Choosing a Lot Part I
Choosing a recreational lot can be a very divisive issue in a family. Mom wants a cabin with all of the amenities and some reasonable shopping nearby, Dad wants a remote cabin on a great fishing river only accessible by parachute. The kids? They want to go water skiing and snowboarding with no break between. Of course, I am being very stereotypical and perhaps even a little sexist, but it only goes to illustrate that finding a perfect recreational lot is very difficult; throw cost into the mix and you have a real dilemma.
Compromise is the operative word here. Decide what activities you most enjoy as a family and start planning. Now you have to refine your search.
• Do you want to be road accessible or off the road system?
• If you decide to be off the road system, you need to decide what access you are willing to deal with. Boat, Snowmachine, ATV, airplane, helicopter etc. (Remember, building off the road system will be much more expensive depending on how far and ease of access)
• Waterfront will be harder to find and more expensive.
• View lots are also going to be expensive but easier to find, depending on the view. Every lot has a view of something but you may not want a view of the neighbor’s collection of wrecked cars.
Once you have decided on the area you want to be in; the search begins. Most people drive all the roads in the area to determine where they would like to be or perhaps where they don’t want to be.
You can start by looking for “For Sale” signs and asking around the area. You can go to the borough office and look at the maps to find out who owns any property you think you might be interested in. Many owners have long since left the state and might be interested in selling. I can’t tell you how many times people have come to us to have us build for them on a lot they found in just this way. There are many ways to find an owner but sometimes it isn’t easy. Many lots sit vacant for years because the property is tied up in probate or other legal issues. The easiest way to find out about the status of a property is to go to the borough office and find out who the legal owner is and perhaps write a letter expressing your interest.
Another way to find property is to log on to the Alaska real estate Multiple listing site. http://www.alaskarealestate.com/ This is a very powerful search engine that can help you refine your search.
Craigslist also has many properties listed for sale by owner. http://anchorage.craigslist.org/
Alaska list is another great option. http://alaskaslist.com/1/posts/12_Real_Estate/0/
Looking at these sites will give you an idea about what is available and what the costs are likely to be and you might even find what you are looking for right away. My advice is to take your time in your search, you will find things about certain areas that you might not like and other things about other areas that you didn’t know about. (To be continued in choosing a lot part II)
Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom.
- Theodore Isaac Rubin