Can You Live Off The Grid In Arkansas?

In most cases, living off the grid is legal in Arkansas. The only state legislation that might prevent you from going fully off the grid is a requirement to connect to (and pay for) the municipal sewer system if it is located near your home.

Aside from the sewer statute, Arkansas has a number of rules and regulations governing the sorts of off-grid systems that are permitted, how they must be installed, and permit requirements. You will face numerous challenges if you want to install a significant rainwater collection system, recycle graywater, or employ a waste disposal system other than septic.

Local Zoning Laws and Off-Grid Living in Arkansas

Remember that whether or not you may live off the grid lawfully is determined by local ordinances and zoning regulations.

Many rural counties in Arkansas have loosened zoning regulations, allowing people to raise livestock and farm. However, if there are no restrictions, your neighbors are free to do anything they please.

It’s sometimes preferable to live in an area with strict laws so that you don’t end up next to a stinky hog farm or a congested subdivision.

You might also be interested in reading: Why Do You Need a Homestead Declaration?

Is Arkansas suitable for off-grid living?

Going off the grid and establishing a homestead in Arkansas is becoming increasingly popular, particularly in the Ozark region. Long growing seasons, abundant rainfall, plenty of solar power potential, and plenty of low-cost land make this a fantastic homesteading state.

Is it possible to homestead in Arkansas?

The homestead legislation in Arkansas is based on the state constitution, but it is also codified in statute. A maximum exemption amount of $2,500 of one’s equity is allowed by the state, with a limit of one acre (1/4 acre minimum) for urban properties and 160 acres for rural holdings.

Note that state laws are not set in stone and can be changed at any moment, primarily by enacting new legislation, but also by court decisions and other means. To confirm the state law(s) you are studying, you may wish to contact an Arkansas debtor/creditor attorney or perform your own legal research.

What state is the most convenient for living off the grid?

Off Grid Permaculture’s Daniel Mark Schwartz ranks Alabama as the best state for off-grid life. Alabama has a cheap cost of living, with comparatively modest land expenses and some of the lowest property taxes in the country. It also has a handful of counties that do not have building codes. Alabama is an ideal site for rainwater collection because it receives a lot of rain (56 inches per year) and state statutes allow for unrestricted water harvesting.

Which states are the most suitable for living off-grid?

Today, I was debating which state is the greatest for living off the grid. So I went out and researched 12 critical elements that make a state suitable for off-grid life. It’s possible that you’ll be astonished to learn which states came out on top.

What states are the greatest for living off the grid? In a detailed 12-factor analysis of off-grid states, these ten states came out on top:

You might be wondering how I came up with this list. What makes these states ideal for living off the grid? I’ve broken down exactly how I came up with this list, as well as all of the details of my research on all 50 states, so you can understand why your state of choice made the cut or didn’t.

Is it unlawful in Arkansas to not have a septic tank?

All homes within 300 feet of a conventional sewer system that can access that sewer without crossing another person’s property must hook up to that conventional sewer system in Arkansas. If a traditional sewer is not available, homeowners should consider the nearby population density. You may need to consider a community waste water system if you live in a large enough town. If the population density is less than 2,500 people per square mile, you will almost certainly require your own septic tank.

In Arkansas, what are squatters’ rights?

A squatter is a person who illegally occupies a foreclosed, abandoned, or otherwise empty building or piece of land. The individual does not own or control the property, and the property owner may be unaware that the squatter is present. Even so, squatting can be legal and common in the United States under specific situations.

Isn’t That Trespassing?

Squatting isn’t always considered trespassing. Squatting, on the other hand, is a civil matter rather than a criminal violation. However, if the squatter is deemed undesired by the landlord or property owner, it may be considered a criminal violation.

Keep in mind the following points:

A squatter who falsely claims to have the right to be on the property is breaking the law. This includes submitting phony paperwork or fraudulent documentation to the landowner or landlord.

Squatters certainly have rights, however to avoid being arrested as criminal trespassers, they must meet the standards for adverse possession.

Many people try to take advantage of squatter’s privileges in order to obtain property without paying rent or a mortgage.

