Buying a cabin in the woods is a bucket list item for many people. There are several things you need to know before you jump in with both feet.
1. Location: Before you buy a cabin in the woods, make sure you like the area. You should know the area where you are buying to make sure that you will enjoy spending your vacations there. If finding out that you have to drive an hour to find a coffee shop is a deal-breaker for you, then it is better to do the research first.
2. Easements: Many cabins and rural properties have easements. This simply means that someone has the right to access your property. This could be a utility company that needs to access a row of telephone poles or it could be a neighbor that uses your driveway to access their own, landlocked lot. You should understand what the easement is and how long it lasts before you make an offer on any cabin real estate.
3. Seasonal: Cabin listings often state "seasonal" or "3-season" in their description of the property, but what does that mean? A seasonal cabin typically does not have a heat source -- furnace, baseboard heating, wood-burning stove, etc. -- and often lacks proper insulation to survive the winter months. If you picture cozy, snow-filled weekend retreats, you need to understand exactly what you are purchasing.
4. Utilities: Going off-grid may sound exciting, but electricity has its benefits. Be sure to read the cabin listing carefully, especially the part about utilities. If you are buying vacant land to build your own cabin on, make sure that the listing states what utilities -- electric, water, sewer, gas -- are available and which are not. It can be expensive, if not impossible, to bring the utilities in from the main road.
5. Cellular Signal: While your goal for buying a cabin in the woods may be to unplug, you should still know if there is a good cellular signal. If you have ever seen someone standing on the roof of a car, raising their phone in the air, and trying to get just one bar, you understand the need. Check with your cellular carrier about coverage near your potential cabin. Better yet, drive to the location yourself and see if you can get a signal or ask a neighbor which carrier they use.
Knowing the above before you buy can help make the process of buying your cabin run smoothly.
To learn more about cabin real estate, contact a Realtor near you.