Country Living Series

Thursday, April 1, 2021

"Is it too late to move?"

Recently on Daisy Luther's website, she posted an article entitled "The 'Camping Trip' Is Ending and the REAL SHTF Is About to Start."

One of the comments on this piece was from a reader named Joy, who posted the following: "Do you think it's too late to move at this point? How would you know when it's too late? We are looking to sell our (paid-for) house and buy land and build a house on it (mostly ourselves, outsourcing some of the work). A house with wood heat, and solar power, and lower cost of living, and a huge garden with chickens. If we do that, we have to rent for a year while we clear the land, and build. Is it too late? That's the question that haunts me at night when I can't sleep."

Don thought it was a viable question and wrote the following response. "Joy" may never see this, but that's okay. The answer is for everyone to consider.

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Hi Joy: No, it's not too late to move. But what IS rapidly becoming too late is the time available to make the decision.

You know, if fifty people were to ask the same question you did, perhaps 10 percent would listen to the following advice. Nothing new about that, it's just human nature. We can find endless examples through history of people who didn't leave a disintegrating situation when they could.

If you and your spouse are serious about moving, it's time to stop your sleepless nights and get to work.

You must sell your house now, before the markets in more urban areas crash. You must make that sale even if it means you sell for less than you wanted.


While selling your house, you should begin the process of figuring out where you want to live. Bear in mind that rural land in desirable locations – which used to be cheap – has, at least temporarily, become unavailable.

You might review some of the columns of prepper Pat McLene, whose archive can be found here, especially his later columns. Among other things, he discusses the best place to move that will meet your needs.

Unless you have an incredible skills set, rethink the concept of buying bare land. Where we live, finding a contractor who is not only available, but who can obtain the necessary supplies and materials, is becoming increasingly difficult. Unless you or your spouse happen to be in the construction industry, you'd be far wiser to relocate to a livable fixer-upper. These days, it's much easier to rehab and modify an existing building than it is to build fresh.

However if that's impossible and you must settle for a piece of bare land – and rather than renting an off-site place while you wait for the contractor to arrive – you might want to consider buying a good-quality second-hand RV (a four-season model), or even a used single-wide. Given the times that are coming, the closer you are to your home place, the better off you'll be.

Now doing any of this presupposes that you have some kind of income stream that can follow you, or you have marketable rural skills, or you made sufficient profit from the sale of your own home that you can work full-time on your new place. If this isn't the case, the road will be harder; but if you have a roof over your head, you can live on peanuts. (And you may very well have to, at first.)

Of course, none of this matters if all you're going to do is talk and worry. You're going to have to make a leap of faith to make this work. It can be done, because Patrice and I have done it three times.

There's a lot of great information on this site and others like it. But look for those websites and blogs where the owners have walked the walk and not simply talked the talk.


The last bit of advice I can give you is to not do any of this because you think the world is coming to an end. Do this because you think it's the best thing that you can do for you and those you love.

And at the risk of offending some, don't go alone. Ask God to go with you. He will.

See you on the two-lane road,
Don

16 comments:

  1. So much wisdom in this, Don. I hope it emboldens people to make the first step. Especially to go with God!
    D

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  2. As I was reading, I was going to suggest living in a camper too.
    I read about people who want to leave the city to move to the country, start gardening, raise animals, and lead a more subsistence lifestyle. I always wonder if they’ve ever done these things and realize the work involved. I don’t mean to discourage anyone, but it’s not all Waltons or Little House on the Prairie where things work themselves out in an hour. I have planted corn three times in one year with no harvest, had goats not breed or miscarry, had a neighbor spray his fields and kill my garden and bees, etc. I’ve had women drop by my house when I was in the middle of mucking out the barn, weeding the garden, or having two pressure canners of green beans going. Needless to say, I looked anything but glamorous. I’ve seen the look of disgust at my appearance, but that’s the life I’ve chosen. No neatly manicured nails for me. If someone hasn’t grown up in this lifestyle, I wonder how long before they would throw in the towel.

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    1. Exactly what you just said. The number of people I'e encountered recently who say they are "moving to the country" to be as self-sufficient as possible, but who have never, ever done anything remotely "outdoorsy" just astonishes me. I get the strangest questions from people who have never gardened and think they can just dig a hole, drop in a seed, a feed their family for a year...
      XaLynn

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    2. Of if only it were that simple... a small garden isn't hard if you are looking for some fresh food to supplement but growing enough to live on for an entire year and figuring out how to can and preserve it is tough.

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  3. I love you candid advice. Things are really accelerating life as we know it has changed with the looming covid passports. Those of us that are awake have little time left for deciding finally what to do. May God perfect all that concerns you. Amen.