If a person improves a property, they may be able to avoid trespassing legal action. That instance, if they clean up the property, grow flowers, or otherwise maintain it while the owner does not (a practice known as ‘beautification,’) they may be able to avoid prosecution.

Trespassing may not apply to someone who has gained entry to a property without permission in the case of a legitimate emergency.

The land must not be in use in order to file an adverse possession claim. The squatter or person attempting to gain adverse possession rights must be the sole occupant or user of the property.

What about Holdover Tenants?

Tenants that remain on the property after a lease or rental arrangement has finished are known as holdover renters (also known as tenants at sufferance). In this circumstance, the tenant must continue to pay rent at the current rate and terms. The landlord can accept the rent without caring about the validity of the tenancy if they so desire.

If a holdover renter is given notice to depart (through a notice to quit or move out) and refuses, legal action may be taken against them. They may be held liable for wrongful detention. A holdover tenant cannot claim adverse possession if they have received a notice to vacate. They are now deemed trespassers and have committed a criminal act.

The renter becomes a tenant at will if no notice is given and the landlord continues to receive rent. Because they are on the property “at the landlord’s will,” the landlord can ask them to leave at any moment and without notice.

In Arkansas, how do you qualify for homestead?

A Homestead Property Tax Credit of up to $375 is available for qualified properties under Arkansas State Constitution Amendment 79. The amount of real property taxes owed on the eligible property is reduced by this credit. The property must be the homeowner’s primary and primary residence in order to qualify.

Is it possible to farm in Arkansas?

Agriculture is Arkansas’ most important industry, contributing around $16 billion to the state’s economy each year. Arkansas agricultural goods are diverse due to the Natural State’s unique topography and climate. Arkansas exports rice, soybeans, cotton, poultry, and feed grains in large quantities. There are 49,346 farms in Arkansas, with 97 percent of them being family-owned. A mere 16 percent of Arkansas’ farms produce 92 percent of the state’s output. A comprehensive list of Arkansas agriculture fun facts can be found here.

  • Wal-Mart is the world’s largest food retailer.
  • Tyson Foods is the world’s largest poultry and meat processor.
  • Riceland Foods is the country’s largest rice exporter.
  • There are 14.5 million acres of farmland in the United States.
  • Crops cover 6.2 million acres.
  • 8.3 million acres of hay and livestock
  • Forests cover 18.8 million acres.
  • Land and Buildings Value: $658,732
  • $90,822 in equipment value
  • Expenses on the farm each year: $124,324
  • Farm revenue: $160,270 per year
  • A farmer receives only 11.6 cents of every dollar spent at the grocery shop.
  • The processing, packaging, transportation, and energy expenditures of that product will account for more than 30 cents of every dollar you pay.
  • Farmers throughout the world will have to feed more people in the next 50 years than they did in the preceding 100.
  • To feed the world’s rising population, farmers will have to become more productive.
  • With nearly 7 billion people on the planet today, each person has only 1.7 acres of agricultural land.
  • Farmers in the United States now feed more than 150 people, up from 43 just 50 years ago.
  • Agricultural production efficiency and sustainability are greatly improved by genetically altered crops and commercial livestock operations, allowing farmers to produce more with fewer inputs.
  • State and federal governments impose rigorous rules on food goods.
  • 41,000 state and federal restrictions apply to a hamburger.
  • Organic agriculture provides an ideal market for producers to get a premium for their more expensive goods.
  • Farmers are some of the best land stewards because they understand the importance of protecting the land in order for it to remain fruitful.
  • Arkansas is one of the few states where average farm income exceeds average non-farm income per capita.

