Bugging Out: How To Get Cheap Land
Look For Land With Tax Liens
The truth is just because somebody owns land doesn’t mean they actually want it. Many times people inherit land once their relative dies. And without the right resources this can easily become more of a burden than a blessing.
If the owner isn’t able to afford the land, then it’s likely they’re not paying taxes on their property. And if that’s the case, you can bet the government is going to make sure they get their tax money.
One of the ways this happens is the government puts a lien on the property. This essentially gives them legal claim to the land. Granted, the property owner still has time to pay back the taxes. However, if time runs out then the government gets a tax deed – and this gives them legal ownership of the land.
Now that the government has their deed, they don’t exactly have use for the land itself. Which makes it an awesome opportunity for a prepper like you to come around and take it off their hands (likely for cheap).
Land with tax liens is often sold at an auction, with the starting bidding price being the amount of back taxes that are still owed. Although there are other bidders to compete against, not every property will have much competition. Go to enough auctions and you’re sure to find a piece of land that fits nicely in your budget.
One of the best ways to find out what properties are up for grabs is by contacting your local government office. They’ll usually direct you to a mailing list or PDF you can download with all the listings. Plus, if you get on the mailing list they’ll update you when new properties become available (making the workload much easier on you).
Keep Your Eye Out For Foreclosed Land
This is a very similar situation to the one above. However, foreclosed land is later owned by a bank, rather than the government.
Land is foreclosed on when the owner takes out a loan to buy the land and can’t repay it. The bank that issued that loan then comes and reclaims the property.
Banks don’t want to hold onto the land, so they make it a point to sell them at auctions where people can bid on them. Remember – the property owner does have a period of time to get their stuff together and pay off their loan. However, once that time period is up that land is ripe for the picking.
Or You Could Go “Old School”
Nowadays, this method happens less and less. Which means competition is a lot lower – and it can yield amazing results for you if you’re willing to do the work.
Your job is to drive around and find a piece of land that fits your bugging out needs. Try selecting ones that look run down or unoccupied.
Find out the address of this place, and if possible, the names of the owners. Keep in mind you’ll likely have to talk to people around town and see if anyone knows who lives there.
Once you have the address and names, write them a letter stating that you’re interested in purchasing their property. Then offer them a fair deal (it’s ideal if you can pay in full). Just make sure not to low-ball them; this can offend the owners and will really screw up your chances at getting the land.
Keep in mind nobody is going to give away their land for free. So get creative. For instance, try saving your tax return and then using that as a bargaining chip when dealing with the sellers.
If you’re not having any luck affording a spot, it’s time to consider downsizing, or even moving out West. Property is less expensive west of the Mississippi, so you may need to relocate to find a good bug-out spot.
Have you had experience with buying cheap land? Any advice to give to your fellow preppers? Let us know in the comments below.