Everything You Need to Know About Off Grid Living in Oregon

Oregon is located on the west coast of the United States and is considered one of the most beautiful states in the country. Beautiful beaches, woods, mountains, lakes, and rivers abound in Oregon. The population has been steadily increasing during the last few decades. Oregon’s population is currently approximately 4.2 million people, up from roughly 3.34 million in 2000. Off grid living in Oregon is becoming increasingly popular as well.

off grid living in oregon
Portland is the largest city in Oregon.

General Statistics for Off Grid Living in Oregon

Off grid living in Oregon is not favorable since the cost of living is high, unemployment is high, and the cost of property is about 50% more than the national average. Many individuals relocate here from wealthier places such as California, which raises housing and living prices. On the other side, if you have the means for it, this state boasts abundance of fertile fields and, for the most part, a pretty pleasant temperature.

Oregon’s population increase began a few decades ago, but in recent years, it has begun to accelerate dramatically. Only a few decades ago, Oregonians were migrating to California, but today the reverse is true: Californians are migrating to Oregon. The major reason Californians are relocating to Oregon is that life in California is becoming too costly.

Many Oregonians who were born and bred in the state are concerned that the influx of new inhabitants from California would convert Oregon into a state similar to California, with a high cost of living, high taxes, and high property prices. Because of this, home prices in Oregon have begun to rise; nevertheless, it is not too late to obtain inexpensive housing; yet, things may become incredibly costly in just a few years.

At first appearance, off grid living in Oregon seems perfect, with abundance of wilderness, low population density, and an average cost of living. Interested in a state nearby? I recommend checking out my Complete Guide to Off Grid Living in Idaho.

What’s the Climate in Oregon?

Because of its size, Oregon has a variety of climates. The western portion of the state has an oceanic climate, the southwestern section has a Mediterranean climate, the northeastern part has a steppe environment, and the eastern part has a semi-arid climate. This essentially indicates that there will be a considerable temperature differential between various places. In general, the western regions of the state have high humidity, whereas the eastern parts have relatively low humidity. 

Summertime temperatures in the western regions are approximately 66°F, whereas in the eastern parts they are around 85°F. The average winter temperature is roughly 37°F, however this varies by location, with certain places seeing much lower temperatures.

What Type of Crops Are Grown in Oregon?

Oregon’s grounds are ideal for growing vegetables, and the state is one of the largest vegetable producers in the country. Potatoes, sugar beets, onions, snap beans, green peas, sweet corn, hazelnuts, and hops are the most regularly cultivated vegetables. Apples, pears, berries, cherries, and plums are the most widely produced fruits. In general, the finest sites for agricultural cultivation are in the state’s western regions.

Interested in a state with some great agricultural land? Check out Oklahoma!

What’s Freshwater Availability Like in Oregon?

The majority of the state is humid, thus freshwater is plentiful; but, in the eastern sections of the state, where the climate is semi-arid, you may have difficulty obtaining groundwater. Rainwater harvesting is permitted in Oregon, albeit there are certain limits in some regions, such as how you store the rainwater and how you harvest it; for example, some counties will only allow you to capture rainwater with water barrels.

The western half of the state receives much more annual rainfall than the rest of the state due to its climate. The average annual rainfall in the western section of the state is around 80 inches, whereas the rest of the state receives between 8 and 15 inches. The annual snowfall in the western sections of the state is over 50 inches, while the rest of the state receives around 20 inches. Snowfall in mountainous places can range from 150 to 550 inches per year.

What Kind of Wildlife is in Oregon?

Oregon has various species such as the gray wolf, grizzly bear, coyotes, elk, white-tailed deer, American bison, moose, and bighorn sheep, among others, due to the local climate and vast deserted places. Trout, bass, salmon, crappie, catfish, and mountain whitefish are the most prevalent freshwater fish. Pacific cod, pacific mackerel, pacific herring, and sharks are among the saltwater fish found in this state. A license is required for both freshwater and saltwater fishing.

How to Generate Off Grid Power in Oregon?

Solar power: Oregon used to have a statewide household energy tax credit, but it expired a few years ago. Although some counties provide incentives and refunds, the majority of counties do not. The good news is that you still have time to apply for the federal tax credit, which is worth about 26%.

Wind power: Oregon has a specific award for anyone who want to build a wind turbine. The grant is $250,000 and only covers up to 35% of the total cost of the installation. The issue is that this incentive is primarily intended for cities looking to install huge wind turbines. Although you will not be eligible for this grant if you wish to generate electricity with a smaller wind turbine, the good news is that you can still take advantage of the federal tax credit.

Are There Laws for Off Grid Living in Oregon?

Living off grid in Oregon is legal. The biggest issue you may have is that some locations have restrictions on rainwater gathering and storage. Although rainwater harvesting is legal, some counties control how rainwater is stored, and some counties limit the amount of rainfall that can be stored. You can also homeschool your children, but you should first check the homeschooling legislation in your state.

What’s Road Access Like in Oregon?

In most sections of Oregon, there will be no problems with road access, while the situation will be different in the state’s western regions. The western section of the state receives a lot of rain and snow each year, which could cause some highways to be closed due to heavy snowfall or flooding.

What’s the Price of Off Grid Land in Oregon?

Housing and property prices in Oregon are relatively expensive; they are now roughly 49 percent more than the national average. The fact that more people are relocating to this state from places like California is partly to blame for the high pricing. Despite the high cost of housing and land, prices will continue to rise every year as more people relocate to this state, creating demand.

What’s the Property Tax in Oregon?

Property taxes in Oregon are roughly 1.04 percent, which is lower than the national average of 1.08 percent. Despite the fact that the property tax is lower than the national average, you will still pay more. This is because the cost of housing and land is about 50% greater. Wasco County has the highest property tax rate, at 1.20 percent.

What’s the Cost of Living in Oregon?

The cost of living in Oregon is higher than the national average. Housing coss 49% more and transportation costs 7% more. On the other side, you can expect to pay about 12% less for healthcare and 19% less for utilities.

Looking a state with a cheaper cost of living? My recommendation is Missouri.

What’s the Job Market in Oregon?

Oregon’s unemployment rate is higher than the national average, at 4.1 percent compared to 3.6 percent nationally. As more people migrate to this state, the unemployment rate is expected to rise. Agriculture, commercial fishing, mining, tourism, and tech-related sectors are the largest industries where the majority of people work in the larger cities.

What’s the Crime Rate in Oregon?

Oregon’s crime rate is lower than the national average. It has 2.81 crimes per 1000 people compared to 3.9 crimes per 1000 people nationally. Jordan Valley, Condon, Wallowa, Fossil, and Bonanza are the places with the lowest crime rates. The areas around Ontario, Coos Bay, Portland, Medford, Sweet Home, and Newport have the highest crime rates.

Is Off Grid Living in Oregon Affected by Natural Disasters?

Floods, coastal erosion, wildfires, earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, droughts, winter storms, and windstorms are all natural catastrophes in Oregon. Floods, coastal erosion, and winter storms are the most prevalent natural disasters in the state’s western regions. Droughts and wildfires are the most common natural disasters in the state’s eastern region.

Is Off Grid Living in Oregon Possible?

I cannot suggest off grid living in Oregon for several reasons. The most important is the rising cost of housing, which will only continue to rise in the coming years. If you already own a home or a piece of land, living off grid in Oregon shouldn’t be a problem. However, if you’re searching for a state for off grid living, your money will be worth a lot more in other states.

off grid living in oregon

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