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Thread: Living In Alaska

  1. #1
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    Default Living In Alaska

    Good Day everyone,
    I am a disabled veteran (not broken, just disabled)looking for some land with a cabin to purchase for my wife and I. We do not need anything extravagant. We want to live the simple life. We prefer to have water on the property; electricity would be nice but not required. We want to heat and cook by wood and grow a garden. I have a limited income from my disability and could afford a small monthly payment. I can come up with a down payment, but I need some money to still get there and get set up. I currently live in Alabama and cannot stand living in the south. We have lived in Alaska before and love it there. If you know of some place around the Kenai Peninsula, we would be most grateful. We are looking to buy as soon as possible, but we will be moving after our son graduated high school. I would also be looking for work. I have done many things in my life from a tank mechanic to jumping out of airplanes to working in an office. I am able to learn very quickly.
    Thanks for any help ahead of time.

  2. #2
    Member Rope's Avatar
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    Thank you for your service. I am not ,much help, I am relocating to Ak myself, but to the interior, good luck.

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    I would be glad to give you some ideas about what I found. A spent a solid 10 days looking at land from cooper landing to Homer last June. I found my piece near Soldotna. I think I have a pretty fair understanding of what you will find. First thing is that there is a big range of what your neighbors will be like depending on what you pay. There are several areas that you can get a few acres for a very reasonable price but you will have sort of a shanty town kind of atmosphere. I also found lots of parcels that had extensive restrictions on what you could and could not do on the land. For me it was a goal to find a piece of land that gave me some space away from other structures but didn't put restrictions on my use. I would use about $10,000 an acre as a starting point for what you will spend keeping in mind there are lots and lots variables.

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    Moderator bkmail's Avatar
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    Landinalaska.com is a good place to start your search.
    Also, look at the BLM website for land auctions or over the counter sales (although these parcels tend to be more remote, FYI).
    BK

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    Member etdvm's Avatar
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    Second the suggestion of landinalaska.com They did a good job by us, and I rode the agent like a monkey rides a border collie. He took it well.
    Fly fishing makes me herl

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    Talking Thank you

    We would like to thank you all that has posted, we have been to anchorage years ago, but was not able to stay, long story.... we were hoping that maybe one of ya all might know of an owner that is wanting to sell we are trying to look for owner finance with down payment then make monthly payments. we do not want to live in anchorage we want to live in a small community or just on the out skirts of city limits, again the more information we can receive the better. Again Thank you for the posts

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    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    In addition to Land in Alaska, use the KPB parcel viewer http://mapserver.borough.kenai.ak.us/kpbmapviewer/

    You can zoom in on a parcel, get tax information, and might be able to pick up whether or not a potential neighborhood is a "shanty town" or not. Using google earth for sattalite views is also adviced, you can get an idea of the land is swampland or not, and a general lay of possible parcels. You'll still have to come up and walk down any land you want to purchase, but you can drastically narrow down your search via the net.

    I've been looking off and on for cabin land in the KPB as well as the Matsu and have yet to find what I'm after, but have learned a few things along the way. Probably your best bet on the Kenai is around Clam Gulch. There is lots of land available, prices are reasonable, and you won't have to deal as much with the weekend SouthCentral hordes descending upon you. The area is too long of a drive for a weekend getaway which is why I've nixed to local 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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    I can't think of two better sources for helping you than Craigslist and/or a Real Estate agent.
    Owner financing is the tricky part. The larger your down payment the easier it is to obtain.

    Cabins and land up here are not cheap, that means a fair number will have leins on them. Lein will generally mean no owner financing.

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    Default Thank you SnowWolfe

    Quote Originally Posted by Snowwolfe View Post
    I can't think of two better sources for helping you than Craigslist and/or a Real Estate agent.
    Owner financing is the tricky part. The larger your down payment the easier it is to obtain.

