Prepper Real Estate: 4 Absolute MUST-HAVES

Meet the Rogers family. New parents Greg and Diane are concerned about the state of the world these days. Having a young daughter, Sarah, has changed their outlook on what it means to be prepared. Prepper Real Estate

The members of the Rogers clan have converted their basement into a bunker. The bunker is equipped with all the necessities not just for them, but also for their pets. That includes both a cat and an iguana. They have “dash kits” packed to head downstairs at a moment’s notice.

Sarah packed her own bag. She even goes through simple drills with her parents in case of an emergency. Sarah and her parents regularly practice this drill and sleep better each night as a result.

The Rogers represent a growing segment of our changing society. Having a basement bunker may not be enough for some preppers. But even that simple plan is stronger than the zero prep that many American families have done. It all starts with the right real estate.

Talk to any local realtor about the nearby schools, public transportation, HOA fees, or any other common concern and prepare . Maintaining a large arsenal in a secured area such as a locked basement may be your first move.

There are no HGTV shows that discuss worst-case scenarios and how to ensure your family’s safety. That is why preppers do their own research and have unique needs when researching prepper real estate options.

Because it’s unlikely your realtor will help guide you in choosing the ultimate prepper home, you need a list of absolute must haves.

There is no prepper real estate section on Zillow.

You’ve got lots to think about. And it isn’t always obvious.

Use our prepper real estate list below to start your own checklist. Although we can help identify the most common prepper needs, remember that everyone has a unique ideal living situation. We encourage you to be diligent in your research and craft a plan that will help identify your dream home.

Prepper Real Estate Must-Have #1

Location – We’re not talking about proximity to the local Starbucks or hot yoga classes. The truth is that location selection for preppers is quite different than the average, unprepared John Q. Public and family. You need acreage and frankly the more you have the better you can be prepared.

But if your prepper real estate budget doesn’t allow for 40 acres and a mule, that’s okay too. While we’d all love to be able to afford a compound that makes Fort Knox jealous, the reality is that 5-10 acres may provide everything you need.

There are other factors to consider when it comes to location. One of the most important is natural disasters.

Are you in a low area that is prone to flooding or hurricanes? All the meal prep and safe rooms in the world are great but if your location is rising with water then you’ve already out of the game.

Prepper Real Estate

Image from Arild Vågen on Wikimedia Commons

Beyond weather, you must also look at water supply.

Some would argue that finding a property with access to well water is ideal. But as available acreage decreases that simply isn’t always possible. Your prepper real estate location should be close to alternatives should your standard water supply be damaged.

Look for property that contains or is close to rivers, lakes, ponds, or streams. Yes, a running source is ideal but even a pond will have its benefits in a worst-case scenario.

One of the most misunderstood elements of location is access to the property. You may have envisioned a castle with a 20-foot moat around the perimeter but the truth is that it’s possible you also have to evacuate.

The best real estate prepping strategies involve backup plans. The best time to research wind and solar options in your location is before you buy or build your home regardless of inclement weather.

Research your local evacuation routes. The best preparation considers both the homestead and the possibility that you must leave that very homestead.

Another factor is proximity to landmarks, tourist attractions, ballparks, military locations, and other potential targets for terrorism. This definitely falls into a worst-case scenario. But there is a reason most preppers don’t find their dream homes next to Yankee stadium. The best locations are isolated within reason.

While you want acreage, you don’t want Siberia.

Lastly, your location should consider the distance from cellular towers. In many imagined doomsday scenarios, cell phone service is no longer available. Perhaps you simply don’t trust the cell companies with your information in the first place.

The truth is that even many “off the grid” preppers heavily rely on cell phones for day-to-day use. Chances are decent you’re even reading this very article on one of those devices right now. That is why proximity to strong cell towers may be a consideration when choosing prepper real estate.

Prepper Real Estate Must-Have #2

Storage – This goes beyond having an oversized pantry and basement. Preppers buy real estate with different needs in mind. One common mistake some preppers advocate is outside storage spaces or garages.

But many of those types of storage lack the proper insulation. While these are adequate for some items, you absolutely need a temperature-regulated space for food storage.

Prepper Real Estate

Your stock of food should contain plenty of canned goods of course, but we’re also interested in more traditional foods. After all, we’re not just trying to survive.

This is about your dream prepper real estate home and that likely includes food that may not come in a can. A dark space offers more options for produce and fruit along with other staples such as grains and wheat.

Underground bunkers are on the wishlist of many preppers. Often times people that are prepping get to their bunker last and that’s okay.

Bunkers are not just temporary shelters. They can also be effective for food storage as they are typically dark and cool while not in use.

Another advantage to interior, controlled storage is security. In a doomsday scenario, theoretically a prepper owning real estate would be a target. No matter how isolated you may believe you are, chances are good there are going to be people around you that just are not serious about prepping.

