid Living and Homesteading

If you want to live off the grid in a homestead that is close to Los Angeles then Ventura county is probably the best place for you. At first glance, Ventura county doesn’t look like a good place for living off the grid due to the high population density but there are several smaller towns where you can live off the grid fairly easily. The median household income in this county is fairly low when you compare it to the state average.

In addition to this Ventura county has a lot of fertile lands which you can use to easily grow crops. The most common crops grown here are strawberries, lemons, celery, and raspberries. As the lands tend to be fairly fertile in this county you will be able to grow a wide variety of crops. As the sun shines for most of the year you will have no problem generating power with solar panels. The homesteading laws in Ventura county are fairly relaxed, although you will need a lawyer to file the homesteading declaration. If you want to know how you can build an off grid house then check out my recent article Building a house off the grid ( In 10 Steps ).

Siskiyou County Off Grid Living and Homesteading

Siskiyou County has a population of around 50k people, although the population is steadily decreasing every year but this only makes the cost of property lower. There are a couple of homesteads and people living off the grid in this county, and most of them do it because of the low cost of living and the possibility to grow crops. This county is in the northern parts of California, which means that the climate isn’t that hot.

The median income in Siskiyou County is lower than the state’s average, on the other hand finding a job in such a low population density county can be difficult. The most common crops grown in the county are field crops, nursery plants, strawberries, alfalfa, and potatoes. If you want to live off the grid or in a homestead in this county then you should take advantage of the tax exemptions for homesteading and off grid living. If you are wondering about the legal aspects of living off the grid then check out my recent article Is living off the grid legal? ( 11 Rules to Follow ).

Mendocino County Off Grid Living and Homesteading

If you want to live off the grid near the coast than Mendocino County is one of your best options. This county has a fairly low population density of around 80k people and the median household income is well below the state’s average. Mendocino County has a lot of smaller towns where living off the grid or homesteading is fairly easy. The lands in this county are fairly fertile and you will be able to grow anything from potatoes to grapes.

In fact, this county produces a lot of grapes, these grapes are used for producing one of the best wines in the entire state. Declaring your off grid property a homestead is fairly easy as the homesteading laws are not that strict.

Inyo county Off Grid Living and Homesteading

Inyo County is located in the eastern part of California, with a fairly low population density of around 18k people. The lands in this county are not that fertile although you will still be able to grow different types of crops. The off grid and the homesteading communities are not that large although there are some families who do live off the grid or in a homestead. Winters can be cold during some years if you are not used to them, on the other hand, the summers are not that hot either, which is a big plus in many people’s eyes.

The homesteading laws in this county are not that strict, and you will have no problem living off the grid as long as you follow the local laws and building regulations.

Modoc county Off Grid Living and Homesteading

With a population of only around 9k people, this is an excellent county both for homesteading and living off the grid. Due to the low population density, the cost of living, and the cost of property are fairly low. You can easily find real estate in this county even if you are on a tight budget. Modoc County is located in the northern part of California, although it does have the typical fertile lands of California but not all areas are good for growing crops.

Most people who are homesteading or living off the grid in this county either raise livestock or grow potatoes and other vegetables. The laws and regulations regarding living off the grid are fairly relaxed, and you can declare your house a homestead.

In conclusion

As you can see there are a couple of good counties even in California for living off the grid and homesteading. Although generally speaking California is not ideal for living off the grid, but if you want to do it here then you at least know your options. Just make sure to ask the local authorities what do you need to declare your house a homestead and if they do help you out with incentives or rebates for generating power.