    Cabins and land up here are not cheap, that means a fair number will have leins on them. Lein will generally mean no owner financing.
    We understand that things are not cheap, the places I have found within our budget means I email the Realtor and they do not get back with me. we have checked Craigslist just doesn't seem to have many places within our $$ budget.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bawanna View Post
    I would be glad to give you some ideas about what I found. A spent a solid 10 days looking at land from cooper landing to Homer last June. I found my piece near Soldotna. I think I have a pretty fair understanding of what you will find. First thing is that there is a big range of what your neighbors will be like depending on what you pay. There are several areas that you can get a few acres for a very reasonable price but you will have sort of a shanty town kind of atmosphere. I also found lots of parcels that had extensive restrictions on what you could and could not do on the land. For me it was a goal to find a piece of land that gave me some space away from other structures but didn't put restrictions on my use. I would use about $10,000 an acre as a starting point for what you will spend keeping in mind there are lots and lots variables.
    We are opened to ideas Bawanna, give us a list we will look it over. it would be better to go on a mini vacation to find what we are looking for but with work and no paid time off it is just impossible to accomplish that.

  11. #11

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    Since it looks like you are in search of land that you will be living on, make sure to look at access. Lots of people figure on access for summer and/or winter depending on their desired use, but forget about the spring/fall. Crossing a lake is fine in the summer (boat) or winter (snowmachine/atv), but can cause a lot of problems during freezeup and breakup (some ice to stop a boat, but not enough to travel on top of). I've known a number of lots to be bought and then sold rather quickly after the owner discovered they couldn't access it during the times of year they wanted to.

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    How about moving up and renting while you look? It's hard to buy from a distance. Even worse when you have definite criteria and you don't know the area well. By renting you are not locked in to a piece of property you suddenly realize why it was so cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NRick View Post
    How about moving up and renting while you look? It's hard to buy from a distance. Even worse when you have definite criteria and you don't know the area well. By renting you are not locked in to a piece of property you suddenly realize why it was so cheap.
    Good advice. Any where south of Anchorage is even more expensive. Utilities, gas, diesel, and especially food. Fruits and veggies are about triple the price to what you might be used to. Either way, don't buy any place unless you see the ground after all the snow and ice melts. Not sure what your budget is but if you want a place with power to it and a decent living space on a little land along the road system $150K plus is a good rough estimate of where to start.

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    anybody with info on the Kahiltna Flats area iv lived in the virginia mountains all my life but the population is booming now and i need a new place to be in the middle of the woods and info would help

  15. #15
    Moderator Paul H's Avatar
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    It's really important to understand that your concept of the middle of the woods and the reality of remote Alaska is likely vastly different. I've been looking into getting property for a cabin in that general area, i.e. W of the Parks and S of Trapper Creek and have come to some conclusions. Access is definatley a challenge. You are unlikely to find land that has sufficient trees to build a log cabin, so you are going to need to ship in building materials. Access to bring those materials in is via snowmachine in the winter. I realized I didn't want to spend all winter ferrying in supplies and living in a tent every weekend in temps that will drop to -30.

    The travel season is going to depend on how long it takes the river to freeze up, and snow cover. This year we've had plenty of early cold, which is good for freezing the rivers and lakes, but very little snow. Low snow means you'll tear up your snowmachine and sled. Last year had record snows which mean you'd burn alot of fuel to pack down a trail to your place. Summer access will be via plane, and as mentioned, during breakup and freezeup you won't be traveling in or out. Figure October and November will be no travel times, and mid April to late May possibly early June is no travel times.

    Last fall that whole area saw significant flooding. I was flying back from the slope and was amazed to see how far the muddy river waters had traveled into the lakes and ponds in the area.

    The reality is you will need to budget $50,000 for a snowmachine, sled, tools, building materials and fuel to build a small cabin in that area, on top of the price of the land. Then you will need to budget for transporting food into the area as you cannot rely upon taking sufficient quantities of fish and game to live off of.

    Buying an existing cabin is something to be considered because the prices are just about what the land and materials would cost to buy and build, but instead of spending all your time ferrying materials and living in a tent, you can be enjoying your time in the woods.
    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.

  16. #16
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    http://dnr.alaska.gov/mlw/landsale/disp12/index.cfm

    See "Participating in the Veteran's Preference Auction".
    Would require "resident status" to qualify ~ need to be living in state 12 months + other requirements.

    If nothing else, this site can provide an additional resource for research.

