Author Topic: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?  (Read 3413 times)

le-weekend

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Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« on: July 20, 2017, 06:31:49 AM »
Has anyone thought about or actually done this -- buy a cheap piece of land in a rural place in case the sh*t ever hits the fan, real estate values plummet, you lose your job and can't find work, etc, just to have that peace of mind that you own a tiny piece of the world that you could camp out on if worst came to worst?

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Gondolin

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2017, 07:06:42 AM »
Check the real estate section. You may have to go back a few pages but you should find some people who hold undeveloped country land.

If I recall the consensus is that the utility of such a scheme really depends on how much you put into it. In many places ownership brings maintenance requirements, there are issues with illegal hunters and squatters, taxes are still levied, etc. It's generally not as simple as getting your name on a title and chucking the title into a safe.

Cwadda

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2017, 07:25:48 AM »
Has anyone thought about or actually done this -- buy a cheap piece of land in a rural place in case the sh*t ever hits the fan, real estate values plummet, you lose your job and can't find work, etc, just to have that peace of mind that you own a tiny piece of the world that you could camp out on if worst came to worst?

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I would never purchase an asset liability that costs me money each month. It's like putting your money into a bank account where YOU pay the bank interest.

I might consider purchasing land that's part of Reagan's Conservation Reserve Program or land that could be leased to a wind developer. It would yield about 3% interest. But still, you have property taxes to take care of. Not worth it, IMO.

marielle

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #3 on: July 20, 2017, 07:31:41 AM »
Has anyone thought about or actually done this -- buy a cheap piece of land in a rural place in case the sh*t ever hits the fan, real estate values plummet, you lose your job and can't find work, etc, just to have that peace of mind that you own a tiny piece of the world that you could camp out on if worst came to worst?

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I would never purchase an asset liability that costs me money each month. It's like putting your money into a bank account where YOU pay the bank interest.

I might consider purchasing land that's part of Reagan's Conservation Reserve Program or land that could be leased to a wind developer. It would yield about 3% interest. But still, you have property taxes to take care of. Not worth it, IMO.

What if it's only $10k-$20k? That's how much I see land for near me, some people's emergency funds are bigger than that. I know nothing about upkeep or taxes though.

Holyoak

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #4 on: July 20, 2017, 07:46:24 AM »
My family had 40 acres of beautiful land in NE Ohio, about 40 miles from the nearest owner (my mum).  Long story short, over the years squatters had set up a couple trailers, folks were growing marijuana on the property, and trash was also being dumped...  Not to mention trespassing hunters, 4-wheelers tearing up the place, etc.  IMO and experience, if you are not living on the property, or visiting it a lot, expect to see issues mentioned.  She ended up selling it to an Amish couple, where they now call it home.

It is a great idea, and I wanted to do similar so I could have a private shooting range, but seeing what I saw with my mum's property, raised a lot of red flags.


Case

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #5 on: July 20, 2017, 08:01:30 AM »
1. If I couldn't find a job, I'd move to another city instead of a rural area to find a new job.

2. If real estate values plummet, it doesn't matter as I don't plan to liquidate for a long time.  Perhaps I'd buy a rental property or 3 though.

3. If shit really hits the fan and it's the apocalypse, property rights won't matter, and it would be better to invest in guns and ammo.

This advice is spot on.
Buying land for the SHTF scenarios is not well aligned with the ultimate goal of survival.  In these scenarios laws disintegrate and property means nothing.  In the less extreme scenarios of a depression but maintenance of a reasonable government, a more practical survival plan is to adapt to the situation and remain mobile/flexible.

A better reasons to own land is either as an investment of some form (if that is even practical) or because you really want some land to call your own.

Cwadda

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #6 on: July 20, 2017, 09:17:49 AM »
Has anyone thought about or actually done this -- buy a cheap piece of land in a rural place in case the sh*t ever hits the fan, real estate values plummet, you lose your job and can't find work, etc, just to have that peace of mind that you own a tiny piece of the world that you could camp out on if worst came to worst?

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I would never purchase an asset liability that costs me money each month. It's like putting your money into a bank account where YOU pay the bank interest.

I might consider purchasing land that's part of Reagan's Conservation Reserve Program or land that could be leased to a wind developer. It would yield about 3% interest. But still, you have property taxes to take care of. Not worth it, IMO.

What if it's only $10k-$20k? That's how much I see land for near me, some people's emergency funds are bigger than that. I know nothing about upkeep or taxes though.

You're comparing apples to oranges.

Emergency funds are liquid and can be accessed very quickly. Property, especially land, is very illiquid.

Mgmny

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #7 on: July 20, 2017, 09:35:52 AM »
A few years ago I was looking for a piece of land "cheap" that i thought i could design into a beautiful homesite after 20+ years. I was in my early twenties, and I thought "If i purchase a piece of land for ~$20k and get between 5-20 acres with a stream or small pond on it, i can plant trees purposefully, develop the land purposefully, and then in 20-30 years i can have a beautiful home site to build my dream home on when the trees/site has matured how i want it to.

I looked into other people doing the same thing and it costs a TON more money/time than i thought to plant trees and re-develop virgin land, there is risk (as others have mentioned), PLUS taxes every year don't make it worth it. I'd be better off taking that $20k, putting it in the market, letting it double for me 3-4 times in the next 30 years and just use that money to buy a nice lot, 0 effort required.

Not exactly what you were suggesting, but i just wanted to let you know i had a similar idea, and it's not as good of an idea as you might think once you start researching into it.

