Let me explain what to look for to find the perfect survival property or BOL (Bug Out Location) with a detailed Farm and Land Purchase Checklist. There is alot of info here, so take it slow and soak it up.
If you were looking for a place to Bug Out to or looking for a place to settle into for your primary home, one thing remains the same. You must understand that there is always a chance that your land will be your permanent home.
BY THE WAY, Greg from TN was the winner of the COLT TACTICAL SURVIVAL KNIFE. Greg, I expect some photos Greg!
So what do we look for when buying our BOL/Homestead? Do we look at bedrooms? The amount of baths? Oh, I know… we want to have a home with a gray water system.
None of these concerns should be at the front of your mind. All intrinsic wealth comes from the Earth. Every crop grows from it. All the steak and lamb you eat, ate plants. Everything that has ever been built, created, or used is retrieved by natural resources from the earth.
What this means is that we want to look at the land, not the buildings on the land. All other things being equal, we want a better building to live in, but this is not as important as the land that your infrastructure is built on.
Since we want to look at land, what are we looking for? We need to look for the gold that no one else sees. We don’t buy for what it is; we buy for what it WILL BECOME. We need to begin designing landscape with permaculture principles in our mind.
I want to consider a few things as far as the land goes, I am not discussing the DEAL because I touched on that last time:
What is the potential of this land with a little rehab? If you were willing to put a little sweat into the property, would it look much better? Beyond the “pretty” factor, is it a good plot of land? Is it big enough for what you would want? Is the layout conducive to your end goal?
Neighbors, what are they like? Believe me, the last thing you want are horrible neighbors. Make sure that you buy into an area where everyone is like-minded. Do the neighbors have dogs running free? Can the go after your livestock? Can they terrorize your chickens?
Cost of the homestead? I already discussed getting good deals last time. Don’t place yourself in a financial hardship trying to do this.
How far is the property to town? Even though, when prep steading, you want to live away from it all, you may consider some of the conveniences of living near a small town where you can get some helpful items. Steaders of old used to travel 3 days into town, when we can just be 30 minutes to an hour away.
When looking for a Homestead, how well do you know the area you are looking in? If you don’t know it, it may be a good idea to rent for at least a few months until you know how you like it. You would not do well to buy and invest a lot of money just to realize that you hate the area.
How far do you live from it? If it will be a BOL, it would be best if it is within 4 hours of your current location, so you can travel to work on it over your weekends. Do I need to rent?
I think everyone should take a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) prior to looking for a place, so they know what to look for.
Everyone should start small and on one thing at a time. Learn the basics and figure out how to streamline what you do. Get comfortable, and only then, should you move on to the next thing.
What is the property like in the four seasons? How hot is the summer? Where is the sun shine throughout the day in each season? Does it flood in the wet season? If there is potential, how often does it flood? How cold are the winters? What days are the best for planting and harvesting crops?
What is the growing season like? Like above, what are the days and temperatures like? What plants do well in that area? Think of ways to extend your seasons and does the property make that possible?
Is water available? What type of water is it; from a spring, well, or even an underground spring? Is there a pond or can you easily make one? Know where you would place the pond. We need to make sure there is enough water without a lot of work by us. Look to see if there are great opportunities for water catchment.
I know that I said that the land was most important and that the shelter was secondary… as long as you have a livable space, or can figure out a decent one. But, the outbuildings are extremely important. You will need many of them, and having them already on the property will not add value to what you are buying, but saves you from all of the expense of buying one or building one. They don’t have to be perfect buildings, just usable and fixable.
Do we plan on having a Pasture? Are you planning on grazing animals? You will need enough room for the herd to roam and grow. Will you be paddock shifting them? If so, you need to see if there is an area that is great for that.
We want a soil test so that we can know what nutrients the soil has in it’s different layers. We also want to know if bad chemicals were used there before. We probably shouldn’t purchase land that requires 10 years of rehab before it is back to good health.
I want land with plenty of wooded area. It brings wind shelter, building materials, and fuel. I also want a cleared area, so I am not placed in the moral dilemma of cutting down mature forest to plant my edible forest.
So what is the slope of the land like? I posted on how to read a topographic map not too long ago. Check it out and learn how to find general contours of your land. A more precise, hands-on approach is to use an a-frame level or laser level.
Will it be good for chicken, goats, fish, ducks, sheep, bees, or any other animals you want to keep?
Easements: I don’t think easements are all bad, but you need to know if there are any, and what they are, such as a gravel road for someone to use to get to their property, using your pond for fishing, etc. Depending on the type of easement, and where it is, would determine if I care or not.
Eminent Domain: The ability of the state to forcefully take private land. Research how “at risk” you are for this.
Liens: If you purchase a property, you need to make sure that you don’t get stuck paying the liens on it as well. This is where title insurance comes in.
Water Rights: If you are purchasing land in Utah, you may end up dealing with this, in Oregon, probably not. If you don’t get the water rights to a property, then you don’t have the ability to use water from a source like rivers, streams, ponds, or possibly even groundwater.
Mineral Rights: You want mineral rights to the land so you can keep, use, or exploit the minerals found on your property.
Zoning Laws: All townships generally have zoning PLANS. Not only do they have zones based on things like agricultural, residential, and commercial zoning, but they have PLANS for the zoning as well. They usually have “phases” in their plans. It would be good not to be just outside the city limits, so zoning will not be changed on you. If you found that perfect land, but it is on a line that will be rezoned soon, many towns will grandfather the original purpose to the land until it changes ownership.
Legal surveyed map of the land: Extremely important to know that you get what you pay for, and it will settle future boundary disputes with neighbors.
HOAs: Don’t have them! All this is is a mechanism for losers that can’t be in real government to be able to pretend by governing a neighborhood over stupid crap. “I don’t like that,” is NOT a good reason to infringe on my rights. Last thing we need is more government. DON’T DO IT!
Know the Crime Rate or lack thereof.
Know what amenities or emergency services you have, like fire department and police, where they are, and how they respond to calls.
Know about industry in the area that could have large scale NH3 (Ammonia), Cl2 (Chlorine), or other hazardous chemical spills. Know the prevailing winds, and what Nuclear Facilities Pose a risk for that area.
Obviously, know about the natural disasters that pose a risk to the area.
I hope I have given you a good outline to consider when looking for that land. What about you? Can you think of important things to consider when buying a homestead, or BOL?
As I write tips for your adventures and hear about cool gear, I will let you know all about it!