Land in a rur­al area for a Bug Out Loca­tion is roman­tic thought for me, and recent­ly I have been look­ing at prices with­in a cou­ple hour dri­ve of where I live in an area that is the polar oppo­site of where I live.  I make some notes about a year ago around the prices of a cou­ple plots of land and am com­par­ing the prices today to a year ago.  .  For exam­ple, I found a three acre plot in a pret­ty rur­al area that is going for just under 16,000 dol­lars.  Not too bad.  How­ev­er, I need to do more research on items such as how deep the water table is.  Why?  So that I can decide whether or not I can drill a well myself or if I must hire some­one to drill a well.  There is no run­ning water on the plot so this is one of my top con­cerns.  But that is not why I am writ­ing this post.  I am writ­ing this post to try to edu­cate you a lit­tle bit on some of the research I have been doing on some of the pros and cons of buy­ing a rur­al plot of land for a BOL.  And trust me, there are pros and cons…

So I think that you prob­a­bly guessed that I am look­ing for some raw land.  I am look­ing for a few acres that I can “under the guise of devel­op­ing it in the future” use as a BOL pret­ty inex­pen­sive­ly.  Here is the ide­al sit­u­a­tion:

  • Raw Land, three — 10 Acres in size.  I have an idea for 10+ acres, but will dis­cuss that at anoth­er time.
  • Ide­al­ly, a plot of land that has run­ning water through it.  Not a wide riv­er, but a stream that will allow for water all year, maybe some fish, as well as oth­er wildlife that would be drawn to it…
  • Off of a dirt road that gets mod­er­ate to lit­tle traf­fic
  • Some­place where I can even­tu­al­ly put a cab­in but start with a trav­el trail­er or 5th wheel.
    • Some­thing that is not per­ma­nent so that I do not have to deal with high­er prop­er­ty tax­es right away.
  • Some­place where prop­er­ty tax­es are under $1,000 annu­al­ly
  • Some­place where I can cache resources in mul­ti­ple loca­tions that no one will be able find but me
  • Some­place where I can grow a half acre — to a full acre gar­den if I had to.  Now that being said, if you knew how large 1/2 — a full acre is, this is QUITE an under­tak­ing with­out mod­ern equip­ment…
  • Some­place defen­si­ble (not sure that is the right word)
  • Some­place where I can go “on-grid” or stay “off-grid” depend­ing on what and how the prop­er­ty gets built up.  I don’t mind pay­ing for elec­tric­i­ty on grid if I am also gen­er­at­ing some of my own at the same time keep­ing costs down.  I think there is mer­it to drop­ping a locked shed on the prop­er­ty that has elec­tric piped into it with a refrig­er­a­tor and chest freez­er dur­ing the good times…  By stay­ing “on-grid” a more nor­mal­ized lifestyle can be main­tained as a “week­end” war­rior while build­ing out the BOL for both good times and bad…
  • Some­place where a shal­low well can be drilled (
    • Ques­tions such as how deep the water table is, and how much would it cost to drill a 100 — 500 foot well?  I would hope that I could find a piece of prop­er­ty where the water table is with­in 15 — 30 feet and I don’t run into rock…
  • Some­where a small  sep­tic sys­tem (even a VERY small one) can be dug and added. (
  • Some­where where I can trap and hunt on my own prop­er­ty if I need to.  If I have the chest freez­er, as men­tioned above, I can shrink wrap/food saver my game and store it for when I would like to have/cook it…
  • Some­where where I can tar­get shoot with a bow or gun with­out offend­ing neigh­bors.  In fact some­where where gun laws are loos­er than the states of NY and NJ.

