Selling Land

Remote, Secluded… or Armageddon?

Remote, Secluded... or Armageddon?

Ever watched the TV reality show “Doomsday Preppers”? For most, it seems to depict a group of extreme survivalists – a fringe group with some odd beliefs. If you live in a major metropolitan area, it may seem to be almost an “other world” frame of thought.

In each episode, different families are shown in various stages of getting ready to “bug out!” It is their collective belief that some catastrophic incident is about to occur. Those incidents range from an overnight collapse of U.S. currency, nationalization of the banking or energy sectors of the economy, or the complete collapse of society as a result of the first two.

Basically, they are in the “planning” stages of being prepared for the loss of electricity (and Internet), food and fuel shortages, worthless currency, and worse. Their plans include long-term food and water storage, ammunition and firearms stockpiles, and “BOL’s” (Bug Out Locations). Personal and family security is also at the top of the list.

The more ardent followers of this type of planning use a variety of acronyms to describe the coming events – example “SHTF” (s _ _ _ hits the fan) and “TEOTWAWKI” (The end of the world as we know it) and “BugOut Bag” (emergency supplies in a duffel bag for when SHTF).

So how does this affect land sales? The basic “Prepper” premise is that you must have a location somewhere (else), where you and your family will be safe. The security and location of this “somewhere else” varies greatly.

Internationally known author Joel Skousen’s book “Strategic Relocation” suggests that this is a location known only to you (and not your family or friends). This is a property purchased specifically for its absolute anonymity, which has stockpiles of food, medical supplies, ammunition, and available fresh food sources such as pre-planted fruit trees, plentiful game, and a pure water supply.

On a less extreme plane, it could also be a remote parcel in the nearby countryside or the mountains with limited access. Nevertheless, it should be a “defensible” parcel, with water and shelter, perhaps at the end of a road with no traffic. The main idea is to disappear from sight, become anonymous, and be able to survive safely and securely.

There are plenty of websites and blogs on the subject of “prepping” so you may want to better acquaint yourself with the concept in more detail. Believe it or not, this is a viable movement, and you are likely to be approached by individuals looking for such land.

How do I know, and why am I writing this article now? Although I’ve been aware of this activity for some time, I’ve recently seen it beginning to mature. Beginning about 4 weeks ago, I began receiving land inquiries for “remote”, “secluded” or “private” land parcels. Notice the subtlety of those words – no direct references to SHTF or other such acronyms. More recently – last week – those inquiries became much more direct when a prospect indicated he was looking for an “Armageddon” property – and he meant it too! In addition, I’ve been hearing more “Off the Grid” terms, and even “BOL” (bug out location).

So, who are these individuals that are likely to contact you? Hippies? Anarchists? Nope – they are professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, teachers, and other seemingly unlikely individuals – as normal as you and I. They are serious, and financially capable of making a purchase. What do they have in common? They are simply following the Boy Scout mantra to “Be Prepared”.

Is Armageddon just around the corner? Probably not – but there is enough uncertainty about government, the economy, foreign policy, and the value of our currency to have created a unique new segment of the land market. Just so you know – “Be Prepared” when they come knocking on your door.

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About the author

Paul Christian Breden

Paul Christian Breden is a practicing North Carolina & Virginia land broker with 40+ years experience. His company, Mountain Land Company, sells only raw mountain land over 50 acres in 10 counties in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Paul has authored scores of magazine articles and hundreds of newspaper columns on buying and selling real estate, including “Carolina Dreaming – Finding and Buying Mountain Land!” – a practical guidebook for land buyers.


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  • Well said, Im an investor who buys and sells vacant lots/acres around the country. A lot of my end buyers are asking for these types of properties more and more, at first I thought it was sort of weird but now its almost a good chunk of my business.

  • Paul,

    Just this past summer I showed property in upstate South Carolina to a buyer that fits this description. He was looking to purchase a second home because he was worried about the possibility of major flooding where he lived and he wanted a safe haven. Believe it or not he also commented on the upcoming December 21st of the Mayan calendar prediction as a reason for looking at property in the area.

    Very interesting to hear your comments on this type of buyer.

  • Paul good article. We are having similar inquiries down here.

    Landthink may take a little flack for posting articles with this sort of content, but it is true that land professionals are having frequent inquiries about these types of tracts.

    If it wasn’t happening, we wouldn’t be writing about it.

  • Well, that was interesting.. If we want remote, private, off-the-grid property, we may be “preppers” for doomsday.

    hahhah! NOT in my case. I just like the seclusion and why? I like to run around nude. Yep! My wish has been to get so far out I don’t have to worry about people so close– I want an outside shower, less clothes so less washing, less ironing. I can be very lazy and see that I am 60 yrs. old and don’t make tons of money, I could afford something wayyyyy out there, and it would cost an arm and leg ++ to put electricity out there. Love well water. Grew up on that. I love the forest.. always have. And animals that care to come onto my property. Yep, I want to wear no clothes. I don’t know a thing about guns except they can be dangerous in the wrong hands. I believe the world is going to end but NOT this way. sorry….

  • hahhaah! NOT ME! This is pretty much all I can afford. And.. I want to run around nude… yep, no clothes. I grew up with well water… Off the grid? because I want solar..not have to depend on anyone. The less bills the better.

    I believe this world is going to end but not like you talk about.

  • I have aquired such property in the last 3 years.I have built a cabin on 100 acres of secluded timber in Alabama.I am in the process of stocking up on canned goods,water and ammunition.I believe that due to the corrupt leadership of the USA we will be in Dire Straits very soon.The Boy Scouts were Right!..”Be Prepared”

  • Paul,

    Interesting read about the rising interest and sales of remote land tracts. Neat to also find that people are living the Boy Scout motto. Nothing wrong with being prepared no matter how much they want to demonize it.

    Reminds me of Aesop’s Fable about the ant and grasshopper. It’s like the grasshopper foolishly thinking that summer will last forever.

    For a lot of “educated” people to walk around and to turn their nose up at a long recorded history of man and pretend that nothing will EVER happen despite the fact that history has shown time and time again that it CAN and DOES happen all the time is scary. Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Poi Pot, Mussolini, & Castro are a good names to drop. That is just in the past 100 years.

    I love to read others comments section as well. Seems that there are a lot of different reasons that people can justify the ownership of a remote parcel. Never really thought about running around nude to be one of them. The list of pro’s keep adding up! 🙂 I just bought one in nowhere UTAH.

  • Tim –

    Thanks for your generous comments. ALthough we’ve met before, I’ve known you to make such good sense our one of Aesop’s fables.

    I do remember how you had said that “things are more like they used to be than they are now” when describing the Headless Hummingbird who stole your cataclysmic converter off the lanai.

    That in itself could knock the “B” key off Shirley Mae’s velcro shutters.



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