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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been looking for property for a vacation home/BOL about 3-4 hours from my home. I like a secluded wooded lot off the main road. We would be there on occasional weekends. What concerns me is that there would be plenty of opportunities for theft and vandalism.

Any ideas?
 

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some real good security.. i live by the biggest lake in VA and its a huge vacation spot and lots of people here have part time homes, and thefts here are through the roof.
If you do buy a place in a rural area make good friends with any surrounding neighbors that are there full time, make sure they have your phone number and email etc. and invest in some good security.
 

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Quality insurance which will cover your goods. It will not prevent theft, but will make replacing things easier.
 

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Make friends with your neighbors there, give them permission to go on your land, and have them call you (or the sheriff) if they see anything suspicious.
 

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Make friends with your neighbors there, give them permission to go on your land, and have them call you (or the sheriff) if they see anything suspicious.
Definitely do this. I've even gone so far as to buy them gifts or make them goodies to show my appreciation for them watching over my place. Amazing what a little kindness will get you.
 

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Set timer lights and motion lights. Put up no trespass signs and no soliciting signs. Make friends with those around that will be around. Get adt or something and if you understand cameras set some up you see on a computer while your away.. "fortify it some". Hope this helps
 

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Some good advice posted above.

I have the same predicament and go a few steps further:

1. Keep the grass cut, leaves blown, and property otherwise maintained.
2. Leave a car parked in the driveway and a camper in the yard.
3. Use the largest padlocks on all doors and bars on the windows.
4. Fence in property to the extent possible.
5. Make sure that your neighbors know how to reach you.
6. Throw your hand up at passersby. Although my cabin is on a dead end road, some people still like to explore. Smile and wave rather than try to stare a hole in the back of their heads.
7. Keep your curtains drawn and anything of possible value out of sight, even the stuff you normally leave in your yard.

The idea is to keep the place looking boring, but occupied. At least make it appear that is owned by friendly people who use the property regularly.

If someone does get into my place, I have stuff locked away inside. My tools and food are stored in locked closets but I have an old TV, microwave, and computer that are much easier to walk off with. They're sacrificial in a sense.

You're not going to be able to deter true thieves. The best you can do is hope to keep the honest people honest or make the lazy burglars think it's tough enough to warrant looking elsewhere.

My snowbird neighbor had is cabin busted into last spring. They kicked in his back door, ransacked the place, but and piled up goodies in the back porch - they didn't actually leave with anything from inside the house. He had a nice unsecured canoe around back that they made off with, instead. He's cabin is next to mine, but his place looks neglected. If a cabin looks abandoned, then it is abandoned to the minds of even normally honest people. After all, why should looters respect a place if the owner doesn't?
 

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there have been some good responses here. A good theif is the one that studies the retreat for life and security. You won't stand a chance against those kinds of thugs.

Best to not have anything of real value.

One of my friends built a retreat such that one side could be rented out. So with that, there is always someone living there so the place looks always occupied. It helps to have good relations with the tenants as well.
 

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My family is one of the few full time families in a mostly part time community and we live at the very end of the rd out of sight from most of the other houses. One neighbor has an old truck he leaves at his house. Every time he comes up he moves it to a different spot. It always looks like he's using the truck for work. Near his shed, by the wood pile etc. And then every month or two he trades the truck out for his car or his wife's SUV partly to run the truck some and partly to make it look like the house has more activity. He also has lights in his house on timers in different rooms so different lights are on different nights of the week and he changes them every so often. He also leaves a radio on in his basement. And then of course a security system sign. Good neighbors are the best deterrent though. Get to know them before you trust them though.
 

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In addition to the posted/no-trespassing signs I have a number of game cameras along the main 2 trails onto our property. Won't stop anyone but it will get their photo for the sheriff's department and to post in the local newspaper.

Plus to get to one road you pass by a neighbor on the right-of-way. Also have a video cam (no power yet) up on the upper level visible from the ground - if you can see it then IT can see YOU :)
 

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There have been alot of good responses. For us, making sure the place is kept up and looking lived in. Getting to know your neighbors really helps too.

Although our place is out in the country, we have high speed internet and installed the Lowes IRIS alarm system. So far it's been great and best part is it's self monitored. It calls our home phone and sends texts to cell phones when the alarm goes off.

Something to think about if you have internet.
 

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I've been looking for property for a vacation home/BOL about 3-4 hours from my home. I like a secluded wooded lot off the main road. We would be there on occasional weekends. What concerns me is that there would be plenty of opportunities for theft and vandalism.

