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Thread: Build or Buy on the Yetna

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    Default Build or Buy on the Yetna

    Hi All

    I plan to purchase or build on the Yetna just north of Lake Creek. I am suffering from sticker shock but will not be deterred. Many reasons I chose this location, we have friends with a beautiful lodge style cabin on the creek and there is a commercial lodge across the creek where the owner will look after and maintain our property when we are away. There is a very small chalet cabin for sale that we could get into for about 240,000 but in order to entertain I would have to build a 2 bed stand alone cabin. The prettiest piece of property over there is a 5 acre plot that runs $85,000. Fresen's have a couple of real nice floor plans but then I have to finish the interior, build a storage shed, dock and solar/Gen$$$$Yikes. Any thoughts how I might trim the budget? Another location is not out of the question however I really need someone nearby to look after the place while we are away and it has to have easy access to the fish (most important!!). Anything for sale in the 200 area up on the Tal or Lake creek area? Thanks for all your advice

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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    I was going to suggest you look into good flood insurance too, but I guess that kind of thing may not be much of an issue for folks who can afford to drop that kind of coin for a recreational "cabin".
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    Member Tearbear's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iofthetaiga View Post
    I was going to suggest you look into good flood insurance too, but I guess that kind of thing may not be much of an issue for folks who can afford to drop that kind of coin for a recreational "cabin".
    Can you get flood insurance being on a river like that? Might cost more for the insurance in the long run, than it does for the property.
    "Grin and Bear It"

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    I've been weighing that issue out myself, though not in the same location.

    To me the question comes down to, do I want to spend my time hauling materials and building a cabin, likely over several years, or do I want to spend my time enjoying a cabin. My answer is I'd rather spend time enjoying a cabin, and at my leisure I can putter around and build a banya and other projects.

    I'd say if you can find a cabin that is suitable for your use and location and the price is fair, then go that route. If the only way to get what you want is to buy land and build it, then go that route.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    I've always thought the hauling and building were the best part of having a cabin. It never ends. Make a materials list and haul in the winter, try to remember what the heck you were thinking come spring when you start building. I wouldn't have it any other way.

  6. #6

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    The front row seats do not always turn out to be the best deal. First by being real close to lake creek you will be where the largest concentration of people are there for exposing it to more access to your place. People running a lodge in the summer do not have time to stand in the window and watch your place. You could trim the budget by a lot , just look around and find a place that that could be brought up to your standard. Welcom to the forum but most people on here will not be impressed with the amount of coins that you can drop. Good Luck

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    Paul hits the nail on the head as far as answering the question of whether to buy an existing place or just buy land and build. If you don't enjoy buidling things and figuring stuff out I would not plan to build just to save money. It's debatable on whether you would even save money building yourself. I've seen cabins sell in my neck of the woods (Trapper Creek/Petersville) for less than I know they had to have into it.

    However, I'm with Mr. Pid. Much of the reason we have a cabin that we built is the hauling and building itself. I asked an older neighbor with a nice cabin that he started 25 years ago, "how long did it take to build this?" He replied, "I don't know, I'm not done yet!"

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    Don't get me wrong, I'd absolutely love to get a lot and build a cabin. But one has to be realistic with their resources, which is a combination of funds, skills, tools and time. If I worked a 2 and 2 on the slope, no question I'd buy a lot and be building a cabin. But that's not my situation, and my experience building a boat in my garage where I had all my tools handy educated me on the reality of how much free time I really have.

    If you only have weekends off, and in reality can only dedicate a weekend or two a month and maybe a week here and there during the year, then the odds are you'll be getting frustrated. Either that weekend you can dedicate to ferrying supplies will be a blizzard and you can't get them out, or when you finally get to the building stage it sems you're spending all your time hauling out tools, getting set up, and just when you're about to make some progress you gotta turn around and head home as the weekend is gone.

    So I started looking at the price of vacation cabins and thought, hmm, so you mean I can just buy it, go out and enjoy it and do some maintenance here and there and it won't cost me any more than building myself? No brainer for me.
    Those that are successful in Alaska are those who are flexible, and allow the reality of life in Alaska to shape their dreams, vs. trying to force their dreams on the reality of Alaska.

    If you have a tenuous grasp of reality, Alaska is not for you.

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    Member TWB's Avatar
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    Default Build or Buy on the Yetna

    I'd build. With this years floods, many learned there cabins aren't above flood plane.
    We do not go to the green woods and crystal waters to rough it, we go to smooth it. We get it rough enough at home; in towns and cities; in shops, offices, stores, banks anywhere that we may be placed

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    One word of advice if your screen name implies you'll be getting there and back in a float plane. You need to consider the property carefully. Lakes would be my preference if parking a float plane out front. Rivers go up and down and unless you have the right kind of current and an appropriate bank you won't enjoy having a plane tied up in a river.

  11. #11

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    Mr.Pid , Even sometimes with the rivers the way they go up and down you can land on wheels where the river was and sometimes you can land on floats where it is cleared for wheels .( I think that there was a picture a few weeks ago to that .) ????

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    Thanks for the advice. Yep the float plane adds to the joy of having a recreational cabin. I am looking up river from Lake Creek the mouth is a zoo.

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    look into the cabin on the south side of the mouth of fish creek, it would ned a lot of work but a way cool lot and no thought of flooding. talk to Eric Johnson at Northwoods Lodge. he knows who owns a lot about the area. P.M. me ill give you the info on who owns that cabin at the mouth i don't know if he wants to sell yet but for sure in a few years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    I've always thought the hauling and building were the best part of having a cabin. It never ends. Make a materials list and haul in the winter, try to remember what the heck you were thinking come spring when you start building. I wouldn't have it any other way.
    And I agree, even if others don't care whether I agree or not . . . . .

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    Hi Cpine,

    I have a place up there for sale. I sent you a pm.

    A 12 x 16 two story cabin, a 12 x 16 two story shop. One would need an atv and a snowmachine to access it.

    The cabin & shop is on the tallest hill in the area, on 11.65 acres. It is 3/8 mile from Bulchitna Lake at the NW end (opposite the outlet), and one mile by trail from Fish Lakes Creek. We own it clear title. The cabin has a view of Denali, the top of the hill over looks Bulchitna Lake (your preferred access w/a float plane. You should consider an R-44), has views of the Chugach Mtns, the Alaska Range, Denali etc. The location is beautiful. We want $35K cash. PM me if you are interested.

  16. #16
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    Check with Tim Brion at Bentalit Lodge, http://www.bentalitlodge.com, (right around the "corner" from Northwoods Lodge); he and some of his family have several lots for sale in a platted subdivision. For less than the prices you are looking at, you could get a lot, build a cabin, and have some pretty good neighbors. Our cabin is not on the river, but just a bit down a trail from the State boat landing on Fish Lakes Creek. The area is just a short boat ride up river from Lake Creek. There is a well maintained gravel airstrip for summer, groomed alternate strip in winter. AND, most of the area is above the flood levels. Our plan is to build a bigger cabin later on, but I'll probably have the winter freighters bring the stuff in and park it right where I need it; though I've already had Eric from Northwoods haul some stuff this year on his barge. I wish I was able to be up there right now.

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    Thanks to all who responded. We elected to buy the property on Fish Lake Creek and couldn't be happier. Eric Johnson has done an outstanding job with a remodel. If you see the plane out front stop by and say hello.


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