Episode-529- Finding that Rural Piece of Land

I have gotten quite a few emails lately about exactly how to find an affordable piece of land out in the country for everything from a homestead, retirement place, BOL or just as an investment.  I figured we could talk about that a bit today from a modern survivalist view point.

SPECIAL NOTE – Today’s show is LONG over 90 minutes long in fact.  I have had a lot of requests to comment on various areas of the US by region, I do that from about 19 minutes to about 48 minutes on today’s show.  If this isn’t your cup of tea, and it might not be for some, simply skip ahead.  It is part of what made the show so long and it will still leave you with a full show if you skip ahead of it.  I have had so many requests though for this critique, I decided to do it.  Please don’t be offended if I get something wrong about an area you love in today’s show, just tell me your view (respectfully please) in the comments below.

Join me today as we discuss…

  • The rise of two ways of living, urban and rural and the decline of suburbia
  • Why should you choose a rural form of living anyway
  • The lie of retirement and deferred gratification
  • Getting out vs. bugging out in TEOTWAWKI
  • Where to look, a few areas and my thoughts on them
    • PA to New England
    • FL, GA, AL, LA
    • TN, KY, WV and Western VA
    • WI, MN, MI
    • MO, AR
    • TX
    • NM, AZ, NV
    • ID, MT, WY, UT
    • WA, OR
  • Questions to ask yourself
    • What do I most love to do?
    • What type of people do I like to be with?
    • What health needs do I have now, will I have later on?
    • What can I actually afford, how can I afford more?
    • Who will I leave behind, how far behind is to far?
    • Why do I want to do this?
    • Will this really make me happy?
  • Steps to making it happen
    • Never stop window shopping
    • Save like a psychopathic miser
    • Create a secondary income stream (even a tiny one)
    • Take a vacation to an area you think you want to live in
    • Define your vision (couples find a common one)
    • Be willing to compromise, 85% is a B and a B is damn good!
    • Ask yourself “how can I make it happen” at least three times a day
  • Places to look
    • United Country
    • Realtor.com
    • Tax Offices in chosen areas
    • Papers in chosen areas (tiny papers are online now)
    • Find a good real estate agent (once you are ready to act)
  • Consider a transitional move (especially for telecommuters/entrepreneurs)
    • Keep your home
    • Rent dirt cheap and live there a while
    • Explore the community (date before you marry)
    • House hunt while you truly have real time to look things over
  • What to remember first and foremost
    • If other people are living there, you can too
    • If the people living there are not rich you don’t need to be either
    • Nothing will ever be perfect
    • Focus on “living” vs. “stuff”

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

26 Responses to Episode-529- Finding that Rural Piece of Land

  1. Hey Jack, great show today.

    I’d like to suggest a follow-up piece that covers how you go about assessing whether the property you’re looking at is all it’s cracked up to be. Stuff like mineral rights, testing the water and the soil, checking to see if you’re near any potential nuclear targets, that kind of thing.

    Thanks!

  2. Ultimately, finding a small parcel of rural land for homesteading, hunting, etc. is my goal…with interest rates where they are, this is good time to be looking, and maybe buying…I believe I could get by with a 10-15 acre hunting parcel, and down the road improve it, and build on it as I get older, wiser, grayer.

  3. Also remember to try and talk to your potential neighbors before buying. At one property we looked at, while we were looking at it, a neighbor stopped by and hung out with us for an hour. She was a great source of information told us all about the current owners, issues, local politics, traversing the roads in snow, the farm up the road, etc.

  4. Jack,
    How do I “break it in two” (this podcast) to copy it onto an audio CD. I am not too technically ept but like to help others with copies of the shows in the formate they understand. Not all my contemporaries are current with MP3 or ipod downloads. Thanks

  5. @David Galloway – I just bought some land and went through this. A new “right” that may or may not be conveyed here in Texas is “Wind Rights”.