Commodities

  • In Arkansas, catfish farming takes up around 11,000 acres.
  • With 166 farms, the value of catfish output peaked at $78.1 million in 2007.
  • Arkansas has a cattle inventory of over 1.7 million head, with 28,292 farms raising cattle in the state.
  • Arkansas has the 12th highest number of beef cows on farms in the country.
  • Arkansas is the third-largest producer in the United States, accounting for over 7% of the total crop.
  • Only California, Arizona, and Missouri have higher yields per acre than Arkansas.
  • Each year, Arkansas produces more than 17 million gallons of milk.
  • Use of the United States’ milk supply:
  • Cheese accounts for 49% of the total.
  • 28 percent fluid milk
  • 7 percent butter
  • 7 percent frozen products
  • 9% of the total
  • Forest land accounts for approximately 56 percent of Arkansas’ overall land base, with 18,778,660 acres.
  • Private landowners hold 58 percent of timberland.
  • Only 7% of timberland is held by the government.
  • The forestry business owns 25% of all forestland in the United States.
  • Arkansas is the fifth-largest producer of softwood lumber.
  • Nursery and greenhouse products account for over $50 million in horticulture sales.
  • Tomatoes, the state’s most important vegetable product, are produced in excess of 3 million pounds each year.
  • Peach output in Arkansas, the state’s largest fruit crop, exceeds 10 million pounds each year.
  • Arkansas produces more than 1.8 million pigs each year.
  • Arkansas pork production is worth more than $80 million per year.
  • Arkansas is the second-largest producer of broilers in the United States.
  • Chickens are raised on over 2,500 farms in Arkansas.
  • Arkansas is the nation’s leading rice producer, generating about half of the country’s rice.
  • In Arkansas, more than 60% of the rice produced is exported.
  • Arkansas is the tenth-largest soybean-producing state in the country.
  • The state of Arkansas exports around half of its produce. The rest is transformed into oil and meal.
  • Wheat is a winter crop in Arkansas, which is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring.
  • In January, it’s the green fields that you see.
  • Soft red wheat is grown in Arkansas and is utilized in a variety of confectionary goods as well as bread blends.

Where can I get a free place to live?

There is still undeveloped acreage available. Many out-of-the-way towns and villages are currently giving plots for free or nearly free if you are willing to live there. There are other options for farm caretakers or land contract arrangements in the country that aren’t posted online. You must be aware of where to look. Finally, there are many undeveloped parcels of property that could be yours for free if you take advantage of an obscure legislation known as “adverse possession,” which exists in some form in all 50 states!

Free Land in the US

While the original homesteading act is no longer in effect, several distant cities around the United States are giving free land in exchange for the construction of a home and a commitment to live in the city for a defined amount of time. Here is a list of all the communities in the United States that offer free land to residents:

  • Nebraska’s Beatrice
  • Buffalo is a city in New York State.
  • Nebraska’s Loup City
  • Kansas City, Marquette
  • New Richland is a town in Minnesota.
  • Plainnville is a town in Kansas.

Free Land in Canada

Canada, the world’s second largest country with only 37 million people (just over one-tenth the population of the United States), is interested in attracting additional people to its many underpopulated rural areas. Currently, a slew of small towns are asking for residents in exchange for free or nearly free land (e.g., $10/acre).

To acquire the free land, many of these agreements require you to build a home within a certain amount of time. However, read the section on low-cost housing below to learn how you might be able to do it for free.

Here are several Canadian communities and locations that offer free land:

  • Strawhouse Community of New Brunswick
  • Quebec’s St-Louis-de-Blandford
  • Pipestone is a town in Manitoba.
  • New Brunswick’s South Knowlesville Community Land Trust
  • In Wycocomagh, Cape Breton, there is free land for working.
  • Yukon land is available for free.
  • Saskatchewan’s Craik Eco-Village (ecovillage website not up at time of writing, but community may still be in operation)

In addition, crown property in Canada (government-owned land) permits people to dwell there for free for 6 weeks at a time before having to move on. This may be a great way for someone living in a yurt, RV, or portable tiny home to live rent-free.

Cheap Land and Free Money in Alaska

Alaska is still one of the freest states in the Union and one of the most beautiful places on the planet, having long been one of the last bastions of true pristine nature. The Alaskan government often sells cheap land over the counter and at periodic auctions, albeit it is not free up front.

Free Money for Living in Alaska

While it is not free at first, establishing residency in Alaska qualifies you for the annual Permanent Fund Dividend. Last year’s dividend, including dependents and children, was $1,606 per individual. This year, a family of five would have paid $8030 in taxes. The amount paid varies on how much money Alaska makes and consequently the economy, although in recent memory, the dividend distribution has ranged from $1,000 to $2,000 per person.

