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Is Renting Out Your Property Off-grid a Viable Option?

Wild, remote homes are perfect for those who would love to spend a little more of a natural vacation. In some cases, people would love to have access to a permanent home that generates all of its power and water off-grid. If you’re lucky enough to find a tenant like this, then you might be able to rent out your property on a long-term basis.

Those who own urban off-grid homes, however, might not be so fortunate when it comes to finding tenants, so a majority will probably look to vacation offerings. Property owners in the Silicon Valley area might have a leg up on the competition, as many people who visit this high-tech region often enjoy staying in a more low-tech setting.

Rental Properties in San Diego & San Francisco

If you already own a place in Silicon Valley or anywhere in San Diego County, then there’s a good chance that you could find a seasonal visitor who might want to rent out your off-grid home for several months at a time. Vacationers and those who escape winter weather often head off to this area, perhaps more for tax reasons than anything related to the temperature.

Even though you won’t see nearly as much sun in this area as you might in Los Angeles, you’re going to pay much less for lodging. That makes it attractive to travelers, which in turn may be of some assistance if you’re a property owner.

On the other hand, you should have more than enough sun to run a bank of solar panels despite the region’s infamous levels of fog. On days with low cloud ceilings, an efficient set of panels can still generate more than enough current to run a fairly large size home.

Take a look at anyone offering mansions for rent in San Diego, and you’ll see at least a fair number of them take advantage of the pitched roofs on historic buildings to mount a few panels. The most expensive installations make use of a motor-driven system, which can reorient the panels periodically. They’ll be able to follow the path of the sun so they can generate more power even if the weather becomes an issue.

Property owners in the area have also taken the opportunity to install battery packs in many of these older homes so they can keep a supply of current ready for nighttime use. While these improvements are expensive, they might pay for themselves if you already know of a willing clientele who wants to rent a home in the area.

As a rule, larger homes bring potentially bigger returns but might cost more to upgrade. Those who stand to make the most money already have off-grid homes. Still, these are relatively rare in urban areas considering their reliance on city water and other similar services.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to get your home ready to be rented if you don’t mind putting a small investment into it.

Prepping Your Property for an Off-grid Rental

If at all possible, then it’s best to replace your central air conditioner with fans. Window units are more efficient since they won’t draw anywhere near as much power, but fans lack a compressor, so they’re an even better choice when it comes time to plan an off-grid rental.

While you might not be used to the idea of going without air conditioning, those who are looking for these kinds of rental properties are often not expecting to find any. More than likely, they won’t be expecting a television or many other types of appliances. If you have to make a few sacrifices to go completely off-grid, then you might want to go ahead and do so. Eco-conscious travelers could end up considering these to be positive changes rather than drawbacks.

Best of all, you might not even have to provide much in the way of entertainment.

Residents Who Bring Their Own Technology

You might still be surprised at the idea of not providing television for your guests, but this is only the beginning. Many off-grid aficionados entertain themselves with small battery-powered radios or their own mobile devices, which use surprisingly little power.

As a result, you might not have to worry much about any amenities. Those doing plumbing upgrades might want to consider toilets and other fixtures that use less water, but there’s no reason to replace things if your existing gear still works.

Once you’ve figured out what changes you want to make, it’s easy to see how viable it would be to rent it off-grid. Financing plans are available for those who get sticker shock the moment they first see the total.

You’ll want to keep in mind, though, that renting your property off-grid means you’ll never have to incur another bill for utilities ever again. 

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