Buying land vs. squatting


#1

So I’ve spent the last year and a half or so working so I could aquire some property. After looking around at prices and taking some trips to look at land I started to have second thoughts. People desrve to be free. Why should I have to buy my way in? I don’t really believe in land ownership. It’s just stupid civ bs. Enough with fences and gates and property. You either use it or abuse it. I have always inherently refrained from long term financial obligations mainly because I don’t like being tied down. I have decided to go to Peru this summer instead and when I return I will either find a squat or community to live in. I was wondering what everyone’s thought were on the subject of buying land vs squatting?


#2

I’ve wondered about it. I don’t have experience with either option, but I’ve considered moving frequently, staying subtle, and relying mostly on public land. I figure if I get found by any kind of law enforcement person, they’d probably just make me leave or hit me with a small fine. My current WIP plan is to try it for a summer (maybe next year) and see how it goes. I don’t think I could possibly get enough land to make that viable, unless I inherit all of my grandparents’ land, and so far they seem intent on giving that to the other side of the family, because they’ve bought 5 cars in 5 months and need to sell the logging rights to get out of debt. Fucking hell I hate them.


#3

There’s folks squatting, there’s folks buying land. The rewilder/hoopster consensus so far seems to be that squatting can be done but it’s a dog’s life that is difficult to make truly sweet. What is needed is for enough folks to buy land that squatters have a series/network of refuges to get out from the intense pressure exerted by everyday citizens, law enforcement, military planes buzzing your wickiup, and semi trucks spooking your horses.

That’s at least the story from here in the Pacific Northwest of the USA.


#4

I’m not super worried about the purity of not buying land versus the practicality of squatting. If one can make squatting land work, great. If one can afford to buy land without working a job that is destroying as much as one’ll be capable of saving, great.


#5

I’m with Willem on this one. It certainly would be ideal if we could all live a nomadic, seasonal, light, and harmonized life, but our contemporary situation makes this impossible. If all rewilders were to forever remain squatters, then I’d imagine eventually we’d have nowhere at all to go. All the wild lands would be protected from anyone whatsoever - a good idea, perhaps, considering the disgracefulness of so many towards the land, but for those of us who can walk “with and not on” the world this would be an awful condition. If not protected, they would be under the possession of someone - a corporation, and individual, the government, whoever. The likelihood any such owner would be friendly to a rewilder is, unfortunately, unlikely. If we don’t today begin to establish a network of havens and human habitats [https://sites.google.com/site/humanhabitatproject/] then future generations of rewilders and folks who are waking up to the tragedy of our times will have nowhere to go.


#6

Same here, to buy land just means that you likely have a bit more influence on what will happen there. You have the responsibility to tend it well. Like the rest of the Earth, whether you own it or not. So my husband and I also grow a food and crafts forest.


#7

In the country where I live, squatting is now a criminal offence that can land you into jail. As a result some people have died from exposure to the cold.
We have to thank the imbeciles we have at the government for it.


#8

I’m fine with just myself squatting, I was for awhile before I got my trailer and I still do when I feel like going out, but I agree it’s too impractical nowadays with most of the land urbanized and polluted. Especially for larger groups, because more people draw more attention. My mate and I, who currently live semi-separately, already have the money for a 15 acre plot of Ozarks forest; we’re currently saving for the cabin and fence. 2 acres will be fenced in and cleared just enough for said cabin plus garden, greenhouse, and infirmary, while the rest of the land will be rewilded and treated with love. We don’t claim to wanna “own” our land, though legally we will; rather, we seek to protect what family we can, whether they be defenseless woodland or domesticated parents, from forces that seek to do harm. Maybe it’s noble, maybe it’s a cheap excuse to exert ownership, but either way, it’s the plan.


#9

I think it depends on what you want to achive - to preserve land for other species (and make sure that public developers or private owners do not turn it into tarmac or buildings) or have a relatively care-free life for yourself, or a combination of both. Generally, it seems to me that in most Western countries with strong tradition of private property rights if your objective is primarily the first one, it makes sense (as much as you may hate the capitalist system of accumulation, commodification, etc) and if you cna afford it (which, in my context of the Netherlands, is tricky) to buy land.


