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Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / How did you find your cabin.
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Rdsrds123
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 11:56
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This has to be an interesting and informative topic. Probably a unique story for each owner. Finding something using the usual methods (multipule listing) might not be the best. I haven't had many reasonable results finding something following that way. Thanks!

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 11:59
Reply 


I found mine at the bottom of a pile of lumber.

Tim

Rdsrds123
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 12:09
Reply 


Cool, must be some pile of lumber. I am looking lower Appalachians. Building codes require either mansions or garden sheds, depending on the route you take. Maybe under 120 sqft or over 1100 sqft. No middle zone. So I'd probably have to buy used.

CabinBuild
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 13:09
Reply 


Could depend on what subdivision or county you end up in Rdsrds123. Some are more lenient than others with the square footage requirements.

frankpaige
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 13:14
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For us it was, no interstate driving (congestion). No more than two hours from home. We wanted to enjoy it, not the car. After that it was relaxed HOA and building code enforcement. Some municipalities and counties seem to not be so rigid in their outlook. Sparse population and out of sight location does help.
Good Luck in your search. Hope your journey is successful and happy.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 16:16
Reply 


Found the property on Craig's list. It wasn't listed but part of a recently split piece of land.

Key things we wanted:
Water, stream perfered.
Close to home improvement stores
Not in a protected park (the Adk park agency is pretty strict)
Not more than 3hrs from home
Low $20k.

We hit all but drive 3hr10min to get there.

Found out it was on a seasonal rd yet walking distance in from the plowed road..that was the icing on the cake.

Rdsrds123
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 16:27
Reply 


Yeah, I follow CL and Marketplace. CL is better. Sounds good what you finally got. Spring is coming!

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 16:35 - Edited by: toyota_mdt_tech
Reply 


Like others, I found mine under a pile of lumber too.

But I found the land to build it on. Setting in lunch room at work, reading paper (back in the old days we had newspaper) and there was a company that sold 20 acre lots, they would buy up big chunks of land, break them up, add roads and sell them at a decent price.

I told the wife, lets just to look. Quite a drive, we did. Look at it, I love it. He told me my taxes are about $25 a year and that kind of closed the deal. 9 years later, I bought the 20 next to mine from original purchaser, so now I'm my best neighbor too.

Been working on it since. Its never done, when I am home, winter, mind is going thinking of my next project. I head over to put in concrete footers for my log park shelter, 12X16. I may not get it done this year, but should be done next year at that time.

Rdsrds123
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 16:40
Reply 


Wow. Great story!

Fanman
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 18:19
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I grew up in the area. Our cabin is a stone's throw from my parent's cabin, though they're gone now... they sold it years ago and my wife and I moved back into the the area 25 years later. About half of my neighbors are the kids I grew up with, some never left and others drifted back. Sometimes you can go back home...

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 13 Feb 2020 18:59
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I too found mine on Craigslist but was using every means possible to locate one. Multiple listings were pretty useless. Internet had some possibilities just doing Goggle search

I had three requirements that were imposed by me and wife.
Me, had to be deep in woods.
Her, had to have electric.
Me, had to be no more than hour from home.
Her, restroom
This combo really wasn't easy and we look a long time.

Well we were able to find the top 3 and four I figured out using RV stuff. Selling point was it was 30 acres on top of a mountain and one of my ski areas was only six miles away. Score

mj1angier
Member
# Posted: 14 Feb 2020 11:48
Reply 


Ours was in a land sale that a timber company had. They busted the 400+ ac into 10 ac lots to keep all building codes under state vs. town/ county. We got 2 lots. Our build falls under primitive camps so no code

Jrbrandt25
Member
# Posted: 14 Feb 2020 14:42
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Drunk on zillow one night

jsahara24
Member
# Posted: 14 Feb 2020 15:13 - Edited by: jsahara24
Reply 


Another craigslist find for me....

Had been working with a realtor who continually sent me properties outside of the area I wanted to buy in....so frustrating....

Wife wanted to be able to drive into it in the winter (no seasonal road)....

Ended up finding a property that looked interesting and went up to look at it and meet the owner.

It had a single wide trailer that had collapsed from snow and a 12x24 addition that wasn't finished... It had a well, septic and a barn but the property was a complete mess....he was asking 30k in his craigslist ad, as we were going through the property the owner said he was behind on his real homes mortgage and would let it go for 15k. Shook hands a minute later and it'll be 10 years this May.

The 4 hour drive gets annoying sometimes, but its far enough away that you can easily disconnect....

And a lot of work/money to be fair, but I enjoyed mostly everything, except sanding drywall.....haha

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 14 Feb 2020 16:18
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We where members at a cabin that was 4hr20min away. The drive got to us, amongst other things. But Being members at this cabin for a few years made both my wife and I realize what we really needed, wanted and that an off grid piece of property was really for us.

I i see lots of cabins for sale that are falling down or half built. I think people just loose interest so make sure it's something you really want.

