Live Off the Grid in Iowa (Our Complete Guide)

Iowa is a classic middle-of-the-country state, and it’s similar to Nebraska and South Dakota in terms of off-grid life. Iowa has a population of around 3.2 million people, with only three cities with populations exceeding 100,000. The majority of the population lives in tiny towns and cities throughout the state although some are living off the grid in Iowa.

off grid living in iowa
There are a LOT of cornfield in Iowa.

General Statistics for Living Off The Grid in Iowa

Living off-grid is permitted in Iowa, and it’s definitely one of the best states for it. This state is known for its agriculture, and many off-grid communities have their own farms. Although the cost of living and the price of land is lower than the national average, the property tax is greater.

You probably don’t want to live off the grid in an “exciting” state.” If you’re considering moving to this state and living off-grid, there are two things you should know: cornfields and deer are everywhere. 

Pig farms are also abundant in this state, and their meat is used in a variety of state cuisines. However, pig farms are a problem because they contaminate groundwater. Although local officials have begun to address this issue, it is a long process. You won’t have any trouble finding groundwater, but you should definitely test the water before buying land. You won’t be able to utilize contaminated water for anything other than watering crops.

An often overlooked killer, Iowa is prone to allergies. You should also evaluate the local weather; while winter can be brutal in some years, the environment generally deteriorates as you travel further north. The temperature and expense of life are similar to those in Indiana; for more details, see my recent article Off-Grid Living in Indiana

What is the Climate in Iowa? 

Iowa, like its neighboring states, has a humid continental climate. This means that the summers are hot and humid, while the winters are cold and humid. The average temperature in the summer is around 90°F, while in the winter, it is around -10°F. Winters in some places of the United States can be severe, with temperatures as low as -20°F.

The coldest temperature ever recorded in this state was -47°F in 1996, which is cold enough for the Arctic. Although the winters are harsh, there are occasional heatwaves in the summer, albeit they are no longer usual (thanks to Global Warming). 

What Are the Best Crops to Grow in Iowa? 

The majority of Iowa is considered good farmland, and the state now ranks first in the nation in maize and soybean production. There are also several farms cultivating rye, wheat, and oats. As you can see, you have a lot of alternatives when it comes to crops, and you won’t have any trouble watering them because Iowa receives a lot of rain each year. Check out my article about Off The Grid Living in Ohio for more information about the mid-west.

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Iowa? 

There are many rivers and lakes in Iowa, so finding fresh water will not be an issue; groundwater is also readily available, and rainfall gathering is permissible. When it comes to groundwater, one thing to bear in mind is that the groundwater may be contaminated near pig farms. 

Most people believe that if the land is at a greater height, the groundwater should be fine, but the truth is that the groundwater in both hills and flat terrain is pretty much the same. I recommend checking out the local area in depth before purchasing any property in Iowa because learning you can’t dig a well is a real letdown. 

What Kind of Wildlife Does Iowa Have? 

Deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, badgers, and other wildlife are common in Iowa, as are deer, rabbits, raccoons, skunks, and badgers. There are also wild hogs, which are one of the most destructive creatures. They usually migrate in large groups and wreak extensive damage, particularly in cornfields; they are also quite deadly. A regular pig transforms into a wild pig in about 3-4 weeks; their tusks get larger, their fur darkens and thickens, and they become hostile and territorial.

If you’re looking to hunt or fish, check the local guidelines and regulations on the state’s website

How to Generate Off-Grid Power in Idaho? 

Solar power: Installing a solar power system is one of the most cost-effective ways to generate electricity. In addition to the federal tax cut of 30% that all states receive, Iowa also provides a personal tax credit of 50% from the federal tax credit, resulting in a solar power system that is 45 percent cheaper.

Wind power: In Iowa, there used to be a particular tax credit for generating wind power, but that credit was depleted a few years ago. I’m not sure if the federal tax cut also applies to wind power, as it does in certain states but not all, so you’ll have to check with your local government for additional details.

Does Iowa Have Living Off The Grid Laws? 

Living off the grid is permitted in Iowa; no laws prevent you from doing so, and you may also lawfully capture rainwater. The regulations regulating homeschooling are pretty relaxed, but you’ll have to contact your local authorities because most government websites either don’t have information about it or don’t operate.

What is the Price of Land in Iowa? 

Iowan land is quite inexpensive, as is the case in most of the Midwest. Farmland is a little more expensive, but if you want to live off the grid, you could acquire land and start growing your own crops from scratch, saving money on the “farm” land. Although groundwater is quite abundant, you should check to see if it is present before purchasing any land and that it is not contaminated by pig farm runoff.

What is the Property Tax in Iowa? 

The property tax in Iowa is a bit more than the national average at 1.53%, which is roughly 30-40% higher than the national average. Although property taxes are vital, if you do not purchase land on which you will also grow crops, you will likely not feel the agony of paying such a high property tax; nevertheless, why would you relocate to a place where you can easily grow multiple crops and not take advantage of it?

What is the Road Access Like in Iowa? 

Iowa is flat, and the roads are average in quality but not bad enough to cause problems in the summer or winter. When there is snow, the roads may be in poor condition and take longer to get cleaned than in other states. This is most likely not a worry if you’re planning on living off-grid, however. 

What is the Cost of Living Off The Grid in Iowa? 

Iowa has a lower cost of living than the rest of the US, by about 17 percent. The home market is roughly 40% cheaper than the rest of the country, so the high property tax will not be an issue, and if you look hard enough, you may locate land for nearly nothing. Transportation is also roughly 30% less expensive; however, if you live off the grid, this won’t matter. Health care, on the other hand, is around 20% more expensive, so it all balances out.

What is the Job Market Like in Iowa? 

The unemployment rate is around 3.9 percent, which is the same as the national average. You may believe that with all of the corn and pig farms, the majority of the population works in agriculture. The truth however, is that the majority of people work in the health care, education, and manufacturing industries. Although you will have little trouble obtaining both expert and unskilled work, the low wage of $7.25 per hour may hurt.

What is the Crime Rate in Iowa? 

When it comes to violent crime, Iowa ranks lower than the national average, with 2.67 violent crimes per 1000 people. This is compared to the national average of nearly double that at 4 crimes per 1000 people. As in many states, the majority of crime occurs in the larger cities, which have a greater impact on the statistics due to their higher population density.

Is Living Off The Grid in Iowa Affected by Natural Disasters? 

The weather in Iowa is quite unpredictable. Similar to my girlfriend, the weather turns from peaceful to hectic very quickly. Tornadoes do occur, but the most serious issue is flooding, since when it rains, it pours. Floods can occur at any time of year, especially in the spring when the snow has begun to melt.

Can You Live Off the Grid in Iowa? 

As you can see, Iowa is an excellent state for off the grid living. It has affordable land and a low cost of living that more than compensates for the high property tax. Furthermore, water will not be an issue, and you will be able to raise a variety of crops as well as livestock.

There are no laws that affect off-grid living in Iowa. There is seriously some low population density for you to have plenty of space. 

living off the grid in iowa
More corn. I swear, Iowa is mostly cornfields.

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