May 30, 2014 at 11:59 pm #15246
When looking for BOL what do you look for?
Things about property
Can conceal building living area
Off major highways travel routes
No natural defects ie on fault lines or high mudslide avalanche areas
things on property
Clean Water source non pumped
no power lines, no pipelines
large enough to farm for food+ grazing land
what else can you add?May 31, 2014 at 1:24 am #15248
Find out as much as you can about the neighbors.May 31, 2014 at 4:54 am #15257
Namelus – don’t forget to research the max/min temps that will drastically effect your growing season. I’d also make sure you know where the nearest prison is located (so you can stay away from it) and also if you’d be in the wind drift area (downwind) of a city due to fallout from dirty bomb. South facing slope if going north so you can get all the sun for passive home heating.
Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them.
- Thomas PaineMay 31, 2014 at 9:28 am #15263
Good topic Namelus!
Everything about quality of land- what kind of food (and quantity) you can grow there, everything about resources around you- for example what kind of animals are in woods for hunting, wood for fuel, creeks etc.
Novus mention min/max temperatures, it is good to could winter “paralyze” there and what can you do about that.
Is there anything that can make that area “interesting” when SHTF (near storage, mines, etc.)May 31, 2014 at 10:22 am #15270
I would add:
– the sense of community and community values as a whole in the BOL. I don’t mean just immediate neighbors.
– the elevation in general for better opsec and above sea level and proximity to rivers and flood plains that may (even if is just a one off historic event) flood.
Joel Skousen has a good book (I think) on the subject called Strategic Relocation. Here’s a link to his web site.
It’s hard to find one place that has all of the best things/features unless you get really, really lucky or have very deep pockets IMHO.
We looked at lots of property all over the place for 4 years before finding this one. Our personal biggest concerns were: #1 water, #2 soil quality #3 mixture of open land and some woods #4 well off major roads #5 small, like-minded, open-minded community of people with ‘old-fashioned’, self-sufficient skills but yet well-educated #6 existing infrastructure in good condition to lessen time constructing what would be needed and spending time doing more grunt work than necessary
In the end you do the best you can with what resources you have and the constraints of your current life situationMay 31, 2014 at 9:33 pm #15326
I would also check to see who owns the mineral rights to the land. You wouldn’t want to get your BOL all set up only to have some oil company decide to drill for oil in the middle of your garden. If you are on a tight budget look for property that boarders national forests or paper company land. You may just find small pieces of land that are remote and surrounded by hundreds of thousands of acres no one lives on. In SHTF you would have access to natural resources you didn’t have to pay forMay 31, 2014 at 11:58 pm #15337
Once you have an area you are interested in I suggest road trips. You will get a chance to see the surrounding area and obvious places to stay away from: mobile home parks, industrial areas, areas with busy roads or railroads. Once you like an area go to the small towns and visit folks in the restaurants’, road side vendors and town halls.
RobinJune 1, 2014 at 4:59 am #15346
If you can, buy land in a valley.. better soil, flat…. and some steeper land on the side of the valley. Steeper land is often MUCH cheaper. This might give you the possibility of a stream which flows out of the hills providing you with gravity fed water supply, and also the possibility of micro hydro power production.
I have this situation largely by luck.. we did not consider it at the time. You may be able to source water from nearby hills which are owned by forestry interests .. or are not farmed. A forestry guy once told me that they often find “water system” pipes coming from their land. Most of the time it is not a problem.. except when they harvest.
The bottom of valleys are often frost prone.. and the sides of the valley or on slopes..there may be sites with frost drainage which allow frost tender crops to grow.. giving you more variety. Steep forested slopes which cannot be farmed or driven on.. give you a place to retreat and hide in times of danger. They may also hold wildlife which you can harvest in time of need.June 1, 2014 at 6:37 am #15349
Like others said, check the local rules and regulations when it comes to everything. Resource rights, building codes and what you may and may not do on your land.
I also know the locations of all police and military stations in the area because out here where I live they control everything. Make sure you check the local crime rates in the area you move to and also some health statistics. You don’t want to move and later realize there is a coal burning plant just a few miles away that constantly messes up the air quality and increases your risk of lung cancer.
It is pretty much impossible to live in a complete natural disaster safe zone so be aware of what can hit you.
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")June 16, 2014 at 12:23 am #16658
We live fulltime in what was our BOL. When I was looking for a place I set a minimum acreage at 10,and I wanted that to be mostly flat (hard to come by in VT) and mostly open but with some woods so as to be able to supply my own firewood if needed. I wanted the house to be big enough that my kids could come home to live if it comes to that. I wanted the primary heat to be from a woodstove, to be on my own well and have septic. I also wanted another water source on the property and to have neighbors in reasonable proximity for mutual aid if needed. I didn’t want to be on a main drag or next to anything important. My wife wanted reasonable proximity to the conveniences of modern life. The property could not be in a tourist area where there would be lots of useless urban folks coming come TEOTWAWKI. We found a place that met all the criteria but the house needed major maintenance and updating, and the property needed a lot of cleaning up too. It took us 3 1/2 years and far more money than I anticipated spending to renovate the house but we got there. The property had a small apple grove but I’ve planted a number of other fruit trees & shrubs. We added a handpump to the well in case the power goes out, built a greenhouse and put in a quarter acre veggie garden. I bought an apple press to make cider, hard cider, and my own vinegar for canning. My pond was already stocked with brown trout and bullheads. The soil itself is quite good if you ignore the stones being its bottom land in the valley and had been farmed for a couple centuries, up until about 35 years ago. My neighbors have beef cattle, chickens, & sheep and folks here generally have practical skills out of necessity. Friends/neighbors in the more suburban setting we used to live in thought we were out of our minds moving where we did and buying what we did. They can’t see what is coming.June 16, 2014 at 8:47 am #16689
Sounds like a great setup MountainBiker. We are also getting our homestead / BOL ready to live there full time now and new little problems keep coming up and of course the bill gets higher and higher. Anyway, there is an end in sight.
When did you feel the first time that you were good now and things were done at your BOL? I look forward to that kind of moment too
Alea iacta est ("The die has been cast")June 17, 2014 at 1:00 am #16778
Jay, we knew the house repairs/renovations were done because at the time we were working against the hard deadline of our son getting married on the property, and we didn’t want it to be a construction site come the special day. There were contractors here up until the week before the wedding. Previously we were doing one project at a time but we had to pick up the pace if we were going to be ready for the wedding, and that meant hiring out some stuff that I might have done myself if I had another year to get it done. That was last year and since then I keep chipping away at trying to make us more resilient with my garden, fruit trees etc. There is always something more to learn or experiment on. One is never done I suppose.
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