When it comes to living off the grid, few people mention Virginia, even though it appears to be an outstanding off the grid state. With an estimated population of 8.5 million people, Virginia is one of the most populous states on the east coast. The largest city in Virginia is Virginia Beach, which has 450k people, followed by Norfolk with 245k, Chesapeake with 237k, Arlington with 230k, Richmond with 220k, and Newport News with 180k, Alexandria with 150k, and Hampton with 135k citizens.
Living off the grid in Virginia is an awesome choice, as it is legal to live off the grid and collect rainwater. Because of its unique geographical location, the climate is relatively mild, allowing you to cultivate a variety of crops and a long growing season. On the other hand, due to the high population density, you may have difficulty obtaining adequate property for a homestead, though you will have a much simpler time finding a nice off the grid spot in the state’s western portion.
General Statistics for Living Off the Grid in Virginia
Because of Virginia’s high population density, living off the grid in some locations will be exceedingly expensive, if not impossible. In general, population density is higher in the eastern part of the state, and it tends to decrease as you travel west. Even though the population density is increasing, there are still many places of unspoiled environment.
Many people reject living off the grid in Virginia because of its high cost of living; nevertheless, the cost of living in Virginia is right on par with the national average, while land and housing are fairly pricey, particularly in the eastern parts. Virginia’s minimum wage is $7.25, the lowest on the east coast, leading many people to believe that the state has a high cost of living.
Virginia is not too expensive; it is one of the more affordable states on the east coast in terms of cost of living and property prices, yet you will struggle if your hourly wage is only $7.25. This state has many people living off the grid, and many of them have come here from one of the northern states. Check read my previous piece, Living Off the Grid in Vermont if you’re interested in another east coast state.
What’s the Climate in Virginia?
Virginia has a humid subtropical climate with hot summers and moderate winters. Aside from the relatively mild temperature, the area’s climate is ideal for cultivating various crops. The average summer temperature is around 86 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average winter temperature is around 35 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s worth noting that the summers are quite humid, and if you’re not used to it, you may find it tough to acclimate.
What Type of Crops are Grown in Virginia?
The climate in the area is ideal for growing crops, and you’ll see tobacco fields alongside wheat, maize, barley, corn, and even peanut plantations. Peanut-growing locations, in general, contain much groundwater because this crop requires much water. In addition, this state allows you to grow various vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, potatoes, beans, and sweet corn. Check out my recent piece Off Grid Living in North Carolina if you’re seeking a state with an even warmer temperature.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Virginia?
Virginia doesn’t have a freshwater shortage because of its humid subtropical environment. The average annual rainfall is roughly 43 inches, and the average annual snowfall is between 8 and 35 inches. In general, coastal areas receive more rain and snow each year. In the western portion of Virginia, the groundwater is quite clean, but the closer you approach the ocean, the more likely the groundwater will be contaminated.
What Kind of Wildlife in Virginia?
Virginia is home to American black bears, white-tailed deers, foxes, bobcats, beavers, coyotes, and groundhogs. However, there are few animals in the state due to its high population density. The most frequent freshwater fish are largemouth bass, bluegill, pumpkinseed, black crappie, and white crappie. The most frequent saltwater fish are bluefish, red drum, king mackerel, striped bass, spot, and spotted seatrout. Both sea and freshwater fishing require a fishing license.
How to Generate Off the Grid Power in Virginia?
Solar power: There are no municipal incentives for solar power in Virginia, but you may still qualify for the federal tax credit worth 26%. People who install solar panels on their homes often discover that they will have to pay extra in property taxes because the solar power system has increased the value of their home; however, in Virginia, solar panels are exempt from the total value of the house or property.
Wind energy: Although there are no municipal incentives for wind energy, you can still use the federal tax credit. The greatest places to build wind turbines are along or near the coast.
Are There Living Off the Grid Laws in Virginia?
Living off the grid in Virginia is permitted, but you must adhere to municipal building codes regardless of where you build. Septic tank laws and regulations vary from one county to the next, so you’ll need to check with your local authorities for additional information. If you wish to homeschool your children, you can do so rather easily because homeschooling rules are not particularly rigorous.
What’s Road Access Like in Virginia?
The economy in Virginia is reasonably stable, and the roads are generally in decent condition. The roads are generally well maintained in most locations, while certain highways in the western section of the state are in poor condition. Because Virginia has a warm temperature, you won’t have to worry about snow blocking the roads unless you reside near the mountains. However, even in those locations, annual snowfall is quite modest compared to the northern states.
What’s the Price of Land in Virginia?
The land cost in Virginia is more than the national average; in fact, a house or piece of land in Virginia will cost you roughly 11% more than the national average. This 11 percent increase in property and land costs may appear large at first look, but the truth is that there is a significant price disparity between the eastern and western sections of the state. The most costly lands and property are on the east coast, while the least expensive lands and property are in the western sections of the state.
What’s the Property Tax in Virginia?
Virginia’s property tax is 0.80 percent, lower than the national average of 1.08 percent. Loudoun County, with 1.098 percent, has the highest property tax rate.
Interested in living off grid in another state? Check out my Complete Guide on Living Off the Grid in Utah.
What’s the Cost of Living Off the Grid in Virginia?
In Virginia, the cost of living is slightly higher than the national average; you’ll pay about 11% more for housing and 3% more for healthcare. Utilities, transportation, and groceries, on the other hand, will cost roughly 1% less.
What’s the Job Market Like in Virginia?
Virginia’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average; it is currently 2.6 percent, whereas the national average is 3.6 percent. Although Virginia’s minimum wage is $7.25, it is the lowest in the US; nonetheless, several of Virginia’s bordering states have higher minimum wages. Agriculture, forestry, commercial fishing, manufacturing, and tourism are the major industries in which most people work.
Check out Oklahoma if you’re interested in a state that is great for off the grid life.
What’s the Crime Rate in Virginia?
Virginia has one of the lowest crime rates on the east coast, with only two offenses per 1000 persons compared to the national average of four. The areas of New Castle, Washington, Palmyra, Charles City, and Pocahontas have the lowest crime rates. Bedford, Norfolk, Fredericksburg, Winchester, and South Boston have the highest crime rates.
Do Natural Disasters Affect Living Off the Grid in Virginia?
Natural disasters such as thunderstorms, hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, floods, flash floods, winter storms, ice storms, heat waves, and droughts are common in Virginia. Storms and thunderstorms are the most common natural disasters, especially along the shore.
Is Living Off the Grid in Virginia Doable?
Overall, living off the grid in Virginia is favorable because the cost of living is comparable to the national average, crime is minimal, and the weather is pleasant. The fact that the minimum wage in this state is a mere $7.25 is one of the most common concerns.