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# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 12:25

Offshoot on 10x10 bunkie post. That was such a distance to travel!
What was the deciding factor on where you purchased property?
Distance? Retire to? Access to water activities? Family gatherings?
My wife told me! No interstate highway travel. No more than 2 hours away. Also, I looked at lack of governmental interference on building.
It's not a retire to home. It's a get away place. Even before I retired, I was always headed there.

# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 13:50

For us it was within 3hrs, state land cost by and off the beaten path yet close to building supply places.

What we got was 3hr 20min, 1/8th a mile up a seasonal rd, 12,000ac of state land within 10min, no interstate driving at all to get here and 20min from HD, Walmart and the usual shops.

# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 14:27 - Edited by: Steve_S

I searched very actively for about 1 year, put over 18,000kms on the car looking at properties & searching for FISBO's (For Sale By Owners) properties as well.

* Wanted good Hi & Dry land. (on a 1500' ridge, south face, overlooking two intersecting valleys)
* Had to have good Solar Exposure (I'm offgrid solar)
* Clean Land (unmollested / unabused)
* Uncleared Land with open space. (got mixed forest with a 3/4 acre natural open space)
* No close neighbours (closest is 3/4 km away)
* Small Town/Village with grocery store, & basic services etc close by (it is 20kms away).
* Township/County with reasonable building requirements (some req min, 1000sq feet) so smaller home can be built. (I'm 20x24)

Power & Services for us was irrelevant, as this is 100% solar, offgrid. Classified as a Year Round Hunt & Recreation Camp. The closest "city" 90K pop is 1 hour away, closest Big City (Ottawa, Ontario) 1 million POP is 2-1/2 hrs away. As a result property taxes and such are really good.

My case is unique I suppose. This "Cabin" is my Bucket List thing that I have always wanted to do but never could. Almost everything is complete, had to down scale some projects cause I just don't have it in me anymore, physically... I'll have things finished by next summer if all goes well... Then I'll have a little bit of time to sit back and enjoy... Everything is already in GF's name and all that "government stuff" has been prevented.

Here is the main thread I had on it, haven't updated it in quite some time though. It's quite the evolution it went through to get to where it got... several twists and changes...

# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 15:25

Mine were:
1. No more than an hour from home. My work puts me on call 24/7
2. Can't be seen from road or see any neighbors. Some water in some form, lake, stream, creek and /or pond.
3. Hardwoods with deer
Hers were
1. Must have electric
2. Must be able to communicate to outside world

Well we found it but I had to put in a cell signal booster to make it work

# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 17:12

Mine were on a lake/river that was good for fishing/swimming in summer and hunting area in the fall.
No neighbours (that is why I moved from the old place, seems some people don't go north for peace and quiet)

Took 3 years of looking, and its a 7hr drive, but we go for a long time (last trip was 3.5months), so the drive really isn't a big deal now. I love northern Ontario so always knew any place I found would be a long drive since I live in Southern Ontario.

# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 08:53

I just wanted land to build a cabin on, wanted it close to a national forest. Eastern part of my state, much drier, but colder winters was my ideal spot. Distance was somewhat of a factor. Wanted wildlife, got it, white tail and mule deer, cougars, bobcats, wolves, moose, grizzlies...My entire project went way beyond what I had envisioned (for the better) and the amount of land I ended up with was much more than I planned. It continues to evolve way beyond what I planned. But what I had wanted. Its about a 5.5 hour drive, this is with stops, breakfast etc. I could shuttle over in about 4 to 4.5 hours direct non stop. I'm 26 miles from a town, its a 45 minute drive to town one way, we have a Home Depot, Wal Mart Super store and a hardware store like nothing you have ever seen. Envision a Tractor Supply but about 100X larger, called "North 40, was Big R

# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:12

Good post and subsequent discussion.

My requirements were fairly basic:

1) property where you can’t see anything made by man from.
2) property that you can gain access to from a road.
3) property where you can get cell reception.
4) no neighbors.
5) property within one tank of gas round trip to the nearest grocery store.

Even though there is one neighbor about a mile away, I was lucky to stumble onto what I have where these requirements were met.

# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:40

We wanted remote, log. No neighbors. Got it. We staked 20 acres on state land. Fly in , then 2 miles to cabin. If it’s on a lake that has access and the ability to build on you will have neighbors. This lake is surrounded by state land. No cabins. In the frozen season we snogo in. All materials have to be hauled fitty miles up the road then freight sled behind a snogo. Or whatever we can get into a Cessna 185 on floats. Then 2 miles cabin.
After 50 thousand pounds or so that’s a lot of material to get to a remote site that has to be handled several times, just to get it there.
Been a tremendous amount of labor n time. And money, for us anyhow. We have exactly what we wanted so very blessed. Especially because we wanted a special place to be with family n friends but mostly a place so our family will always have a piece of Alaska. To share with even more family, forever !
Our forest cabin
Our forest cabin
Last flight to people, were not on it
Last flight to people, were not on it
This fall
This fall
Drinking beer, admiring sons 58” non typical moose
Drinking beer, admiring sons 58” non typical moose

# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:43 - Edited by: Aklogcabin

Hey Alaskajohn, you’re place sounds like a place I could get into. A few others too. A couple others around too.

