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Thread: What to watch for when buying land in AK?

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    Default What to watch for when buying land in AK?

    I am looking into buying some land somewhere between Willow and Talkeetna. What are the most important things to consider when buying in Alaska? Access rules, wells, etc?

    Thanks for the help.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Wow, alot of area in that question...


    Access is probably the first biggy, need road access?, maintained roads? ATV/snogo access only?

    If you work in town and need to commute, that is another big one on how far you can travel reasonably..as well as typical winter road condition considerations

    How about power, if you need grid power, that will limit you in a alot of ways.

    Neighbors? Want them? Hate them? Like sled dogs barking? How about shooting at all hours?

    Thats just a couple things off the top of my head...ya I know, more questions than answers...

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by D Miller View Post
    I am looking into buying some land somewhere between Willow and Talkeetna. What are the most important things to consider when buying in Alaska? Access rules, wells, etc?

    Thanks for the help.
    Can I add...........watch for gold................lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Lots of people trying to sell swamps. Biggest thing is to actually look at the property. Many never set foot on their "dream lot" then when they finally do they find it is more nightmare.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Lots of people trying to sell swamps. Biggest thing is to actually look at the property. Many never set foot on their "dream lot" then when they finally do they find it is more nightmare.
    I got it!!! Gonna start a houseboat business....."Grizz's Cabinboat Sales'.....that should work.............lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LuJon View Post
    Lots of people trying to sell swamps. Biggest thing is to actually look at the property. Many never set foot on their "dream lot" then when they finally do they find it is more nightmare.
    ITS NOT SWAMP!!!!!!!!!!!


    its moose habitat...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    ITS NOT SWAMP!!!!!!!!!!!


    its moose habitat...
    See, Vince knows all the good realestate lingo......lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    See, Vince knows all the good realestate lingo......lol
    did you know the land were are buying is assessed as a VIEW property?

    .....

    yeah.. i can't see past any trees ... BUT if we cut them all down we would have a view..
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vince View Post
    did you know the land were are buying is assessed as a VIEW property?

    .....

    yeah.. i can't see past any trees ... BUT if we cut them all down we would have a view..
    Well, just remember if you do cut all the trees down.....that swamp you see behind your place is mine..............lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    I've heard them referred to as "seasonally moist meadows", lol

    BTW, these "meadows" have their advantages too...if your home is adjacent to one, you know you will never have a neighbor building on it and it makes for some fun glassing while drinking your morning coffee!

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    Member GrizzlyH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    I've heard them referred to as "seasonally moist meadows", lol

    BTW, these "meadows" have their advantages too...if your home is adjacent to one, you know you will never have a neighbor building on it and it makes for some fun glassing while drinking your morning coffee!
    Uh Oh!......hope Vince doesn't mind looking at my house boat............lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    I wanted to start with a large area and narrow it down. I currently live in Wasilla and wanted something close enough to use on weekends and vacations but off of the beaten path. A cabin would likely appear at some point in the near future. Grid power isnt really an issue, im looking for an excuse to buy a generator anyway.

    I have looked at a couple lots but access was limited. One was surrounded by private property and "moose habitat". I couldnt get a straight answer on the access potetial on the other. I have only been in AK since Feb so I am not as familiar with local rules and/or customs regarding access.

    Is there a best practice concerning wells? Any septic conserns that might need to be explored prior to purchase?

    Thanks again.

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    get out enough where you dont have to pay taxes.
    Semper Fi!

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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    get out enough where you dont have to pay taxes.
    Isn't that called squawting........lol
    I can do the impossible right away. Be patient, miracles take me a bit longer.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    I recently went to look at a 10 acre lot, they wanted 85K for it. I checked it out and it was 8.5 ares of bog and 1.5 acres of hill. The only really decent build-able portion of the lot had a 50' access easement running right through it. I wrote the realtor and made a 29K offer which was pretty generous considering what I would actually get. They didn't respond... <grin> From what I understand the owner had never actually been to the lot and it truly does look nice on the google earth view which was taken in January. Snow does a decent job of hiding swamp I guess.

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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrizzlyH View Post
    Isn't that called squawting........lol
    no, lots of no prop tax land in ak

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    Quote Originally Posted by D Miller View Post
    Is there a best practice concerning wells? Any septic conserns that might need to be explored prior to purchase?

    Thanks again.
    if there is no access road there is no well...

    if ground water is too high. or perma frost to deep... yup... you can plan on engineering a septic mound...
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

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    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by greythorn3 View Post
    get out enough where you dont have to pay taxes.
    Uhhh...Well that would be where.....North of Broad pass/Cantwell? Anywhere in the Mat Su borough, you are gonna pay taxes I beleive...except for possibly going way way remote...

    FWIW, limited access is not all bad. Depends on how the properties around you have access...

    As far as a well and septic...I would assume an outhouse is one of the first things you'll put in once you buy...an actual septic system will depend hugely on the soil type where you buy. Gravelly soils will "require" a layer of beach sand under the leach field, high water table will likely require a mound system or holding tank...

    Well can vary from a hand driven sand point (if high water table) to 100' or more deep drilled well, and anything in between. Cost could vary between $100 and $5000 just depends on how much water you need and where the water is...the geology and hydrology of the area you describe is widely varied.


    Believe it or not, you can still buy accessible land cheap in Alaska. I recently bought 10 acres for 13K (about 5 acres buildable with borough rd access). The key to finding a good deal is TIME and OPPORTUNITY. Take all the time it takes to come across the opportunity.

    If youre willing to wait 5 years to find the right land at the right price, you may find your alot happier in the long run, but be ready to jump on a good deal when it arises!

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    I'd confirm the general consensus here, Get Out There and make sure there is Dry land to build on, and also that the access is over somewhat Dry land in summer.
    There's a lot more "Moose Habitat" in that area than you would imagine, and strolling on out there in winter won't tell you what it could be like in summer.
    Water table can be found pretty easily in a lot of area out there, septic questions..........probably more of the same,

    Depends on How Swampy it all is..........It's a real nice area, just find a dry spot to plant your sticks on.

    You'll love all those Moose out there. Ever notice how long their legs are ?????? Adapted for Wading......
    Ten Hours in that little raft off the AK peninsula, blowin' NW 60, in November.... "the Power of Life and Death is in the Tongue," and Yes, God is Good !

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    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    try to stay outa the marshes the misquitos will eat you alive!!!
    Semper Fi!

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