What’s yours is mine

In a “What’s yours is mine” move, police and sheriff departments across the country have been seizing assets from drug dealers and other malcontents for years by using what is known as “civil forfeiture laws”.  Who could object?  Such crooks shouldn’t be allowed to keep their ill gotten gain.  Right?  But what about when they come for yours?

Sadly over the past several years, innocent citizens have been stripped of cash, cars and other assets in their possession during otherwise routine traffic stops.  Under these laws, law enforcement officers can immediately seize cash, silver and gold coins, firearms and even the car WITHOUT charging the driver with a crime or there being any indication the driver is involved in any crime.  Unfortunately, these laws are ripe for abuse as police departments have been using them as a revenue stream.

If this all sounds very draconian, or like fake news, do some research.  Just this week Attorney General Jeff Sessions signed an order expanding the ability of agencies to circumvent state laws intended to curb the abuse.  You don’t have to be charged with a crime, much less convicted in order to have your possessions taken.  To rub further salt in the wound, because this involves a civil case, the accused are not given legal counsel as in criminal cases with a public defender.  The result is that often times, the legal fees necessary to recover one’s possessions often exceed the value of the items.

On February 27th, 2016 in Muskogee County, Oklahoma, the manager of a Taiwanese Christian band was pulled over for a broken tail light.  He was carrying $53,000 cash from concerts and donations to a Thai orphanage and school in Burma.  With no criminal record and no drug paraphernalia or illegal drugs in the vehicle, the sheriff’s department questioned him for six hours before releasing him, but kept the cash citing it was obviously drug money and then charged him with a felony.  Click here to watch the video and read a full report from the nonprofit Institute for Justice.  The cases run from $500 to tens of thousands, and don’t think it can’t happen to you.

So why include this topic on a real estate web site?  Because most folks involved in prepping, homesteading or disaster preparedness keep large amounts of cash and coinage, and also own firearms.  On more than one occasion, I’ve been a little nervous driving to my shooting range with various firearms and ammunition in the back (all legally owned) as a highway patrolman passed by.  Unfortunately, there’s not a lot you can do if a corrupt lawman wants the goods.  As Jeff Sessions has signaled, this well intended practice is likely to only become more and more abusive.  So be careful out on the road as you drive up to our beautiful mountains to find the perfect bugout property (such as this off the grid homestead or this one with two homes on 8 acres) where you can bury all that hard earned cash and gold!

Active Prepping Community

One of the benefits of living where I do is that there is a very supportive and active prepping community.  One of the gems of this area is Carolina Readiness Supply in Waynesville.  If you’ve been a subscriber for a while, you know I’ve mentioned them before.  Well, I just got an email announcement from Jan over at the store about the upcoming seminar titled “Threats and Solutions“.

Its an all day event held at the Lake Junaluska Conference Center’s Shackford Hall on July 22nd there in Waynesville (45 minutes west of Asheville).  This seminar features six different speakers including Dr. Bill Forstchen, author of “One Second After”; Scott Hunt, founder of Practical Preppers and youtube favorite Engineer775; Alan Kay, winner of the History Channel’s hit show “Alone”; and others.

Tickets are $20.  This is a great one day event that I highly recommend.


New Prepper Homestead

This new prepper homestead is an excellent option for those looking for a property with two residences, lots of water, privacy and good gardening area.  Located between Fontana Lake and Bryson City, about an hour and a half southeast of Asheville, this property features a very comfortable log home and a well cared for doublewide manufactured home on 8+ acres with a approximately two acres of pasture and garden area.  One of the nicest features is a very large creek that flows through the property, providing irrigation, drinking water (after filtering) and possibly power generation, not to mention a defensible barrier.

For full details click here to read all about it and see photos.  Note:  more photos coming soon.

Without Power

Yesterday afternoon, a brief but violent storm blew through our town and suddenly we were without power.  It was a sobering reminder of how dependent we are on the power grid.  Your whole mindset has to shift.  You go to turn on a light, only to realize it won’t work.  You go to the fridge to get something, but stop to think, “Do I really need to let that cool air out just for some left over lasagna?”  “How long will the water stay hot in the water heater?”  “Where are the flashlights?”  Everything changes.

It was relatively benign during the daylight hours, but once darkness set it, it took on a more surreal feeling.  While we knew the outage was limited to a small area and the power would likely return in a relatively short time (obviously), it nonetheless was a sobering reminder of how quickly the world can be flipped upside down.

