Off Grid Living In Maryland ( Good or Bad? )

Located on the Eastern Coast of the country, Maryland has a population of around 6 million, and this number is going up day by day. For somebody who wants to move here and live off the grid, this isn’t an ideal state, although that doesn’t mean that people are not living off the grid in Maryland, far from it, in fact, there are several off grid communities in the state. Generally speaking, people who live off the grid do it in the western part of the state between Oakland and Frostburg, although there are definitely off grid communities outside of this area as well.

Living off the grid in Maryland is permitted from a legal standpoint, but it’s important to take into account various regulations. Regardless of whether a dwelling is connected to the grid or not, it must comply with all relevant building code requirements and zoning ordinances. These regulations apply to ensure safety and adherence to established standards for all types of residences in Maryland.

Maryland’s biggest city is Baltimore which is right in the center of the state, with a population of over 600k people. One of the biggest problems of living off the grid in this state is Baltimore itself, as it has a fairly high crime rate, low poverty rate, and expensive living costs. The prices to buy or rent are going up every year, and still, people flock to this city because it is fairly close to DC. Maryland has one of the strictest regulations regarding guns, and who can own them, this might be a bonus for some but not for others.

Living off the grid can be dangerous, especially in Maryland’s high crime rate areas, and without having the ability to own a gun this could be problematic. The state is also well known for its ticks, and cicadas, during the summertime you will see plenty of them. Cicadas don’t really pose any threat but ticks do, as they spread Lyme diseases and they could even make you allergic to red meat in some cases. If you are wondering which state is one of the best for off grid living then check out my recent article Off grid living in Minnesota ( Land of 10,000 Lakes ).

Is Off Grid Living Legal In Maryland?

Living off the grid in Maryland is allowed, but it is important to take into account various regulations before doing so. Maryland imposes specific requirements for all dwellings, irrespective of being on or off the grid. These requirements encompass compliance with applicable building code regulations and zoning ordinances. Therefore, individuals considering off-grid living in Maryland must ensure that their dwellings meet the necessary building code standards and adhere to the zoning regulations in their respective area.

Maryland Climate

Maryland has actually two different types of climate, in the western part of the state it is continental, and in the east, it has a humid subtropical climate. In the western part of the state, the average summer temperature is around 65 °F and around 30 °F during the wintertime. In the eastern part of the state, the average summer temperature is around 75 °F and during wintertime, it is around 35 °F.

Both the west and eastern parts of the state are fairly humid both during the winter and summer. The temperatures during the wintertime do not fall that much, although wind will be almost constantly blowing which will make it feel a lot colder than it actually is. If you are looking for a state which has warmer and longer summers and very mild winters, then check out my recent article Off grid living in Louisiana ( Great food way too Humid? ).

Best Crops To Grow Off The Grid In Maryland

Maryland isn’t the best state to grow crops, as its main crops are grain, barley, and soybeans. Most of the crops are actually grown in greenhouses, and the major part of these are either vegetables or ornamental crops like flowers. From an off grid living stand of point, you could grow some crops if you set up a greenhouse, without a greenhouse, it will be fairly difficult although not impossible. Generally speaking, the western part of the state is a lot better for growing crops than the eastern part of the state.

Freshwater Availability In Maryland

There are a lot of rivers crossing the state, and you will have no problem finding water both above and below the ground. Currently, it is legal to harvest rainwater, although you might be taxed in the future for stormwater runoff, and this kind of perfectly sums up the local authorities’ attitude towards the population.

Maryland Wildlife

Maryland has fairly limited wildlife, raccoons, porcupines, groundhogs, and other rodents, you might come across the occasional deer but don’t get your hopes up. On the other hand, Maryland doesn’t have any shortage when it comes to both freshwater and saltwater fish, you can find anything from striped bass, white bass, to bluegill. As in all states, you will need different licenses both for saltwater and freshwater fishing and for hunting as well. You will most likely heat your off grid home with firewood, if you want to know which firewood smells the best then check out my recent article Best smelling firewood ( Top 13 ).

Generating Power Off The Grid In Maryland

  • Solar power: Maryland is a good state to power your house with solar panels, as many other states, Maryland also has the federal tax credit of around 30%, although this percentage will vary from one county to another.
  • Wind power: The eastern part of the state is much better suited for wind power than the western part, in addition to this you can also get rebates of up to 60% of your investment.
  • Hydroelectric power: Currently there are no incentives for this kind of power, although you will probably be ok with a small Hydroelectric generator powering your homestead.

Maryland Road Access

Generally speaking, you will have no problem with road access in the eastern part of Maryland, although due to its close proximity to the capital, expect a lot of traffic jams, and by that I mean a lot. On the other hand in the western part of the state, the traffic is not that congested, and you will usually find at least a dirt road in remote areas.

Maryland Price Of Off Grid Land

The price of land is fairly high, mostly because it is right at the doorstep of the capital. The closer you get to Baltimore the higher the prices are. Generally speaking, the most expensive land is in the center, and in the eastern part of the state, in the western part of the state, the prices are fairly affordable as these parts are not that well developed.

Maryland Property Tax

The property tax in Maryland is 1.1% which is slightly above the national average which is 1.08%. What you will notice in Maryland is that everything is taxed, and as high as possible, although I simply can not understand why, as the state doesn’t offer a lot, except for a high crime rate, high cost of living, and a worsening education system.

Maryland Cost Of Living

The cost of living is high, I mean it is higher by around 10-13% than the national average. Everything from housing, transportation, and even groceries are a lot more expensive than in most of the states. The good news is that in the western part of the state, the cost of living is fairly average when compared to the other states. One of the main reasons why the cost of living is so high is Baltimore, as every year its population is increasing so does the taxes.

Maryland Jobs

Maryland’s unemployment rate is around 3.6% which is slightly below the national average. Most people work in healthcare, social assistance, retail, and in the industries related to the government. In the western part of the state, you will also be able to find a job in the agriculture industry.

Maryland Crime Rate

The crime rate in Maryland is high, especially for violent crime, there are around 4.7 incidents per 1000 people, and when you compare this to the national average of 3.8 incidents per 1000 people you can clearly see how bad the situation in Maryland is. Most of the crime happens in the Baltimore area, and generally speaking, the western part of the state is somewhat safer. The poverty rate is around 9.7% which is the second-lowest in the country.

Maryland Natural Disasters

Maryland has a couple of fairly common natural disasters, like floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, and winter storms. The major problem in this state is the power grid, as it can go down for long periods of time with even mild storms, this is most likely due to the fact that the power grid is old and not maintained properly.

Key Takeaways

  • Living off the grid in Maryland is legal, but the high taxes will make it extremely difficult to live off the grid.
  • If you are planning to live off thy grid in Maryland and grow your own food then you will have to set up a greenhouse.
  • The homeschooling laws in Maryland are fairly relaxed.