When planning a retreat property, you must consider many factors. Foremost on the list should be security. If the property isn’t defensible or well hidden, it won’t matter how many resources it offers or how comfortable it may be for your family. That is, what good is it to have a beautiful home with a stream and garden, if its within plain view?
Many ill-informed persons think placing a house high up on a mountainside is the best option. Yes, there are some benefits from being perched on high where one can view the countryside. However, if you can see down below, they can see you up above. This becomes especially true at night if you happen to have lights on. If the grid is down, and you have a generator running lights at night up on a hill, or even lanterns, guess where all eyes will be looking?
Nope, its better to be off the beaten path on a nondescript road that is well away from major highways. In a situation of civil unrest, the cities will empty first with unprepared refugees following interstates and major highways looking for refuge. You need to be at least a few miles from these thoroughfares, and even better, off another secondary road. The less inviting and well traveled that road, the better.
It is best if the house is totally out of view from the road. Down at the roadside, a locked farm gate should be all there is: no mailbox to identify the property as a residence. Of course the county 911 system will require that street numbers be posted in view of a public right-of-way; however, if the grid goes down, so do the street numbers. Ideally the entrance to the property should provide a choke point that forces anyone approaching to go that route. With proper planning, you can set up battery operated remote sensors to alert you if anyone is approaching. This leads to the next discussion, that of surrounding neighbors and properties.
So as you search for a retreat property, first look at it from a security position, then look at the resources it offers and then the comforts of home.