Rdsrds123
Member
# Posted: 14 Feb 2020 18:54
Reply 


Thanks folks. These are all good stories.

silverwaterlady
Member
# Posted: 15 Feb 2020 08:32
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When I found my Husband

A few months after we met he took me home. To the place he loved the most. A place he had to leave when he was eleven years old.
It was the dead of winter. The drive up there was crazy.
The first time I saw his property everything was frozen yet so beautiful.
He said “some day I want to build a cabin here”.
I thought that was a good idea.
This was in 1980. In 2006 we had the shell put up. In the next few years we will be completely done with the interior.

hattie
Member
# Posted: 15 Feb 2020 12:44
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We were staking a claim on the river (gold panning) and spotted it for sale.

It was a mess with a bullet hole in the window and the walls inside were covered in graffitti. We called to ask how much and the price was too high. The next year it was still for sale so we asked again. They said an offer had just collapsed on it. We got it for a great price. It needed a ton of work but we knew that going in. That was in 2003. In 2007 we moved here full time and added a small motel to it to bring in a bit of income. Never looked back.

naturelover66
Member
# Posted: 15 Feb 2020 15:09
Reply 


Great cabin discoveries.

I had a near death heart attack and emergency open heart surgery. I always wanted a place to run away to and started looking immediately after recovery. I bought my cabin shell on 5 acres sight unseen from a realtor on craigslist. Been a wonderful love story ever since. Its given me something to look forward to . I plan to retire and die there. I love the place. Its my solace .


Lisa

hattie
Member
# Posted: 16 Feb 2020 00:25 - Edited by: hattie
Reply 


naturelover66 - I am so glad that you found your haven. I understand exactly what you are saying as I feel the same about our place. People ask why we never go on vacation and I tell them there is no other place I would want to be and there is no other place that can compare to where I live every day. I hope I am able to stay here until my death as well. I want to be buried on the mountain nearby so I will always be able to watch over my piece of paradise.

Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 16 Feb 2020 07:09 - Edited by: Alaskajohn
Reply 


After retiring from the military, the wife and I knew we wanted live somewhere where we could have property that was tucked away from the world. I found work in areas that we had targeted. This included the Ozarks, the upper Cumberland and eastern Tennessee and then in the bayous of the Deep South. We kept running into issues about zoning, codes, and too much population density.

Something about the great northwest kept calling us and I accepted a job in Alaska. After arriving, we looked for property with a cabin for 5 years. We looked for property in every imaginable way including sites focusing on remote property, Craig’s list, bulletin boards in rural grocery stores, etc. We stumbled onto ours while on a camping trip. The property was on its 2nd owner after the original homesteader who built most of the structures left the area. It’s perfect for us, only a couple year round neighbors along an isolated 20 mile stretch on the only road going through a huge expansive valley. We are a full tank of gas round trip in either direction to the nearest grocery store.

We’ve been improving the property ever since. The property is super productive with agricultural and has abundant natural food sources that we can seasonally harvest. I’m glad we waited about a decade post retirement before making the commitment on just the right property for us.
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Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 16 Feb 2020 09:08
Reply 


I found our property on Zillow after looking for 2 years on all the land sites and Craigslist. The property had well, septic, electric, and a killer bucolic view We picked this spot because my wife has family in the area and it’s nice to have someone near by if you need a hand with something, take a ride by to check on the place, or just someone to ask for advice about the area.

paulz
Member
# Posted: 16 Feb 2020 20:39
Reply 


I found mine right here.
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dixie53
Member
# Posted: 16 Feb 2020 21:04 - Edited by: dixie53
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Bought my first fixer upper off craigs list, second fixer upper by word of mouth, third and present fixer upper I had my eye on for a year and a half but it was out of my price range, it was an estate and the family lived 4 hours away so in the cold winter when I knew there wouldn't be much interest we made a low offer and they countered, we bought it for 35% less then it was appraised for.. Just remember people who don't think they can afford it, if you want it there is a way...
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MikeOnBear
Member
# Posted: 17 Feb 2020 15:08
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We wanted something on the water within a 2 hour drive. We knew extreme privacy would not be possible. Started with Craigslist and other realty sites. Those just didn't pan out so I started on Google maps checking out creeks leading into Tenn River in our general location. Found a few potentials (one absolutely beautiful spot) and did a couple weekend drive arounds to scope them out but the flood risk, drive time, or cost were just too much. Finally located a spot on a feeder creek with fairly easy access to main body of water. Turns out it was only 50 minutes from home, on a stretch of about a dozen lots with only 3 being full time residences. Built our cabin last summer and working toward our floating pier now to wrap it all up.

RiverCabin
Member
# Posted: 18 Feb 2020 15:34 - Edited by: RiverCabin
Reply 


In a bar.

