If you’re currently living in a densely populated area but considering building a rural homestead, maybe one that’s off-the-grid, you must also think about which state is the best choice for building that homestead in.
Truth be told, you can find rural land to build a homestead and live a self-sufficient lifestyle in literally any of the fifty states. Yes, even Hawaii. But there’s also no denying that some states have a serious advantage in this regard over others.
The one state that might have the most advantages over any other is a state that many people have not even heard of: Idaho.
While it’s mostly known for its natural beauty and ski resorts, Idaho also has many things going for it for why it may be the most overlooked state for those looking for property to live a rural and self-sufficient life.
Is Idaho the prepper’s promised land that you’ve been searching for? Only you can decide if it is for yourself, but here are some good reasons why you should strongly consider it:
Idaho has some of the most relaxed laws on homesteading and off-grid homes in the entire country.
There are very few restrictions on how many acres you can own, and in most areas you can build a home without a permit.
Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of land to become completely self-sufficient. In fact, 1/4 acre is enough, if you follow this comprehensive guide.
Living off-grid in Idaho is 100% legal, so long as you’re not violating any local building codes. You’re also legally allowed to harvest rainwater on your property as well.
The state also offers a homestead exemption that grants owners of homestead a $100,000 protection from their creditors if they file a Declaration of a Homestead. This means that your homestead cannot be seized, so long as it is your primary residence, if you have a pending debt.
Idaho also offers a tax credit from the income tax for 40% of the solar system that you set up to generate off grid power, and that’s on top of the tax credit that you can get at the Federal level.
Located right along the Rocky Mountains, Idaho is a very mountainous state. While the southern region of the state around Boise is dry and flat, the northern and eastern parts of the state are very mountainous.
One of the main features that you should look for in a homestead is for it to be surrounded by mountains or hills to help block it from view from anyone traveling along the freeways or highways and to ensure it’s more hidden. It’s not hard to find such property for sale in Idaho.
Good Soil For Gardening And Farming
The lands of Idaho are fertile, although in the northern areas of the state it should be noted that the growing period of the year can be short due to the fact that winter is long.
Related: Why You Should Put Plastic Forks In Your Vegetable Garden
The most commonly grown crop in Idaho is the potato. This is why Idaho is often called the ‘potato state’ as it generates more than one third of total potato production in the United States.
Other kinds of crops that are commonly grown in Idaho include beans, beans, hay, and wheat. Greenhouses are commonly used in Idaho to keep the growing season going during winter.
Low Population Density
Idaho is a decently large state with a smaller population of around 1.8 million people. However, the population of the state has been rising in recent years as many people have been moving to Idaho from more liberal states with a higher cost-of-living such as California.
But even though the population is expected to rise further, most of that population increase is being centered in Boise and the surrounding cities. The more rural and mountainous parts of the state, especially in the east and the north, still have low populations.
Abundance Of Water Sources
Idaho has no shortage of lakes, rivers, and streams. In fact, the state has over 2,000 lakes with names, and many more without, as well as over 3,000 miles of river.
This is one reason why Idaho is a very popular destination for fishing, boating, rafting, and kayaking.
It’s also why it’s a great state to find off-grid land in. If you do enough research, you should have no problems finding land with a natural water source in the state of Idaho.
The state receives a healthy amount of rainfall annually as well, with rainfall in the state falling between thirteen to thirty inches per year depending on where you go. The farther north you go, the more rainfall throughout the year you’re likely to receive.
By building your very own pressurized rainwater harvesting and purification system, you can effortlessly ensure a consistent supply of clean water for all your drinking, cooking, and even showering needs. This way you will eliminate any concerns about insufficient water availability.
Abundance Of Wildlife
Idaho has no shortage of wildlife either, ranging from moose to elk to deer to pronghorn to bighorn sheep and mountain goat, all of which can be hunted depending on the season. Even caribou can be found in the northern parts of the state. Bears, wolves, coyotes, mountain lions, and bobcats also call Idaho home.
Beyond that, there are also lots of small game and birds to hunt in Idaho as well, including turkey, duck, geese, grouse, pheasant, and rabbits and squirrels.
Idaho is truly a hunter’s paradise, and if you need to put meat on the table to help get your family through winter,
Idaho is a forager’s paradise just as much as it is a hunter’s paradise. Wild edibles such as mushrooms, berries, and cattails are a common presence in Idaho’s forests and fields if you know where to look.
Lenient Gun Laws
Idaho is a very conservative state with most residents being strongly supportive of the 2nd Amendment, and the gun laws are among the most lenient of any state in the Union. You don’t need a License to conceal carry a handgun in Idaho, and you don’t need any special permits or licensing to purchase a firearm in the state either.
The exception applies to if you are interested in buying a firearm restricted by the ATF, in which case you will still need to follow Federal laws.
The pricing of Idaho real estate has admittedly gone up in recent years, due to the influx of outsiders moving to the state.
That’s why the price of housing and land in Idaho is currently around 14% higher than the natural average. It should be noted that this is common with states that aren’t densely populated.
However, this is offset by the fact that the average property tax in Idaho is just 0.91%, which is below the national average that stands at 1.08%, and the overall cost of living in Idaho is also below the national average.
All in all, Idaho can be a great place for a prepper to come home.
The state has an abundance of properties that are hidden and secluded, have good agricultural land, access to a natural water source, hunting and foraging opportunities, an overall lower cost of living, and the laws and regulations of the state are favorable to homesteaders and those living off-grid as well.
If you’re looking for a good state to look for your next, or first, homestead, give Idaho a look.
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