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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey all,

Hope everyone is doing well. I've been absent from the forum for awhile, mainly because we've had some big changes going on at home. My husband got laid off from his job and I am returning to a job outside the home. We also came into a little money and paid off all our debts except the house. So yeah, lots of great stuff happening here :)

I was hoping to pick your brains on the subject of prepper real estate.

We are finally taking the leap and selling our current house and plan to start shopping for an appropriate homestead asap. We've decided to keep the size of the property small, probably in the 2 to 5 acre range because we do not want to overextend ourselves financially given the direction things are heading in our country. In fact, our goal is to buy this homestead and have it 100% paid for and off the grid in the next 5 to 10 years.

Just to be clear, this is not a second home or BO location, this will be our primary home and only property. We also have a couple kids in the mix too.

I've been out there lurking on some local real estate websites, searching for properties, but honestly, I'm worried that there are certain things I should be taking into consideration with a property. My husband has already given me the ultimatum that this property is the last move he's willing to make. LOL. I have to get this right the first time.

I was just wondering if anyone had some quick tips or advice on the subject? What should I be seeking in a property?

Obviously seclusion is important, decent growing soil, and water is another factor. Anything else we should be keeping in mind?
 

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Sorry to hear of your husbands work situation. I know you are up to the challenge. I have small lots in Texas but nothing close to what you are seeking. Sit tight as I know there are members here who have strengths in this areas far superior to mine. Take good care and God Bless you and yours dear! Kind regards,

punch
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Aw, thanks, Punch.

Honestly, my husband getting laid off was the best thing that could have happened to us. It allowed for a lot of things to fall into place that might not have otherwise.

I trust that the Universe has a plan for our family and that things will be OK in the end for us. We've been happier in the last two months than we've been in years, so this layoff has truly been a blessing in disguise. Now we just need to finish up this house business so I can get back to all my prepping projects.
 

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The change in employment put me on the prepper path 09. My business had to close, and I had the property my dad left me. That's how I learned to live on what I could shoot, grow, and create from nothing. My wife still had a good job, but we made it to being almost debt free. Now I'm in the process of buying neighboring properties with some new debt, but it's leased farm land so I feel good about it and my brother is in it with me. Still those employment shifts can throw you. Good luck on a BOL. I have a great farther to thank for mine.
 

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How rural and check if you wind up in a city limits make sure find out about any livestock restrictions as many cities and some counties that are more urban have bans or limits on the amount of livestock you can have. Either ensure you have a bees nest or be ready to start a small beekeeping operation if your at the 2-5 acre range. Honeybees dont just fly for miles to pollinate your gardens. Then youd have to ask what climate do you want...how rural...Man this could take awhile. If you consider water is it year round or part year. Like on my property the natural sp[rings run dry for a few months during the summer but the well is good year round. Make sure your well is clean water. Mine has arsenic which limits it by taste as a main water supply...Oh boy. what did I miss...Is there any wildlife that use your property as a migratory path. Thats always a plus.

Once your at 2+ acres or preferable 3+ you can really start doing small livestock/garden/water/loose the grid etc.
 

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Oh...wood...always a necessity so is there a neighbor that you might be able to barter firewood for. Dont be afraid to go further out to find the place that fits your off grid needs. IMO. The extra money spent on gas will quickly be made up by the serenity of living without busy body neighbors a star filled nights.
 

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Make sure that whatever you consider buying you first have a thorough title search. That can save many headaches down the road.
Also a good title insurance policy. (Ask me how I know).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
How rural and check if you wind up in a city limits make sure find out about any livestock restrictions as many cities and some counties that are more urban have bans or limits on the amount of livestock you can have. Either ensure you have a bees nest or be ready to start a small beekeeping operation if your at the 2-5 acre range. Honeybees dont just fly for miles to pollinate your gardens. Then youd have to ask what climate do you want...how rural...Man this could take awhile. If you consider water is it year round or part year. Like on my property the natural sp[rings run dry for a few months during the summer but the well is good year round. Make sure your well is clean water. Mine has arsenic which limits it by taste as a main water supply...Oh boy. what did I miss...Is there any wildlife that use your property as a migratory path. Thats always a plus.