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  4. We are actually leaving Colorado and headed to North Dakota. While it won't be a full blown homestead, we will be out of the city and closer to family. We are getting older, so having family nearby is important. I know gardening is going to be quite the challenge because the growing season will be even shorter than what we have now, but it will be worth it.

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  5. Excellent Advice as usual. Thanks so much for sharing your journey. God Bless as you bring your new homestead up.

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  6. Good advice, Don, and it's good to hear from you again. I can't quite put my finger on how, but I can discern your writing style from Patrice's. If I may speak for other fans, we miss you.

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  7. It is very sound advice, the sounder for the thought of doing it for the right reasons and with your eyes wide open.

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  8. My concern would be have a large chunk of cash from the sale of the home that would be subject to whatever "reset" is in the works - you could lose the money before you can spend it.

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  9. My concern would be have a large chunk of cash from the sale of the home that would be subject to whatever "reset" is in the works - you could lose the money before you can spend it.

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  10. We are approaching this differently. When real estate prices soared we sold our home for a nice profit just two months ago. Now we will live in our travel trailer for awhile until the incredibly stupid policies our government is pursuing causes the bubble to burst. Then we will buy in an area we like that has become over priced. I would not be surprised to see home prices drop by half in some of the higher market areas. Thank you Biden's puppeteer/Obama for destroying our economy and making homes affordable again.

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  11. I would agree that moving to a viable house beats renting and hoping to build. There are a lot of variables that might cause the building effort to fail--in addition to the contractor issues, there might be problems getting water (if a well is needed) or a number of other problems that would lead to looking for an existing house to move into in the end.

    Life is about constrained choices. It might have been easier and cheaper to have moved in the fall of 2019, but it may be easier and cheaper to do so now than at any point in the reasonable future. I agree with Don, however, that it has to be something that one wants to do. To reword, it is better to move to something than from something.

    When I made my move, I searched for a year to find a viable older house to renovate. I've had issues that I wouldn't have had to deal with in my exurban modern house, but I have never regretted moving. I like where I am much better.

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  12. great advice , but the picture that went along with the " fixer upper " was hilarious...I think I bought one of those once ...a long time ago LOL !! .

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  13. I am praying earnestly for a similar situation that my oldest son, his wife and five children are attempting.
    Their "used to be out in the suburbs" neighborhood is a hot market right now and their realtor said she could sell their house in days. They found an area and are in the process of getting a house built but haven't listed their house yet. I'd be thrilled if they just put the house on the market, moved out here while son stayed and worked, got the house sold, then continued building the next place.
    I just finished reading my mom's memoirs. She, my dad, and oldest brother lived in an apartment that was in a barn in 1956 in New York. Not sure if you could call it an apartment, but it's what they could afford where dad was stationed in the US Army, until they found a trailer to live in that my dad could tow with the car, because he knew they would be transferred again soon.
    Those were the days. Such gratefulness in mom's memory of the whole thing, a stark contrast to so much of what I see and read about.
    STS

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  14. Post Alley CrackpotApril 9, 2021 at 7:12 PM

    The real question for sellers is this: are you willing to make repairs right now in order to solidify your selling price, to expedite the sale, and to get it to sell before the end of June 2021?

    Because the grey coloured swan that's about to go all black in July 2021 is the ending of forebearance for mortgage payments and rent, although some states such as Texas are pushing to do this now.

    The banks are likely to decide that these mass defaults are highly attractive to investors such as REITs who have in recent years done such things as buying up entire neighbourhoods to position them as rental properties.

    After all, bankers are more likely to lend to their own social class, meaning that anything that's investment banker-shaped is to them a better risk, even if they repeatedly lend to such things as this week's banker confidence schemes called Greensill and Archegos.

    What will happen with these houses?

    Lots and lots of slightly to extremely distressed rental properties that are going to draw down on more of that expensive lumber that's problematic right now, making your ability to do repairs on your own without financing all the more difficult.

    But if you're in a bind and expect to lose your house, why play fair?

    Gut the furnishings out of your eventually foreclosed upon houses and sell them on the black market to contractors who will pay adequately for building materials they're not too picky about in terms of their source.

    The bankers and their friends in government helped create these problems, so why not lodge your protest with a few extra dollars in your pockets?

    I hear refrigerators in near-pristine condition fetch a nice price right now.

    Renting works for us, especially since we want to stay in Florida for one very big reason: there's a future for Florida as the Channel Islands of the Former United States of America, and every Wall Street firm that leaves New York and New Jersey for Florida helps reinforce the Florida economy with resources that will be badly needed after the collapse of the Federal government.

    They may be banker scum, but they can be our banker scum.

    But what do I know, I'm just a Crackpot with an admitted mushroom horticulture hobby. :-)

    Still, if you're a renter, why not wait until the full effect of a deluge of rental properties hits the markets so that there's even more pressure downward on both mortgages and rental prices?

    That's why sellers should be positioned to move really fast.

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