Are you interested in HOMESTEADING LIFESTYLE?  Then you might find one of these articles handy:

Two Parents, a Kid, and One Tiny Cabin by Martina Kuhnert

Quilting: Recycling Made Beautiful by Bonnie Lavigne

Countdown to the Country: Ten Steps to Your Future as a Homesteader by Bonnie Lavigne

Homesteading vs. Smallholding: Observations from Both Sides of the Pond by Katy Runacres

Homesteading Failures by Magdalena Perks

Learning Curves on Rural Roads by Diana Boeke

Adam vs. the Post Pounder by Sue Dick

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly - Country Neighbors: a Mixed Bag by Sue Dick

Beat the Vacuum Tyranny by Magdalena Perks

Homesteader vs. Survivalist by Sheri Dixon

Redefining Neighborhoods Back on the Land by Barbara Bamberger Scott

Fergus the Red by Sue Dick

Waste Not, Want Not by Adrianne Masters

Gimme Shelter (And I’d Like it to Look Like…a House, Please) by Sheri Dixon



Homestead Prepping: Buying a B.O.L. by Doug Smith

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Dealing with human waste can be tricky on unimproved land.  This is one example of the need for thinking and planning ahead.  For centuries humans used chamber pots and dumped the waste a distance from the house.  Then came the popular invention called the outhouse.  In the past century indoor plumbing became the normal.  Modern day septic laws in most states require a costly percolation test on properties less than three acres before installing a new septic tank and drain field.  These tests can be expensive, and often it makes sense to buy tracts of more than three contiguous acres to avoid such costly governmental involvement.  If you choose to stick with an outhouse at your rural property, be careful to position it far away from the drinking water source.  Heavy rains could contaminate your water source due to storm-water runoff.

Now that you know what to look for in a “bug out” property, here’s how you start the search and eventually make the deal for your own rural escape.  A great place to begin is the Internet.  Even the hillbillies of southern Missouri now have computers and know how to use them.  The first step is to define your target search area.  Consider how far you can drive on half a tank of fuel if you leave your in-town home and head straight to your bug out location.  Use a travel map service such as Mapquest to define that perimeter circle.  In Missouri, where I live, the three largest cities are St. Louis, Kansas City, and Springfield.  All three are less than 250 miles apart, so bugging out of St. Louis could easily take you more than halfway to Springfield or Kansas City. 

With a perimeter established, begin your search on the outer edges of that area.  Turn to a program like Google Earth to look at aerial photos and or terrain views of possible properties.  While the optimal way would be to look at a map and find the ideal property, then go make an offer on the land and buy it, this is far from a perfect world.  Many people might have a price point at which they’re willing to sell the farm or homestead, rural areas are known for land which has been in the same family for hundreds of years.  Just because you’ve found the ultimate getaway acreage on Google Earth doesn’t mean the owner will ever consider selling out.  But the preliminary search will give you an idea of what the “lay of the land” is in your search zone.  Look for tracts of land well off the main highways, with limited access, and nearby flowing water. 

Using online services such as Google Maps or Yahoo Maps are a great way to have a first look at a potential property or area. After you narrow down the perimeter where you hope to find land, use online searches to find properties and look at topography maps for features such as ingress and egress, streams and rivers, and the lay (contour) of the land.

Once you know what to expect in your “bug out” area, now start looking for leads.  As I said before, the Internet is a great resource when searching for rural property.  Rural land is usually much more affordable than lots in incorporated cities and communities.  Additionally, unimproved land – real estate with no “improvements” such as a home, outbuildings, paved roads or well and septic – can be had for much less than properties with improvements already in place.  You should know that banks generally  will not loan at the same low interest rate or lengthy term for unimproved land versus a home on groomed acreage.  Terms for a small number of acres can often be less than a 10-year note. 

When choosing a getaway property consider ingress and egress, possible garden locations, woodlots for fuel for cooking and heating, water sources, and shelter locations. This property off the beaten path but easy to access has it all ... woods, fields, one road leading in and out, a spring-fed year-round creek and suitable building areas.

But even with the funding limitations discussed in the previous paragraph, buying a rural property is still a wise investment – another popular aspect of preppers.  Many prepping enthusiasts prefer to have diverse “investments”.  That can mean having quantities of gold or silver stored away for currency or trade goods when the current economic system fails, or having stores of food and other merchandise on hand that will perhaps be desired commodities when shortages become the normal.  Owning land is another great investment… after all, they’re not making any more of it.  In the county where I live a building lot in town will sell for $5,000 to $25,000 for a third-acre.  Commercial lots sell for $4 to $6 per square foot.  Home lots just outside the incorporated boundaries go for $2,000 to $5,000 per acre.  But unimproved land in the rural counties just to the south and west sell for $1,000 an acre or less.  For the cost of a small building lot in town you can own 5 to 25 acres in the country.

Where do you find such land?  Do an Internet search.  There are hundreds of individual property owners looking to sell their rural acreage.  Some will turn to “For Sale By Owner”, or FSBO, sites to post their own land.  Others will list their land on Craigslist.  In both cases the buyer should be savvy about the steps to buying land, and take time to research the process if the plan is to buy property without using a licensed real estate agent.

Another growing trend is Internet-based real estate brokerage companies.  In many cases these brokers purchase large tracts of rural acreage and have the land subdivided into smaller lots suitable for country getaways.  Some properties will come with restrictions, while some will ask only that the land be paid for before the purchaser has any standing timber removed.  Still others will have very few restrictions.  The big advantage to buying land from an online broker is that oftentimes the brokerage company will sell the land on monthly installments with little or no money required down.  Just pick out the preferred acreage and start making monthly payments.  Buy a piece of magnificent rural property with no money down and low payments… this is a deal rarely made available to the rest of the world.

Just like 30 minutes before the prom is not the time to learn to dance, waiting until some life-changing event  happens is not the time decided to secure your own rural getaway.  Owning a piece of rural acreage can mean serenity, security, simplicity and safety… whether you buy into the prepper lifestyle or not.   




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