Once your at 2+ acres or preferable 3+ you can really start doing small livestock/garden/water/loose the grid etc.
This is really great advice and something I completely spaced on. We live in Maine and usually agricultural animal limits only apply to properties that have water frontage or are below a certain size threshold. I am gonna add this to my list of things to check before making an offer. Lol. I am planning on having a large flock of chickens, maybe some goats, and trying my hand at aquaponic farming. I like pigs too, but for me they'd end up pets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
The change in employment put me on the prepper path 09. My business had to close, and I had the property my dad left me. That's how I learned to live on what I could shoot, grow, and create from nothing. My wife still had a good job, but we made it to being almost debt free. Now I'm in the process of buying neighboring properties with some new debt, but it's leased farm land so I feel good about it and my brother is in it with me. Still those employment shifts can throw you. Good luck on a BOL. I have a great farther to thank for mine.
What a great story to share. I've always tried to prep with the right attitude, versus just acquiring a bunch of junk. I really think my prepper mindset definitely helped to keep the stress level down when we found out the layoff was coming. I always keep a relaxed attitude of 'We'll make it one way or the other, even if that means eating Chef Boyardee Raviolis for weeks on end and living in a van down by the river.' All I care is my family is alive and together :)

Between the layoff and putting the house up for sale, it gave us a reason to eat the food in our closets and trim down our preps for the time being. I still haven't been desperate enough to tap into my Spam supplies yet, but it's coming. LOL.
 

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Thats why we prep. Its not just for SHTF. Ive stuck with it because I like the lifestyle. Its healthy physically and mentally. And Ive come across dipping into my preps more then once instead of making that extra trip to the store.
 

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I was lucky to be able to close the business, cash out, and end up with nothing but a small mortgage thats now almost done (7 more payments). I was saddened and even depressed I couldn't find decent work. It hurt, still does, but I took steps to continuously do with less and less. I went from a $7500 a mo life style to a $2500 a month on in 12 months. Preps, mostly guns and silver made buying a few biggies possible (well, solar sys., a few others).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't like your 5-10 year time frame because I think we'll be in deep doodoo before that.
Streams,rivers,lakes nearby are surely a plus
That estimate is worst case scenario, but I wanted to be as realistic as I could. We plan to put every extra nickel we have into paying down the mortgage and we are putting a 50% down payment on whatever we buy. Chances are we will have it paid off in less than 5, but who knows what life will throw us in that time.

There is also this unfortunate reality that most of the properties in our price range have fallen into major disrepair and are gonna need new systems, a complete rebuild of buildings, etc. In fact, I haven't seen a single property in our price range that isn't in need of at least 30K in rehab work (and that's just from looking at the pictures, not from actual inspections). It's a situation where we will have to move onto the property, live in what's there, and slowly pay things off while we gather money and materials to build a small ranch-style home on the property (which we would pay cash and do in phases).

I've been finding a lot of inspiration on Kirsten Dirksen's YouTube channel that focuses on tiny homes and simple living. Trying to dream up ways we can get mortgage free in the least amount of time, but also do it in a way that's safe and healthy for our children.

 

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I came across a problem you may wish to consider and that is the Estate Tax. If you wish to keep this property in the family which properties like we are speaking of are meant to be kept multigenerational. Then make sure you are prepared for the Estate Tax end of lest the next generation will be forced to sell it to pay off the tax owed. And dont assume todays Estate Tax will be the one in place when we get old and aged and die off like the dinosaurs we are.

There is also this unfortunate reality that most of the properties in our price range have fallen into major disrepair and are gonna need new systems, a complete rebuild of buildings, etc. In fact, I haven't seen a single property in our price range that isn't in need of at least 30K in rehab work (and that's just from looking at the pictures, not from actual inspections). It's a situation where we will have to move onto the property, live in what's there, and slowly pay things off while we gather money and materials to build a small ranch-style home on the property (which we would pay cash and do in phases).
In one sense that is good as it keeps the valuation of your property low. Any building done should be made to look shanty even if its a beautiful luxury home inside. Let some grass extra long around it add some Black berries etc. In the long run it looks to be a many many thousand dollar investment to not look like you have money when it comes to rural property. But yeah if the buildings arent sound then you should get a deal. Put a trailer on it and enjoy the prep from scratch. Thats me.
 

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There is also this unfortunate reality that most of the properties in our price range have fallen into major disrepair and are gonna need new systems, a complete rebuild of buildings, etc. In fact, I haven't seen a single property in our price range that isn't in need of at least 30K in rehab work (and that's just from looking at the pictures, not from actual inspections). It's a situation where we will have to move onto the property, live in what's there, and slowly pay things off while we gather money and materials to build a small ranch-style home on the property (which we would pay cash and do in phases).
It would be nice to know how many of those properties are foreclosures now owned by banks. Im in a discussion on another Forum about the rural property issue and that its dying because of government policies and Big Ag trying to drive us off the land. Sorry for the derail.
 

