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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 07:31 PM Thread Starter
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Advice on buying a camp

I am in the early stages of shopping for some land and a cabin. I'd like some property to hunt and shoot on, my non-hunting wife would like a cabin that is livable enough for weekend get-a-ways. We are very early in this process and I am looking for any advice previous buyers could offer. Right now we are looking in SW PA. I'd don't want to be too far of a drive from the Pittsburgh area so it can be relatively easy to get to. There seems to be more land for sale without cabins on than with on. We thought it might be worth buying the land now, and eventually working on putting a cabin on it. I have never done this, so I'm thinking getting a well dug and gas and electrical lines would be quite expensive. Has anyone been through this process. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 07:59 PM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

I think one of your biggest headaches and expenses if you buy land without a cabin will be a sand mound or tapping into sewer lines. There can be some long red tape in that matter as others have mentioned.

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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 08:58 PM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

I always wanted to build my own log cabin but during my search I came across 13 acres on pine creek with an existing structure with well ,septic and electric for 50k.....My figures for building came in at well over 100k which left me 50+k for reno......for me it was a no brainer we bought the existing structure
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 09:01 PM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

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
http://www.stevensrealtors.com/index...&listingID=232
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.

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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 09:08 PM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

pilotjjc3, go to page 3 on this cabin fourm, and read all the post on the sand mound issue i have alot of info as do some others on there , its just not about sand mounds but away legal to go about it, now for the advice, if possible keep location with in 1and half hr from your house, you will use it more often,i bought my land in 1999,had electric brought in 2900 feet, had driveway put in with highway fabric, and limestone 12 feet wide by 2900 feet,had 2 acres dozered off where i wanted cabin, that took me from spring of 2000 till may 25 th of this year, money and time was what it came down to, in all that time we still hunted the land alot, just traveled back in fourth,all the while saving money and doing whaty i could to put a log cabin in someday, that day came on may 28th this year,its in 24 by 28 log cabin with 10 by 16 loff,so it takes alittle time its a process, some faster some slower,if you find the right land and no cabin is on it, dont worry, i spent 6 months trying to find my best bang for the buck, i got 4 bids in to do the cabin, i did the foundation myself, but out of those 4 bids 2 from pa 2 from ohio. 3 of them was $20,000 higher then the one contractor for the exact cabin no lie, no corners was cut at all excellent work, contractor was from ohio.when the time comes for you pm me and i can send out his price list and his web site, no one will beat his prices or workmen ship, i dont know how to post pics on here tried but for what ever reason wont come thru, you would see for yourself the outstanding job they did and not for a heck of alot of money to boot,but make sure you read the sand mound issue for a cabin, it does not have to be, i know i put them in and deal with the inspectors every week,if i can help any more just let me know.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 09:20 PM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

big dady rods, has alot of good info also, it just comes down to the money and time and what you want out of it.but i can say for sure 100 percent that you can get a true log cabin with metel roof , big loff, cedar raffters and beams and window seals, 2 inch tounge grove roof and floor, 10 windows, pre wired, stained , custom 36 inch wood door, 16 feet high ceilings, etc, put up on your own foundation or ontop of crushed stone ,and no sales tax to pa, for $24500,if you do a 6by6 post foundation with 2 by 10 joist and concrete footers under each post and do it your self add $2000.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-24-2012, 11:41 PM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

We bought 38 acres mostly wooded in NE bradford co. 2 years ago,no cabin,no water,no elec. Got a right of way deeded to us on the edge of the wood/field for a 1200'drive leading halfway up the property to a 50'x75' clearing on an old cowpath where we graveled a spot for a camper. The camper can be an economical choice for quite a few years until you can afford to build. Then we had electric brought in fron the nieghbors powerpole underground about 150'. We take our water up and pump into the camper,pee on the tree and #2 in a plastic bag on the camper toilet. haul the waste home with the trash No dumping the holding tank saves us that task. Still take showers and use the sinks as it is greywater.
Take your time ,get a list of "have to have", "want to have" and "nice to have but can do without" It took us several years to find this place which is literally across the road fron almost 6000 acres of gameland,and has small spring fed cow pond, creek,mature woods, sucessional woods, fruit trees,small open grassland,wetlands, 250' elevation rise , all the great stuff we wanted BUT no gas/oil rights. Still waiting to see where the wellpad is going in on the 100acres next door. Do your homework on the gas rights issue in your area, it can make or break your deal.
We have decent deer on our property as well as escaped pheasants,grouse, rabbits, squirrels,coyotes,porkies,coons,and fisher and bear. Then all the hunting on the gamelands ,what a back yard
Best of luck, check the forum page for finding a camp,lots of good leads on that

"Lazy people think of the easy way to do the hard stuff"
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 10:38 AM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

mdmin

On a sidenote, I would really be interested in having that log cabin that you speak about and have the $$$ to pay for that,if it's in that price range. Could you shed some light on that for me?? Don't want to hi jack this thread but I'm really curious and now---excited. Just finished my septic and the next thing to do is my building.
I'm looking at getting a local contractor to build a shell for me and I'll take over after that. I could build a house if I had the help. I need 4 more guys to give their time and sweat into building it but that doesn't always happen. Part of my dream is to build it myself but I know my limits. You can't always hold a 16 foot 2X12 and think your gonna nail it all by yourself.

Big D
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 11:01 AM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

What's more important, the land or the cabin?
If you are satisfied hunting public land you can buy a small lot and spend more of you budget on the cabin.
If it's important to you to have dirt of your own, then the budget will quickly be consumed by the land.
That is a decision you can make, and should make, prior to looking.
When I was doing this 20+ years ago I wanted the land. There are others who have outstanding cabins near public land who are just as happy with their decision as I am with mine.

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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 07-25-2012, 11:21 AM
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Re: Advice on buying a camp

Make sure you check everything out fully prior to buying. Nothing worse than thinking you found the best cabin/location and purchase without doing your homework and later finding out it wasnt all it was supposed to be. If your handy and dont mind putting in the hard/long work there are some run down joints that can be bought on the cheap. Just remember camp cheap isnt the same as junky house in the middle of town cheap.

Also, make sure you look into the status of any cabin you buy. Im not sure the exact verbiage but you can get a cabin deemed only seasonal to get around building codes and such (I think I remember others talking about this) but that cabin can never be a perm residence. Some consider the resell ability on such a cabin less appealing but everyone is different.

With all this and everything else being said, it all boils down to what will financially and practically make sense.
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