>Will I Sell My Retreat?
have been asked this question more than
once, I will
address this question. The short answer is "not at any price."
The longer answer is "Maybe, but if someone has that much
money, why not just buy some remote land and hire a crew to
Let's say you have a crew of 10 strong skilled
men who clearly don't know what they're in for.
They wouldn't work in the desert under these conditions,
carrying huge loads a mile up a wash, for less than $30 per
hour each, or about $300 per day. More likely it is $40-$50 per
hour. But let's take the optimistic figure. That's $3000 per
day for 10 laborers, and considering the complexity of a
self-sufficient, off-grid home, installing all systems, you're
looking at six months to a year of work, depending on the bells
and whistles you want.
One year at the cheapest rate is
$1,395,000, if you don't feed your crew, and
that's just labor. By the time you add in the cost of building
materials, crew shelter and transport, tools, vehicles your
cost might be twice that or more, say $2,500,000 or 2 1/2
million. And oops, 10 laborers now know your secret hideout and
soon many more will. Where do you think they will go when they
need shelter and food? So much for secrecy and security.
The reality of inflation is that $1 million just
doesn't buy as much as it used to, and the cost
of skilled labor has gone up also. But hey, if you are still
interested in a really isolated and secure retreat, it's
possible we could work something out, before your money loses
all of its value.
You'd be better advised to find an existing
property with a solid house already built, and
use any extra cash to install your photovoltaic system,
rainwater system or well or both, passive heating and cooling,
et cetera. However, it is unlikely that the place you find is
invisible from existing roads, and invariably has an access
road up to the house - the weak link in nearly all houses,
regardless how remote. You'd be on the map with an address and
under the watchful eyes of building inspectors. The only way to
avoid them, and all other officials, unwanted visitors,
vandals, is to be totally invisible and inaccessible by