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Reality of a BOL?

Discussion in 'Survival/Preparedness Forum' started by emt1581, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    A lot of people I know either have beach homes, homes in the mountains, etc. but they are all doctors and lawyers.

    I'd like to get a small piece of land and then build on it. But I'm worried about the long term involvement and cost.

    For those that have 2nd homes/BOL' much of a hassle are they?

    I know there's going to be a lot of taxes...but what else is involved cost/time/upkeep-wise?


  2. cyrsequipment

    cyrsequipment Angry

    Aug 8, 2004
    Well, taxes would depend on the municipality, upkeep would be comparable to that of a home.

    In order to maintain a place you pretty much have to live at it at least part of the time, so there is a long term involvement...

  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    I'm wondering if there is any way to get around the upkeep? Maybe using one of those conex containers to build the home out of and then sealing it up when leaving to prevent the elements from effecting it year to year. I'd probably get to it at least twice a year. Maybe more in the future when actually using it to get away on the weekends.

    EDIT: As far as the taxes go I'd like to find wherever would be cheapest within a one hour radius from my AO. I guess a realtor would be able to help with that.


    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  4. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    If it's in a desirable location you can always contract with a management company and rent it out week-to-week. At least it will defer a lot (if not most) of the ongoing costs.
  5. TangoFoxtrot

    TangoFoxtrot OIF 04-05

    Sep 10, 2008
    Nowhereville, USA
    If your going to invest in land as a BOL make sure first off its affordable, defendable, within a reasonable distance and easy to get to. Start off slow and add to your investment within your means.
  6. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)
    Upkeep really depends on a couple of things.

    1. What are you looking for? Do you want a second home, do you want a rustic cabin retreat, or are you looking for a NBC capable hardened structure for a EOTW retreat.

    2. Location: Houses in places that get lots of rain/snow etc need to be taken care of/visited and maintained more than places that don't.

    Secondly, temperatures in those places can influence what they need. If it has to be winterized/dewinterized as you come and go, because of freezing temps that can be a hassle.

    3. Complexity: What do you want? a full on house replacement, with solar panels, a well, shop etc requires alot more infrastructure and upkeep than a simple A-frame cabin with wood heat, and no power/running water.

    4. Size: Fairly straight forward, the bigger you go, the more upkeep and requirements you have. More water for plumbing, more fuel for heat....

    We have a house in the city, a lake house, and a BOL/cabin. All take different amounts of upkeep. the cabin is almost a set it and forget it setup. small A-frame/chalet mix floor plan that sheds snow, has wood heat, and fairly straight forward plumbing (2 sinks 1 toilet, shower less than 30 feet of tube in the house.)

    What you need to do is set your goals (realistically) and then work towards them.
  7. You could live in a van down by the river.
  8. R_W


    Nov 8, 2007
    First, one hour from where you are now? Either move there full time and commute (pain, but run the numbers) or extend your radius. Most "events" you would want to escape would probably affect both locations.

    Unoccupied houses degrade faster than rentals. Abuse is better than neglect in this case. But it isn't a good BOL if everyone knows about it. I have known guys that tried to rent their lake homes, it didn't go very well--his take was almost enough to cover the extra insurance he had to buy.

    Rodents are always a problem. Frozen pipes are often a problem. Both can be minimized with by a strict close-up procedure.

    If you aren't willing to go weekly or at least monthly, it is NOT worth it unless you know you want THAT land eventually.

    If you are serious about twice a year--buy the land and a good tent. Conex box for storing stuff--but it will still get bugs and mice in it and probably stolen.
  9. G29Reload

    G29Reload Tread Lightly

    Sep 28, 2009
    HAving a BOL does not make sense if you cannot secure it, and unattended land and buildings can be vandalized.

    Plus, you saddle yourself with having an investment in two properties.

    You live in PA so there are opportunities for cheap land.

    The best bargain you can make to eliminate or radically reduce vandalism, etc is to examine your employment situation.

    Decide what is the FARTHEST you can go to perform a reasonable commute, considering if you make a decent paycheck you are likely near a population center you don't want to be at if the balloon goes up.

    Or if you can move to an area that provides the substantial paycheck you need, but is near a sparsely populated are that would make a BOL.

    Then, LIVE at your BOL and make it your home. Tune your GHB to the conditions and distance you need to make it home if things break loose while you're at work. Set up your shelter, HAM radio, garden, water system, hunting paths, etc and work on that full time as your hobby.

    8 hours of work a day, 2 hours commuting, 1 each way = 10 hours a day.
    5 work days = 50 hours a week.

    So, 2/3 of your week is spent at your BOL, which also allows you to work on it, be there, update on threats, trespassers, etc. You're consolidated to one piece of property to contain costs.

    If you're in an outlying area, you're likely reducing your property taxes, so you can even accept a lesser paycheck if necessary.

    At the first sign of trouble, call in sick and hunker down. Manage your leave time and keep an eye on world and national events. Your set up will not guarantee all is cool because you could get caught at work in some fast moving event,, but your setup leaves you hedged in favor of being home already. Heck even half your commute or 5 hours a week means you are halfway home or closer.

