real estate

Realtor.com Examines Best, Worst U.S. Cities ‘To Survive The Apocalypse’

I never really expected to see an article about “strategic relocation” on Realtor.com. But back on October 30 the real estate listings website ran a piece entitled “The Best and Worst Cities in America to Survive the Apocalypse.” Lance Lambert wrote:

Even to the most positive-minded among us, it sometimes seems the world is on the verge of collapse. So just in case civilization does indeed crumble, explode, or implode around you, it makes sense to have a plan. Where do you go to eke out survival?

The location you call home could mean the difference between life and death in the face of utter disaster—but the safest place depends on what kind of disaster we’re talking about. That’s where the realtor.com® data team comes in. We donned our biohazard gear, pulled together a gross of canned goods and filtered water and set our sights on the best—and worst—metros to to survive two wildly different end-of-days scenarios: a nuclear calamity (more terrifying every day, thank you Kim Jong Un) and a zombie apocalypse (hey, it could happen).

Here were the metrics used:

So we looked at a variety of criteria that could mean the difference between life, death, and the fate of the walking undead. We looked at the 200 largest U.S. metros and only included one per state. Our criteria included:*

• Percentage of realtor.com home listings with a lake, pond, or well (for drinking water)
• Percentage of listings with a safe room or panic room
• Percentage listings with a bunker, fallout shelter, or underground shelter
• Percentage of listings with solar panels or hydropower (to fuel your home if the grid goes dark)
• Population density
• Percentage of active military and federal government employees (nuke targets)
• Percentage of health care workers
• Percentage of manufacturing workers (more nuke targets)
• State gun score (tracking the ability to stockpile weapons)
• Percentage of landmass covered by fresh water

And the results were grouped into the following:

• “Best cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse”
• “Worst cities to survive a nuclear apocalypse”
• “Best cities to survive the zombie Armageddon”
• “Worst cities to survive the zombie Armageddon”

It’s an interesting (surprising?) piece from Realtor.com. For readers interested in the subject of strategic relocation, I offer up the following which was published on Survival And Prosperity back on February 1, 2013. I wrote:

Earlier this week in one of my “Project Prepper” posts I blogged about “a nice resource I came across recently while verifying the ‘Badger State’ is the place to be for me.” Uploaded onto the AlexJonesChannel on YouTube.com back on November 8, 2012:

Joel Skousen sits down with Alex Jones and discusses strategies on how to prepare for and survive major disasters. Joel Skousen is a world renowned expert in designing secure homes, geo-political analysis, and strategic relocation. Preparing food, water, arms, medical supplies, and shelter may not be a good enough plan. Large population centers are the biggest threat to survival after any major disaster. Joel Skousen explains his strategy for survival, which includes acquiring all of the essentials, preparing in a safe location and methods on how to avoid a dangerous hungry population and safely arrive at your secure location.


“Strategic Relocation The Film FULL VERSION HQ”
YouTube Video

Skousen is the author of Strategic Relocation: North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition, which includes updated/expanded analysis of threats facing North America and opinion on popular overseas tax-havens and expatriate colonies.

You can read “The Best and Worst Cities in America to Survive the Apocalypse” on Realtor.com here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Robert Shiller: ‘Neither Farmland Nor Housing Has Been A Great Place To Invest Money Over The Long Term’

Yale University Economics Professor Robert Shiller just torpedoed long-held notions about farmland and residential real estate in this country. The Nobel Prize winner, who correctly-called the dot-com and housing busts of the last decade, penned the following on The New York Times website on July 15:

Despite solid price increases over the last few years, land and homes have actually been disappointing investments. It’s worth considering why.

Let’s start by looking at the numbers. The best long-term data on land in the United States is for farmland, which is valuable in its own right and can also be considered a great reservoir that can be converted to housing and other purposes at opportune times.

Over the century from 1915 to 2015, though, the real value of American farmland (deflated by the Consumer Price Index) increased only 3.1 times, according to the Department of Agriculture. That comes to an average increase of only 1.1 percent a year– and with a growing population, that’s barely enough to keep per capita real land value unchanged.

According to my own data (relying on the S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, which I helped create), real home prices rose even more slowly over the same period — a total increase of 1.8 times, which comes to an average of only 0.6 percent a year.

What all that amounts to is that neither farmland nor housing has been a great place to invest money over the long term…

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)

“Neither farmland nor housing has been a great place to invest money over the long term”

Obviously, this goes contrary to what many Americans have believed all along.

