SF lease inspections question. - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-19-2017, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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SF lease inspections question.

Greetings all!

I just joined up, which is something I should have done years ago, been a lurker for a while...

But anyhoo, Im looking at buying a SF cabin/lease in Rothrock. The cabin needs a lot of help. Its falling off its pylons. Seems, back in the day when it was built, the pylons were not poured them deep enough to be below the frostline frost line, and over the years, the frost picked them up, and the cabin along with them, till gravity started taking over and pulled the cabin down the hill, tilting the pylons almost to the point of falling over, which will put the cabin on the ground.

The owner doesnt seem to think its a big deal, and isnt very willing to negotiate with the price on the issue. I have the ability, tools, equipment needed to fix it before the cabin falls over (my father, who is splitting the cabin with me, is a building contractor), so, to me, its not a big thing to correct it before its too late, IF the price is right to start with...

My question, Ive read the regulations for transferring a lease. Its my understanding that the DCNR will do an inspection before the lease is signed over. Does this inspection include looking for a very obvious structural defect? Would this be part of the "maintenance" and corrections that they would need fixed? It seems a no brainer to me, its not only a safety hazard (what if you were sleeping in it when the pylons gave out the rest of the way?), but its also unsightly.

Id like some opinions, because this is a rather serious, (and expensive to fix) problem, and if the DCNR will require it to be repaired by either the owner or buying, it has a bearing on the sale price.

Many thanks.

Last edited by Megawattmaker; 11-19-2017 at 10:51 PM.
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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 09:16 AM
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I'd call the DCNR district where the camp is. There is a forester who is in charge of camps. Give him the camp # and ask him your question. They send out a letter every year with what, if anything they want you to fix. It's usually small stuff like, "rake back leaves from camp." If it was something they wanted the owner to fix, it should be documented. If it was documented, it'd be more of "fix it or you could lose your lease."
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:51 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Chad1 View Post
I'd call the DCNR district where the camp is. There is a forester who is in charge of camps. Give him the camp # and ask him your question. They send out a letter every year with what, if anything they want you to fix. It's usually small stuff like, "rake back leaves from camp." If it was something they wanted the owner to fix, it should be documented. If it was documented, it'd be more of "fix it or you could lose your lease."
Did that this morning. The forester remembered this cabin, its was one of his first inspections right when he started the job 6 years ago. He questioned the (now previous) owner about it, who claimed he was an engineer, and talked the forester into thinking it was fine. The forester told me he had his doubts at the time, but that was 6 years ago, and so far it hasnt fallen over, but he was going up to it today and have another look. He did tell me he documented it in the file back in 2011, with some pictures, so he will compare those to the condition today, see if there is a difference.


Myself, Im not too concerned, we can fix it. I just want the repairs to be considered in the price I pay for the cabin. It appears to me the present owner is hoping to find someone who will just pay the asking price AND take on the repairs, which is their right, I suppose. To me, its not worth it, when I pay the better end of 50K, and still have to cough up another 6 to 9 grand to do the repairs so I dont have to worry about the wind blowing it over some night while Im sleeping in it.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 11:59 AM Thread Starter
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I should note too, this cabin has been on the market with a realtor for 50 days now, and so far, we have been the only interested party. They have had very few people see it since the first week on the market (realtor told me it was mostly out of state people, or people who thought they could buy it, tear it down and build a palace, and a few people who thought they could "flip" it for a quick profit). I dont have any experience with SF leases, but it seems to me its a pretty ---- tight niche market, with all sales being cash only. That seems to me as a tiny market.

How long do these usually stay on the market? Is 50 days long, short, or average?

Last edited by Megawattmaker; 11-20-2017 at 12:02 PM.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:17 PM
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I've been casually following the real estate in the Rock for the past 5 years or so. I know which cabin you are talking about. Most of the cabins with decent access to 322 and 26 seem to be scooped up pretty quickly, a lot these days it seems are being bought by non-hunters and for football games. The ones farther back in the price reflects that too. I see a lot of unused camps anymore and some are in serious disrepair. The price is obviously between you and the seller to negotiate but it doesn't strike me as nuts, and there are some that certainly do.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:34 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elk yinzer View Post
I've been casually following the real estate in the Rock for the past 5 years or so. I know which cabin you are talking about. Most of the cabins with decent access to 322 and 26 seem to be scooped up pretty quickly, a lot these days it seems are being bought by non-hunters and for football games. The ones farther back in the price reflects that too. I see a lot of unused camps anymore and some are in serious disrepair. The price is obviously between you and the seller to negotiate but it doesn't strike me as nuts, and there are some that certainly do.