Any ideas?
I can only give ideas that I have actually done and that have worked so far since 1990 when I first built on my mtn retreat. Which I use as a vacation spot / BOL and able to live like most can only dream or have nightmares about.

I agree that good security is essential. And the Best security I have found is to have a strong underground bunker / storm shelter where I store my most valuable items. Even a bear could not get in but I did see his paw prints on the steel door.
I also saw that someone had tried to pry the lock on the steel door but there was only a small piece of bent metal as evidence.

I tell and show about that as well as some others show and tell about their protective shelters / storage structures also throughout this thread > http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=107463

The only time I have ever had any theft was in 1989 when I was not up there and before I had built anything. I had half a pickup truck of split wood and a campfire grate stolen.

Most of the neighbors with cabins within two miles of my place like it that I am usually up there all the time from mid June to about Nov. since I can watch the private road for any strange vehicles.

It also helps that there is up to ten feet of snowpack most winters even until early June, since No one can even find my underground shelter, except me and the deep snow makes it very difficult to get around up there even with a snowmobile.
 

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Quality insurance which will cover your goods. It will not prevent theft, but will make replacing things easier.
When dealing with the insurance company "after the incident", it will help to have some kind of proof that you had as much stuff there as you claim.
 

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. . . . and the proper level of coverage.

Don't expect to get $1,000,000 of supplies covered by a simple $50,000 cabin policy. Look for something that with $1,050,000 in coverage.
 

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Set timer lights and motion lights. Put up no trespass signs and no soliciting signs. Make friends with those around that will be around. Get adt or something and if you understand cameras set some up you see on a computer while your away.. "fortify it some". Hope this helps
What i just read:

Set up big expensive motion lights to show everyone how much moneys worth youve got laying around to steal.
Set up directions to your perhaps otherwise not so blatantly obvious building.
Tell folks about it (not a bad idea, but when you throw it on top of the rest...)
Set up cameras so that anyone casing the place sees that youve spent EVEN MORE money on it, and god knows whats inside thats probably otherwise undefended and worth repurposing.

Just erect an arrow on the road pointing at your BOL, with a motion activated strobe light on top.
:thumb:
 

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. . . . and the proper level of coverage.

Don't expect to get $1,000,000 of supplies covered by a simple $50,000 cabin policy. Look for something that with $1,050,000 in coverage.
Agreed.

I almost forgot: With my "proof" comment, the first options that comes to mind are panning through the cabin with a video camera, or taking multiple snapshots with a still camera.
(FWIW, this is something that every landlord or renter should do at both move-in and move-out.)

I'd lean more towards the still camera myself, so I could omit pictures of stuff not stolen.
 

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Set up big expensive motion lights to show everyone how much moneys worth youve got laying around to steal.
Set up directions to your perhaps otherwise not so blatantly obvious building.
Around these parts of WV Posted/No Trespassing signs are common even miles away from a house/cabin. Between the pastures and other woods everything is marked to put strangers on notice.

I've seen a number of trail cams mounted up high on trees along the ATV track and near the cleared power lines so most folks don't pay any attention to them. I was looking for them and suspect that for every one I saw there was at least one I didn't see.
If someone does take out the (cheapo) trail cam near our cabin it is very unlikely that they will notice the 2nd one that watches the 1st and the approach to the cabin. A neighbor even hides a cam inside at least one of the dozen+ bird houses mounted next to the pond alongside the entrance to his property!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
. . . . and the proper level of coverage.

Don't expect to get $1,000,000 of supplies covered by a simple $50,000 cabin policy. Look for something that with $1,050,000 in coverage.
I'm really not looking to cheat the insurance company. I didn't even carry insurance on my last place.
 

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Around these parts of WV Posted/No Trespassing signs are common even miles away from a house/cabin. Between the pastures and other woods everything is marked to put strangers on notice.

I've seen a number of trail cams mounted up high on trees along the ATV track and near the cleared power lines so most folks don't pay any attention to them. I was looking for them and suspect that for every one I saw there was at least one I didn't see.
If someone does take out the (cheapo) trail cam near our cabin it is very unlikely that they will notice the 2nd one that watches the 1st and the approach to the cabin. A neighbor even hides a cam inside at least one of the dozen+ bird houses mounted next to the pond alongside the entrance to his property!
If someones decided to break the law and go through your property, being put on notice isnt really helpful. Its not like they dont know theyre trespassing.

Just think: Random house in the middle of nowhere VS Random house with a perimeter of lights and alarms, CCTV, signs... Which ones got more bang for your buck? :)
 
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