Alabama is located in the southern section of the United States, and it is a typical southern state in many ways. This means that off-grid living in Alabama is completely doable (as many southern states make off-grid life quite easy). Life in Alabama is quite inexpensive. This is primarily due to the state’s high poverty rate and the issues that the state keeps addressing. Alabama’s healthcare system is one of the poorest in the country, and its education system is deficient in many ways.
Living off-grid is legal in Alabama, and it is one of the easiest places for it. Alabama boasts affordable land and some of the lowest property taxes in the country. You’ll also have no trouble growing crops or generating electricity. In fact, the state offers large rebates and incentives for solar and wind power systems. Alabama, on the other side, has one of the poorest healthcare systems in the country, as well as a high crime rate.
As I’ve stated in prior articles, just because a state has a lower standard of life doesn’t mean it’s a horrible area to live off-grid. Funny enough, it’s usually the opposite. Many individuals in Alabama have more or less self-sufficient lives, and living off- grid in Alabama will be much easier here than in the northern states, owing to the lower cost of living. Although few individuals want to relocate to Alabama, the truth is that the state’s population is growing at a quicker rate than the population of the states on the east coast.
Most of the states in this region have two things in common: excessive humidity and a lot of bugs. The extreme humidity in some parts of Alabama causes black mold to grow in people’s homes if they don’t frequently ventilate, which is why you’ll notice a lot of houses with doors and windows open most of the time. If you’d like to learn about a state with less humidity and bugs; read my recent post on Off-Grid Living in Tennessee.
What is Alabama’s Climate?
The climate of Alabama is humid subtropical, which means the summers are hot and humid, and the winters are moderate and humid. The average summer temperature is around 90°F, while the average winter temperature is around 35°F, though winters can be much hotter in some years. From the perspective of off-grid living in Alabama, this means that cultivating crops will be relatively straightforward due to the long growing season. However, you will be continuously fighting the extreme humidity.
The hottest temperature ever recorded was 112 degrees Fahrenheit in 1965, and the lowest was -17 degrees Fahrenheit in 1899. This state experiences frequent heat waves as a result of global warming. Therefore, if you are elderly or have cardiac problems, you might want to avoid moving here.
What are the Best Crops to Grow in Alabama?
The local climate is ideal for growing crops. Nonetheless, Alabama produces only about 4% of the country’s total crop production. Cotton, corn, grain, soybeans, and a variety of vegetables and fruits can all be grown here. You won’t need to put up a greenhouse, unlike in the northern states. The temperatures are warm enough for practically a year of growth. This makes it a prime choice for an off-grid family that is looking to start their own homestead.
On the other hand, you’ll constantly be fighting bugs that eat your crops, some of which are pesticide-resistant. If you’re looking to buy land in Alabama for a homestead and want to raise your own crops, check sure the land is ideal for that purpose.
What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Alabama?
Alabama has no freshwater shortages as a result of its heavy rainfall and humidity. That being said, if the water is groundwater, it should be tested because it could be contaminated by farm runoff or even seawater in some regions. The good news is that you should have little trouble harvesting rainwater thanks to the significant amount of rainfall.
Wells that are dug won’t have to be very deep, which is a great news for off-grid living in Alabama. There is also more than enough rainfall to water crops, animals, and your family!
What Kind of Wildlife Does Alabama Have?
In Alabama, you’ll find a lot of rodents in addition to a lot of bugs. Elk, cougar, American bison, follow deer, and red wolf are among the larger creatures, so you have lots of options when it comes to hunting. Spotted bass, shoal bass, walleye, sauger, largemouth bass, and smallmouth bass are among the species found in the area’s rivers and lakes. Barracuda, bluefish, bigeye, amberjack, pompano, and groupers are among the species found along the coast. Remember that freshwater and saltwater fishing require separate licenses.
If you’re looking to hunt off-grid in Alabama, you’ll have plenty of options. Ensure to check local laws before hunting, but from my experience, there aren’t that many you’ll have to deal with in Alabama.
How to Get Off-Grid Power in Alabama?
Solar power: Because the sun shines brightly virtually all year, generating electricity using solar panels will be simple. When installing a solar power system, you should apply for the federal tax credit, which is 30%, as well as the Alabama solar rebate, which is roughly $1000. Both the rebate and the federal tax credit require some paperwork, but it is well worth it.