If the wrong people are aware of your setup, it stands to reason your property and storage could become targets for looting. You can usually secure outside storage to a high degree but nothing is more effective than secured storage within your main property.

Now that your food and other basic necessities are covered, you may also need special storage for your weapons and ammunition. Maintaining a large arsenal in a secured area such as a locked basement may be your first move. But just like the location of the home you must also consider access.

Intruders aren’t always on your schedule and in some instances you simply won’t have time to get down to a secure basement and retrieve weaponry. We advocate safe storage on every floor if possible. Look into the possibility of a safe or converted closet for quick access.

Prepper Real Estate Must-Have #3

Agriculture – This can arguably be the most difficult element for prepper real estate. Although we’ve outlined food storage, most preppers are DIYers that also want to grow their own food. But just having ample acreage isn’t enough. You also need to make sure your property has fertile soil and receives enough rainfall.

Stored food is a finite resource. Ideally you have a backup plan of planted crops that can regularly enjoy and maintain regardless of doomsday scenarios.

Again, this is your dream home and not just a large bunker of canned foods. The majority of your life at a dream home won’t be affected by natural disasters, terrorism or other major issues. The ability to grow fresh produce on your property is a luxury that every prepper desires. That is why you need to research the soil on which your home is built.

Have the previous owners of the land been able to sustain a garden or farm? Has the soil been tested for contaminants?

Your soil is either clay, loam, or sand. It’s actually quite easy to test which you have.

You should test for levels of nitrogen and phosphorous among other things. Search online for simple at-home soil testing instructions. You will have an answer almost immediately without having to send it off to distant labs and waiting weeks or possibly months.

Ideally, you’re not just living off vegetables and oats. When possible, you will want real estate prepping conditions that support the raising of livestock.

Maintaining livestock can be an expensive proposition as you start out and that’s why you should never buy more than your land can feed. How long is the winter? Do you have proper amounts of hay and grains during the colder months?

Poultry is near the top of our list among desired animals for prepping. With the right environment, you can get consistent egg production each month for at least the first two years. Eggs can be stored with little maintenance and last for months and months. Naturally there will come a time when the bird is no longer producing and then they can be butchered.

Prepper Real Estate

From baa!! on Wikimedia Commons

Goats should also be considered as an alternative to cows when starting out. They are cheaper to buy initially and goats are survivors. They can endure rough conditions and need less food.

Goats are also a solid source for protein, the milk they produce may be useful for other livestock as it’s easily digestible.

The reality for preppers is that the right agricultural conditions can be nearly as important as home security in some scenarios. In the long run, without access to outside sources, supplies run out and the best prepper real estate options include acreage with the right soil.

Prepper Real Estate Must-Have #4

 Energy Supply– Preppers love redundancy and having backup power supplies will be at the top of the list for a prepper’s dream home.

We all know about generators but again you’re dealing with a finite resource as in the least you will need to refuel. In theory, a generator with the right metrics will last indefinitely but in a dream scenario your acreage will be conducive to alternate power sources.

Solar power is the next most common option and fortunately the cost has decreased over the years as technology has improved. It remains a significant investment and you need to plan accordingly, but the benefits of solar power are immeasurable.

In a grid down event and lacking a generator, solar remains the most effective and reliable way to store energy. Due to their low voltage, solar-generated power sources are susceptible to electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attacks

Prepper Real Estate

Image from Daniele Marolla on Wikimedia Commons

One underlooked and misunderstood strategy is the installation of wind turbines. Assuming your local realtor doesn’t have a large supply of properties already outfitted with the latest in wind turbine technology, you should research the conditions in your location.

Wind turbines don’t need much to be effective but one thing they need is, you guessed it, wind. Smaller turbines will need at least of 5 mph in regular, sustained winds to be worth the investment.

If your location enjoys consistent winds without being in hurricane zones, you are a prime candidate for wind turbines. While it’s true that wind production can vary day-to-day, again we’re talking about researching your ideal location.

Unlike solar technology, wind turbines operate at a high voltage and are less susceptible to EMP attacks. The goal for most preppers is redundancy and we realize that most people cannot and should not rely on wind-only solutions.

The best real estate prepping strategies involve backup plans. Research wind and solar options in your location is before you buy or build.

The best thing about utilizing wind and solar (after the startup cost) is the ongoing price of these two resources: zero. Wind and solar will be readily available in even the most radical of weather conditions  and that makes it the best strategy for smart preppers.

Our four MUST-HAVES factor in location, storage, agriculture, and energy.

There is no perfect prepper checklist in real estate and that is why you must determine your own needs, do the proper research, and start planning now. Preparation involves surviving in the worst conditions. But remember that you are also crafting an environment you’ll be living in during the good times.

The perfect prepper home is about both survival and comfort.

What are your MUSTS in designing the ideal prepper real estate home? Leave us a comment below.


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