However, the fact that farmland can produce income from crops should not be ignored.

Residential real estate may also offer benefits beyond property value. In my case, the single-family dwelling in the Chicago suburbs which my girlfriend and I own is a significant improvement in such areas as security and food production, for example, compared to our previous rental unit in a multi-family building on the city’s Northwest Side.

An interesting piece from Dr. Shiller, which you can read on the Times’ website here.

By Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Peter Schiff: Obama, Federal Reserve, Government Have Failed As ‘This Economy Is A Disaster’

Economist, financial broker/dealer, and author Peter Schiff appeared on the Alex Jones Show last Friday. Schiff, who correctly-called last decade’s housing crash and recent global economic crisis, discussed a number of subjects with Jones, including Puerto’s Rico’s recent default/economic crisis and “modest” U.S. inflation numbers. The “crash prophet” said of the U.S. territory:

It’s never a problem until it is. So Puerto Rico is broke, but now it’s a problem because the creditors figured out that they’re broke. Well America is more broke than Puerto Rico. That’s a fact. It’s just that our creditors haven’t figured it out yet. But when they do, then Donald Trump is going to end up being right, because all we can do is default. And if we don’t default, if we print money- which now Trump is saying, “Oh, we don’t have to default because we can print.” Well printing is worse than default, because printing doesn’t just wipe out the bondholders, it wipes out anybody who hold U.S. dollars.

When asked by Alex Jones where all the inflation is being hidden, the CEO of Euro Pacific Capital pointed out:

It’s actually hiding in plain sight because, because first of all, the inflation is all the money printing. That’s the definition. The consequence of inflation is that prices go up. But look, stock prices went way up. Real estate prices went back up. Rare art went back up. Collectible cars went back up. I mean, asset prices have gone up like crazy- that is inflation. And, of course, anybody who lives in America knows that the prices are going up. Look, rents are up about 8 percent year-over-year. Look how much health care costs have gone up. Utilities are going up. Look at the price of food. Have you bought a steak recently at a supermarket? Prices are going up. It’s just that the government is not doing an accurate job of reporting, and that is by design…. The standard of living is going down. Americans are working two or three jobs a piece. And they can barely make ends meet. You know, this economy is a disaster. And everyone wants to pretend that it’s great, because no one wants to admit that Obama is a complete failure, that the Federal Reserve was a complete failure, that everything that government has done has failed.


“Venezuela Is America’s Socialist Future”
YouTube Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s note: A qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Marc Faber: ‘Most Attractive Assets In My View Are Gold Shares And Oil And Gas Shares’

Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber was on the phone with the CNBC TV show Trading Nation last Wednesday. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report talked investment strategy, and shared the following with viewers:

My view is that in June, [the Federal Reserve] will not move, that they will not increase rates. And that the market will begin to perceive that the Fed wants to support asset markets, which they have stated on numerous occasions before. And that in that environment, gold, which from now on may correct maybe 5 percent or so, will start to move up again. I think an investor should understand, we don’t know how far central banks will move around the world. We need to be diversified. To own some real estate makes sense. To own some equities makes sense. To own some cash and bonds probably makes sense. And to own some precious metals makes sense. The most attractive assets in my view are gold shares and oil and gas shares. I think they still have significant upside potential this year.

(Editor’s note: Bold added for emphasis)


“Marc Faber on investment strategy”
CNBC Video

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

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Signs Of The Time, Part 102

From the official website of the National Association of REALTORS- realtor.com- this past Tuesday:

“Prepping for Doomsday: Bunkers, Panic Rooms, and Going Off the Grid”

Excerpts from the article included:

“If the booming sales of panic rooms are any indication, more and more city dwellers these days are obsessively worrying about everything from home invasions to terror attacks…”

“Some real estate companies are seeing big increases by specializing in ‘survivalist properties’…”

“Survivalists are also particularly hungry for metal containers they can convert into shelters and bury underground…”

While there’s the expected mocking tone to the piece (“Welcome to the brave (and for some, highly profitable) new world of paranoia”), it’s still an interesting look at what’s going on with panic/safe rooms, survival real estate, and (underground) shelters- topics I’ve blogged about from time to time over the last several years.