Wind power: You can use the federal tax credit for wind power, and some counties, but not all, give rebates of roughly $1000.
What are the Off-Grid Laws in Alabama?
There are no regulations forbidding you from living off-grid in Alabama as long as you do it outside of a city, but this applies to all states. There are many people living off-grid in Alabama, and some of them are self-sufficient. When it comes to homeschooling regulations, they are pretty relaxed. You will need some documentation to alert the government though. Alabama’s education system is not the best, so off-grid or not, many families choose to homeschool their children.
What is the Road Access Like in Alabama.
Alabama’s roads aren’t the best, which is largely owing to the state’s poverty and the difficulty of keeping up with local infrastructure maintenance due to its vastness. Off-grid residents that live near a body of water frequently own boats, which makes traveling around much easier.
Major highways and roadways are typically maintained, but they may get bumpy when you head off the beaten path. I recommend saving for an off-road capable vehicle when living off-grid in Alabama.
What is the Price of Land in Alabama?
The cost of land in Alabama is extremely low, about 45 percent less than the national average, and land and houses can be much cheaper in specific locations. A house in Alabama typically costs roughly $130,000, which is $100,000 less than the national average.
The most expensive locations for land are in the southern portion of the state, while the cheapest areas for land are in the northern half. The good news is that most of the land that is best for off-grid living is in the northern half of the state.
What is the Property Tax in Alabama?
Alabama’s average property tax is 0.31 percent, which is significantly lower than the national average of 1.08 percent. Simply said, you’ll spend about 45 percent less for property and a fraction of the national average property tax in Alabama. I think these two factors alone make living off-grid in Alabama desirable.
What is the Cost of Living in Alabama?
Overall, the cost of living in Alabama is about 18 percent lower than the national average. Property costs around 45 percent lower and transportation costs around 15 percent lower. You will also pay roughly 6% less for food, but you will pay around 2% more for health care and around 3% more for utilities. Keep in mind that Alabama’s healthcare system is inadequate, so the cost may rise if you have major health problems.
To be fair, most of these figures won’t apply once you’re fully off-grid. I do think it’s nice to keep them in mind, however, for unplanned disasters and the transitional period when moving off-grid.
What is the Job Market Like in Alabama?
Alabama’s unemployment rate is at 2.8 percent, which is significantly lower than the national average of 4 percent. The minimum wage is $7.25, which is the federally mandated minimum wage; in other words, it cannot be any lower.
Commercial fishing, automobile, technology, forestry, chemical, and even the aeronautical industry are the largest industries in which the majority of people work. Frankly, you shouldn’t be worried about the unemployment rate in Alabama if you’re looking to live off-grid.
What is the Crime Rate in Arizona?
Despite the lack of significant cities, Alabama’s crime rate is greater than the national average. In general, Alabama has a crime rate of 5.2 crimes per 1000 people, while the national average is 4 crimes per 1000 people. Alabama has a significant problem with drug misuse leading to the high crime rate. Because the state is relatively sparsely populated, various kinds of labs, including the Breaking Bad-style labs, are springing up.
Anderson, Five Points, Fulton, Vredenburgh, and Eldridge, are the safest neighborhoods. Union Springs, Tallassee, Jasper, and Andalusia have the highest crime rates in the state.
Is Off-Grid Living in Alabama affected by Natural Disasters?
Natural disasters such as floods, tornadoes, hurricanes, heat waves, and even large snowstorms have occurred in Alabama. Although floods and storms are increasingly common, the majority of these natural disasters are rather rare. Tornadoes and hurricanes are not common in Alabama, but when they do strike, they do significant damage.
Should You Live Off-Grid in Alabama?
Alabama is a decent state for off-grid living in general. The only major negatives are the high crime rate and failing healthcare and education systems. Due to the persistent heat and heavy humidity, some people will find it extremely difficult to live here. On the other hand, the threat of hurricanes and tornadoes may worsen as a result of global warming.
I personally think that Alabama’s the cheapest option for people looking to move off-grid. The northern half of the state boasts cheap land and pretty lax laws. It may not be for everyone (I’m looking at you, bug haters).