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Old 09-07-2008, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Boise burb
238 posts, read 480,394 times
Reputation: 82
Hmmm.... there's a couple new things to think about. I used to sell Real Estate (wasn't much good at it so I know what I'm looking at as far as having access, power adjacent, within a few miles of the outskirts of a town (there are a few soldotna "suburbs" listed). It sounds most likely that the super cheap stuff I'm seeing online is probably low land that could have some engineering issues to say the least. However I'm a bit curious about one thing, don't all the houses up there have to be set pretty deep? I'm planning for that... just not for a swamp. Anyhow it sure sounds like I need to head up there and check out the country. If nothing else it'll be a vacation to remember.
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,272 posts, read 7,645,087 times
Reputation: 3185
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need2Leave View Post
Hmmm.... there's a couple new things to think about. I used to sell Real Estate (wasn't much good at it so I know what I'm looking at as far as having access, power adjacent, within a few miles of the outskirts of a town (there are a few soldotna "suburbs" listed). It sounds most likely that the super cheap stuff I'm seeing online is probably low land that could have some engineering issues to say the least. However I'm a bit curious about one thing, don't all the houses up there have to be set pretty deep? I'm planning for that... just not for a swamp. Anyhow it sure sounds like I need to head up there and check out the country. If nothing else it'll be a vacation to remember.
Some houses have basements, but most don't. In the more "Tundra" type areas, you may need a gravel pad at least four feet thick or more with "typar" type of material under that, maybe even a blue foam to keep it from thawing the permafrost and cause you cabin to sink, or you might need to have Pilings driven to build on. Some cases, just a normal footing and go from there. You will need to figure out what kind of land you have before you decide what and how you are going to build...
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Old 09-08-2008, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,968,792 times
Reputation: 649
Default stand on it first

OBEY the cardinal rule of buying land in Alaska (or anywhere else for the matter)...before you write a check, you have to put your feet on the dirt first, in person. Buying land solely off what you see on a website or on paper is fraught with exciting possibilities, but most of them will end up in the category of "expensive and unpleasant learning experience" when all is said and done.

You'd be amazed at how proficient real-estate sharpies can be at framing a shot PERFECTLY, as to exclude the surrounding problems and issues. You can lie just as well with a photo as you can with words, perhaps better. Search the past list of postings on this subject for examples, I've written several of my lessons learned in past threads. Time of year counts when you go looking at properties, as does the recent weather. If the land is significantly cheaper than most comparable types of propety, there IS usually a good reason.

Stand on it first, then consider writing a check. Airfare up here for a land shopping trip/visit isn't cheap, but then neither is making a huge and expensive mistake and buying the wrong or unsuitable property.
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:43 PM
 
Location: Boise burb
238 posts, read 480,394 times
Reputation: 82
Well said Rotorhead. I've heard the stories of people buying sight unseen (who does that?) some peice of land with "good trail access" only to find the nearest tire tracks are 60 miles away. That aint me. It sounds like Starlight made a cool place out of some land most would consider un-desirable. I'm sure I'll be ok... I just didn't realize the geology changed so much in such a short distance up there. I just need to get up there and check it out. Is late July/early August about the right time to see how solid (or not) the ground is? Is that also close enough to the peak of bug season to get a feel for what I'm dealing with insect wise?

Thanks for all your help so far guys, it's much apreciated
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Old 09-08-2008, 06:56 PM
 
3,701 posts, read 5,824,753 times
Reputation: 1337
Quote:
Originally Posted by Need2Leave View Post
Well said Rotorhead. I've heard the stories of people buying sight unseen (who does that?) some peice of land with "good trail access" only to find the nearest tire tracks are 60 miles away. That aint me. It sounds like Starlight made a cool place out of some land most would consider un-desirable. I'm sure I'll be ok... I just didn't realize the geology changed so much in such a short distance up there. I just need to get up there and check it out. Is late July/early August about the right time to see how solid (or not) the ground is? Is that also close enough to the peak of bug season to get a feel for what I'm dealing with insect wise?

Thanks for all your help so far guys, it's much apreciated
Geology is subject to change without notice. I think the concept of microclimate was invented with AK in mind. It was fairly normal for us on Kodiak to have a south-facing pocket on a hillside full of flowers blooming while there was still a lot of snow elsewhere 20 or 30 feet away. And there are something like 27 techtonic plates in AK constantly shifting, so earthquakes are the norm. We had 3-5 a day measurable seismographically, but not feelable, on the island. Actual tremors that rattled things were fairly rare. Plus the volcano potential. Whether you get ash or not depends on which way the wind happens to be blowing when one of them pops off.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:10 PM
 
Location: Boise burb
238 posts, read 480,394 times
Reputation: 82
Wow...that is awesome. When mother nature puts all her bigest and best in one place she realy piles it deep.
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Old 09-08-2008, 11:30 PM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,123 posts, read 2,968,792 times
Reputation: 649
Default till and fill

Much of the Kenai peninsula is glacial till and fill, full of little pothole lakes. The soil is pretty thin in most spots, and the sand/gravel starts just below. A few feet elevation can make a huge difference, and there is a considerable peat layer in many places. Finding water isn't usually a problem, but finding good, drinkable water can be. A percolation test for siting septic systems is required before construction starts as I recall. There are mandatory setbacks for septic and well, as well as minimum separation between those two (for obvious reasons). You will still find some places that are old enough to violate every one of the above, but once they change hands that doesn't mean that they're going to be grandfathered in. Outside the municipalities, the enforcement of zoning can be rare to non-existent, which can considerably complicate finding a good place to live. See past threads for details, and think lumber mill/sled-dog kennel/gravel pit/helipad/refinery/squatters slum/junkyard/fish plant/all-of-the-above as far as topics.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:52 AM
 
Location: Bvi/Acores
111 posts, read 79,658 times
Reputation: 71
I just saw a nice piece of land near Thorne Bay that was reasonably priced at $2750/acre. No road access, only water or floatplane is my idea of remote.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:12 PM
 
Location: Not far from Fairbanks, AK
12,809 posts, read 13,515,298 times
Reputation: 7930
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider42 View Post
I just saw a nice piece of land near Thorne Bay that was reasonably priced at $2750/acre. No road access, only water or floatplane is my idea of remote.
A good place to retire and die in peace? Just kidding

But in reality every now and then the remains of people who live in remote areas are found by hunters and others. Some people living in such remote areas can't make it to a hospital on time because of the weather, and other things. I would have love to try something like that when I was in my 20's
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:58 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,272 posts, read 7,645,087 times
Reputation: 3185
Quote:
Originally Posted by ghostrider42 View Post
I just saw a nice piece of land near Thorne Bay that was reasonably priced at $2750/acre. No road access, only water or floatplane is my idea of remote.
Well "Cheap" is in the eye of the buyer.

No matter how nice of a description you read about the place, you need to step on it first. Just because it is remote, doesn't make it a good deal. Could be all bog, could be on a vertical cliff, could be subject to Avalanches and the list goes on!

Nothing really is any good unless you see it first! And there is a lot of really bad land in Alaska, as well as good, but the sellers don't always tell you the fine print!
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