    @Jesse in PA – I did this before buying my property. Great neighbors on either side. I closed on my place and then did a state search on child preds. Turns out there is one across the street from my BOL….DOH! :/

  6. One thing that might be nice to include, especially doing this on a budget are loan programs such as the USDA 502 loan. It’s is great fro the younger preppers who dont own a home and want to move to a rural area. My wife and I just purchased our first home through the program. A custom home on 5 acres with a small orchard, private well and heavily forested on an island in western washington for $275,000 with loan program we have a monthly payment after taxes and insurance of $1050 a month. If the government will pay for people to have farmable land I may as well take them up on it.

  7. Jack,
    This was some valuable info. and much more motivational then reading a book on buying rural property. I think one of the major road blocks to moving to a rural property is affordable health care. Especially if you have dependents. I’d be very interested if you did a show on peoples options for healthcare when making a move, where they may not have the means or company supported health plans anymore.

  8. Excellent and informative show. It has motivated me to see if I can move my secondary income stream to Fayetteville allowing me to move to my property in Arkansas.

    Thanks for the ideas!

  9. Since I’m poor I bug out in the wilderness areas and geocache gear. Remember, you still are a tenant when paying property taxes. DHS now calls land owners potential terrorists, and if you are out in the middle of nowhere in a wilderness area you have more freedom. I just got the book, Bug Out check it out by clicking my name, it’s my latest blog post. Thanks for a great show Jack, just giving my two cents.

  10. In the believe-it-or-not category, HUD also occasionally has rural property. Go to HUD.gov and select the state you’re interested in. The database presented varies a bit from state to state, but the initial property report is useful.

  11. Moving to a new area is easier for some than others. My dad was in the military, it was an adventure to go from one part of the country to another. We’d take vacations to visit family often cross country and/or camping. I enjoy meeting others with various background.

    My kids (youngest 13) have grown up in our current home, not a place we’ll always live. Too much in town for both my husband and me, have plans to sell in 2-4 years. The idea of us moving disturbs some of the kids, more so if we moved out of area. One daughter-in-law’s family lives a mile away. As her husband completes grad school and looks for a job, they want something no more than 8 hrs away, less is better. My other daughter-in-law is struggling with a move cross country. People are different there. They don’t talk to strangers in the grocery stores. Different things they like to talk about, etc. She can’t wait to move back to Texas.

    I’ve come to realize moving from home/friends/family is more traumatic for some than others. One friend moved 15 times before she graduated from high school. First thing she did after each move was get out and make new friends. Not so easy for those who’ve lived one place all their lives.

    We bought land close by, 15-20 minutes away. Beautiful trees, spring fed creek. Place we can grow stuff on. Peaceful. Plan is to build a home there in a few years, building a shop there now, something my husband always wanted. He gets his shop, I get my trees and place to grow stuff. More room when grandkids visit while close to where their parents grew up.

    Yet I can’t bring myself to say I will live in one place all my life. Too many places to love, too much still to see. Hard to believe I’ve lived in one area so long.

    Crisp clean air of Alaska, glaciers are beautiful. Walking barefoot through the ocean’s surf, swimming in a lake. Hiking in the Rockies, horseback riding in the Tetons, canoeing Shoshone Lake, building igloos with snow in Penn Hill area of Pennsylvania. Sand dunes at white sands, hiking/ hummer rides through Moab. Looking for crabs early morning on the northern Ca coast. Watching a storm roll in across the Arkansas river while resting top of Petit Jean. No way I can fit all that on one piece of property. So I think of it as base camp.

  12. Jack, I live in Wisconsin & am looking in northern Wisconsin & the U.P. of Michigan. The Michigan taxes are only $100-300 per year for a home in the small towns or $25-150 for rural land depending on how much you buy. Since I am paying cash the deals are even better. Thanks for a great show, it will help with where I choose to buy.

  13. Lots of good bug out land in SE Oklahoma in/near the Ouachita Mountains for $1000 or less per acre in all sizes of tracts.

  14. Jack – I have not yet finished listening to your show, but wanted to suggest http://www.landandfarm.com as another online resource to check out rural properties. I must caution everyone though – I can spend an enormous amount of time looking through the many properties listed and not realize how much time went by!