    You don't want to have to bug out to a BOL. Everyone will too if its bad enough, and you'll just be stuck in traffic.
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  10. Akita

    Akita gone

    Jul 22, 2002
    Live at BOL and either rent near work or live in an RV part there.
  11. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)
    I don't know about in the lower 48, but I wouldn't consider 1 hour out of a major city as a legitimate BOL.

    If something does go down, 1 hour isn't much a of a buffer zone, even if they're leaving the city by foot. Especially since you're likely talking down a well marked road.

    I would look for a chunk of land, off a unmarked dirt road, or logging road, that you can't see from the main road. (have to know something's in that direction)
  12. poodleshooter1


    May 3, 2005
    I don't think a fixed BOL is the way to go. Being mobile and able to setup anywhere is where it's at. It's one thing to own land for storage, but another to have a BOL setup with gear, etc. only to find out that it's been burglarized in your absence. I'm thinking RV or as mentioned, good tent. Heck, I go camping in a tent in the PNW mountains in the middle of winter, snow and all. It works pretty damn good.
  13. kirgi08

    kirgi08 Watcher. Silver Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    Acme proving grounds.
    EMT,I started a thread called "decisions" in the S/P.All the properties are paid for,taxes are funded and we've been using/enjoying them.I would have pmd you,you've had other concerns.'08.
  14. AK_Stick

    AK_Stick AAAMAD

    Jan 20, 2004
    Alaska, again (for now)

    I think it really depends on your location, and what you're BO from.

    a mobile BOL has a fairly significant set of downsides as well.

    If its some sort of civil disorder, roads will most likely be clogged, unless you're very early getting off. It also means you're restricted to staying on/close to the roads.

    With an RV, it means you're stuck to very well maintained roads, as they just won't take extensive offroading and their size makes taking them offroad a difficult venture for the most part.

    An RV requires its own maintenance, upkeep, and is also very susceptible to theft/attacks.

    With a BOL, you can have all that stored, and have a much larger base of preps already set for your arrival but as we all know have their own drawbacks/issues.
  15. Donn57

    Donn57 Just me

    Aug 11, 2006
    Sunny Florida
    There is no way that a mobile BOL can possibly have enough room for significant prep supplies unless you're only considering short term scenarios.
  16. emt1581

    emt1581 Curious Member

    Oct 17, 2002
    Penn's Woods
    Other concerns...that's an understatement. :crying:

  17. cowboy1964


    Sep 4, 2009
    Well, almost all of those mobile disadvantages apply to fixed BOLs as well. You still have to get to the fixed BOL. If roads are a problem, they're a problem. This fantasy some have of traveling 500 miles offroad is just that, a fantasy. At least here in the east.
  18. 07hemi4me


    Feb 27, 2010
    My wife and I have 3 places, Or home we live in with the kids, a home ~50 miles away out on Lake Okeechobee and a home in the mountains of East Tennessee, 750 miles away.

    Taxes- My taxes on my 2, we will say vacation homes are less than my main home are so I do not consider that bad.

    Upkeep -

    TN - 28 acres and a log cabin. I pay a friend to cut my lawn and keep the place looking lived in in TN. We only get to spend 3-4 weeks a yr at this place, my MIL and FIL also spend a few months up there, their cabin/land is next to ours, so they also keep an eye on the place. I also keep the AC and heat on year round, so we have utility bills. Have a alarm here since we are not there that much. I will retire here.

    FL - Small house on a small waterfront lot. We try to get out there every week, but sometimes it is 2 weeks, I have the neighbors kid mow and weed the yard and they keep an eye on the place. I keep the AC on here in the summer and we have city water which a few $ month. We keep our boat here so I try to get out and fish often.

    It really is not allot of $$ to keep the places up and lived in, it is a must to have good friends of family though to help.
  19. Lone Hunter

    Lone Hunter

    Feb 12, 2001
    In the lower 48 an hour is about it in many places.That would mean cities 2 hours apart...Which in my state does not happen......
    Buffalo is an hour from Rochester , Rochester is an hour from Syracuse, Syracuse is 2 or so from Albany, which is 2 or so from NYC . So really a half hour out of Buffalo would be a half hour out of Rochester . If I go an hour south I can be in the sticks and hills of the Southern tier. But then a ton of guys form the cities have hunting camps there as well .But then the locals pick them clean in good times....

    Almost all in the US live less then one tank of gas form a major city .Many many much closer.
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  20. Angel


    Jan 4, 2000
    A second home is not as expensive as people think. A second home across the street from the beach for example. On my block they recently sold a 2/2 900sqft concrete block on concrete slab house with a small yard on a corner lot across the street from the beach for $132K. Taxes and insurance are $5K a year. You can rent it out for high season (jan - mar) for $5K and use it the rest of the year or rent it full time $1100 and up a month. Figure with a 30 yr loan and good credit you can rent it out and make money or pay very little for an asset you can use ($750 PIT +400 ins= 1150 month payment=13,800 yr-rent high season 5K= 8,800 or 733 a month out of pocket.) 30 yrs later it is paid off and you can retire there.