#10

I own land but would like to network little hunting and staying shelters throughout the territory I have my land and cabin. As in all the state land, have little pockets picked out for potentially staying long term. My land isn’t the most ideal, 60 yards from a gravel road, ina. Corn field, but it’s not near any major highways nor towns, my taxes are never more than 200 a year, which honestly just odd jobs I’ve covered within two weeks of working little as possible. I despise full time work. With land your legal, less likely to be messed wih by anyone and you do gain a sense of security, especially if your someone who as wel has spent lots of time on the road sleeping trespassing etc


#11
As I understand it, "squatting" is taking over a house or building - I did that once, with some other people. We lived rent-free for a while, but there were hassles. Taking over land and establishing residence and farming is "homesteading" and I've never done that. I knew a guy who lived in the National Forest for a few years. Occasionally someone from the Forest Service would tell him he had to move his camp, so he would relocate to another site 50 yards away. One could theoretically live that way indefinitely.
 At 49, I recently got my first credit card, because before I can buy a house I have to establish credit.  I'm mildly disgusted with the whole situation, but I'm very much more disgusted with renting and having to put up with landlords, and having nothing to show for the money spent. I've been poor my whole life, but I was consoled by the fact that I didn't owe anybody anything. I was surprised when I started wanting to buy a house - I had a similar experience a few years back when I started wanting to be a father - those two things are certainly connected. If I buy a property, I can give it to my kid, providing her with a place to live or something to sell. 
 I think the biggest argument for buying is the established fact that landowners make the rules. That has been true for as long as human beings have had the idea of land ownership. It ain't likely to change anytime soon. Owning means having a greater degree of freedom within one's property lines. It also means incurring debt and having to deal with bureaucrats, but those are almost unavoidable. If enough like-minded individuals buy land, they might be able to establish a critical mass and affect real change - I ain't gonna stay up late waiting for that to happen. 
 So, I'll take on a mortgage and work the rest of my life to pay it off. Then I'll give my kid something. Ultimately, it isn't about me. I've procreated - my biological imperative - and now I'm just around to nurture my offspring. She's going to grow up in a world dominated by corruption and unjust hierarchies with all the unforeseeable problems of climate change. Least I can do is leave her a place to sleep and a shotgun to defend it.

#12

Residing (squatting) on public land is illegal no matter how you look at it. I am a Law Enforcement Officer and we get alot of squatters on the forest. Most, not all, are very dirty, nasty people. They leave behind their trash, human waist, scattered canned foods and all sorts of garbage. Many of them leave used needles and other drug usage paraphernalia. It is an ongoing battle to keep these people off the forest. Some argue that you get 14 days to “camp”. This is true…if you’re camping. If you are working in town and coming back to the forest to “camp” every day…you are residing. If you are in between homes and have no where to call home and staying on the forest…you are residing. If you do not have a place to receive your mail and you are staying on the forest…you are residing. People who come to the forest to get away from their everyday life (IE…their jobs, their homes, etc) and want to enjoy the outdoors are camping. If we allowed everybody to live on public lands it would be a disaster and others who want to enjoy our lands would not be able to. I am very lenient when I come across homeless people and people between jobs. I give them time and try to point them in the right direction as far as where to go to search for jobs or who offers shelter in the area. The fine for residing is $250 plus a $30 service charge under 36 CFR 261.10. I know most of these people cannot afford that so many times I try to help them and avoid handing out that ticket.


#13

ehuie - thanx for clarification. The guy I mentioned was residing in the Nat’l Forest - apparently illegally. He was a drunk, but not one who would leave garbage around. Law enforcement probably knew his situation and allowed it to continue because he wasn’t causing damage or bothering anyone.
There is a tendency among people who favor alternate lifestyles and social organizing - i.e. rewilding - to view law enforcement officers as enemies. I think this is a mistake. Law enforcement officers are serving the system that currently exists. Certainly, there are law enforcement officers who abuse the power entrusted to them, but there are also many who are motivated by a desire to do the most good for the most people. Forest Rangers and other officers who patrol forested land - or other natural lands - tend to care about those habitats. I appreciate the work they do very much. I also appreciate when they’re willing to overlook harmless infractions.
I can’t emphasize enough that law enforcement officers are not the “enemy”. They are, mostly, good people doing good work.


#14

Dear runningwolf, please do not be dismayed in acquiring land rights for personal use. It is a learning process, and one that took me nearly my whole life before I was able to manifest land to grow a garden of my own. However, in the search I discovered many alternatives that are certainly worth while if my situation were more suited. Buying land can be very rewarding, both personally and interpersonally, especially if you are committed to bringing it to fruition (your version of success) or rehabilitating it i.e. permaculture.
My suggestion is check into the possibility of a Community Land Trust. Which is a functioning non-profit organization usually run as cooperative. This can not only make purchasing quality land more affordable but allows you the opportunity of developing outside the boundaries of your leased parcel of land (from the C.L.T.) that can work to your advantage as well. Many cities have an affordable housing program with allocated funds and grants designed to offer funding for first time home ownership for low income individuals. This is free money (often the down payment and mortgage stipend) if your responsible enough to fulfill the obligations associated with the commitment of home ownership.