Looking to buy a cabin and some land (or a room) down South but don't know where to look? Can you help me find one for sale?

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TommyHolly's picture
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Joined: Nov 9 2010
Posts: 90
Looking to buy a cabin and some land (or a room) down South but don't know where to look? Can you help me find one for sale?

Hey everyone,

  I am pretty much finished making preparations for whatever is coming.  However, I live pretty close to Chicago on the edge of the suburbs and I think getting a cabin out in the woods somewhere would be a good idea as a backup plan.  One of my good buddies in the Air Force bought one up North in Door County, Wisconsin.  However, it gets extremely cold up there!!  I tried looking online and got too many mixed results that my search was kinda pointless.  Maybe one of you could lead me in the right direction?  This is what I'm looking for:

1. Distance: About 500 miles from Chicago/Joliet.  I'm buying a BMW "Dual-Sport" F800GS, the kind you see people driving across China and Russia with. You can always get parts for them anywhere and they last a long time.  If there really was a country-wide emergency, there would be no gas and the highways would be impassable around any major city unless you had a motorcycle.  I figure if I was loaded up with a full tank of fuel, (and carried about 10 gallons extra), I could easily make it to the Memphis/Jackson Tennessee area or somewhere nearby?

2. Climate: I would be heading straight South on I-55 or I-57 for a warmer climate since it would be easier to live on my own for a bit that way if I needed to...

3. Utilities?: I don't think I would need them at all.  Utilities means people and that is what I'd be trying to avoid.  However, a pump or well nearby would be nice so I wouldn't have to drag water up a hill from a lake.  I'm making a solar panel and inverter setup for basic power needs so I don't mind not having any power.  Even a fireplace wouldn't be 100% needed since it's a little warmer down South.  No utilities would mean the price would probably be cheaper too as well.

4. Price: I'm thinking a bare bones cabin on some land out in the middle of nowhere should be pretty cheap??  Really, I have no clue how much it would cost.  Is $10,000-$15,000 reasonable or does that sound too low?  If the land is too expensive, I don't mind leasing a small plot on someone else's land and building or buying my own cabin...(which leads me to the next part.)  Hell, now that I think about it, I'm sure I could just buy a pre-built trailer home and drive it out into the woods and pick my own spot as long as the land was available?  I figure there are some deals right now with everyone out of work and the housing market being at the lowest point since the 1960's.

5. Remoteness?:  While I am mainly interested in getting away from the city crowds who are not prepared, I would actually like to be near others for some sort of community with people who are likeminded.  A friend of mine mentioned I could build a cabin on her parent's property on their 40-acre lot down in Southern IL.  (But that's still too cold for me.)  However, they have a huge hydroponic, year-round garden that produces surplus food and they are old so they welcome having a younger, strong, military guy like me around.  I wouldn't mind the same type of setup further South if I could find it?  People fleeing the city will be desperate and I just don't want right off any highway where I'd be thier first stop.  Hell, I'd even buy or "reserve" a spot in someone's barn for that matter, just as long as I had somewhere to go that I was sure I'd be safe.

6. Terrain: I'd be interested in something that has water available whether by river or lake.  (I don't plan on depending on city water but if it has it, thats cool too.)  Since I might buy a wind turbine, those things make a ton of noise so I'd prefer something that was 500 feet away from the nearest house but again, I'm flexible.  Anywhere that I wouldn't have to worry about flooding, or erosion, or tornados being on a flat plain...  I'm just thinking about the worst that mother nature dishes out.

That's about it for now.  Are there any websites or places I should be looking now that you guys have any idea of my fall back plan?

Thanks!! -Tommy

TommyHolly's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 9 2010
Posts: 90
Mini-cabins that are portable...

These look kinda nice.  Just add some land and I'd be good to go.  :)


signalfire's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: May 18 2009
Posts: 34
You're just starting your research...

Hi Tommy,

You obviously have done the first part of the learning curve, (the uh-oh part) but there's so, so much more.  I won't even go into the traps involved in thinking you (and millions of your panicky neighbors) can all just show up 'out in the country' one day and continue your lives without any planning and a slew of new skills.  You better, at the very least, have several years of food stored up there, not to mention water supplies and the ability to sterilize it. 

Since the late great LATOC is gone, there have been several wonderful forums that have sprung up to take it's place;


http://forums.silentcountry.com/forums/forum.php  and it's sister site, sustainable country (the former about doomer issues, the latter about sustainable living.