No really. A friend of mine mentioned he owned a riverfront cabin as we were drinking beers. I had known him for a while and had no idea that he owned it. He mentioned it as he had just listed it for sale in a large regional newspapers. A few weeks went by and I brought it up again. He had lots of interest but no one wanted it as he hadn't touched the place in nearly a decade. I addition, the cabin was a 50's mobile home with unrepaired flood damage from the flood of 93. Anyway, I asked him for the location and went and looked at it. I decided to pass. My wife insisted that I take her to see it. When she saw it she was able to spy that diamond in the rough and insisted that we buy it.

We poured a ton of sweat equity in the place and finally got it where were really liking it. Gone was the mobile and in it's place a new cabin. The one thing I always wanted however, the neighboring parcel, was out of my grasp. I had tried for years to buy it and had sent multiple letters to that effect. I know the prior owner and he had given it to his daughter. His daughter had subsequently divorced and according to legend that property was about the only thing the ex received.

Then, out of the blue, I get a phone call. One of my neighbors called to ask me if I was selling my cabin. A realtor's for sale sign had appeared in my yard. I called the realtor and asked for an explanation. He apologized and informed me that it had been incorrectly placed and that it was supposed to be on the adjacent piece. I went to his office that day and wrote an offer. As I was unconcerned about title work, the deal closed in a week.

bill_bly_ca
Member
# Posted: 18 Feb 2020 16:37 - Edited by: bill_bly_ca
Reply 


I have had a fascination with Northern Ontario (and a cabin in such) since my first pass through to drive to BC in 1988

Then marriage, house kids yadda yadda.

In 2007 I started looking again, even driving up to a plot in Remore Ont for one that looked promising. But it did not work out.

Side track to a plot in Nicaragua (Where my wife is from) whare we have been building on since 2014, and should be done by the end of the year - I again turned to looking for a plot - We plan to be 6 months down there and 6 months at whatever we found up north.

Was looking at places like Gogama and Tamiskiming shores and others way up highway #11.

Then one day one of the automated searches came back with a place south of Gore Bay on Manitoulin. We booked a weekend to go see it but it did not work out as we would have to carve out 1440' of trees/road to get to the $13,000 5.5 acre plot. And the road was unmaintained so winter visits would be an adventure. The township was also incorporated so there would be some significance in getting permits - Not really difficult, but still.

Looking at the website for the fellow listing the parcel above we seen a 1/4 acre way out on the west end of the island. While not on the main road, it was on a provincial road easement which means some paperwork would get us the authority for a similar to building permit in an unincorporated township. And while small, it was only $7K

So now my wife has her house for us down south for the core of the winter (in a year or two) and we also have the 1/4 acre for 600 sq foot cabin once I get the paperwork done for a driveway off of the highway.

We even get a free VW that has been left in the woods on a plot beside us ... Is true what they say about the size of the Bugs in the northern woods.
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Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 19 Feb 2020 08:49 - Edited by: Aklogcabin
Reply 


I had wanted a cabin in the woods since the day I landed in Ak. Especially every time I heard someone else mention they had a cabin for their family. There was a state lottery and I was able to stake 20 acres in the middle of nowhere surrounded by state land. Traded guns for logs and lots of trips cross country on a snogo. Dreaming about the day when I can finally share with my family. Staked that land better than ten years to get the woodstove crankin.
Was able to call a 58” non typical moose for my son to harvest his first moose. And this year got to spend time there hunting moose with my daughter. Harvested a beautiful blueberry fed black bear with my beautiful wife. Can’t hardly wait to get my grandson out there. Maybe searching for moose antler drops this spring with his chessy.
Nice stories, thanks folks.
Sons first moose hanging
Sons first moose hanging


Turtletownman
Member
# Posted: 24 Feb 2020 19:25
Reply 


RDSRDS

I have a place in Tennessee within an hour or so of GSMP with no building codes. Septic and electric only.
Taxes are cheap and there is county water and electricity available.
It's around twenty five miles to a big grocery store and other stores but there is a small IGA around ten or twelve miles away.
Don't tell anybody.

fiftyfifty
Member
# Posted: 24 Feb 2020 20:33 - Edited by: fiftyfifty
Reply 


We searched (real estate listings, Craigslist, word of mouth) for over a decade without finding what we were looking for. But then on a county property tax plat map we noticed this single plot of private land located on a lake, surrounded on all sides by public land. The property had been bought in the 1960's but nothing had ever been built on it. We thought "heck why not" and wrote a letter to the listed owner offering to buy it, explaining we weren't any type of real estate developer, just a young family with a couple of kids looking to build a rustic cabin. A few months later we got a letter back from a man explaining that he was the listed owner's son. His father's dream had been to build a cabin on the land, but he had died unexpectedly soon after purchasing it leaving a widow and 2 sons behind. The widow never could stand to sell the land her husband had loved so much, so just paid the taxes each year. The son had received our letter shortly after his by now elderly mother had passed away, and he had just been talking to his brother about what they should do with "Dad's land." Long story short, they sold it to us. We feel really lucky to have it, and think of them all the time when we are up there.

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