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    thanks paul for the info, I might not be the smartest person in the world but i no enough to no that every bit of land is different and i need to look into all details or ill end up with my life on the line

  18. #18
    Member Alaskanmutt's Avatar
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    You have to watch Vet Preference Sales too, they usually have stipulations and So far have been in Kenai
    Beaver Creek
    Both of these parcels are eligble for the Veteran’s Preference
    Auction (see page 17 for details). *NOTE: There are improvement
    requirements for Veteran’s Preference
    (see page 18).
    Improvements will require the development of adjacent right
    of ways to meet city standards of accessibility in order to
    obtain a building permit.
    Page 18
    Parcels purchased at the Veterans Preference Auction are subject to the following restrictions (11 AAC
    67.050):
    • The veteran may not sell or otherwise transfer ownership of the land for fi ve years, except to heirs
    upon the death of the purchaser, as security for a loan, or for other good cause as determined by
    the director of the Division of Mining, Land and Water.
    • The veteran shall submit proof within two years that residential development has begun. Proof shall
    show that access has been developed, if necessary, and improvements have been made to the
    property. These improvements can be utility installations, a permanent foundation or the construction
    of waste disposal and sanitary facilities under a building permit issued by the appropriate
    municipal authority. The two year development requirement will begin on the effective date of the
    contract for sale or on the date of payoff if a contract has not been issued.
    The director may not convey title to the parcel until the above requirements have been met.

    (The borough won't issue the permit till the roads are built.)

    You have to be a State Resident for 1 year prior to the Auction, Not just living here, you have to prove you plan on staying like change your Drivers License over.

    The Veterans Discount is a 25% reduction of the price of the land AFTER the reimbursable are taken out. (if there are any and there usually is some, either per acre or per parcel)
    Take Kahiltna Flats
    Parcel 470-1100 ADL 213681
    15 acres at 9400.00
    204.00 per acre reimbursable.
    The math is

    9400.00 - 3060 (reimbursable of 204.00 x 15 acres)= 6340.00
    6340.00 - 25% = 4755.00 (vet discount)
    4755.00 + 3060 (the reimbursable added back in)= 7815.00
    Down payment of 940.00 (10%)
    Amount due to pay off the land is 6875.00
    6875.00 in contract with the state at 6.5% (3 percent above prime)
    Monthly payments of 134.00 for 61 months (No penalty for early payoff and extra paid per month goes towards interest.)
    2000 Bayliner Ciera Express 2452
    5.0 Mercruiser Alpha 1

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    Supporting Member Old John's Avatar
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    ancicracks
    I have land a few miles West of the Kahiltna flats. As Paul stated, winter access is by Snow machine, or a small plane on ski's.
    Summer access to the Kahiltna Flats would be by small plane on floats or helicopter. Or one helluva hike from the Yentna. Looking at a map you might be able to get far enough up the Deshka river by airboat to hike over to that subdivision. Spring breakup and fall freeze up could be critical times because if you had an accident, or some kind of emergency a helicopter would be your only avenue.. and they ain't cheap. Moose hunting in that area can only be classified as fair right now because moose populations are down. But bear populations in that area are up. there are no Caribou,deer, musk ox, nor buffalo in that area. All 5 species of salmon run up the Yentna river, and the Deshka river used to be the best Chinook, Coho and Pink fishing in this part of the world, but the returns have been getting smaller every year as the pressure increases, and this falls floods in Sept probably wiped out the majority of next springs spawn.. So in 3 to 5 years we'll be lucky to see any salmon returning in the rivers in that area. You could grow a decent garden in that area, depending on which parcel you would acquire. But the land itself could not support you unless you had some source of outside income. But... it is a great area for a Recreation cabin.

  20. #20
    Member AKluvr95's Avatar
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    @ Alaskanmutt well described however [I'm not an expert - nor have I yet used this program] I don't believe you get the 25% discount with the auction parcel.

    They seem to be two seperate programs.

    No Veterans’ Land Discount on Veteran’s
    Preference Auction Purchases

    You may have in fact been describing it this way but unsure since I'm not familiar with all the differnt parcels.

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