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  • thinking of Alaska

    Been thinking of relocating to Alaska.I,ve been to several different areas over the last few years(Sitka-Kodiak-Willow-Homer-Fairbanks-Anchorage-etc.I like the southeast quite a bit.Looking to take a month or two off work and come up again and take a poke around.Any suggestions would be great.Don,t want to be near bigger towns but not looking to be miles back in by boat or floatplane.I,m a young -fit 51.I,ve been a self-employed contractor for 20 years and also run a part-time taxidermy business.My goal would be to find a small house or cabin to buy in a small town and hope to find some work to get by.Have some money put away and could put 100k in a small place with another 100k to get by on for awhile.Any suggestions or ideas on places to start looking would be great.I got a good friend in Sitka but real estate is super expensive there.Have a great day and thanks.Lloyd

  • #2
    Being on the fringe of Anchorage or Fairbanks wouldn't be bad. With your line of work being fairly close to a sizable customer base would help a lot. Good for you for taking the time to come up and snoop around for a bit. Also, having some money in the bank to get going is a great idea. Best wishes..

    Scott

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    • #3
      While real estate in the Fairbanks area is pretty inexpensive, you can get away from the city really quickly, and I think the quality of life in the interior is outstanding, I don't think someone who finds SE appealing would enjoy Fairbanks all that much. You've got to be pretty committed to winter.
      Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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      • #4
        If I didn't have to work in the city I'd make a bee-line to SE.

        The challenge with Alaska is all real estate is expensive. When you find a nice parcel of land that is accessible and doesn't have any issues building on it its expensive, and when you find an inexpensive parcel by the time you factor in the cost of getting building materials to the land or dealing with issues that make the land difficult to build on, it's even more expensive than the land that is straight forward to build on.

        The best advice to anyone coming up is to rent for two years while you find out what area you want to settle in and learn what you like in a location before buying land. Getting an appreciation for drainage during different seasons of the year, when an area is in the sun and when it's in the shade, etc. etc. is something you pick up after a few seasons.

        As a general rule quality properties sell quickly in Alaska, unless they are overpriced. Properties that have been on the market for some time generally have issues. The key is knowing what is a good property and having cash in hand to buy it when it hits the market.
        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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        • #5
          Originally posted by mlshore View Post
          ....You risk being committed in winter.
          ...........:whistle:
          ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
          I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
          The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It

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          • #6
            Look at Wrangell or Petersberg you have enough bucks for either
            Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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            • #7
              Originally posted by iofthetaiga View Post
              ...........:whistle:
              That, too :topjob:
              Mushing Tech: squeezing the romance out of dog mushing one post at a time

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              • #8
                Thanks for the input.I really do appreciate it.I,m kinda at a point in life pondering what to do.Kids grown and can be on there own(if that is actually possible)Have things good here.Don,t have to work the 9-5 and take plenty of time off.Built a small off-grid cabin(no water or electric)5 miles off the pavement.Drive to it in good weather but snowshoe in the last 3/4mile in deeper snow.Fortunate enough to spend a few months there each year,BUT as said earlier been to Alaska quite a few times staying with friends or working at lodges and it grows on ya.Been looking on craiglst for short term rentals in areas SE to come up and stay awhile and poke around.Haines looks pretty nice also,Again thanks for the input and hope all have a fantastic day!!!!!Lloyd

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                • #9
                  I Love Southeast AK and can't see myself living anywhere else; it's where I belong. I live in Sitka and love it here. Most here live a subsistence/wilderness lifestyle and cherish it. Southeast AK is a great place to live if you love the outdoors and fishing/hunting/etc; whilst not seeing many (if any) people while doing it. I cringe every time I see pictures of people fishing up in the Anchorage area for salmon. I can go out any day in the fall here and catch as many Coho's/Dollys/Trout as I want while seeing nobody at all. Anchorage feels like a big city to me. Although I love the Seward area; Southcentral Alaska can't compare to Southeast as far as harvestable wildlife without the human pressure. Our shrimping and crabbing season down here are open 365 days a year. We have a Personal Use King Crab season which lasts most the year, Tanner crab fishing is open 54 weeks a year. We are allowed 6 blacktail deer a year....try and find that in the Southcentral area! If that is the type of lifestyle you're after; albeit expensive to live here, look what is right out your front door. Not to mention Southeast; and Sitka specifically is the King Salmon capitol of the world.:topjob:

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Anythingalaska View Post
                    Anchorage feels like a big city to me.
                    Anchorage IS a big city to me.......

                    I'm wondering what are just a few ways that make it more expensive to live in Sitka...???
                    Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by 4merguide View Post
                      Anchorage IS a big city to me.......

                      I'm wondering what are just a few ways that make it more expensive to live in Sitka...???
                      Gas is $4.35ish for a gallon of 87 octane. Gallon of milk is 5$+. A starter home is $320,000. A lot with utilities ready to build are easily $100,00 or more. An acre of land can go for $250,000 to $500,000 or more! A weeks worth of groceries for two people are averaging us $200 a week. Those are a few examples. But I wouldn't change it for anything.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Anythingalaska View Post
                        Gas is $4.35ish for a gallon of 87 octane. Gallon of milk is 5$+. A starter home is $320,000. A lot with utilities ready to build are easily $100,00 or more. An acre of land can go for $250,000 to $500,000 or more! A weeks worth of groceries for two people are averaging us $200 a week. Those are a few examples. But I wouldn't change it for anything.
                        Gas is $4.39 here and my wife pays $6 for the organic milk. Heard on the radio this morning that the real estate market on the Kenai "is the best it's ever been". It does sound like your real estate is way up there tho indeed......
                        Sheep hunting...... the pain goes away, but the stupidity remains...!!!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 4merguide View Post
                          Gas is $4.39 here and my wife pays $6 for the organic milk. Heard on the radio this morning that the real estate market on the Kenai "is the best it's ever been". It does sound like your real estate is way up there tho indeed......
                          Gotcha. I Guess I remember Seward being a lot cheaper than Sitka when I was there 5 years ago. One big difference though is that Juneau and Ketchikan have WalMarts and Fred Meyers, where many everyday things are many times cheaper than here in Sitka, Petersburg, Haines, POW, etc. People take trips to Juneau with their vehicles just to load up at Costco and come back to save money. Sitka is further off the Alaska Marine Highway than most (if not all) other towns. It's way out of the way for the barges, and it's been proposed to build a road across the island to decrease shipping costs, which I disagree with honestly; because it compromises our wilderness here.

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                          • #14
                            The easier it is to live in a nice place, the more people that will live there. I like visiting SE, but the rain would kill me. I spent a lot of time in Kodiak (similar to SE) and the winters there were pretty dreary to me. Wet, brown, and dark. Rain is ok in summer, but falling much of the winter, I wouldn't deal with it well.

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                            • #15
                              Amen, Anythingalaska! The single complaint I have is the expense these guys charge around here to fly into the backcountry! We lived in Anchorage and it just got WAY too big for us. Don't much miss wal-mart, Freddies, Costco, etc.

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