Irrigation Guy
# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 21:07

Mine is further away than I would like at 4.5 hours but it is in an area that we visited regularly because we have family there. I was nervous about making a large purchase/investment in an area I was unsure of with no support network at all. Didn’t really have any hard and fast requirements other than at least 5 acres. I settled on my property because it had a well and electric service. The view also helped

# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 22:06


Mountain, high elevation
Trees, full of mature hardwoods
Size, 5-10+ acres

Remote (peace and quiet)
Next to wildlife management area (WMA) or national forest

Deer, Turkey, Fish, etc.

My cup of coffee and I got on every Saturday morning to see what I could see for two years. Dad had a place in North Carolina at 3200' elevation. The place was so green and so cool in the summer. So I wrote down the counties in VA, WV, and MD that had mountains, within three hours drive. One thing I learned on Landwatch was any water feature was $10,000+ than comparable properties.

So after searching for two years, BANG. A lady listed 10 properties on a mountain. 10 acre lots, $15,000.

So I took a day off work and drove two hours out to WV to look. One of the lots, 1800' elevation on a mountain, next to 8000 acre WMA, full of hardwood trees had water coming out of the ground, cell service, power line on the road. A natural spring. Which was not mentioned on the listing. The lazy agent just took pictures of the woods from the road and did not bother waking into the property.

Well you know how the game is played. List high and settle for a little lower. Cars the same way. So I called the agent and said I looked at the property Lot 24 and its not exactly what I was looking for but I'll offer $12,000. He called me back in two hours and said she accepted my offer.

Two years of casual study paid off.

# Posted: 24 Oct 2020 06:37 - Edited by: Bruces

My truck with $8000.00 of tools was stolen right out of my driveway ,so I decided I wanted an out of the way storage lot .I started looking and kept dropping the price ,and the third cheapest lot I found was $15000. ,an acre ,on a very good deep river with water access only (I have a few barges ).It was only 20 minutes from my home as well .Wasn't looking for another camp or cottage lot ,but it has become one ,it is so handy to go home for lunch if I like ! .I spent my very first night out here in early May this year ,and haven’t spent a night at home since .I hope to purchase several more of my neighbours camps and properties in the next year or two for my kids and possibly a few rentals

# Posted: 24 Oct 2020 07:10

Along with Dave Bell's comment... A KEY PART when looking for the land to build on, have CASH IN HAND ! You have to be ready to commit if/when you find the right spot for you.

# Posted: 5 Nov 2020 23:24 - Edited by: spencerin

I wanted a small cabin on a lake no more than 2 hours from home for fishing and boating, which I was able to find. It was an Amish-built log cabin on a 20-acre lake 1 1/2 hours away and it was in an HOA, but it was permitted there because it was approved as a storage unit. Well, guess what? I rarely ever fished or boated, and when it came time to actually build, it was too costly.

So, my current cabin's "requirements" were born out of my first one's - I wanted some vacant land w/no building restrictions no more than 2 hours from home as well. I came across a 20-acre piece that I initially sort of wrote off due to distance, but it kept refusing to sell itself over the course of 6 months. After watching the price drop, drop, drop, I decided to check it out.....and after still being hesitant, I made an even lower offer as a sort of gamble - win = a cheap 20 acres, lose = no loss.

Well, I won. It's been 5 years in the making since, but I should get water hooked up this week/weekend, finally making it livable in all four seasons/year-round for the first time.

# Posted: 19 Nov 2020 12:52

Think long and hard about access - from the public road to your property line, and then to your target build site. Various possible issues include the following -- which you can of course decide to tolerate, but be aware.

1. If access from the public road is across other properties, are you comfortable with long-term informal access, or do you require a right of way easement on title (and can you get it)?

2. Quality of the road/driveway, and who maintains it?

3. How access may depend on season, e.g. winter or in wet spring?

4. Do local building authorities impose more stringent requirements than you personally would (e.g. in our location, you can only get a building permit for a "residence" if access is via public road or registered right of way, even if you'd be comfortable with a nonregistered access agreement)?

5. If you need to build a driveway to your build site, how challenging will it be, and will there be bureaucratic obstacles like needing a driveway and/or culvert permit?