We went to a friend’s house that had power so we could charge up phones and laptops.  On the way home after sundown, the most striking thing was the sudden darkness as we approached the area in which we live.  We noticed was how easily we could see who had candles or flashlights inside their homes.  They stood out like sore thumbs.  It was a good reminder that in a grid down situation, we need to maintain “light control”, meaning, if we are using our lights inside while everyone else is out of power, we must black out the windows.  Getting out of the vehicle, my first thought was to shine our flashlights around the area because I realized just how easily it would be for someone to surprise us in the darkness.  We live in a safe area and since the power outage was only a few hours old, I felt there was little risk of crime.  But if the power had been out for weeks, criminal elements would be looking for just this kind of opportunity.

But this situation also provided the opportunity to test out my Goal Zero Solar Generator and associated lighting.  I took it out of my EMP container, plugged in a couple of lights and suddenly we had all the interior lighting we needed (see above photo).  Again, we knew we weren’t in a serious situation, but the relief and comfort of having lighting has an incredible psychological impact.  Candles are fine, but they are a fire hazard.  Flashlights are fine, but they are limited in area of effect.  But the Goal Zero lights and generator can make a darkened home feel like home again.  I highly recommend it or you should get something similar.  You can read my previous product review here.

So although it was certainly an inconvenience, I’m grateful to have had the experiential reminder to always be prepared.  This was just a short lived event, but had it been a regional outage due to a cyber attack or natural disaster, the whole feeling would be different.  We presently have several excellent properties listed that can be totally off the grid, and know of other properties that can provide what you need to survive without electricity.  So contact us today to set up a time to see some of these mountain bugout properties, and get prepared.



Celebrating Your Liberty

On this July 4th, I hope you are celebrating your liberty.  After all, its been paid for by the blood and sacrifice of countless Americans so that you can enjoy more than hot dogs, fireworks and a day at the beach.  One of the things our forefathers and others purchased with that blood was our guarantee of personal privacy via the Fourth Amendment.  Sadly, we find ourselves in a country under constant surveillance with our privacy and freedoms being gradually eroded away either in the name of security (as in protecting us against terrorism) or in the name of convenience (as in electronic transactions rather than cash purchases).

I recently read the book “Shadow Government” by Grant Jeffery and was stunned with what I discovered; and the book was written in 2009, so who knows how much further things have progressed.  It sounds like science fiction, but its backed up with footnotes and references to source documents, so its accurate.  In a nutshell, go ahead and assume that every one of your phone calls, text messages, emails and electronic purchases or banking transactions are recorded and filtered for key words the various agencies consider “markers” of unsavory activity.  Yes, that amounts to billions of electronic records every day.  Think these agencies don’t have enough memory storage or capacity to track them all?  Think again.  The very technology that provides you more computing power in your three year old iPhone than that which powered the entire Apollo space missions is the same technology on steroids in the hands of these various agencies.  How many agencies?

There are over 17 documented federal level intelligence agencies that all want to know your business.  Everyone knows the biggies such as the CIA, NSA and FBI or Homeland Security.  But how about the Treasury’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis or the Department of Energy’s Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, or the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, not to mention the intelligence arms of each branch of the armed services?  Months ago I read “Top Secret America”, written by Washington Post reporter Dana Priest which goes into great depth about all these various agencies and their unchecked growth over the past ten years and the hundreds of thousands they employ.  He reveals there are over 1,200 sub-agencies and private corporations collaborating with the government in the accumulation of your data.  But one of the most disturbing aspects was that although they are all supposed to be working toward the same goal, they don’t communicate or share information as you’d think they would.  So here we have this enormous bureaucracy with all this power and all this technology and untold billions to spend with little oversight gathering every bit of possible information on you.  Its crazy and it doesn’t bode well for you if you should get somebody mad at you.  Think about it.

So what’s the point of all this?  Basically, there’s little you or I can do to keep prying eyes away, so I’ve just accepted it and live with it.  After all, I already assume I’m on “the list” of these agencies.  But having a totally off the grid bugout property could be a real asset in helping protect your privacy, at least locally.  So call us today and let us help you find that ideal North Carolina mountain property that will help you bugout from the rest of the world.  (and we promise not to share your location with any of these seventeen, or 1,200)  In the meantime, put on the sunscreen and don’t O.D. on the hot dogs and ice cream this Fourth of July!  Happy Birthday America!