  15. Anti-Federalist

    Great show, enjoyed the heck out of it. Fascinated by your thoughts on those different regions even though I had no interest in those areas.

    I would suggest placing in the show links property search engines you feel are decent to use.

    Thanks again.

  16. Great show Jack – you and I are EXACTLY in-line on our ideas on finding and purchasing land. I’ve had quite a bit of experience in this over the years and you are right.. if you get 80-85% of “perfection” in a place, you’ve done darn good. Maybe some day I’ll talk on my blog about our ups and downs in finding the perfect place.. and how we’re still alert to the potential NEXT perfect place at all times.

  17. Jack, great show, lots of good info.

    To give some counter points on a minor part of the show,the death of suburbia, I am posting some links to folks who have some awsome ideas on how to keep suburbia viable and resiliant.

    http://globalguerrillas.typepad.com/globalguerrillas/2009/11/rc-journal-the-inevitable-failure-of-suburbia.html

    Resiliant Suburbia
    http://www.theoildrum.com/node/4720

  18. Orygun native

    Great show. Oregon/Washington wasn’t covered in too much detail so here are my 2 (inflation adjusted) cents.

    You commented about Oregon and Washington being California-lite states, which I would say is only partially correct. The Cascade Mountains divide the states both politically and geographically. Oregon conservative east of, liberal west of, but converts to a more moderate affiliation the further south you go west of the Cascades. Washington much the same, conservative east of, liberal west of, but converts to moderate the further north you get from Seattle.

    Eastern Washington has the population to put a dent in ultra-liberal western Washington Politics. Oregon’s eastern population can’t compete with western as Portland voters have a strangle hold on the rest of the state. On the bright side, voters outside of Portland prefer not to throw money at Portland issues so Portland taxes the daylights out of its residents, not the entire state.

    Oregon is a very gun owner friendly state and politicians rarely challenge our 2nd amendment values.

    Oregon is a great state with a few kinks to be worked out, but I believe we are heading in the right direction.

  19. Modern Survival

    @Orygun native

    Thanks for the additional information.

  20. @Orygun native, thanks for saying the same thing I was going to say about Washington. I think 80% of the state would feel a lot better if King and Pierce county (seattle metro area) sank into the ocean. On the bright side for us stuck on the west side of the mountains we go have one thing going for us if the SHTF… Islands. Highly defencible and idependent communities. I have had the pleaseure of living on one for the majority of the last 15 years and wouldnt want to go back. Yes we may have our libreal baston to the south, and too many hippies on the island but I can stomach their politcal leaning when they can teach me valuable skills like primative building and spinning as well as permaculture.

  21. I’m a MO native and I’d like to clarify something. The heat here is felt more because of a high humidity, but there are places in the state that get damn cold. Kirksville, 45min from the IA border, the summers get into the low 90s but are short. In the winter I had running water freeze.

  22. Thanks for the show, Jack! Informational and down-to-the-earth mentoring (for me, a newbie in this).

    I found if you enter “rural living” in google (you may adjust that phrase according to taste ;), you may find some useful information about certain places (typically states, maybe counties) in the form of “handbooks”. I’ve seen NE, KS, ND…Plus just a general pdf e-book on rural living/prop. mgt.

    Just wanted to share, maybe someone will use this info.

    Thanks again, man! Keep up the great work!

  23. Great podcast. Thanks for the insight and perspective.

  24. Great show. Right on the money. My wife and I live in central Florida and love were we live. It great.

  25. Anji and Evan

    Jack – It’s coppice (pronounced COPiss), not ‘cospice’.
    :D
    And “Hi” from The Permaculture Research Institute, Australia.
    Love your work.

  26. I know you said you may leave out “your area” and certainly I was disappointed Indiana or the Ohio Valley wasn’t included. But this was a great episode just the same.

    I got a lot out of it and was able to look at our area with a different perspective. I’m guessing you didn’t mention us because you may not have much experience with IN, OH, IL or KY. That’s cool though.