I have heard many people chat about their desire to “escape the craziness” that is mainstream life in many parts of the world today. Throughout history, humans and other critters have looked for greener pastures. While I do not have a “solution” I hope that I can help by leading a conversation about it. This idea of humans figuring out ways to live happy lives around other humans they like isn’t a new idea.
- The general idea many people dream about is to buy a hunk of land and then subdivide it into a community, selling/renting/leasing only to people who are of like mind. I will call this, “Option A.“
- Other ideas have been for folks to move in a decentralized way to a general area. Galt’s Gulch in Ayn’s mind, Salt Lake City in the 1800’s, the Free State Movements in WY and NH and many other ideas have been floated and tried. I will call this, “Option B.“
One thought I have would be for a couple people to start their preferred versions of Option A’s, and perhaps other folks would simply choose to move nearby in Option B style?
My general area of interest, from a stoic perspective, is actual sustainability (not the UN cult’s kind). Can I survive without government-controlled electricity, Amazon Prime deliveries, cable TV, government-provided water & sewer etc? Do I really want to wash clothes on an old washboard, bathe only once a week and turn to Patchouli Oil to hide the odor? Can I still visit my grandchildren in AZ when national borders are closed? How can I arrange my living circumstances to have as agorist of a lifestyle as possible?
Many of us have daydreams, and few act. Of those who “act” most are not successful and well backed business-folks, so 90% of them will probably fail. My purpose in starting this conversation is to help develop a body of anecdotal knowledge that can alert future dreamers to possible pitfalls, problems, benefits and issues deserving of contemplation. Please send an email to me shepard at this website domain, with ideas that I can add! I have certainly missed many. As any of us centrally plan, we should not expect it to work well as things scale. Some of the issues I have observed include:
- Financial – minimum buy-in
- Getting Along / CC&R’s
- Project Management
Before we get into that, this is a series of videos we are doing:
- How “free” and safe is the jurisdiction in terms of Italian Mafia, governments and street gangs?
- Use this tool to narrow in on what is important to you: https://www.freedominthe50states.org/personalize
- Job market. Many people seeking a new life don’t have enough pennies saved up, and need to continue earning money. Cherry Creek Nevada is affordable and has a good climate, but the nearest “jobs” are hours away. San Francisco has jobs but falls short in other ways.
- The climate that I assume NH has is not of interest, same with Wyoming, Idaho, MT, ND etc.
- I want most days to be over 25*F and most days to be under 85*F.
- Do “State Subdivision Laws” prevent legal subdivision?
- Year round access?
- Electrical and/or gas power to the property?
I suggest that an absolute minimum to make an Option A work would be a buy-in of $50k or $100k. While there might be a section that allowed car-camping, I would not be interested in having the property become a burning man or Rainbow Festival type place. I would love it though if a bunch of anarcho-capitalist hippies bought a commune just down the block.
Many people who are good at philosophy are not good at “adulting” and life management / wealth, creation. I might love these people and want them to be my neighbors, but they have not organized their lives in a way to be able to afford to buy. How do we get these awesome people to be part of our community while not enabling them to become “welfare cases?” Should a minimum buy-in be a good tool to keep the property from becoming a homeless camp? Like, take a year, learn a skill, work in that skill another year and you will have some $$$. I like the idea of a monetary threshold.
If a few original investors each put in $100k or $200k, and then decide to back out a year later, what happens to the project if a mutually acceptable buyer is not found to buy them out?
An exit plan is vital.
Any plan should have a clear summary description of the most important questions an investor will have. What exactly do I get for exactly how much money?
- I am not a hippie minimalist. I was reared for many years without electricity , running water, telephone or a car. I can do it, but I much prefer modern conveniences. I like my Coffeemate Sugar-free hazelnut creamer with my Dunkin Doughnuts French Vanilla coffee. lol
- How do retired physicians who prefer country club amenities and hippies who simply want to poop in holes while smoking weed all get along together?
- How do hard-core vegan raw food agrarians deal with pig farmers next door?
- How “big tent” should the community be? Should well-intentioned but unread folks be allowed to be in our community?
- Ernie Hancock asks three great questions about any community. 1)What do I have to do? 2)What can’t I do? 3)What is the dispute resolution plan?
Getting Along / CC&R’s
- What if an owner in our community perpetrates a victimless crime and the gummint comes for them, what would our community expect of us?
- Who will build the roads?
- May a person renting a $10/week campsite teach trumpet lessons at 2am?
- What circumstances would allow members to contact violent outside entities as informants? Rape, of course, and murder, but what about illegal pot smoking or non-compliance to mask mandates?
- When married couples cheat or swing, and breakups and deaths of old age happen, how will property transfers be handled?
- If Larken Rose buys a lot and lives there for a year, then decides to sell to Bernard Sanders, what measures should be in place to be sure the neighborhood doesn’t go to hell? How intellectually consistent would a person have to be in terms of the NAP, and what would the system be fore measurement?
- What can go wrong?
Legal – Land Dev
Are there places in the US in which I could buy a couple hundred acres with a couple investors, and without giving the state a bond or plan for development, easily subdivide and sell off 1 acre, 5 acre, 10 acre and 40 acre tracts to like minded folks? An example of the problem.
Should the original investor simply structure the place to rent or lease portions of properties to others? Townhome versus condo versus apartment…
Obviously, no savvy investor will buy into the project unless their investment is safe, so the distasteful task of complying with mafia, government and other local gang’s is a “must” for me. In other words, if laws only allow 2 homes on a parcel; that is what I will stick to. I want to escape tyranny as much as possible, not prove a point.
It would be prudent to be VERY cautious. There are likely many well-intentioned incompetents as well as scam artists. Keep in mind the concept of “Where are the Customer’s Yachts?”
If Option A, an experienced project manager will be needed who has a record of business and development success. Like, all of us can dream and study and write, but I don’t trust my money with anyone who isn’t demonstrating success. I know that I don’t know what I don’t know, and I have seen my share of inflated resumés, so I am very cautious…
All projects cost 30% more than expected and take 30% longer than anticipated. Occupancy rates are always far less than hoped, etc. Projections are always wrong. When considering business stuff, discipline is a must.
Any Option A that is successful will probably be labeled a “Domestic Terrorism Training Cell” and will be seized by the government and sold to support their war on illiteracy, virus, the scary Canadians or whatever the war of the day is. This is an argument for Option B or C.
*I don’t vouch for any of these, they are just ones that are “in the works.”
- Ozark project Valiant by Jim Davidson & Mike Swatek.
- I think this Galt’s Gulch Chile idea failed? https://galtsgulchchile.com