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Hey all, I am in the process of buying my first home. I always kinda felt like I would be wasting my time with any kind of long term preps at a house I was renting, because of the " you never know " factor. Now I am excited to have my own house on my own property, and I would like to slowly make it into a place that will help to protect my family and belongings through good times and bad alike. My main focus areas to start prepping for would be on natural disasters, storms and power outages. These are the most probable problems to occur in my area. Next on the list but just as important is security. Mostly general crime prevention, break and enters, that sort of thing. Not a huge problem at all in the new neighbourhood but you never know. Economic collapse/WROL is also a area of concern for me. Thanks for any and all suggestions and opinions.
 

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Renaissance Man
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Location is everything. Not only property values, but also propensity to natural disasters, riots, as well as multiple routes of travel. You don't want to be on the banks of a river that floods, in a ghetto, and the only way in and out is over the bridge.

For the house itself, beyond the obvious condition of things like plumbing, roof, etc, look at something with a basement. But make sure it stays dry. Bonus points for a back corner of the basement that has two walls that are underground and can be made into a hidden room.

A yard that has some room for a garden is good, and some natural fruit trees or berry bushes is a plus. But also look at how hard it would be to keep out kids, thieves, and animals.

I would personally stay away from HOAs, but I know everyone has their own opinions on them.

Az
 

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Great Oppourtunity

Hi There,
You've got a great opportunity here. My advice falls into two categories- economic and budgetary and prepping. On the budget front, make sure you can afford it- not just at your current salary but also add in the cost of a kid or a spouse going through a career change/unemployment spell.
As for prepping- get storage. A garage is great. Grow a garden and get some fruit trees. Get a house with a wood stove and space for water storage- or a well.
As for security use fences and landscaping to make it more secure. Try to get some height and line of sight for security. A tree house can always double as a watchtower.
Finally- stay- forever. 30 year mortgages don't really decline principal until after 10 years so stay for the long term.
Solar makes sense if you stay for ten or more years so stay for the long term. Slowly make the house as off grid and food productive as possible. If you do so you'll be on the right path!
 

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Libertarian
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Congratulations on getting your home! Water, food, bullets, guns. A dog is a good idea-with "Beware of Dog" signs here and there. A crank radio is a good idea. If you belong to Costco or Sams Club it can help. Keep prepping and again, congratulations on getting your own place-try to pay it off asap!:thumb::)
 

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Grevcon 7ⓖ and MGM 10ⓜ
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You already have the house, right? Congratulations!! Pay as much additional as can toward the principle each month - that will make a huge difference down the road, and you'll be surprised how quickly the years will go by! It's fall - the perfect time to start planning on where to plant fruit trees - bare roots will be available very soon. Put in as many and in different varieties as your yard will handle nicely - you'll be so happy you did in a couple of years. Do be sure to plan their placement carefully- you want them to look nice in the yard as well as provide you with fresh fruit! You'll get lots of other good advice I'm sure, but those are my two top of the list bits of new home owner advice. Enjoy your new place! :)
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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What is done before signing the dotted line can be a huge difference.

Location, land rights, zoning laws, water access, available utilities, home construction and features, loan parameters, etc.

So many important things become fixed and unresponsive once you sign the papers.

I'd put a far more effort in before I bought than after. After means making the best of what you stuck yourself with.
 
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If I had a voice I'd sing
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What is done before signing the dotted line can be a huge difference.

Location, land rights, zoning laws, water access, available utilities, home construction and features, loan parameters, etc.

So many important things become fixed and unresponsive once you sign the papers.

I'd put a far more effort in before I bought than after. After means making the best of what you stuck yourself with.
Could not agree more.

Also...

Walk your land, get to know it. Also get to know your neighbors. Make friends with them, even if you can't stand them.

Get your water figured out. If on a well, get a generator that can handle the well pump and test it out. Get a large storage tank to pump the water into so you don't have to leave the genny running all day as you use water. If your well is 250' deep or less, get a manual pump as a backup.

If on city water, get a large storage tank and a place to keep it.

In either case a large water storage tank is a good idea. They don't have to be kept indoors. Just make sure that sunlight UV rays can't penetrate through the tank into the water. This can mean a UV-resistant tank, or keep the tank in a shed or underground.

As has been hinted at, the best time to start your garden and fruit trees is 10 years ago. Consider re-purposing an impractical lawn into a way to grow something that benefits you somehow, instead of making you a slave to a lawnmower. Doesn't have to be food, can be wood, herbs, spices, bamboo, etc.

You're up north - I agree about the wood stove. And a supply of wood.

Get a small experimental solar panel and battery and start learning about that technology. Expand on it as time, money and skill allows.

Get to know the way your house works; plumbing, electrical, heating. Have the knowledge, tools, and spare parts to fix these systems. Also keep a supply of plywood and building lumber, nails, screws, etc. Some of this can be used to board up your windows and barricade the door if needed.

Do you have septic or city sewer?

If septic, check the tank, might want to get it emptied. If sewer, are you uphill or downhill from the rest of the town? If you are downhill and SHTF and the sewer pumps stop working, your house will fill up with the town's sewer. See if there is a way you can put a shut-off valve in the line to prevent that from happening.