In our case, our dream property suffered from what we thought were our needs/wants on these dimensions, but we were able to do the legwork to overcome them, and got a great property for a good price as a result. But do it with your eyes open.

# Posted: 7 Jun 2021 09:54

We were spending our summers 10 days at a time hiking/backpacking, living in our campervan when not on the trail. We have two house cats and can't leave them more than about 10 days without having someone checking in on them. So we started dreaming of a cabin in the mountains central to our favorite hiking areas.... Southern Utah, Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado. We also knew that it had to be a "modern " cabin as we had both, in our younger years, lived in mountain cabins fighting mice, rats, bugs and running out to the outhouse when nature called. Didn't want any of that! In addition, we wanted way back in the mountains, but didn't mind a few neighbors knowing how valuable they are when you're a long way from town. We planned to spend at least 6 months of the year at the cabin.

What we got... We are on the east side of the Continental Divide in Southern Colorado, only about 10 miles from the South San Juan wilderness boundary and the same, maybe less from CDT access. Only a bit closer to Southern Utah but Northern New Mexico is not far at all. Our cabin is located within a development created from an old mining area. There are somewhere around 80 +/- cabins but the large majority are only used a week here or there. In reality there are only about 6 cabins with folks that stay for months at a time and only 3 of us that stay through/or most of the winter. We don't have a well so haul water from a community spring, but that is not a bothersome task. No electricity, but 2200w of solar with 16kw of storage solves that. Deer, elk, turkeys are seen pretty much every year from or near our cabin. Moose, bear, mountain sheep, mountain lions and bobcats are seen occasionally when we are coming or going.

The bad...We are 9-10 hours from our home in AZ, we have to choose where we live, going back and forth is not practical. lt is 22 miles of rough dirt road to the pavement and then another 12 miles into the nearest town. We usually don't make that trip more than once a week and kind of dread it then. Taking our campervan in and out is very unpleasant. Because of its weight we keep the tires at 80/70# and it is a bone jarring trip, therefore our trips away from the cabin are way down from the travel we used to do. In addition, we spent the last two years cleaning up our land and building a shop, cold frames and a greenhouse. We just haven't been doing the hiking we invisioned we would do living this close to the trails we love.

We are determined this year to get out more and enjoy the country around us. The place is in order, no big building projects planned and nearly half of our firewood is already cut.
We have 252 miles of the 485 mile Colorado trail hiked and hope to add another 100+ miles to that tally this year. Got my fishing license this year and a power reel designed for a one armed guy like me to use... gonna go fishing! Though we have hiked a little in the South San Juans we plan to do a nice 5-6 day trip fishing the high alpine lakes.... and swatting mosquitoes!

# Posted: 29 Sep 2022 22:50 - Edited by: Jackson

My biggest requirement was mineral rights. I wanted no one to have any claims to my land in any way.

Some sort of water feature was my next requirement. Mostly for my kid since kids love playing in water, but also to have if needed to do anything with short of drink. I have a small stream and it has worked well enough. I also found a spring and have tested the water, it could be used for drinking, but I still have not tried it.

Last was seclusion. I wanted a place to get away from people.

Ultimately I did well I think. My land is about 2 hrs. from my house which is about right I think.

# Posted: 30 Sep 2022 07:43

4 big choices that influence what is possible:

1. Do you see this becoming a residence?

If this is and will always be meant as an occasional getaway, you have a lot of freedom as to distance from home, from amenities, and slightly sketchy access. If you dream of making this your primary home even decades from now, don't buy somewhere where that won't ever be possible no matter how wonderful it is.

2. What sweat equity are you willing to provide (and what relevant skills do you have / are willing to learn)

Not only "are we willing to build or do we want a cabin/cottage already there", but i) will you/can you build with your own hands, ii) can you be your own GC (coordinating others), iii) how do you feel about clearing land and building roads, etc.

In our case, a key enabler of us getting a large chunk of wonderful land, <90 minutes from home, was our willingness and confidence to sort out land title issues and access issues (railway). Others might shy away from complications and being at the mercy of bureaucracy; we did our research and read the rules and were confident we could get the outcome we needed, if we persevered. We identified 2 crucial bureaucratic decisions/issues that could be deal breakers and made our purchase offer conditional on sorting those out, and took the risk/committed the effort on the rest.

3. How will you want to spend your time?

For us, being on the water and walking in the woods is crucial. Others might be happy just sitting on their porch with a nice view. Or fishing or hunting or growing something or making firewood.

4. How far from civilization do you really want to be?

Do you want complete privacy or do you want the comfort of a community of neighbours within a short distance? How far are you from the nearest car-friendly road, nearest winter-plowed road, nearest grocery store; building supply store; medical clinic?

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