You can read the entire article on realtor.com here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

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Marc Faber Shares Investment Strategy To Combat The ‘Mad Professors’

Despite being out of the loop for a week due to the flu, I see the “crash prophets” are still running at full-throttle. I just got finished listening to an interview of Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager Marc Faber that was released on the King World News- Broadcast February 20. When asked by Eric King about his thoughts on gold, the publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report told listeners:

In this environment, you just don’t know how far the mad professors will go. Looking forward, we all don’t know how the world will look like in five years’ time, ten years’ time. I would hold some real estate. I would hold some stocks. I would hold some bonds and cash. And some precious metals. I happen to believe that the precious metals have probably bottomed out, but I cannot send you a guarantee for that. I don’t know, for sure.

“Dr. Doom,” as the financial news media likes to call him, added this prediction for 2016:

I believe the stock markets around the world will end the year lower. But it will depend on how much money the central bankers will print.

On February 18, Lucy Meakin, Ranheetha Pakiam, and Eddie Van Der Walt reported on the Bloomberg website:

“Leave a million dollars with a bank, and in a year, you get only something like $990,000 back,” Marc Faber, the publisher of the Gloom, Boom & Doom Report, said by phone. “I would rather want to own some solid currency, in other words gold.”

Dr. Faber talked more about the yellow metal- and his outlook for the U.S. economy and equities. From the piece:

It’s more tempting to own a non-yielding asset such as gold when returns on other investments are hard to find, according to Faber. He said in December that the U.S. is at the start of a recession and its stocks would fall this year.

Getting back to that King World News show, Faber also directed listeners of explore a particular type of stock (13:15) and area of real estate (18:58) to counter the “mad professors.” A good interview, which you can listen to in its entirety here on the King World News website.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; a qualified professional should be consulted prior to making a financial decision based on material found in this weblog. If this recommended course of action is not pursued, then it must be understood that the decision is the reader’s and the reader’s alone. The creator/Editor of this blog is not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information contained herein.)

Source:

Meakin, Lucy, Pakiam, Ranjeetha, Van Der Walt, Eddie. “Gold Bulls Feast as More Central Banks Drive Rates Below Zero.” Bloomberg. 18 Feb. 2016. (http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-19/gold-bulls-feast-as-more-central-banks-drive-rates-below-zero). 22 Feb. 2016.

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Must-Read Marc Faber Interview

Regular readers of Survival And Prosperity know on Sundays I try and blog about the latest investment activities/recommendations of the “crash prophets”- Marc Faber, Jeremy Grantham, Jim Rogers, and Peter Schiff. This week, three of the “prophets” are sounding off. First up is Marc Faber. An interview of the Swiss-born investment advisor/money manager was published Friday on the website of MarcoPolis, a Paris-based international online publishing company. Johnnes Maierhofer and Peter Matay conducted one of the most comprehensive interviews of Dr. Faber I’ve ever come across, writing on MarcoPolis.net:

In this exclusive interview with Marcopolis.net Marc Faber covers it all: from commodities and China to the outlook on inflation, the Euro and gold. According to him the global economy is not healing. To the contrary, we might find ourselves back into recession within six months or a year. In that case he expects more money printing by central banks, which eventually could lead to high inflation rates and renewed strength in commodity prices.

On the bright side, he sees great economic potential in Vietnam. Also, the Iraqi stock market has good potential now that a deal with Iran has been reached. While mining stocks are extremely depressed we might see defaults before any meaningful recovery…

Followers of Faber know he’s been a gold bull for years now. The publisher of the monthly investment newsletter The Gloom Boom & Doom Report said this about the precious metal (and other investments of his) during the exchange:

I own gold and it doesn’t worry me that it went down because as I mentioned to you I have this diversification, the bonds in US dollars and the cash in US dollars has been a good investment essentially over the last twelve months. Then I own equities and I own properties in Asia that have been reasonably good investments so the fact that gold is going down doesn’t worry me and I buy every month a little bit but I think on this weakness I will increase the position substantially because I had maybe say 25% in gold but because equities and properties went up, the dollar went up and gold went down, the allocation to gold is no longer 25% but maybe only 10 or 15%.

So then I have to stock it up again. But I would say an individual should definitely own some physical gold…

“Doctor Doom” believes gold confiscation is a possibility, and added later in the discussion:

I think they will take the gold away and go back to some gold standard by revaluing the gold say from now 1000 dollars an oz. to say 10,000 dollars an oz…

A “must-read” interview for Faber followers, which you can access in its entirety on MarcoPolis.net here.

Christopher E. Hill
Survival And Prosperity (www.survivalandprosperity.com)

(Editor’s notes: Info added to “Crash Prophets” page; I am not responsible for any personal liability, loss, or risk incurred as a consequence of the use and application, either directly or indirectly, of any information presented herein)

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