See if you can build a root cellar to keep your long term storage food in, as well as fresh food from the garden.
 

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Beer Truck Door Gunner
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As has been hinted at, the best time to start your garden and fruit trees is 10 years ago. Consider re-purposing an impractical lawn into a way to grow something that benefits you somehow, instead of making you a slave to a lawnmower. Doesn't have to be food, can be wood, herbs, spices, bamboo, etc.
If you can call jumping up and down, saying it every time I can, and making a general nuisance of myself in the process, then yes I have been hinting that food trees can be a survivor's best friend......if only you get them into the ground as fast as you can. :thumb:
 

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I would start with a gas/water shutoff tool and a couple of fire extinguishers. After that, what everyone else will tell you.

V
 

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Basic tools, basic supplies, others said to learn your house. In these times you need to know a little to keep from paying big bills for common sense fixes.
Your preparedness should include water supply, canned foods, flashlights w/ spare batteries, BBQ gas grill w/ spare propane tank

Shop, yard sale cheap tools(3 or 4 different pipe wrenches, socket set, open end wrenches, pliers, screwdrivers( I prefer the multi size, flip around blade/bits), but you need regulars too, hammer, couple measuring tape, cordless battery drill/bits, Bucket organizer, and bucket. Extension cords, plug in light, on and on. Work bench w/ vise.
Calendar to keep oil change and service dates for home equipment.


Good luck, keep reading!
 

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Pistol Shooter
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We are saving to move the country. When we first purchase the land we plan on....

1. Dig a deep well for house.
2. Shallow well for garden & animals and secondary water source.
3. Plant fruit trees, nut trees, and berries.
4. Build pole barn/work shop with wood stove and bathroom.
5. Build Storm/root cellar.
6. Install a Large propane tank and maybe a 50 gallon gasoline tank.
7. Clear area for garden.
8. Install plenty of dust till dawn lights or motion activated lights.
9. Create and outdoor cooking area.
10. Install transfer switch.

I already have a portable generator, but might look into a diesel generator later on.
 

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Capability, not scenarios
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I suspect you're in good shape in knowledge and understanding of preparedness, and congrats on the first house. Nice to be able to put a nail in a wall to hang a picture without asking a landlord. :)

Two things to consider as you're able to do it from the get go:

1. Storage. Also storage, storage, and storage. If you have a basement, consider how you might configure it to maximize storage. It's even worth some time thinking carefully about this. Several times I've rearranged things to get more storage space, and I'm getting squeezed a bit. If I could do it over again, I'd do it differently.

There are places for storage one normally wouldn't consider. Do a site search on storage. Here's one example of a place--assuming you have exposed joists in a basement--many don't consider:

joiststore.jpg

Man, you can get a TON of stuff up above with just some cleats screwed to the joists and whatever you can find for "shelves." Here's another way, using joists above a suspended ceiling:

suspceiling.jpg

Other things to consider are rolling storage carts or whatever. Whenever we use shelves, there's always an aisle we need from which to access the shelves. If you have your "shelves" on rollers, you can push them all together, store far more because you're not using up space for aisles, and pull them out as you need what's on them:

canstorage.jpg

I have something similar holding my cases of water in the garage so they're right next to the vehicles in case I need to bug out in a hurry and toss them in the van or car. And it's built that way so I can push it against the refrigerator so as to hide them from casual view:

watercaddy2.jpg

You can also make use of stud walls if you have exposed ones, or if you build a room and the studs are exposed on one side:

studwall1.jpg

The possibilities are nearly endless if you think ahead. Just allow yourself the flexibility to change as you need, and you'll be miles ahead.

BTW, the cheapest way to create those rolling cabinets like my can storage or water caddy is get one of those furniture moving dollies they sell at farm stores or home depot-like stores. They include the casters which separately are much more expensive, and you can build right on top of them. That's what I used for both of the cabinets above.

2. --assuming you're still reading--has to do with hiding your preps. Build your storage in such a way that if an electrician, plumber, whomever has to service something in your house, they aren't seeing your preps. Mine are ALL hidden in one way or another.

In other words, don't store your preps right under the circuit breakers so an electrician would have to move them out of the way to access the panel. :) Or put them next to the piping feeding a bathroom. Or whatever. Point made.


Good luck and again, congrats!
 

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as far as the generator goes, we only got one big enough to run some minor things, not the whole house. we only use ours for:

lighting a room or two

radio

small space heater

maybe the tv/wii if we get bored (but board games are fun too)

and very importantly an electric kettle for hot water (coffee, tea, being able to wash hair in non-freezing water). On a cold winter night, hot water/coffee/hot chocolate is a big comfort.
 

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I don't think preps when renting are a waste of time. However, different people consider different things preps. I keep my pantry extra full, just in case, extra blankets and batteries for the flashlight in case of power outages, first aid kit, BoB, etc. I'm also getting my MBA as a major life prep to hopefully be paid enough to afford a home at some point in time.
 
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