Mr. Green

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2017, 01:41:02 PM »
Private land ownership rights are not as concrete as you think. Eminent domain and all kinds of other processes can turn a "safe haven" into a huge headache.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 01:47:08 PM »
3. If shit really hits the fan and it's the apocalypse, property rights won't matter, and it would be better to invest in guns and ammo.

This would be my main concern about the plan. As long as our government remains stable you'll be paying annual taxes for this land you're not using. Then when the time comes that you would want to start using the land, there would be no more police or courts to enforce your title to it. You may as well just occupy any other vacant-looking land at that point.

le-weekend

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2017, 04:15:59 PM »
You all make excellent points. Like so many other bright ideas, there's a lot more to it than just the vague concept.

Other problems I thought of:

1) Local folks who have lived there all along might not be too keen on helping you out or making you feel welcome.

2) Unless you're a serious-a** survivalist, what are you going to do about water and sewer hookups, or buying food, or... anything really.  :-)

Cadman

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2017, 04:39:09 PM »
Buying rural land, especially ag land, is one of the smartest decisions you can make, IF, you're buying it for the right reasons and do your homework. Such land usually only comes up for sale once in a lifetime and there's never a shortage of buyers should you want to sell. Because it's ag, taxes are cheap, and you can always go CRP if you think payments will be higher.

If we're talking about a small plot for a future home that will require yearly maintenance to keep clear and isn't useful until the shit hits the fan, that's something else. But if you can get your hands on 20, 30, 50 acres or more that are either in production, or can be returned to production, you'll have a guaranteed revenue stream without any of the headaches that apartment landlords have to deal with (maintenance, insurance, late payments, utilities, etc).

Make sure you're aware of any easements and covenants and verify that you meet any jurisdictional requirements for building (should you ever choose to) as some townships require holding a minimum number of acres to build a house, and you'll have productive land that pays and a place to escape to should you want to. Keep in mind road access, electricity and whether or not the land is suitable for a well and you'll be set.

surfhb

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2017, 05:10:20 PM »
If the shit hits the fan just go out into the woods and build a home, forage and hunt.     Why waste your money?    Your land and money will be worthless.

Drifterrider

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #13 on: July 31, 2017, 11:58:46 AM »
Has anyone thought about or actually done this -- buy a cheap piece of land in a rural place in case the sh*t ever hits the fan, real estate values plummet, you lose your job and can't find work, etc, just to have that peace of mind that you own a tiny piece of the world that you could camp out on if worst came to worst?

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In a way I'm going to do this when I retire.  I'm going to live in a motor home on PUBLIC lands.  If worse really comes to worse (you know, zombies) you want mobility.  There is a LOT of public land in the US.

AND, you never really own land.  Don't pay your property taxes (and with no job that is likely) and "they" will take your land.

Now, if you want to own a piece of land and can afford it easily, do it.  Especially if it is near a lake or stream or any other place you might like to visit from time to time.  There is no "new" land (except for a new island on the Outer banks of NC).

JayKay

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2017, 11:39:20 AM »
This does cross my mind from time to time, but I'm not skilled enough of a woodsman to make raw land work.  Though I'm sure it'd be a great weight loss program!  :)

Instead, I got a rental property f&c near where I live in case things get tougher.  For now, it'll be a rental income stream with a good return on the capital but we could also move in there and reduce our expenses by a lot if we needed to.

But I'm honestly not a big believer in the possibility of a Mad Max scenario any time soon.  So this isn't really a SHTF plan, it's more of a "Second Great Depression" plan. 

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #15 on: August 21, 2017, 12:34:16 PM »
Even huge tracts of rangeland in the middle of nowhere here in NM still go for about $500 an acre. If you wanted something with water or trees and even remotely accessible you're probably looking at $1,000 an acre or more.

I'd love to have some acreage somewhere that had a permanent source of water and some trees, even if it was just a place to go camping and maybe build a small off grid cabin. However, it's rare to see that kind of property sell for less than $10-20k and right now that's a luxury as I need to be saving up for a down payment on a house. Not to mention if it's a few hours drive away I probably wouldn't get a chance to actually use it very often as our life is already pretty busy with a large family, full time career, and second job serving in the National Guard.

Capt j-rod

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #16 on: August 21, 2017, 12:53:18 PM »
Years ago my wife's grandfather gave me some great pieces of advice. One of those that I should have carved in stone is never let fear make a decision for you. SHTF has been threatened many times before. Cold War anyone? If you really want to protect yourself then make sure you have zero debt. Grandpa pointed out that not everyone lost their shirt in the depression. Millions were made. Spending money based on fear is what people want you to do. Look at all the AR-15 rifles that were purchased prior to the election... They were and still are a joke. Adding a liability to your portfolio will only delay your retirement.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: Buy a cheap piece of land just in case?
« Reply #17 on: August 21, 2017, 01:07:45 PM »
Years ago my wife's grandfather gave me some great pieces of advice. One of those that I should have carved in stone is never let fear make a decision for you. SHTF has been threatened many times before. Cold War anyone? If you really want to protect yourself then make sure you have zero debt. Grandpa pointed out that not everyone lost their shirt in the depression. Millions were made. Spending money based on fear is what people want you to do. Look at all the AR-15 rifles that were purchased prior to the election... They were and still are a joke. Adding a liability to your portfolio will only delay your retirement.

An AR-15 can be had now for about $500, post Sandy-Hook and when the rhetoric was really flowing you could barely find one for less than $1,000.

I just checked and MLS that covers a rural part of the state and for 5+ acre tracts with any sort of water prices were more like $5,000 an acre, even if it was hours from a large city. $50k for 10 acres is pretty spendy for "just in case".