I related this story on another thread and I'll give you the heads up too.
Some items you need to check out and make decisions on before you buy.
Do you want Electric?,septic or privy? well or carry water to camp?
Does the land have any ementities?
How far is electric if it doesn't have it on?
Whats the cost of a privy installed or a sand mound if you want a cabin with pressurized water installed?
Purchasing land might be a viable solution but there is a good chance the purchase of a cabin vs the purchase of just land will be cheaper in the long run.
Once you add up the cost of the land, the excavation and clearing of the land for the cabin,well,septic,and then the cost of building a cabin, ends up costing more than a cabin with some of the features you will need.
Take for example.
Here is a cabin close to me for sale
Now this cabin looks better in the pics than the actual cabin does. But this is a desirable location for a lot of guys. Over 3 acres and it has a cabin. Not much but it's a roof over your head.
Now add a well--5-6K as the water table is around 150-180 feet.
Add a sand mound--$12K++ or more to have that installed.
The electric is right in front of the cabin and the company will supply your wire for free. All you will have to do is have a trench dug from the pole to the cabin and it must be 3 feet deep and encased in SCH 40 pipe. Lets round off at $500.
You have 40K + 12k+ 6K + another $1500 for closing,electric and small items = $60K
I bought 2 acres about 1/4 mile from there as the crow flies and the land, the well, the septic, the electric, the excavation,etc--is now at $40K. I'll never be able to build a cabin for $20K. If I had a few helpers, you know the guys that say they will help but just want a place to come to during huinting and fishing season--yea maybe.I'm looking at building 1000 sq feet and it will be more than 20K in the long run.
I too thought just to buy land and go in steps but that always is not the wisest choice.
If you have a few close friends, and thats a touchy comprimise, to get others to join in and share the cost is nice. I thought that over for quite some time and found out that it might be best to do everything myself and not cause fights with friends later. We hear about everyone having a great time at camp but not every camp is happy. I've seen a few camps have bad feelings with the members because of petty problems. Not wanting that made my mind up. Also--the one guy I asked didn't have the money,so it was just me.