Thinking about buying a cabin or land in southern Utah? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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mixflip
08-19-2011, 01:46
Hey guys, new to this area of GT. I have been on board with the prepper movement for a few months now. I live a big city (Las Vegas) and like most... if SHTF long term and the city is not a viable option anymore, I have been thinking about...

option#1) buying a few acres of blank land and bringing a trailer to the site or building a cabin?

option#2) a preexisting small cabin on less than an acre? No building or trailer needed.

Both options in southern Utah since its fairly affordable out there (about $30k or less) and the wide open west is still fairly secluded and unpopulated out there. Plus its only 2 or 3 hours away.

Is there a good resource to help me better understand the basic process of knowing how to shop for land or cabins in the hills or mountains? The cabins look to be located near other cabins so I dont know if I want to do that? I guess it could be good to have trusted neighbors to help out?

But I also like the idea of having 5 or 10 acres very secluded and away from anyone and just have a self sustaining micro farm for my family and friends only.

I know its a big investment but the way I look at it... if nothing happens my family gets a vacation cabin in the outdoors and if something happens my family has a place to bug out to and live off the grid and live self sustained (just as the folks of the great depression were forced to do) if it came to that?

I have been reading and watching everything I can such as greenscience/youtube etc etc and several survival books. For years I have been prepping for home invasions, robberies, muggings, and basically short term SHTF...but only recently have I opened my eyes to the real possibilities of having to live through a neo great depression thanks to Obama & Bush, the FED and the IMF and all the other domino effects of the world economy.

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i182/mixflip/breeze-spring.jpg

http://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i182/mixflip/HS-2030-outside.jpg

Thanks for any help on the subject.

TangoFoxtrot
08-19-2011, 02:48
Option 2 sounds good. Make sure the land is defendable, has a good water source, and has 6 ways in and 12 ways out. You might want to add George W. Bush to the domino effect "he" started.

bdcochran
08-19-2011, 09:00
Here comes the rain.
1. If you can get easily to your cabin, so can anyone else with a. an ATV, or, b. a motorcycle.
2. Think about fire danger. If you can install a roof line system that you can activate by a telephone call, then you are as well covered as possible.
3. Check the water supply. All the pictures in the world depicting pine trees and lakes are useless to you if you are not permitted to drill a well. Don't even think about a cabin as a retreat if you do not plan to install a well prior to putting up a cabin.
4. Do not think about having a remote cabin, if you aren't able to put in secure storage.

There are millions of guys who want 5-10 acres, a cabin and kick back. I am one of them. However, there are significant tradeoffs and risks.

In my region, the US forest service refused to cull dead trees while it was required that landowners remove theirs at about $500 a tree. That cute pine tree in the backyard is a potential roman candle when shtf. You may be careful around fire, but what about all the car campers when shtf?

off road
08-19-2011, 09:50
There are lots of different options. I like the trailer idea, but a truely mobil one that you can pull out in the winter or if there is a fire. As has been mentioned, a reliable water source and secure permanent storage are a must.

My folks had a cabin on a nice large lake, with a good well, but it was to far away to visit regularly, so they essentially ended up spending their 'vacation' doing maintenance and clearing all the brush that had grown up since the last visit. Eventually, it got to be to much for them. If you can get there in 2-3 hours, that is workable!

magpie maniac
08-19-2011, 10:01
My family and I have gone through this same decision-making process. We live in a urban area of North Carolina, but wanted land in the western NC mountains for a cabin. We wanted vacant land so that we could control the design of what we build. My rather picky criteria was as follows:

> 1.5 to 2.0 acres
> cleared of trees, but surrounded by forest around perimeter of lot
> covered with thick pasture grasses
> outside of all flood zones
> slightly sloping for basement
> secluded, but not too far removed from medical facilities or a Walmart :supergrin:
> dead-end road to limit passersby
> at least 2,500 above sea level
> well water
> trout river nearby

After a long search and some word-of-mouth leads from friends, we found a 1.6 acre piece of land that fit all the criteria.

If you find some vacant land that you like, I would suggest going ahead and ordering a perc test and asking surrounding landowners about well depth. Even if you don't intend to build immediately, you could feel good knowing that you won't be surprised when you are ready to build. And it the meantime, you'd have a place for bugging out if necessary. Check on utilities, too. You don't want something so far removed from civilization that it would cost you a small fortune to run basic utilities to.

