When Dan Price returned to his home state of Oregon in 1990 he was determined to avoid mortgages or rent (he and his family had just finished caretaking a mansion with a heating bill of $500/month). He found an unused meadow in Joseph, Oregon, and began renting it from his neighbors for $100/year (in exchange for cleaning downed trees and repairing fences).
His first underground structure was actually built to shelter his home/office, namely his copy machine, essential for publishing his zine “Moonlight Chronicles” which he started in 1992 (it was sponsored by Simple Shoes for a decade).
In his meadow paradise, Price now also has an underground “hobbit hole” style home, as well as, a composting toilet, a propane-powered shower (using river water), and a pinewood propane sauna. He’s not hooked up to city water (he discovered a spring on the property), but he’s hooked up to the grid and it’s been approved by the county and city.