A family living frugally and attempting to produce the majority of their food off grid through hunting might pay for their off grid land purchase in a few of years.

Subsistence Hunting and Fishing Licenses

Residents of Alaska are also entitled to unique hunting and fishing privileges. This includes activities like salmon net fishing and subsistence hunting that are illegal in other states. When I lived in Alaska, it was uncommon to see a home without a chest freezer stuffed with free salmon and moose meat.

The remoteness of the terrain and the harshness of the winter weather may surprise individuals who have never visited Alaska. Similarly, the cost of necessities such as gas and food is significantly higher than in most other parts of the United States. So, if you decide to go up there, go with caution. For many of my readers, Alaska, on the other hand, might be the ideal location.

USDA Farm Grant and Loan Program

You don’t have any money but want to start an off-grid farm? USDA Grants & Loans offers programs for small and family farms, as well as a program expressly for new farms.

You will be required to try to start a farm that meets the USDA’s farming criteria in exchange for taking these money. These programs, on the other hand, may be ideal for anyone wishing to create their own off-grid farm business.

Farm Caretaker

Becoming a Farm Caretaker is one option to get started off the grid for free. Farm caretaking is a form of free rent in which you labour in exchange for a stipend. And, if you wish, it may often be a longer-term arrangement, lasting years.

With rural agricultural labor at an all-time low and youngsters from farming families migrating to the city, many farms are searching for individuals to keep an eye on them. Some owners may ask you to work part-time on the farm, tending to livestock and the like, while others may simply want someone to keep an eye on the place and do occasional maintenance work, depending on the situation.

You won’t discover any job openings for a farm caretaker on the internet or on job sites. You’ll have to look for opportunities on your own. Consider placing an ad on Craigslist, Facebook local forums, or in regional publications with a strong rural readership. Explain what you’re searching for and what you’ll give in exchange in a straightforward and concise manner.

Land Contract

Because undeveloped land is difficult for banks to finance or mortgage, land contracts, also known as owner carry, are a frequent method of obtaining off-grid acreage. A land contract is an agreement between the buyer and the seller to pay off the purchase over time at a specified rate, with the buyer becoming the complete owner of the land at the end of the contract.

Finding No Down Land Contracts

While land contracts usually require a 10% to 20% down payment, finding a motivated owner through direct contact allows you to negotiate for a $0 down or work-for-hire situation. For more information on how to identify and contact motivated sellers who aren’t presently on the market, see my article “How to Find Off Grid Land – Ways You Haven’t Heard Of.”

Local Businesses that Sell Land

Contacting small companies that specialize in off-grid homes is another no-brainer choice. Some provide unique offers for deliveries with no down payment, while others may be open to negotiating exceptional conditions. Also, look for local timber investment firms if you live in a lumber-producing area. I’ve identified companies who sell off-grid “wood land” with land contracts, and they may be ready to offer favorable terms on land parcels that they deem unproductive.

Land contracts are well-established legally, and both parties are generally protected. If you sign one, however, be cautious because failure to make timely payments or follow through with the contract usually results in the buyer losing the property and any money they have paid up to that point.

Adverse Possession

Adverse possession, sometimes known as “squatter’s rights,” is a legal notion for acquiring land that you’ve probably never heard of. What they are is the right to claim ownership of a piece of land when you have been publicly living on it for a particular number of time (see map above), ranging from 530 years to 530 years depending on your state.

The rationale behind these regulations is that vacant land that has been abandoned by its owner should be given to someone who would put it to good use. What this entails in practice differs from one state to the next. Adverse possession exists in every state in the United States.

If you have been ordered to leave a piece of property due to adverse possession, you do not have the right to stay. You can be asked to leave at any time by the legal owner. In the end, it’s a gamble because adverse possession requires you to reside on the land without the owner’s permission.

EDIT: Click here for further information on adverse possession and squatters rights, including a state-by-state summary of the laws.

Is It Legal to Homestead on Abandoned Property?