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Prepper Real Estate? What exactly do I mean by a homestead? Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. The goal is to support yourself using mostly, or only, what you can do on your own.
According to Wikipedia: Homesteading is a lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of food, and may also involve the small-scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.
Preparing Your Homestead for Survival: Prepper Real Estate
We are talking about creating a homestead for the purposes of surviving should the SHTF. Some preppers have ONLY a homestead that they currently reside on and some have one as a back up -that they move to when the time is needed.
We will be looking at both of these options over the next few months as I work on this series – and tips/tricks for both kinds.
The Price is Right
Cost is a factor for many people. You are trying to survive the here and now, yet plan ahead for a possible problematic future. Maybe you are one of those longing for a homestead for the fact that it is a smaller carbon footprint compared to what the average American does.
While the Homestead Act of 1862 was repealed in the mid-1970s, it was used to give out more than 270 million acres of land to potential homeowners. There still are a few states/areas that offer FREE land, mostly in the Midwest. They are more likely neighborhood lot-sized instead of 3-5 acres that you would normally prefer for a real homestead.
Free is usually a good thing, but you can work on other options. We have a list of a few things that you are going to want to consider before plopping down some serious cash for your new land.
Depending on how much work you want to put into it – you can usually get a lot more land and home for less money if you look at foreclosed on properties or even ones that are “fixer-uppers”.
This might mean hauling out a lot of junk. Repairing fences. Scraping and painting. Fixing sheds. You get the idea… you are trading money for your elbow grease.
Prepper Real Estate: Don’t go too small
A tiny plot of land isn’t too helpful if you are looking at making a real go of it.
The FREE land I mentioned comes in sizes like: 86’ x 133’, 155 feet wide by 93 feet deep, or 80 x 120 feet.
That isn’t enough land to have a house and livestock, along with a decent sized garden.
Also, it’s preferable to have a larger plot that you can fence off and get some distance between neighboring properties. Being in the middle of a subdivision isn’t going to cut it.
If you are getting land where you need to build a hone on it first, then make sure you plan accordingly for your home, outbuildings, animals, and garden.
Try to avoid rough terrain
When planning out and planting your gardens, you don’t want to have to remove a ton of rocks or trees.
When digging out for the foundation of your home, you don’t want to break your backhoe or bobcat on a boulder. (we did it landscaping at our old home).
You don’t want to have to get all funky and creative with house plans to accommodate strange elevation levels.
When looking at slightly larger farm animals like goats or cows, you don’t want them to go lame by faulty footing on uneven ground.
You also want to be able to navigate your homestead property on foot or in a smaller vehicle like an ATV or snowmobile, so don’t get something too difficult to move through.
Your land can’t be “parched”
This is huge when looking at Preparing Your Homestead for Survival. Every living thing needs water. You need more than city water on your property. What kind of water source do you need?
You can certainly take advantage of a rain barrel or two, and use that for everything from watering plants to doing laundry. But what else can you look for?
Is there a creek or stream on your property that a neighbor can’t block off? Nothing is worse than thinking you have water and then the neighbor upstream takes it away from you when they divert it to take care of their own crops or livestock.
Do you have a spring? That helps build your own water supply and feed your own well. YOU will own that water source and that is worth more than it’s weight in gold in the long run.
There are fights over water right now, all over the county. The desert areas of Arizona, etc wanted water from the Great Lakes… but there are problems all over the world. He who has water, is King (or Queen).
Get a plot with some wildlife
Yes, you can plan ahead to have chickens, a pig or two, maybe goats, and even a cow, but it pays to have a little wooded area where you have enough natural livestock for hunting.
You don’t want too many large predators, like bears or wolves, but having some wildlife on your property can be great for hunting in a survival situation.
Think deer, rabbits, even squirrels in a pinch. On deer a year, when butchered correctly, can give you almost a year of meat to supplement your eggs, and smaller game animals.
Prepper Real Estate: Be in the Zone
While we are talking bout animals, is your property zoned for livestock. Currently, I live in a city where you can’t even have backyard chickens!
While zoning might not matter when the SHTF, it does now – while you are Preparing Your Homestead for Survival. We have to play within the current rules and regulations while we prepare for a time where there really aren’t any.
Do you have power?
If you are out in the country, are you on any public power grid? If that power goes out, do you have a backup plan? Can you do solar panels or a windmill? Is there a running water source to do an old-fashioned water power source?
While you can certainly get away without electricity and survive, it is nice to actually have it. It means that you are Preparing Your Homestead for Survival past the temporary use of generators.
Homesteading Electricity Options
Just because you’re technically off the grid – it doesn’t mean you have to go without power completely. We all know batteries are too expensive to store – unless you have rechargeable batteries with solar-powered chargers.
One thing you can do is invest in any gadgets that don’t require electricity at all, like and-crank radios, etc. But there are other options you can consider – such as solar, wind, and water generated power.
Let it shine with solar power
Solar power is the most common option that people think of when they consider moving from a dependency on an electric company. Solar panels can be pricey, but they quickly pay you back for your investment.
You can cook with solar ovens, charge your electronics with solar-powdered gadgets, and do just about anything that you would normally use with paid electricity. You can either buy solar panels or make them yourself.
Be careful about some of the crude do-it-yourself tutorials. You want things to work on a budget, but you don’t want to put your family at risk with a setup that endangers anyone.
Let it flow with hydropower
One option, depending on the property and its water resources are to create a hydropower system. You have to have a stream or river flowing nearby that has a nice drop in elevation for it to work properly.
Let it blow with wind power
Wind power is another option. You can install wind turbines that will generate electricity, but you need to live in an area that consistently delivers wind speeds around 9-10 miles per hour for it to work.
With all of these options, you have choices that range between crude, low-power producing products and extravagant products that leave you carefree and fully secure with a working system.
One thing that each homesteading family needs to do is determine how much power they really need. You’ll want to cut down on your electric usage – unplug appliances when not in use, turn off lights, etc.
Then you can better choose among the viable options you have to deliver enough power to provide for your family. If possible, make sure you have several choices on your property so that if there’s not a lot of rain, or the water flow gets stifled, or the wind dies down, you won’t be stranded without electricity.
Prepper Real Estate: Customize your list
When looking at Picking out the Right Land for your homestead, take our list, and add a few things of your own to it. What matters to you? What are you looking for? What size group are you trying to accommodate?
Make sure that you have a full list ready and then, you can decide what you may or may not compromise on to find the perfect land for your homestead.