Purchased as raw land, we have added two small cabins and a lot of infrastructure: a gravel driveway, a drilled well with excellent water, a full-size, approved septic system, and a newly-installed utility pole ready for connection to NYSEG.
The two existing cabins are weather-tight and insulated and could be used as is for a quiet, luxuriously rustic retreat, or very easily converted to self-contained tiny houses. The difficult foundation work for the level 24 x 24 house site has already been done and it’s ready for building to your specifications – for a conventional building or a sturdy deck that could support a yurt, dome, or whatever. The town building inspector is reasonable and decent. We were quoted about $1500 to run power from the pole to both cabins via an underground cable. The cabins are both under 144 sq. feet, and so the taxes are unbelievably low for this part of the country – around $35 per month.
While there is an approved full-size septic system in place, a sawdust toilet has been the easiest interim solution for us. It would be very easy to connect one cabin to the existing septic and not at all difficult to connect the other, which is in line with the building site of what we viewed as the main house-to-be.
We also have the components for a small off-grid solar system, designed in conjunction with Backwoods Solar, including 4 80w PV panels and a charge controller and inverter. They’ve been in a dry storage unit for years, but were newly purchased for around $3,300 – not including batteries.