My wife & I just bought land and are moving off-grid in a month.
Took us a good 1.5 years to research and figure out what a good place to settle. She is from Japan so after we narrowed it down to the US, I made a list of things to consider:
1. NO RESTRICTIONS: this was the biggest concern as we want to build with cob by hand, rain catch, live stock, farm etc. Which is mostly restricted in most places.
~This narrowed it down to a handful of states that have counties in which there are no restrictions (Almost all are very rural)
~These states included: AK, AL, CO, NH, NV, TN, WV, UT, SD, KY, and a few others i'm sure i'm forgetting.
1B. WATER ACCESS: Install a Well, or Catch Rain water are the 2 big options, having a creek would be nice but wasn't affordable for us.
*I put this as 1B because there are many areas that restrict rain water catchment.
2. NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS: We wanted to be at least 100 miles from any Nuclear power plant. For obvious reasons.
3. NATURAL DISASTERS: We also wanted to limit our exposure to areas hit by many natural disasters.
~Even though TN has tornadoes and small quakes, we chose to live on a small mountain to limit their impact.
4.PRICE: We dont have a lot of money, so it had to be very cheap, this limited the search a lot as well.
5.FREEDOMS: like not having building restrictions; Owning a firearm, Home school, Home births, etc are important factors for our future.
6.WEATHER / GROWING SEASON; Having a long growing season but still having mild winter was what we went for. Also a healthy amount of rain. This is a reason why we picked TN over CO.
7. HAZARDS: Man made disasters are also a concern; Oil spills, pipelines, Chemical spills or manufacturing, Mines, & overall Pollution, etc.
8. POPULATION DENSITY: How many people live in nearby areas, if a collapse/major disaster strikes, that population will move to the rural areas nearby.
9. ACRES: We also wanted at least 5 acres to have enough space for trees, small farm, and not being on top of neighbors. I looked as low as 3 acres if there was a good water source.
10. COMMUNITY / ACCESSIBLE GOODS: What kind of people are around, food / hardware stores / hospitals, etc.
Hope this helps a bit!