Other Considerations

“What are the total costs to live here?”

Annual taxes are about $1,100.

There is a propane oven/stove and a wood stove/oven. If you use the wood stove only, there are no costs, just firewood! If you use the propane oven/stove, you will need to purchase propane in town and bring it out to the property. We primarily used the propane stove and it cost us about $300 a year in propane.

The basic electricity in the house runs off of the solar panel and solar batteries. From May through September, most of the daily electricity can be provided by the sun. If you want to watch TV or operate lots of electronics in the evening, you will need to use the generators somewhat. The generator takes 5 gallons of gasoline and each full tank lasts for about 20 hours of charging. The generator must be used when using a high amp item like a blow dryer. The washing machine is also high amp, but it can be run on the solar power on very sunny days.

In creating an annual budget, you will need to factor in the cost of fuel for the boat or the snow machines, as well as the generators, and the wood splitter. It’s also important to factor in the cost of automobile gas for trips to town. Many of these costs will be determined by you—how often you go to town… what kind of electronics you want to use on a daily basis… how much food you grow verses how much you buy in town… whether you buy in bulk, etc.

Alaska offers each resident a rebate check called the Permanent Fund Dividend. The amount varies per year. Last year’s check was $1,100 per person.

The total annual cost for living a prudent lifestyle on Chilkat Lake can be estimated at around $10,000 a year.

“Do you have running water?”

There is a gravity fed water system. The fresh mountain water that naturally runs down the hill is damned and brought just outside of the house and we bring the water inside in these blue containers (see photo).


Inside the house, the kitchen and bathroom sinks have drain systems which take water outside and down the hill. We use water containers at the sinks, but it would be pretty easy to modify this to have running water. There is a 500 gallon tank in the attic for that purpose.