Bunker down: preparing for the worst

Bunker down: preparing for the worst

There has been a movement over the past decade or so that you may have become aware of. It involves people who want their homes (and themselves) to be prepared in case a natural disaster or man-made catastrophe were to strike and they would need to be self-reliant for an extended period of time.

The people — a minority of homeowners to be sure — who like to be prepared for the worst case scenarios out there are called ‘preppers.’

Since we do our best to cover all things related to the real estate industry for REALTORS®, we thought it’d be best to give you a quick breakdown of prepper real estate trends in case you ever ended up with a customer with these kinds of needs on his or her wish list.

They’re generally wealthy
The people who are exploring preparations for doomsday scenarios are generally the very well-to-do. Beyond perhaps stacking up on non-perishable food, those of more modest means, including the upper middle-class, do not have the money to prepare for an apocalypse.

They want safe rooms
One result of the increased anxiety over the state of national and global politics is a surge in demand for panic rooms, in which homeowners can lock themselves up and protect themselves from invaders, rioters or others who may wish them harm.

Tom Gaffney, CEO of Gaffco Ballistics, which provides safe rooms, says that demand for his company’s services rose 30% last year. The bullet-proof and radiation-proof chambers he provides cost between $250,000 to $1.5 million, according to an article in REALTOR® Magazine.

They’re looking for storage space
Beyond guarding themselves against attackers, preppers are looking for reliable spaces in their homes to store food and other necessities that will sustain them for an extended period of time. A walk-in closet is not going to suffice for a die-hard prepper. He or she will likely prefer a large amount of dedicated space in a cellar or a bunker.

They’re thinking “off the grid”
The best way to ensure that you’re kept safe from whatever danger awaits modern society is to remove yourself from it as much as possible. That’s why some monied home-seekers are looking for properties in rural areas that are unlikely to be prime targets of an angry mob or opportunistic rioters.

They need long-term food solutions
While space to stock up on canned beans and tuna might be part of a prepper’s strategy, he or she knows that is only a short-term solution. To survive long-term outside the reach of modern society, they’ll have to be able to live off the land surrounding them. That means being able to grow their own fruits, vegetables and possibly raise livestock.

Energy sources
Even the preppers who aren’t focused on the potential of a climate or energy-related catastrophe are sensitive when finding ways to heat and light their homes in the event the commercial system, that most of us rely on, breaks down. Many preppers are interested in homes equipped with innovative, renewable energy solutions, such as wind and solar-powered systems to produce electricity.

Have you had any experience with preppers? Have any good tips on them? Share your insight in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter!

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