I have been reading your blog for some time now with great enthusiasm. Thank you so much for keeping up with these posts, I have been studying survival/prep- books/websites for quite sometime now and consider your advise to be some of the best out there, not to mention that it's also extremely entertaining. I wish most authors could write in there own language as well as you do in English.
I have been thinking about buying a home for some time now but I am confused about where would be the best place to buy, as well as the best time to buy property? I live in a small midwestern town of about 70,000 people, the problem is this town is also home to one of the country's major universities (who's major fields of study include law, art, psychology, business, education, music, political science, nursing, ect). and at least 35,000 or half of people are students from some place else many from outside the country. I have lived in this town my whole live my family and all my friends are here.We have always enjoyed a low crime rate the unemployment rate here has always been lower than the national average but so is the average income, most of the jobs are low wage service jobs filling the demands of the student population that lives here bars, resaturates, bookstores, cleaning, and so on. ( we used to have many high paying factory jobs but those went out with N.A.F.T.A of course, the factory that are left don't pay very well at all) Noticing the parallels between your country and mine I guess my question is what tends to happen in places like the one I live in during an economic collapse when the people who live here depend on the university as essential to the local economy? Many people in the surrounding small towns drive here for work. Do people tend to drop out of college more? What happens to the local real estate/ job markets, what happens to the housing market when half of that market is consisted of temporary housing including houses apartments and dorms designed to shelter half of the population?. What becomes of the jobs in these kinds of places during a collapse?
Thanks a lot G. I try to write as well as I can but know my English is limited. Hey, as long as people get what I’m trying to say and we can communicate properly I’m ok. :-)
Lets start with the pros of your location.
Family and Friends: Terrific asset, so keep this one in mind. Often the greatest con when moving is not having friends and family to lend you a hand when needed.
Small community: This means less petty crime, but even in the small ones there’s meth labs and such, so it will depend a lot on your particular location.
An understanding of your location: You already know your way around, topographically speaking, but even more important, the who’s who of your area.
The college: About your question. At first there’s more drop outs, but later there’s more students than before. This is something that happened here and I believe it would happen too in other countries with a certain cultural level. The Explanation for this is that, since there’s no jobs, the young adults at least see a point in getting more education to be more competitive and have better job opportunities in the future. Expect 2 or 3 year careers with a good job opportunity to be in demand. Think of the process this way: 20 to 30 guy still cant find a job or just lost his and inn’t finding one, either he/she goes back to live with their parents, maybe their spouse supports them in the meantime so hey go looking for careers with good levels of employment. This will happen a lot, its already happening and I know some people in USA doing just this.
The college is also a pro because it provides public jobs. Government type jobs go up during times like these because they are ways in which the government, both state and federal, create jobs and reduce the unemployment rates.
Small town: This is also a disadvantage because it means less jobs, as you well observe. That’s why I often mention the importance of living close enough to a larger city where jobs are easier to get, where there’s a diverse and wide offer of employment.
You asked, “What becomes of the jobs in these kinds of places during a collapse?” Well, that’s the bad part about small towns with few job providers. A couple of them close because of the crisis and the town may die, more than enough examples of that all over the world.
College: Both a pro and con. Its nice to have it and providing jobs, but its also bad that, if the college suffers, all the jobs related to it are compromised as well.
All in all, I think that the college town has some issues common to other small towns that dont have the critical mass to be a focus of jobs on its own, but since its education-based it has certain advantages as well and I’d prefer it over a town that depends exclusively on an industry or line of production that may as well close one day, killing the town.