Prepper is the term used for individuals determined to survive any catastrophe; be it weather, war, financial collapse, disease, or the possibility of the government enacting martial law. You name a fearful situation and Preppers plan on being ready. And their numbers are growing. They share a core belief; every individual should be self-sufficient.
Renewed interest has possibly increased due to the weekly National Geographic Channel hit series, Doomsday Preppers:
Labeled as “crazies” by some, Preppers are willing to accept the name calling if it helps motivate others to action. Most Americans are not prepared for a disaster. A recent poll shows more than 53% of American people keep less than three days worth of food in their homes.
Anyone who had been following the Prepper movement knows informational websites have increased. Now they even have their own radio podcast. And a far reaching, ever growing network has been established with links that offer everything from fire starters to gold, guns, and ammo, to food and water purification systems.
What I find interesting is the sudden growth in remote rural real estate sales. Many city-dwelling Preppers are looking for a “bug out” destination. There are now specialized real estate companies willing to assist. One can be found at www.survivalrealty.com.
“It’s not always to buyers benefit to use a special agency,” says Jena Carolan, an Oklahoma real estate broker. “This is the computer age and a good agent knows the importance of using technology. I get buyers from all over the nation — California, Pennsylvania, a lot from the Dallas area — who call or email me to let me know what they’re looking for. A rural or small town agent better knows the people in the area. And we are in a position to know people with property they are willing to sell but don’t list. You don’t find that property by searching the internet. Local property owners don’t necessarily want their neighbor to know they’re selling until after the deal is done.”
She adds, “As for people coming from the big cities to check out some of our more remote areas, we can usually give GPS coordinates but they usually need directions to find the private roads. Remote rural is not exactly “drive-by” convenient. A potential buyer might get where they’re going using GPS, but they might also end up stuck up to their car frame in mud and in a dead spot for cell service. That happened to one of my clients just a couple of weeks ago.”
According to Carolan, Preppers offer the same challenges as any other buyer. “What they are looking for and reality sometimes clash. For the most part they want a property that is remote, out of the view of those who would loot or impose martial law. They want a property with fully modern amenities including water, yet totally “off the grid,” over ten acres, with good hunting. And of course they want it cheap. I have to ask them to define cheap.”
There are properties listed on the internet priced in the millions, more in the hundreds of thousands. When a buyer wants to spend less than that, they definitely need the help of an agent who knows the local market.
“I first started getting calls from Preppers about five years ago," says Carolan. The number of calls have increased each year. This year over last, I’ve seen about a 75% increase in calls from Preppers. I guess you could say I’m becoming a specialist in finding suitable properties. I think the increase may be because property prices inOklahomaare more reasonable compared to other states. And of course, this country’s financial challenges are making more people aware and concerned.”
Carolan says Oklahoma has an abundance of wooded hunting land available, but it often lacks improvements. Homes and cabins can be found be in areas where there is great hunting, but for the most part hunting cabins are what they are. Seasonal, designed for short stays; with wood for heat and cooking, water often needs to be hauled in and kerosene lamps used for light.
She explains, “Preppers or Survivalists need to consider their priorities and options. A small house or cabin on ten acres can be a challenge. But if they want more land they need to look for properties with surrounding acreage available as a separate purchase. This type of combined purchase isn’t that hard to put together. However finding a house with a private well or nearby water source can be a little more difficult. And many properties even with a remote location have electrical service. But solar and wind power will probably need to be added by the buyer.”
And as for the cheap, Carolan assures me properties can still be purchased using fiat currency. However, because of their remote locations, think cash, as appraisals may fall short and financing may be difficult without a considerable down payment.
Oh, and one other thing; lose the BMW and consider investing in a diesel pick-up that has four wheel drive.