Buying Land

Buying Recreational Property? Think About a Cabin Now, Not Later

Buying Recreational Property? Think About a Cabin Now, Not Later

If you are looking to buy recreational property, you may not be sure if you want to have a cabin on the land someday. That’s certainly fine – right away, you’ll have a place to hike, hunt, ride four-wheelers, or whatever it is you like to do.

And while it may be smart to see how you will use the property as you make decisions, it’s always good to know you have the option to build. If you think that is a possibility at some point, I recommend that you think about it now, not later.

For our family, waiting did make a lot of sense as the family figured out exactly what type of cabin we wanted. After owning a recreational property for several years, we have decided to build a getaway with a metal exterior that includes lots of storage space for such “toys” as a boat and four-wheelers.

So what are some things to think about if you want to buy land now with a good option for building later? Here are four important tips to remember:

  1. Make sure the land you are buying has a buildable site that isn’t in a flood plain. This will require doing some homework – a knowledgeable recreational real estate expert will get you the information you need to have confidence that building later would not be a problem. Also, consider water, will you need to have a well? And what about utilities –can you run power to the site?
  2. Check to be sure there are no building restrictions. Depending on the property you’re looking at and the location of the property, there may be setbacks and zoning laws to be aware of. The real estate professional you choose to work with should have easy access to this information.
  3. Think about planning a cabin in a spot that’s easily accessible but also offers privacy. The mix of privacy and convenience will make the property more enjoyable. And having a building site picked out ahead of time can help you plan as you do work like clearing timber and building or improving trails and roads on the property.
  4. Consider what activities you want to pursue as you do your planning. How large of a cabin do you think you’ll want? That will help you determine what your best building site is. And should you think about building storage space for four-wheelers or other things? That may be something you do before you build a cabin, for convenience in the short term.

Written by Mark Knight, owner-broker with Davis DuBose Knight Forestry & Real Estate in Arkansas, part of the Potlatch Preferred Broker Network.

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