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Real Estate

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OFF THE GRID

Choosing alternative property for

living ‘off grid’ Story by Cassandra Cridland * Photos by Ethan Schlussler

The Hutto family lives and runs a business from their off-the-grid home above Clark Fork

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ot so long ago – say, 10 or 20 years ago – living “off the grid” carried a certain stigma. The people who disconnected or failed to connect to the traditional electrical power grid were either dirt poor or considered extremely fringe in their

world views. These days, as more people discover the benefits of alternative power sources, that false perception evaporates as rapidly as morning dew off a solar panel. “I really think that if more people knew what off-the-grid really was, more people would be doing it everywhere,” said Jiwan Riple, a Realtor at Century 21 Riverstone in Sandpoint. Based on conversations with local agents, less than 10 percent of buyers in Sandpoint’s real estate market are actively seeking a solely alternative-powered home. However, a much larger percentage of people in this market are willing to con-

sider these properties when presented with the opportunity. The demographic of those seeking off-the-grid properties runs the full spectrum: everything from twentysomethings looking for a more sustainable lifestyle with a greener footprint, to couples in their 30s who want to raise their children away from the electronic buzz that seems to fill up our days. There are singles who want to escape the craziness of the cities, improving their quality of life by living closer to their favorite outdoor adventures, and there are retirees who don’t want to miss their last chance to prove they possess the same pioneer spirit and resilience that their ancestors did. Christine Dick, co-owner with her husband, Tim, of their off-the-grid venture Huckleberry Tent and Breakfast, explains her view: “We need to encourage people that this really is a viable lifestyle. The neat thing about now is that you can pick your poison, so to speak. You can go full-bore Little House

SUMMER 2016

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SANDPOINT MAGAZINE

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Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...

Sandpoint Magazine Summer 2016  

In this Issue: Dog Town, Idaho How people and their dogs have created Sandpoint’s copious canine culture Plus ‘Peaking’ Our Interest - Peak...