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Small Cabin Forum / Properties / Decision on property purchase?
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frankpaige
Member
# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 12:25
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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.
Thoughts.

Brettny
Member
# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 13:50
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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.

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 14:27 - Edited by: Steve_S
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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...
https://www.small-cabin.com/forum/6_5643_0.html

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 15:25
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Requirements
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

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 22 Oct 2020 17:12
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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.

toyota_mdt_tech
Member
# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 08:53
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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

Alaskajohn
Member
# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:12
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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.

Aklogcabin
Member
# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 10:40
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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


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


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

Irrigation Guy
Member
# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 21:07
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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
B111B4071D314BD89.jpeg
B111B4071D314BD89.jpeg


DaveBell
Member
# Posted: 23 Oct 2020 22:06
Reply 


Requirements.

Needs:
Mountain, high elevation
Trees, full of mature hardwoods
Size, 5-10+ acres
Distance
Cost

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

Extras:
Deer, Turkey, Fish, etc.
Power
Communications


My cup of coffee and I got on Landwatch.com 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.

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


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

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 24 Oct 2020 07:10
Reply 


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.

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


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.

Houska
Member
# Posted: 19 Nov 2020 12:52
Reply 


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.

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