Excerpts: You know all about the real-estate market. But what about the “underground” real-estate market — the secretive efforts of homeowners to install doomsday shelters at home?
If suppliers’ reports are a gauge, the market is small but growing. Unlike 1950s-era fallout shelters and newer aboveground “safe rooms,” meant to protect against storms and home invasions, bunkers are buried at least 6 feet under, in part to shield occupants from nuclear radiation.
You can buy a bare-bones shelter for $38,000 uninstalled or spend tens of millions of dollars — and a surprising number do — on a lavish, custom-made subterranean sanctuary.
And yet, the fears are powerful. About 30% of Camden’s clients are into “2012 stuff, the-world-as-you-know-it-coming-to-an-end type stuff,” he says. “I’d say at least half, if not 55%, is all geared for economic collapse and anarchy.” The remaining 20% involves the military, data storage and EMP mitigation.
“Our typical client is a wealthy, white Republican, highly educated, usually with a minimum of a master’s degree,” Camden says. Typically, the shelter is attached to their primary residence. These clients, he says, fear that economic collapse is near.
My comment: Yes, I have watched a few episodes of Doomsday Preppers on TV. Very interesting, but somewhat strange. And I am a big fan of sci-fi post-disaster survivor movies and tv shows.