Land ownership and our feelings toward it have very deep roots. Most animal life has a sense of territory – a place to protect as well as feel at home.  Alaska is a nature lover’s paradise and has so much to offer for those wanting to purchase real property.  Whether you are seeking to buy land to use as a getaway for vacation, your primary residence or even for investment property, you won’t be disappointed with the selection of property available, from waterfront property, hunting and recreational land to secluded cabin sites. If you’re considering buying land in Alaska, here are a few things to consider:

Choosing a Property to Buy

The first, and most obvious step, in your property search is to determine which property type will fit your needs. Are you looking for vacant land or a property with improvements like a cabin or other existing structure? Would you prefer that your land have water-frontage?  Will the land be used as a primary or vacation residence? If it’s a vacation property, how far are you willing to travel to access it? Would you prefer something remote or closer to a town?  Will you have livestock?  These are just a few of the questions that you should ask yourself when identifying what you want to get out of your land; this will help me match you with a list of properties that best suit your needs.

Viewing Remote Land in Alaska

After you’ve settled on the type of property you’re looking for, I will arrange for a viewing of property listings that match your wish list.  Before visiting each property, I will become as familiar as I can with the area by reviewing maps and I’ll consider any seasonal access restrictions to the property.  Then, I will make a travel plan and consider the type of vehicle we need to view the property – whether it be a snow machine if we are looking at property in the winter or an airplane to access something remote.  If looking at remote property, it is a must to wear the proper clothing and bring season specific survival gear.  And, I am always mindful of bear and moose and carry a firearm for protection.

Consulting other Experts

Image result for land survey equipmentWhichever property or loan type you choose, the right amount of research and preparation can make buying a remote property or cabin in Alaska an enjoyable experience. One of the most important steps is to obtain a recent survey or have the property professionally surveyed. The survey will identify the property lines, dimensions, any easements and access. Easements and access will influence the property’s value. Access will also influence your ability to secure a loan. You will also want to check with local officials about zoning. If you want to build in an area not zoned for development, you will need to seek a zoning change to meet your needs.  You many also want to have a title search done by a title attorney to make certain that the current owner has clear title to the property.  Once you are confident the land can be used as you plan, that’s when you seek financing.

Loan Considerations & Owner Financing

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If you are not paying cash for undeveloped land, you will need financing and may find that the loan options are more limited than if you were buying an existing structure. Raw land loans are riskier for lender’s because the loan’s collateral, the property, isn’t being used for housing; lending on vacant land is a higher risk for the banks and down payments and interest rates are higher.  A good place to start is with a land bank or institution with experts in unimproved or improved real property lending. Another good option is to look for properties that are for sale with owner financing. While owner financing is less common than using a traditional bank loan, it could be an attractive option for both buyers and sellers in some cases.

 

Searching for, and acquiring, your own piece of land, whether it be a small tract or a large property, may seem like an intimidating task.  However, with my help and the right amount of research and preparation, buying your own piece of Alaska land can be an enjoyable process and give you the rare opportunity to enjoy the best that nature has to offer in the Last Frontier.

About the author

Brad Baker

Co-Owner/Agent

Mossy Oak Properties of Alaska offers an unparalleled platform for selling rural and recreational properties by utilizing web listing partnerships, online and print advertising. The Mossy Oak brand instills trust and recognition for consumers thus creating a competitive advantage for me and my clients.

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