Living Off Grid in North Carolina (Everything You Need to Know)

North Carolina is located on the east coast. Many people consider it to be geographically in the sweet spot, at least for living off grid. It offers access to both the beach and the mountains, with certain summits offering views of the ocean on clear days. North Carolina has a population of a little over 10 million people, and it has been growing for several decades. Charlotte, the state’s largest city, has a population of over 800,000 people, followed by Raleigh, which has a population of over 450,000, and Greensboro, which has a population of around 300,000.

living off grid in north carolina
Western North Carolina is the perfect place to live out your off grid dreams.

General Statistics for Living Off Grid in North Carolina

Living off grid in North Carolina is permitted, and it is perhaps one of the greatest states for it. The land is reasonably priced, and the cost of living and property taxes are also lower than the national average. In North Carolina, you’ll have no trouble cultivating a lot of crops and catching rainwater, which is essential for anyone who wants to live off grid.

There are approximately ten cities with populations of over 100,000 people, as well as numerous smaller towns and cities. North Carolina contains a total of ten national parks, which is a large number when compared to the size of the state. It has a diverse flora and fauna due to its unique geographical location.

If you have allergies, you will have a difficult time in North Carolina, particularly in the spring and fall. North Carolina is one of the worst states to live in if you have allergies – just trust me… During the spring, a layer of yellow pollen can be found everywhere, from the roof of your car to your furniture. If you are curious about other off grid states, I recommend reading my guide to Off Grid Living in New York

What is the Climate in North Carolina? 

You will be shocked if you are not used to “mountain weather.” The weather can change quickly due to its proximity to the coast and the presence of mountains that block part of the clouds. 

Because this area has a subtropical highland climate, you will notice a dramatic change in the local climate as you travel towards the western half of the state, closer to the mountains. This essentially means that summers and winters will be slightly cooler than the rest of the state. In general, the average summer temperature is around 80°F, while the average winter temperature is around 20°F. Due to the windchill effect, the closer you get to the coast in the winter, the colder it gets. 

What Are the Best Crops to Grow Off Grid in North Carolina? 

You won’t have many options for growing crops in this state, especially if you’re raising vegetables to feed yourself and your family. Sweet potatoes, corn, cotton, and soybeans thrive in North Carolina’s fertile soil. In addition, you will find a lot of farms growing tobacco; however, you will probably not be able to grow enough to generate a large profit if you plan on living off grid in North Carolina. In some states, for example, Utah, you will have a lot more crop alternatives; for more information, check out my Complete Guide to Living Off Grid in Georgia.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in North Carolina?

North Carolina features a lot of water, including rivers and lakes, as well as a lot of rainfall. The availability of groundwater is also fairly high, and most of it is not polluted, though it is a good idea to test it before purchasing a piece of property.

What Type of Wildlife Does North Carolina Have? 

If you enjoy hunting, North Carolina is an excellent place to call home because it has a diverse range of tiny and large wild creatures. Other creatures include black bears, white-tailed deer, rabbits, and raccoons. Because North Carolina is a coastline state, there are lots of freshwater and saltwater fishing opportunities. Fishing and hunting rules are quite permissive, though you will need a permit which can be found on the state’s website

How to Generate Off-Grid Power in North Carolina?  

Solar power: is one of your finest options for generating electricity in North Carolina because the sun shines all year, and installing a solar power system is quite inexpensive. There is a federal tax credit that applies to everyone in the country; it is normally approximately 26-30 percent. In addition to this, Duke Energy solar panel subsidies and revolving financing alternatives are available in North Carolina. If you combine all of them, you can easily save 50-60% on the total cost of the setup.

Wind power: Using wind power in this state is rather situational; there are some regions, such as the coast and near the mountains, where the wind blows all year. There are a few incentives available at both the municipal and federal levels, albeit they vary greatly from one county to the next.

Are There Any Living Off Grid Laws in North Carolina? 

The first step in living off the grid in a homestead is to obtain a house permit, which might take up to a year, depending on the county. The good news is that there are no laws forbidding you from living off-grid; however, you should always obtain a dwelling permit and become familiar with homeschooling rules since these are the ones that will most likely cause you problems in the long run.

What’s Road Access Like in North Carolina? 

Due to the snowfall in the winter, you may experience some difficulties with road access. Because roads in some locations are prone to forming black ice, you should be particularly cautious when driving in the winter, especially at night. Some places receive significantly more rainfall than others, and if your property is accessible by a dirt road that is also utilized by big logging vehicles, you may find that the dirt road is impassable for several days following a downpour.

What’s the Price of Land in North Carolina? 

When it comes to land prices, North Carolina has you covered; you can find land for almost any budget. Land near the ocean is generally more expensive than land elsewhere in the state, yet building a homestead right on the beach is not ideal. Land in mountainous places is typically much cheaper, as long as it is not a popular tourist destination. If you look hard enough, you should be able to find cheap land; however, it will most likely be in a remote location.

What’s the Property Tax in North Carolina? 

North Carolina has a property tax rate of 0.83 percent, which is lower than the national average. The property tax rate varies from county to county, although the average is 0.90 percent. In my opinion, the tax in North Carolina is not all that expensive, although it does raise the closer you get to the city. 

What’s the Cost of Living Off Grid in North Carolina? 

North Carolina has a lower cost of living than the rest of the US, by roughly 10%. The cost of accommodation is around 19 percent lower, while the cost of transportation is approximately 17 percent lower. Groceries are also less expensive than in neighboring states, though this varies by county. On the other hand, health-related services cost about 8% more. You may want to keep that in mind as season allergies in North Carolina are some of the worst in the country.

What’s the Job Market Like in North Carolina? 

North Carolina’s minimum wage is $7.25 per hour, which is precisely the same as the national average. The unemployment rate is now at 3.9%, which is in line with the national average. Aerospace and defense, pharmaceuticals, automobiles, and energy are the primary industries. Although North Carolina produces a lot of tobacco, the agriculture industry employs just a small number of people.

What’s the Crime Rate in North Carolina? 

North Carolina’s crime rate is slightly lower than the national average, at 3.78 crimes per 1000 people. This is compared to the national average of 2.9 crimes per 1000 people. In general, the counties with the lowest crime rates are those closest to the shore. There are plenty of low-crime counties in the state’s western regions as well.

Interested in living off grid in another state? Check out Nevada.

Is Living Off Grid in North Carolina Affected by Natural Disasters? 

Although living off grid in North Carolina is mostly positive, it has a disadvantage in terms of natural disasters. Earthquakes, droughts, storms, floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, sinkholes, and even riots can all occur in North Carolina. You might believe that calamities like this happen infrequently, but the truth is that all of the disasters listed above occurred in 2016.

Can You Live Off Grid in North Carolina? 

Living off grid in North Carolina is excellent! This is because housing is inexpensive, and living costs are lower than the national average. However, it does have its drawbacks such as a relatively high crime rate and more frequent natural disasters. Having said that, if you look hard enough, you can find some counties that are less vulnerable to these events.

When I was buying land to build my off grid cabin, North Carolina was at the top of my list. Although I eventually purchased something in Virginia, I spent a lot of time driving around North Carolina looking at land. My recommendation is to look is the western part of the state around Pisgah National Forest.  

living off the grid in north carolina
North Carolina is home of the Outer Banks.

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