It's difficult finding something that balances between secluded/defensible versus convenient/maintainable.

pugman
08-19-2011, 10:13
3. Check the water supply. All the pictures in the world depicting pine trees and lakes are useless to you if you are not permitted to drill a well. Don't even think about a cabin as a retreat if you do not plan to install a well prior to putting up a cabin.
4. Do not think about having a remote cabin, if you aren't able to put in secure storage.

There are lots of different options. I like the trailer idea, but a truely mobil one that you can pull out in the winter or if there is a fire. As has been mentioned, a reliable water source and secure permanent storage are a must.

My folks had a cabin on a nice large lake, with a good well, but it was to far away to visit regularly, so they essentially ended up spending their 'vacation' doing maintenance and clearing all the brush that had grown up since the last visit. Eventually, it got to be to much for them. If you can get there in 2-3 hours, that is workable!

Bingo and Bingo. I know nothing about Southern Utah so I am relying on wikipedia and picked the St George area.

Average rainfall for the year: 8.77 inches (as a comparison, we had 8 storms here in Wisconsin last year which dropped this in a day) without a well I think you are in trouble.

Let's face it...everything I read says at some point Las Vegas will run out of water. To Bd's point: I think if problems arose most people would drive west to the coast rather than east into Utah.

Even snow is rare at less than 3" average per year.

You are talking about an 5-10 acre minifarm...you will need a lot of water and it doesn't look like mother nature will help much.

Upper Wisconsin has a lot of cabins...and a whole lot of burglarly; hence most people don't keep anything of value in their places even in secure storage. Give someone nearly unlimited time and any lock can be broken.

Personally I like the idea of a camper or trailer.

G29Reload
08-19-2011, 10:15
I understand far SW UT has a serious cancer cluster that appears related to the nuke testing in the 40s-60's. I would check out that topic.

mixflip
08-19-2011, 10:29
I obviously have a ton of home work to do still, which is expected. I just watched a youtube video of 2 guys who went out into the Southern California desert/hills to check on their bug out cabin/shed and it was gutted and destroyed by vandals. Security is going to be a head ache. Hopefully Utah is a far cry form SoCal?

cyrsequipment
08-19-2011, 11:03
Hopefully Utah is a far cry form SoCal?

There are dirtbags all over the country...:steamed:

It is sad when some destroys another person's hard earned property.

bstock
08-19-2011, 11:16
my family just sold our cabin up in duck creek last weekend. we have been going up there for the last 15 years. it is a beautiful place with lots of options. you can find larger plots of land up there. more so off of hwy 89. check out duck creeks website they have links to all the reality offices up there, so you can check out what is available property wise. there is all kinds of camping up there and tons of atv trails. i do a lot of dirt biking up there in the summer. its a great place.

mixflip
08-19-2011, 12:48
Duck Creek? Ok I'll check them out. Thanks.

bstock
08-19-2011, 13:01
mixflip pm me if you have any specific questions on area etc. its def worth a trip up there to check out. its only 3hrs if you dont stop and its a nice easy drive. duck creek is a little village. you can rent cabins there etc. they have a true value and a couple of restaurants.

mixflip
08-19-2011, 13:44
Thanks I'll PM you soon for sure. I just checked out the cabin rentals in the area and I think its time to spend a weekend up there and take a look around. Plus it would just be nice to get my wife and 2 baby boys out into the outdoors. I saw that it was 70 degrees up there today? Thats so nice compared to Vegas where its 105.

wjv
08-19-2011, 14:53
As others have said:
- Well or stream/lake
- Septic in good condition
- Heating (fireplace is OK but wood stove are more efficient)

Look into adding solar power for things like LED lighting, radio and such.

Secure storage for supplies and multiple cords of wood.

Free Radical
08-19-2011, 15:26
In the pictures I am seeing Aspens and Douglas fir trees. That means it's fairly high in elevation. 7-8,000' I would guess. Not exactly farm country. People up there raise hay and with the help of a hot house or green house, maybe some other things. Look into the length of the growing season. Look around for other "self sustaining farms", whatever that is. All the farming I ever did required a hell of a lot of sustaining. I guess what I'm trying to say is that if you actually expect to live off the crops that you raise on your place you are up too high there.

Best of luck what ever you decide to do.

mixflip
08-19-2011, 23:45
Elevation? Ah good point. Those were just some sample pics of southern Utah. More home work needed.

lawman800
08-20-2011, 13:03
The thing about having property and structures far away is thefact that you just won't know what shape it's in when you need it and go there to use it. It could all be pristine, or it could be burned down and gone.

