Indiana is one of those states which is considered to be a flyover state, this is mostly because not a lot is actually happening in this state, but from an off grid stand of point, this is excellent. Currently, Indiana has a population of around 6.7 million people, and the population is steadily growing for a couple of decades already. There are only five cities whit a population above 100k people, Indianapolis with 870k, Fort Wayne 270k, Evansville 120k, and South Bend with around 105k population.
The state of Indiana is probably one of the best states for off grid living, the price of property is low, the property tax is lower than the national average, and the cost of living is 18% cheaper than in the rest of the country. On top of that, the state of Indiana offers rebates and tax incentives for both solar and wind power. One of the main drawbacks of this state is the fairly high crime rate, although the main reason for this high crime rate is just a couple of the bigger cities.
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From the 6.7 million people in Indiana, only around 1.4 million live in these bigger cities, the rest live in smaller towns and cities. One of the main reasons a lot of people are moving to Indiana is because some of these smaller cities and towns are a great place to raise a family. Boredom seems to be the main problem for a lot of people moving here, especially if they come from the east coast, but a boring state has the potential to be a very good state when it comes to off grid living.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this state, mainly the high humidity, bed bugs, and drug-related problems. The humidity is fairly high all year round and some areas are having a lot of trouble with mold growing in their houses, so if you are looking for an off grid property in this state then make sure to check for black mold. A lot of people who move off the grid will buy second-hand furniture, but you should think twice about it mainly because of bedbugs.
As a general rule, any other furniture which isn’t for the bedroom should be fine to be bought used, but I don’t recommend you to buy second-hand bedroom furniture as getting rid of the bed bugs is expensive and fairly hard. Overall the state of Indiana is a better option for off grid living than Illinois is, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Illinois ( High taxes and Crime rate ).
Indiana is one of those states which have two different climates in the northern part the climate is humid continental and in the southern part, it is humid subtropical. Both the summers and the winters are fairly humid, and the humidity is even higher in the northern part of the state. During the summertime, it is not uncommon to have temperatures of around 100°F especially in the cities where all that concrete makes you feel like you live in an oven.
During the wintertime, the temperatures are around 30°F, although the temperature difference between night and day can be fairly high. During the wintertime due to the temperature difference between the night and day, you will see a lot of fog mostly forming in the northern part of the state. If you want to take a look at one of the neighboring states then check out my recent article Off grid living in Ohio ( The Buckeye State ).
Best crops to grow in Indiana
The main crops in Indiana are corn and soybeans, you will see plenty of these crops especially in the southern part of the state. You will have no problems setting up a small off grid garden as the land is fairly fertile, although some areas which have a higher elevation are not the best for growing crops or vegetables, but you can always set up a small greenhouse. In addition to corn and soybeans, you will also find plenty of areas where wheat and hay are grown.
Freshwater availability in Indiana
During the summertime, the state of Indiana gets around 42″ of rainfall and during the wintertime, it gets around 14″ of snowfall. As you can see Indiana gets plenty of rainfall and snowfall so you will not have a problem with freshwater. There are several rivers and lakes in this state and plenty of groundwater as well. The one thing you should know about freshwater in this state is that a lot of water is contaminated, in some areas it is so bad that the tap water smells of rotten eggs. If you want to know more about harvesting rainwater then I highly recommend you to read my recent article Best ways to collect rainwater ( Top 11 Ways ).
The wildlife in Indiana is fairly diverse, you will have plenty of options both for hunting and fishing. The main drawback to this abundant wildlife is that there are several potentially dangerous predators like black bears, wolves, cougars, and coyotes. On the other hand, you will also find beavers, rabbits, white-tailed deer, and even wild hogs. In some areas, the wild hogs cause a lot of destruction, and often times you will see people who live off the grid with electric fences around their crops.
In the local rivers and lakes, you will find crappies, brown trout, salmon, grass carp, and bluegill among other fish. You will be needing a license bout for fishing and hunting which you can get at the official website https://www.in.gov/dnr/fishwild/5330.htm.
Generating power off the grid in Indiana
- Solar power: The state of Indiana gets plenty of sunshine, the problem is with humidity which will make small droplets on the solar panels, and these droplets will trap some dust. If you don’t clean your solar panels regularly then the efficiency of the solar panels will drop after a while. You can apply for a federal solar tax credit which is 26%, although some counties will also give different incentives and rebates on top of the federal solar tax credit.
- Wind power: Due to the fairly high-temperature difference between the night and day the wind will blow more or less every day. The incentive for setting up a wind turbine is a little bit different than the federal tax credit, and the percentage which you can deduct will be different every year.
Indiana off grid laws
Off grid living is legal in Indiana, you can also harvest rainwater legally without any permit or restriction, in fact, the state will actually encourage you to harvest rainwater. The homeschooling laws are nothing out of the ordinary, you will have to notify the local authorities that you are homeschooling, and homeschooling is viewed as a non accredited and a nonpublic school.
Indiana road access
The roads are not as bad as in some of the neighboring states, although during the wintertime you might have some difficulty due to the snowfall. The high humidity in below-freezing temperatures can also pose a serious problem, oftentimes black ice will form on some of the roads so drive carefully.
Indiana price of land
The price of land is a little bit more expensive than in some of the neighboring states, although generally speaking the closer you get to the bigger cities the more expensive land becomes. Land for off grid living purposes is relatively cheap, especially in the southern part of the state.
Property tax in Indiana
The property tax in Indiana is lower even than the national average, currently, the property tax is at 0.87% and the national average is 1.08%. If you compare the property tax from Illinois which is right next to Indiana then you will notice that Illinois has almost 3x higher property tax at 2.31%.
Cost of living in Indiana
The cost of living in Indiana is around 18% lower than in the rest of the country, housing is around 40% cheaper, groceries are around 15% cheaper and even health-related costs are also around 18% cheaper. The cost of living is even cheaper the further you are from the main cities.
The unemployment rate in Indiana is around 3.2% which is lower than the national average which is 4%. The minimum wage is $7.25 which is the same as the national average. The major industries in which most people work are the agricultural, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, and mining industries. The industry which has the fastest growth is the pharmaceutical industry.
Indiana crime rate
The crime rate in Indiana is just below the national average, currently, 3.83 crimes are reported per 1000 people and the national average is 4 crimes per 1000 people. Indiana has been hit hard by the opioid crisis, on top of that they also have a fairly high number of meth addicts. The safest cities are Modoc, Scipio, and Cromwell, generally peaking most of the areas with a high crime rate are around Indianapolis.
Indiana natural disasters
The natural disasters in Indiana are earthquakes, tornadoes, floods, wildfires, floods, droughts, and blizzards. The good news is that these occur fairly rarely, although the one thing you will notice during the summertime is the high numbers of mosquitoes in some areas and the high humidity, other than that this state is fairly safe when it comes to natural disasters.
Overall Indiana is a good place for off grid living, the cost of living is fairly cheap, especially when you compare it to the neighboring states. Although you might be thinking that this state has a lot of different types of natural disasters which is true, but generally speaking most people experience a couple of these in their entire life.