Dont think football fans would be too into it. No cell service, no grid power close, sits on north face of a hill, so satellite signal will be nil too.

You say the price doesnt strike you as nuts. I have no idea myself. I know something is only worth what someone is willing to pay, and in this case, Im willing to pay a fair price once the repairs are considered, or maybe my value structure is not realistic. Whats the average price for a non POS cabin in the area?
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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 12:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Megawattmaker View Post
You say the price doesnt strike you as nuts. I have no idea myself. I know something is only worth what someone is willing to pay, and in this case, Im willing to pay a fair price once the repairs are considered, or maybe my value structure is not realistic. Whats the average price for a non POS cabin in the area?
If you are working with a decent realtor he or she should be able to show you some comparables that sold in the past few years there and in the Bald Eagle. It's just some much more difficult to assess than typical real estate, because most years only 4 or 5 cabins max are publicly sold and even that is over a huge area with widely varying access and hunting habitat. It just doesn't provide much data to work with. There are so many other factors just coming up with an average/sq foot even isn't all that relevant. As for the repairs if a seller tells you the needed repairs are factored into the list price, you either trust him, buy it contingent on those repairs, or walk away from the deal. I know from selling a house in a similar situation I said the needed work (roof) was factored into the list price, it was, and if the buyer accused me of deception there I would have been a little peeved...but again that's residential real estate and there were many comparables in the neighborhood such that I would have had a tough time pulling one over on the buyer.
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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by elk yinzer View Post
If you are working with a decent realtor he or she should be able to show you some comparables that sold in the past few years there and in the Bald Eagle. It's just some much more difficult to assess than typical real estate, because most years only 4 or 5 cabins max are publicly sold and even that is over a huge area with widely varying access and hunting habitat. It just doesn't provide much data to work with. There are so many other factors just coming up with an average/sq foot even isn't all that relevant. As for the repairs if a seller tells you the needed repairs are factored into the list price, you either trust him, buy it contingent on those repairs, or walk away from the deal. I know from selling a house in a similar situation I said the needed work (roof) was factored into the list price, it was, and if the buyer accused me of deception there I would have been a little peeved...but again that's residential real estate and there were many comparables in the neighborhood such that I would have had a tough time pulling one over on the buyer.
The realtor HAD no idea what she was selling. All she knew was that it was a "lease". No idea about how the lease change over worked, DCNR inspections, lease length, costs, nothing. I had to email her links to the DCNR that explain all this, even the section for realtors. She was really clueless. She quickly updated the online ad with the info I provided her, Ill note.

She offered no comparisons what so ever as to how they came up with the price, but I have little to counter it with myself either, like you say, there isnt much to go on. These are a very small niche market.

I dont think the repairs are factored into the price. Thats my opinion, BTW. The realtor didnt even see the problem till we pointed it out, despite the fact that its all too obvious. I will give her slack, she sells houses, doesnt build them, remodel them, repair them like my father and I do. She wouldnt know what to look for....but still, it sticks right out.

We are not looking to pull one over on anyone, fair is fair, for both parties. The needed repairs are a major issue regardless.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 01:35 PM
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I don't think out of staters are allowed to own leases.
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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 11-20-2017, 01:37 PM
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I think you're going about this the right way. Like you mentioned, the guy probably thinks he can sell this to some dummy that doesn't understand the seriousness of this structurally. Your allie in this I believe is the forester. If he understands the problem here, and it looks like he might; then he can put pressure on the owner to fix it right now, before it deteriorates further. This might give you some leverage to offer the owner a reduced price and he might accept.
I agree, no way do you want to pay full price for a building with issues.
Does all this make sense?
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