First big lesson of getting off the grid seems to be–find the land that fits your need, don’t fall in love with land and then try to make it fit when it won’t.
I now know why there are so many partial “we’re building our dream house” blogs–permits are a bitch. We’re now on property #2, this one in Acton, and I don’t want to jinx it since we’re not closed. And we’re not going to close unless everything checks out. This includes making sure the easements are in place for access (seems the owners are on good terms with the neighbors, which is nice, but that doesn’t make all those access roads legal). The well on the property checks out so far, which is great. But those easements…well, that’s a big one. So is making sure the geology will pass. And making sure the Fire Department will okay the road–that’s a big lesson now learned.
The good news on all this is that we’ll know in a couple of weeks (way better than a couple of months). Until then, we’re still in stage one (find the land and buy the land). It’ll be more fun to have all the ducks lined up so we can move to the planning stage–pretty drawings of houses will be very cool. Then it’s to permits, more planning, more permits before we move to the building phase. And all I can say is thank god for the Internet–it’s so much easier to look things up. Building codes and laws are all online. While there is still no substitute for going down to offices to meet folks and have them pull records for you and give you info, the Internet can help so much to figure out the right folks that you need to meet with (and get you basic information). Patience also helps a lot with this process. So does persistance.
And the next big debate — straw bale, adobe, container house, or a mix of all three?