I apologize to my readers that I have not gotten out an article in a while. I have been with busy with home projects as my wife and I just bought our first home two weeks ago. As this is right now taking most of my time I thought a post about what a prepper may want to get when buying a home. Here are some things to consider when buying a home and how will it benefit your prepping and keeping your family safe during a TEOTWAWKI situation.
Neighborhood and Neighbors
First off while living in a poor neighborhood may be your only option with a first home, this could definitely be a problem. In a poor neighborhood many people may be on government assistance and most are not self-sufficient. This means that these areas are more susceptible to riots and violence not only in normal times, but even more so during TEOTWAWKI. These areas are normally urban as well so not the best location for a prepper. If this is where you must live you may want to have more security devices and weapons to protect yourself.
So would an off grid home with 40 acres and no neighbors be the best bet? I wouldn’t see any reason this would be worse than an urban bad neighborhood. Having an off grid home also gives the benefit of being out of the way and possibly invisible to those who do not know it is there. The main problem you will have here is that you are basically on your own and may have to do more work than those that have good neighbors they can trust. For a bugout location I would definitely want off grid. Another problem with off grid homes is most lenders will not lend so many times the home must be bought with cash.
The home we were able to buy has the benefit of having a decent neighborhood. Each lot is 1 acre so we have some space while still having neighbors. One of the first things I noticed was that both neighbors have chickens and gardens. This clued me off that both of the neighbors understood self sufficiency and would be at least partially beneficial during TEOTWAWKI. I also noticed that one of the neighbors had an archery target setup so he was probably into hunting and guns as I am. The benefit I see with living in a rural or semi rural area with neighbors is that you can help each other as well as being able to barter goods and services. I do believe you need to make a plan or at least talk to your neighbors about how things would go down. Instead of having to do everything whether strengths or weaknesses the more people the more strengths you can focus on.
This is one of the most important things to consider. If you are prepping in an apartment it is going to be much more difficult than if you were to have a home with a garage or spare rooms. Just the food and water you want to keep is going to need a lot of space to be stored and most likely can’t be just stored outside because fluctuations in weather and the critters that may try to get to your supplies. Then we have all the other necessities like toilet paper, batteries, and the many hygiene products.
So having a place to store your preps is definitely something to think about when buying a home. A basement can be a great place to store food. In our area there are really no basements so we have a few other places. We will have a large pantry when we finish moving the washer and dryer to another part of the home. We also have two other huge areas to store food the first is an enclosed carport that is now a large room. At the moment it is really not being used. The second spot is a separate structure next to the home that is about 10 x 10 and is more of a hobby room with electricity. Another great area to store things that are not food items are attics. Many times attics can be easily made into great storage areas with some plywood and nails.
We also have a few other small structures. There is on old roofed but open horse stable that works great for storing wood and keeping it from getting wet.
While the best type of home for this would be a totally off grid home, as there would be little change to how you live other than using your storage food and hunting for food, many people don’t live in these types of homes. So what can we do in homes that aren’t so self sufficient. There are quite a few things to do in homes like I have gotten.
First off in many areas you are able to have solar panels. This not only will reduce your electric bill, but can also be wired to a battery bank to provide power in grid down scenarios. Another way is to have a wind generator, in towns you may not be able to have them there are many rural locations that have no restrictions on them. Having a propane or diesel powered generator can also be a lifesaver.
The best way to get water would be from a natural spring or a well. In the area I am in we have signed an agreement with the private water company that we will not drill a well, this is not a huge problem as it is very deep to drill a well in our area anyway. It would cost $50 to 70k just to drill and install a well so it is not economical. So we will be installing a water catch system from our gutters. It will be caught in Food Grade IBC water totes which will bring a decent amount of water storage to water gardens and in case of TEOTWAWKI. Make sure to have a water purifier on hand. Also watch out that your area allows you to catch water, there are many places including Colorado that has all but outlawed water collection. Water storage with water bottles, water tanks and gallon jugs is also a great idea.
Having a fireplace or a wood stove in the home can be very beneficial. Even if your stove does not heat the whole home during TEOTWAWKI there will be no problem with sleeping near the stove or fireplace. The Mr. Buddy propane heaters are also great to have as many can be used indoors and can be used with bigger propane tanks with the correct hookups. Most of the times you will have extra blankets on hand, but in hard times this can be a life saver. Just keep extra blankets at your home for power or gas loss.
There are numerous ways to cook without electricity or natural gas. It is good to have a propane or charcoal barbecue not only for TEOTWAWKI, but it is fun and delicious to grill your food. There are numerous other propane stoves and cook tops you can get. Also don’t forget the trusty solar oven they can work great and can be a lifesaver. The one other thing to use is your wood stove. Our home has an area for a wood stove but it had been taken out. We were lucky enough to find a wood parlor stove that has a cook top. Just make sure they are air tight. The wood stove that can be used for cooking is really a kill 2 birds with one stone appliance, you will be able to heat your home and cook. If you have enough room you can always have a bon fire outside which makes for great times and is great for cooking.
Currently we only have a Coonhound dog he is not only a companion, but a guard dog and he keeps the yard from being infested by prairie dogs. We are also looking at getting chickens. The great thing about chickens is many cities allow chickens in your backyard so they can be used in many areas. You will need a chicken coop to house the chickens and keep them warm. There is a chicken coop on our property that just needs a little love and we should be able to get it going. There are also 3 other animals you may think about getting. They are goats (for the milk and cheese), pigs(for the meat) and rabbits (for the meat they also reproduce quite quickly).
Having trees and gardens are fantastic. The best types of trees are those that produce some type of fruit. Remember to find trees that will work in your climate zone. Most of the trees that are sold in the nurseries in your area should be fit for your climate zone. They not only produce fruit but will bring shade and also some privacy. Like fruit bearing trees gardens can also produce lots of food. An area for a green house or garden should definitely be on the top of your lists when figuring out what you want in a home. In the area where I live it gets below 0 in the winter so having the green house to protect plants and be able to grow early will be necessary.
By working space I mean an area where you have your tools and work benches and can make and repair things. Most of the time this will be a garage or a shed. A garage is probably the best way as you can also work on vehicles and there is a garage door so you will be able to have large things stored in it. We were lucky enough to find a home with a 25 x 40 quonset hut garage with 220 power. In TEOTWAWKI there will be much more reliance on yourself and your skills to fix and build things as there will not be a Walmart down the street. So having an area to work will be invaluable.
Personally I hate HOAs and that was one of the things we ruled out. In many HOAs a lot of the self sufficiency things are banned. So watch out and make sure you check the by laws for what you can and can’t do if you are buying a home with an HOA. There are many varying levels of HOAs from what color you could paint your house to where your trash can must be put. I personally was not a fan of all this ridiculous regulation. There was one home we looked at that said there was a $70 a year HOA fee, but the only thing it was paying for was use of a horse arena, which I personally had no problem with. So just make sure you know what you are agreeing to before you are buying a home.
There are probably a million other things that you may prefer in a prepper home, but I hope this list has gotten you thinking. If there are other things that you couldn’t live without in your prepper home leave a comment and let me know what else you would want.