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That estimate is worst case scenario, but I wanted to be as realistic as I could. We plan to put every extra nickel we have into paying down the mortgage and we are putting a 50% down payment on whatever we buy. Chances are we will have it paid off in less than 5, but who knows what life will throw us in that time.

There is also this unfortunate reality that most of the properties in our price range have fallen into major disrepair and are gonna need new systems, a complete rebuild of buildings, etc. In fact, I haven't seen a single property in our price range that isn't in need of at least 30K in rehab work (and that's just from looking at the pictures, not from actual inspections). It's a situation where we will have to move onto the property, live in what's there, and slowly pay things off while we gather money and materials to build a small ranch-style home on the property (which we would pay cash and do in phases).

I've been finding a lot of inspiration on Kirsten Dirksen's YouTube channel that focuses on tiny homes and simple living. Trying to dream up ways we can get mortgage free in the least amount of time, but also do it in a way that's safe and healthy for our children.

We were in exactly the same boat as you. Luckily we found a property bordering a large stream which had been repo'd and abandoned for almost two years. Of course it had some issues like mold, items broken from burglaries, and people constantly wandering around going to the stream since they think no one is here (we have more than 10 acres, they just don't realize the property is ours up to the road.) It was an excellent buy, although we never would have been able to fix it up without help from friends and family (we mostly did all the work with them and not contractors, which cut down the cost.) We took everything one step at a time, and now it's livable.

The plus side is that because it was so damaged, most people didn't even bother with bidding, so even the land dropped to half price of what it was worth. As far as I'm aware people aren't real interested in breaking in now either since most of the worthwhile stuff was stolen before we bought it. We only replaced what we really needed.

If you can deal with the drawbacks and could locate people to help fix up a dilapidated property, it's a great way to go as long as the land is good. We found trying to build new from scratch was going to be too expensive with the cost of gas and materials nowadays.
 

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...we plan to start shopping for an appropriate homestead asap. We've decided to keep the size of the property small, probably in the 2 to 5 acre range because we do not want to overextend ourselves financially given the direction things are heading in our country. In fact, our goal is to buy this homestead and have it 100% paid for and off the grid in the next 5 to 10 years.
Ah, your own little kingdom, I envy you..:)
I've been researching around the prep sites how much food a one-acre site like this below would provide and the answers vary widely, for example one guy says even a quarter acre will feed a family of 5 with veg, so a full acre should provide more than enough.
It's near a river so water will be no problem.
According to some people, livestock seem to be an "optional extra" and are not strictly necessary, especially if there's fish to be had from a river or sea, plus things in seashore rockpools, salt from evaporated seawater, and meat to be hunted in nearby woods



Oh, and if you're spoilt for choice where to relocate, make it a fertile lowland area. Check out some average temperature and weather maps. For example I live in the extreme southwest of England which is always a few degrees warmer than the rest of the country, here's a typical winter map showing most of the country to be a zero and subzero blue, but the southwest (and most of Ireland) are a warmer above-zero green..:)

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Great post Jim! I think an acre would be more than enough for providing for my family; however, in a SHTF scenario I would likely be hosting more than just my immediate family on-site. Misery loves company. Right? ;) I also want extra acreage to provide a privacy barrier from any nosy/whiny neighbors. The more property I have the less they can complain about the animals I keep on my land.

I've actually been researching foreclosure auctions the last few days and may try finding a property through that route. I also posted a real estate wanted ad on Craigslist. We'll see how that goes.
 

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...I want extra acreage to provide a privacy barrier from any nosy/whiny neighbors. The more property I have the less they can complain about the animals I keep on my land....I've actually been researching foreclosure auctions...
Yeah a 5-acre kingdom like this (or bigger) would certainly give you elbow room..:)



But don't buy anything sight unseen-



Before:- a snip at £154,000 (234,000 US dollars)


After the landslip-


Cliff top Ridgemont House in Torquay, Devon, starts to collapse | Mail Online

Valuable tools when property-hunting are Google Earth for a birdseye view of the neighborhood,
and Google Street View lets you take a virtual stroll down the street.

(Bing Maps is also good because it covers some areas in 3D birdseye view, unlike Goog Earth's 2D)

Basically, the BEWARE LIST is-
Noisy highway
Noisy rail line
Noisy airport
Nearby quarrying
Flood-prone area
Wind turbines (noisier than you think)
Nearby scrapyards and industry
Landslide or rockfall-prone area
Bad neighbors
Noisy gun club nearby
Unreliable electricity and water supply
Legal restrictions about what you can or can't do on your land.
Ask around to find out if the land is earmarked for future compulsory purchase for redevelopment, or for a new highway to be bulldozed through.
And try to find out if a nuclear plant or chemical factory etc is planned to be built next door
 
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