So what are some of the advan­tages of look­ing for raw land in a rur­al area?  Well, believe it or not, I have noticed that rur­al land prices have not depre­ci­at­ed the way sub­ur­ban and urban land have depre­ci­at­ed.  It’s true.   My “lim­it­ed” research illus­trates to me that rur­al land tends to depre­ci­ate slow­er in ill eco­nom­ic times than that of urban and sub­ur­ban land.  I say this because typ­i­cal­ly, the more pop­u­lat­ed the area and the more there is a depen­den­cy on an indus­try for work the more like­ly that demo­graph­ic and geog­ra­phy may be impact­ed if the indus­try is hit by hard times… A cou­ple of “for instances” would be the fol­low­ing:

  • The Steel Indus­try and the cities of Allen­town and Pitts­burgh, PA.  When the steel indus­try took a dump 20+ years ago so did these two pow­er house cities.  Allen­town being small­er than Pitts­burgh, it took Pitts­burgh many years to recov­er from the Steel indus­try going bust by rein­vent­ing itself as a more white col­lar town.  Allen­town and the Lehigh Val­ley area in PA, per­son­al­ly have still not ful­ly recov­ered.  There is no new indus­try in that area and hence the job mar­ket is soft.
  • The Auto­mo­bile Indus­try.  With the reces­sion, this domes­tic indus­try has tak­en a dive, and no where is it reflect­ed worse than Detroit, MI.  With­out exag­ger­a­tion, I have heard and read con­tent that sug­gests that homes that were being sold in the $150,000.00 and $200,000.00 range have sold for as lit­tle as $7,000.00 — $10,000.00.  To me that is pret­ty remark­able.  Since the indus­try has tak­en a dive, peo­ple have moved out of the area in search of work and the home depre­ci­a­tion dropped like a rock.  It is a lit­tle (a lot) scary to me to see home prices drop like this and peo­ple with­out jobs and mov­ing out of the area they may have lived and thrived their whole lives.

This also brings up anoth­er point that hit me while writ­ing this.  I have been an advo­cate of bring­ing man­u­fac­tur­ing back to the U.S. for goods to be processed, built, and sold here vs. being man­u­fac­tured else­where.  How­ev­er, when I look at the “depen­den­cy” on the city, town, or vil­lage with a man­u­fac­tur­ing indus­try, I am not so sure I want my home or BOL to be too close to it for rea­sons of eco­nom­ic val­ue.  It seems to me that rur­al, or “farm coun­try” for lack of bet­ter phras­ing would hold it’s val­ue more effec­tive­ly.  I know some of you might argue that inde­pen­dent farm­ing has been destroyed by cor­po­rate farm­ing and that there is not much of a dif­fer­ence today from “sub­ur­ban land” and cor­po­rate farms.  You may be right.  I know many farm­ers who have sub-divid­ed their prop­er­ty and sold off plots of land to would be home own­ers because they were squeezed out by the cor­po­rate farms.  It was the only way for them to gen­er­ate income post “cor­po­rate squeeze.”

The Bug Out Loca­tion on rur­al land ulti­mate­ly, as indi­rect­ly stat­ed above in my “I want” list, will help reduce depen­den­cy on urban and sub­ur­ban resources, and a “con­sumer only lifestyle.”  There is cer­tain­ly a LOT of work involved with set­ting up a BOL, and doing it on the cheap can take more time than just spend­ing the mon­ey to have some­one do it for you.  How­ev­er, doing so on the cheap isn’t nec­es­sar­i­ly all that cheap.  You must buy the prop­er­ty, and I do not want a loan on the prop­er­ty, I want to pay cash if I can.  Almost every­thing else you may do on the prop­er­ty in the begin­ning may cost “some” mon­ey, so there may be many hid­den costs involved that I have not iden­ti­fied…

The (my) search con­tin­ues and will fur­ther con­tin­ue.  I know where I “think” I want to the Bug Out Loca­tion to be, and I have found a few (3) acres I want to go take a look at in the near future.  It has been on the mar­ket for over a year.  Unfor­tu­nate­ly there is no run­ning water on it, but there is a shed, and what looks to be an old­er camper on the prop­er­ty.  It has piqued my inter­est from that respect.  I am a lit­tle hes­i­tant to use a Real­tor as I want to con­serve as much cash as I can, but beg­gars can­not be choosers.  I do not want to rush into some­thing either.

This post real­ly did­n’t turn out the way I had expect­ed it to.  I was sup­posed to be a “Things to look for” in your BOL prop­er­ty post, but turned into a more self serv­ing post, help­ing me iso­late the things I want in a piece of Bug Out prop­er­ty.

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