Rob1109
08-20-2011, 13:20
For years I thought about a Southern Utah cabin to get out of the Las Vegas heat. But, the temp. that would I have liked for the summer would be inaccessible in the winter. What would be accessible in the winter was too hot in the summer. Catch 22. Also I felt that we would almost be forced to go there on vacations, since we were paying for it. Have a friend who has a Great summer cabin. In winter he chains up the 4wheel 'Burb and when that stops it's 6 miles by snowmobile! But, it is a beautiful spot to get out of the LV heat. For a SHTF I would choose a small community in Montana.

Best...

bdcochran
08-20-2011, 13:49
2 babies. Ok.

Now, I give you some feedback from an old time.

1. My brother bought a time share condo for two weeks a year in Honolulu. It means another thing to look after. Buy a cabin in the mountains, and instead of making things easier, it commits you to vacation in that unit until you sell it.

2. Don't buy thinking of retirement. Speak to a real estate professional. A professional recommends not buying anything until 18 months from retirement. Why? a. relatives and friends in town; b. one spouse or the other has medical problems and wants to remain in town near the doctor. Happened in myfamily. Will happen in yours.

I knew a retired Marine Corp. Col. who retired to a ranch in the high Sierras. Great for defense. Great for wildlife. Only 120 miles from the nearest town with reasonably priced groceries and a doctor, if needed.

Most people do things in reverse. They buy a "cabin". Now, out of money, they don't spend the money for a well, fire protection, a backhoe installed subsurface sea cargo container that is secure and contains the goodies that you would want for shtf.

You can get the same experience by buying a decent US Army surplus command tent and setting it up when you need it. It can stay stored on site.

lawman800
08-20-2011, 16:29
+1 on cochran. It's an easy mistake to jump in too early before you are ready for that type of long term commitment. So don't get marred... Ummm... I mean, buy a cabin.

mixflip
08-20-2011, 17:22
very good points.

Last night I couldnt go to sleep as I thought about all kinds of negative scenarios and ways to protect the property while I was away from it.

Buying a small backhoe came to mind. Working a plot of land digging holes and building burms and clearing logs and stone etc. etc.

Then I though about buying a steel shipping container and burying it. Then building concealable entry for it.

Then thoughts of some kind of video monitoring system popped in my mind but how the heck would I power it and send its images to my computer?

Then thoughts of rigging booby traps (real or simulated)???

Signs and a fence? Tresspassers will be shot type signs?

making friends with the nearest neighbors to keep an eye out?

So many ideas popped into my mind and they all pretty much involve lots of money and time above the initial cost of purchase.

I like the idea of blank land and setting up a large army tent and basically set up like we used to do in the field back in my military days. A bug out trailer could be kept in my current garage ready to go?

I just dont know now???????

kirgi08
08-20-2011, 17:32
We bought our "cabin" about 12yrs ago,I was single and got the property paid off quick.50ac at $500 per.We didn't start a darn thing on it till it was paid off.Well was 1st and then the rest followed.Baby steps,we didn't feel the need ta rush.It's done now and a week or so ago we had a "live" drill there.Look at my "decisions" thread and let me know what ya think.'08.

lawman800
08-21-2011, 02:07
Essays the name of that storage container you can buy and bury in the backyard?

TangoFoxtrot
08-21-2011, 04:42
Essays the name of that storage container you can buy and bury in the backyard?


I believe they also call them connexs.

snowbird
08-21-2011, 08:12
It's nice to have a dream, especially when the temp in the city soars, or bad news headlines cast gloom, or the boss at work gives you a hard time, etc.

But as many in this thread have pointed out, there are real (thief, vandal, property taxes) problems with being an absentee landlord, or even just finding affordable land in the country that is homesteadable (enough water, enough growing season, reasonable security, decent climate and elevation, not too much background radioactive residue from historic atomic bomb testing, etc) in case of hard times.

But you already have two of the most important things in life: wife and children. Try not to lose sleep over worries about implementing your dream place in the country. Good luck.

snowbird
08-21-2011, 08:50
What I was thinking of in that last post was Montgomery Gentry's song, "Lucky Man", about a guy who is thankful that 'God's given me a pretty fair hand', a house and some acres of land, a few dollars in a coffee can, supper in the oven and a good woman's lovin', and a few more days to be my little kids' dad.