There's a lot more but those are a good start.  You have HUNDREDS of hours of study ahead of you to get a grip on what this means and what you're planning, IF it's even possible.  Be aware that there are literally millions of us who already see the crunch coming and are making similar plans.  If you think you can decamp at the last minute to the country and you'll be welcomed by some random/old people who already have a setup, you may instead find yourself looking down the barrel of a shotgun or worse.  You're talking survival situation, not 'community' that will somehow appear after the fact.  That will likely be too late to start making yourself useful.

You can also start by reading the novel, "One Second After"; it gives a useful overview of what will happen to the millions who think they can leave the city and set up shop in the country 'cuz that's where the food is'.  Clue: There's not enough wildlife 'out in the country' to sustain the population of any large American city.  We're way past overshoot in that regard.  Our illustrious ancestors murdered millions of bison and they haven't returned.

As far as buying land, my best advice is to look under Craigslist for 'owner financed' properties; you'll need at least 50K to buy or perhaps 10K down and several hundred a month to secure a decent place.  Don't buy sight unseen! 

You mention climate and it's a valid concern.  There are few places in the US that don't suffer from either too-cold and long winters or too-hot and humid summers.  The sweet spot will vary for most people, I chose the Pacific NW in the Willamette Valley, others like the more desert-y northern California area or outskirts of Texas.  Water supplies can be a concern almost anywhere. 

Oh, and watch this, the wonderful James Burke show from the 80's, Connections: (esp Part 3)

"and what in your comfortable urban life, has ever prepared you for that decision...?"




aggrivated's picture
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: Sep 22 2010
Posts: 572
looking for a cabin

I'm not sure if its still available but Catherine Austin Fitts was in Middleton TN (Hardeman County) and had a nice house with backup power etc already to go.. It was for sale--she was needing to move.

pinecarr's picture
Status: Diamond Member (Offline)
Joined: Apr 13 2008
Posts: 2259
Hey TommyHolly-    I had

Hey TommyHolly-

   I had come across this site before, "SurvivalRealty.Com".  Quite frankly, a lot of the places listed are pretty expensive.  But I did find at least one that was more reasonable: http://www.survivalrealty.com/2010/05/hickman-county-retreat-tenness.html.  For what it is worth.   I do think you'd be better off if someone from the area you are interested in could recommend an area or realtor, though...

   Good luck!



TommyHolly's picture
Status: Bronze Member (Offline)
Joined: Nov 9 2010
Posts: 90
Thanks for the replies!

Signalfire,  I don't think I was clear enough in my initial statement.  I have already done years of research in addition to my survival experience in some of the harshest and most unfriendly countries in the world. (I've been through SERE school in the military as well.)  I have already prepared for years at my current residence with food, water, 4 forms of backup power, firearms, medical supplies, and the list goes on...  I have also made arrangements with a few friends in rural areas in Southern IL in case I needed a place to fall back to within 3 hours driving distance if my primary residence became dagerous.  What I am looking for now is an additional fall back plan for just myself.  I would buy land and a small cabin (or share a larger one with likeminded people) out in the middle of nowhere far away from most people.  I would pre-stock it with many of the same provisions I already have at my primary residence.

Aggrivated,  who is Catherine Austin Fitts in Middleton TN?  Is she a member here on the forums?  Is there a website she is advertising this on?  How do I see or view the details of the sale?

Pinecarr,  Yeah I have seen most people selling million dollar 50-acre lots??  Unfortunately that is what is mostly advertised.  I think the best route at this point would be to just get in contact with a few people in TN that already have lots of acres and wouldn't mind selling me a tiny plot (150' x 150') on the edge of their property.  So like you said, I'm going to try and contact some locals.  A renter of mine has a brother who is down there building houses for rich people with lots of acres... I'll ask him if he's seen anything?

maceves's picture
Status: Gold Member (Offline)
Joined: Aug 23 2010
Posts: 281
keep searching

When  I was looking for rural land prices for comparison before selling my own property I found lots of rural land in east Tennessee at depressed prices.  Lots of people are still selling farms for whatever reason--foreclosure, leaving the land, liquidating inheiritances, a need for cash.  They are selling cheaper than they were before the recession.  Some have houses, some have barns and farm equipment, some have trailers, and some don't have much at all.  Keep hacking--choose a rural town and do a search.  There's a lot out there.  I think prices will tick back up eventually.

Since you're tryiing to stay away from town you shouldn't have to pay much.

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