The state of Kansas is almost right in the middle of the country, with a population of around 2.9 million people and plenty of sunflowers. If you would ask anybody about their opinion of Kansas then most of them will tell you that it is right in the middle of nowhere and that it is a boring state. If you are looking for an off grid state then a boring state will be a very good option. While for some people a boring state is a big drawback, but for the purpose of living off the grid, it simply means that the land is cheap and the living costs are also fairly cheap.
Living off the grid in Kansas is legal and this is one of the better states for off grid living. The cost of housing and land is around 40% lower than the national average, on top of that the cost of living is also around 17% lower than in the rest of the country. The property tax in Kansas is higher than the national average although the low cost of living makes up for it.
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I have never understood people who want to live off the grid in an “exciting” state, that just means that they are not spending their money wisely. A lot of people live completely off the grid in Kansas, and some of them have a self-sustaining lifestyle. There are a couple of bigger cities in this state but the vast majority of people live in smaller cities and towns. The biggest city is Wichita with around 390k population, followed by Overland Park with 170k population and Kansas City with around 150k population.
There are a couple of cities that do have over 100k population, but the vast majority of cities have less than 100k population. Kansas is considered a prairie state, as most of the land is prairie land. Praire is not actually a type of land but an ecosystem that predominantly has grassland, with a couple of trees scattered around. Although the vast majority of the state is considered to be prairie you will also find plenty of forests scattered around the state. If you are looking for other off grid states then I highly recommend you check out my recent article Off grid living in North Carolina ( Old North State ).
Due to its unique geographical position, Kansas has actually three different types of climates, and in certain areas, these can overlap each other and produce massive storms. Some of the western parts of the state are considered to be semi-arid steppe, the major difference between this climate and the two other climates in this state is that it is fairly arid both during the summertime and the wintertime.
The eastern part of the state has a more humid continental type of climate, this is great for growing crops as the climate is fairly humid all year round. In the southeastern part of the state, you will find a humid subtropical climate, which basically means that the summers are fairly hot and the winters are not that cold, this area is also great for growing crops. If you want to take a look at a state on the east coast then check out my recent article Off grid living in Pennsylvania ( Quaker state ).
Best crops to grow in Kansas
Although the state is also known as “The Sunflower State” you might think that most people will only grow sunflowers. The truth is that this state is great for growing several types of crops like wheat, corn, soybeans, and grain sorghum. Kansas is the leading producer in the country both wheat and grain sorghum. As you can see you will have plenty of options when it comes to growing crops, although as the state is fairly large you will probably be able to grow almost any kind of crops you want. Iowa is also fairly similar to Kansas when it comes to growing crops, for more information check out my recent article Off grid living in Iowa ( Cheap land & Plenty of Corn ).
Freshwater availability in Kansas
Kansas has plenty of water both above and below ground, harvesting freshwater is also legal although you might find that there are some regulations regarding harvesting rainwater in certain counties. You will have no problem harvesting rainwater for domestic use, but if you harvest rainwater for watering your crops you might need a permit from the Department of Agriculture. Although this permit is meant for large farms and not homesteads, but you should probably check with the local authorities before.
As the state is fairly large it also has abundant wildlife, you can find anything from wood rats, beavers, deer, coyotes, skunks, turkeys, to voles. Kansas has several lakes and rivers, and the most common fish you will find are crappies, catfish, walleye, and bass. You will need a permit both for fishing and hunting, hunting and fishing season varies from one county to another. The hunting and fishing licenses and permits are a little bit more expensive than in the neighboring states.
Generating power off the grid in Kansas
- Solar power: As most of the land in Kansas is considered prairie, you will have a fairly easy time using solar panels to generate power. The state of Kansas does not actually offer any rebates or tax cuts when it comes to solar power, although you can still take advantage of the federal tax credit which is 30%.
- Wind power: Most of the state is flat and windy, which is excellent for generating power with a wind turbine. The state does offer an Investment Tax Credit which can be anything between 12-30%, and this is on top of the federal tax credit of 30%.
Kansas off grid laws
You can legally live off the grid in Kansas, although you will still need a housing permit for building an off-grid homestead. In some counties, you might need a permit to harvest rainwater if you are using it for watering your crops. Homeschools are classified as non-accredited private schools, and you will have to notify the local authorities if you want to homeschool your children.
Kansas road access
Although there are plenty of roads crossing the state, you will find some areas which do not even have dirt roads. The roads are fairly “ok” in quality, although once you get closer to the cities the amount of traffic increases significantly, but this is normal for any state in the country. The winters are also fairly mild so snow shouldn’t block most of the roads.
Kansas price of land
The land is cheap in Kansas, mostly because there is not a high demand for it from people coming into the state. Generally speaking, areas, where crops are already growing or already have a well, are more expensive than the ones without them. The prices will be different from one county to another so you might want to search around a bit.
Kansas property tax
The property tax in Kansas will sting a bit, the property tax is at 1.40% which is above the 1.08% national average. The good news is that properties are not that valuable in this state, so even if the property tax is fairly high you will still pay less than in the neighboring states. Just keep in mind that the property tax varies from one county to another, the highest property tax is in Atchison County which has a 1.68% property tax.
Kansas cost of living
This is where Kansas shines, in general, the cost of living is around 17% lower than in the rest of the country. The most notable difference is in the cost of housing which is around 40% lower than the national average. You will also pay less for both transportation and groceries, on the other hand, you will pay more for utilities and health-related costs. As you can see the property tax isn’t that high when you take into consideration that the price of land and housing is around 40% lower than the national average.
Kansas has an unemployment rate of 3% which is lower than the national average which is at 4%. The major industries where most people are working are agricultural, mining, oil, gas, construction, and manufacturing. As you can see there are plenty of opportunities to work for both skilled and unskilled people.
Kansas crime rate
The crime rate in Kansas is around 15% higher than the national average, there are around 4.39 reported crimes per 1000 people and the national average is 4 crimes reported per 1000 people. As in any other state, the crime rate is higher in the cities than in rural communities. Generally speaking, the safest counties are Morland, Grainfield, and Moscow. In the eastern part of the state, the crime rate is significantly higher than in the western part.
Kansas natural disasters
There are three types of natural disasters that can occur in Kansas, earthquakes, floods, and tornadoes. In addition to this, wildfires, ice storms, and winter storms can also occur although these are fairly rare.
Kansas is a good place to live off the grid, even if the property tax is somewhat higher than the national average it makes up with cheap land and housing. Due to its size, you will have no problem finding suitable land for off grid living for dirt cheap, and having the ability to grow different types of crops is also a big bonus in my eyes.