Avoid The Bugs When Bugging Out

Here are some tips for ticks this season.  In this business, I spend a lot of time hiking through woods, pastures, climbing over downed trees, grassy fields and old barns.  As a result, its not uncommon to get home and find one or two hitchhikers.  Yes ticks, those creepy disgusting leeches that like to grab on to your pants leg and then eventually your legs themselves.  But you don’t have to be out walking mountain survival properties to get them.  Just attending a picnic at the park could do it.

Anyone who’s found one on their person knows the revolting sensation of seeing it crawling along, or much worse with its head burrowing into the skin  Just looking at the above photo makes you want to exit this page, doesn’t it?  Yikes!  As creepy as they are, the worst thing is that they might be carrying Lyme Disease.  Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you already know that Lyme Disease can be a very debilitating condition that will stay with you for life and can even kill.

But there are many ways to reduce your risk to ticks and subsequently, to Lyme Disease.  Click here for an excellent article on the subject.  I thought I already knew plenty about ticks and preventing them from hoping on board, but I learned a few things in this article.  Remember that if the grid goes down, and we’re without all the wonders of modern medicine, it won’t matter a bit if you have the most defensible bugout property or ten years worth of long term food stored up if you can be debilitated by something as small as a tick that’s smaller than a grain of rice.  So when you’re out walking bugout properties, don’t come home with one of those bugs!

30 Acre Bugout Property

Enjoy a fantastic private view

We just took the private listing for a 30 acre bugout property.  Its an absolutely beautiful property with all that one needs for a secure, resource rich prepper property.  Click here to view the entire listing.  Located in the Nantahala National Forest, approximately an hour and a half west of Asheville, its surprisingly accessible, yet totally hidden from view and located on a lightly traveled country road.  Ideal for farming, homesteading, solar power, grazing and security.  Take look at our newest listing.

Ultimate Sustainable Survival Property

Stream beside garden

For the ultimate sustainable survival property, look no further.  I had the pleasure of meeting an electro-mechanical engineer who has built a most complete survival, off the grid property for his family in the far reaches of western North Carolina, and fortunately for you, he is looking to sell.

Click here to read all about it and see photos.  It is truly a well-balanced, all round property being totally energy independent with a micro-hydro electric generator, solar battery system, wood fired hot water system, abundant garden, chicken coop, and tons of secret features.  Surrounded by like minded neighbors who communicate with one another using Baofeng handheld HAM radios, its off the beaten path in a secure and beautifully scenic area of our mountains.

The house itself is as normal looking as any you’ll find and is exceptionally comfortable and well built.  Offering four bedrooms with two full baths and an attached two car garage.  The grounds are well landscaped and the wildlife is plentiful.  Click here for details or call us to schedule a private showing.  Due to various security measures built into the property, only qualified individuals agreeing to a confidentiality statement will be allowed to view this property.  At $325,000, it is priced well below replacement cost.  So now is your chance to benefit from years of labor by others.

Busy Weekend

A busy weekend and week has put me behind in posting.  But I’m not complaining.  This weekend saw two more listings go to contract: the Sustainable Farm and Holcombe Farm properties.  Neither of these properties were on the market for more than 45 days which goes to show that buyers are out there looking for resource rich properties priced right.  In fact, I showed the Sustainable Farm 13 times.

Equally promising is the amount of calls I’m receiving from folks looking to list their properties for sale.  At present, I have two appointments this week to inspect properties in Hayesville and Hot Springs followed by another next week in Bryson City.  They all three sound like very good retreat or bugout properties.  In one of them, the owners tell me that it is totally off-grid and if necessary, they could live there for years without ever leaving the property.  Now that’s being self-sufficient.

So keep checking back for new listings and call us if you wish to come up and see others not on our website.  Retreat Realty is a member of MLS systems that cover ten western North Carolina counties.  We’d enjoy helping you find that perfect homestead or off the grid property.

Day of Remembrance

Memorial Day is a day of remembrance during which we remember those who have given their all and thank those among us who have lost loved ones in the service of our nation.  Some folks confuse it with Veterans Day, which has its own honorable date on the calendar, but this is the day for the fallen.  So whether you’re taking the day off from your labors or are at the workplace, please remember and thank God for those who gave their lives so that you might enjoy yours in freedom.  I have a friend at this very moment who has been in a Turkish prison since October solely because he is a Christian.  It is an unjust situation in what is rapidly becoming a dictatorship nation.  What he and his wife would give for him to enjoy just a fraction of the freedoms you and I will enjoy this day.  This has helped remind me to not take ours for granted.  Although we have all manner of problems and strife in this nation, it is still the greatest on the face of the earth.  Let us always remember.