Owning land in a rural area is a great survival asset. It allows you to hunt game, grow natural crops, raise animals, and get away from the unprepared masses in a SHTF scenario.
The problem is some preppers don’t think they have enough money to buy land. However, there are a few ways broke people can get land for cheap.
If you thought going through a realtor was the only viable way to buy property, you might find these methods to be unorthodox. Still, they work great if you’re willing to put the work in. In order to buy land for rock bottom prices, you’re going to have to do a lot of the work yourself.
Not everybody who owns land actually wants that land. Some people have inherited property after a relative passed away, and the land is either a financial burden or maintenance burden.
If they can’t afford the land, chances are that they haven’t been paying their property taxes. When a property owner doesn’t pay the taxes on a property, the government takes measures to get their money through other means.
One of the first steps the government takes is to put a tax lien on the property. A tax lien gives the government a legal claim to a property as a means to pay back a debt.
The property owner has a period of time where they can pay the back taxes and get their property back, but if they still haven’t paid up then the government gets a tax deed. A tax deed gives the government legal ownership of the property.
The government doesn’t have much use for properties like this, so what they try to do next is sell it to anyone who wants it so they can collect their money. This is good news for you, because the government is willing to sell this land for cheap.
Tax liens are usually sold at auction, with the starting price being the amount of back taxes owed. The downside to this is you’ll be competing against other bidders, but not every property will have much competition.
If you go to enough auctions, it’s likely that you’ll eventually find something that’s desirable as a bug out location and cheap enough for your budget.
So, how do you find these tax lien properties? The easiest way is to contact local government offices about them. They want to get rid of them, so they usually have mailing lists or downloadable PDF’s with local listings.
If you’re on a mailing list, you’ll get updates when new properties become available. This makes the search easier on you because you don’t have to do anything after signing up.
A foreclosure is very similar to a tax lien except it’s done by a bank rather than by the government.
A foreclosure occurs when a property owner has taken out a loan to buy a property, but hasn’t been paying the loan back. The bank that issued the loan then reclaims the property to reclaim their investment.
Banks prefer to sell these properties rather than hold onto them, which means buyers like you can get some great deals on foreclosed properties.
Again, the property owner has a period of time where they can continue paying off the loan and get their property back. If they still don’t pay, the property goes to auction where you’ll compete against other bidders for the property.
Make An Offer
Here’s a method that not a lot of people use because it requires a lot of work, but it can produce amazing results.
Find an area where you’d like to retreat to in case of a SHTF scenario. Drive through the area and take note of all the places that you’re interested in and look like they’re either run down or not occupied.
Then, find out the living addresses of the property owners. This probably won’t be listed anywhere, so you’ll have to ask the neighbors if they know anything.
Once you have the property owner’s contact information, write them a short letter explaining that you’re interested in buying the property and make them a fair offer. It works even better if you can pay in full.
Don’t offer too little, otherwise they might get offended and refuse to sell to you even if they would have been interested in selling before.
You should be able to use these methods to find a cheap piece of land. However, nobody is giving away land for free, so you’ll still need at least a little bit to start. Try to save your tax return to use as a bargaining chip when dealing with sellers.
If you still don’t think you can buy land, consider downsizing to a smaller property or even moving West. Property is cheaper West of the Mississippi, so if you’re dedicated enough moving might be a good option.
Also, make sure you’re prepared to live off grid before you go through with it. I wrote a blog post on 10 things you need to know before going off grid.
Once you get your new property, make sure to start planting seeds right away so you have a reliable food source as soon as possible.