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  1. #26
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Boise, Idaho
    Posts
    3,661

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    Vacation property is a lot of work if you want to keep the dwelling and property it sits on in good condition. Ours is 3 hours away in Oregon and we try to go every other weekend during Spring-Fall and once a month during the winter and snowmobile in the last 6 miles. Seems like I am always cutting wood for ourselves and the in-laws who have a cabin 75 yards below, [painting/fixing on theirs, keeping the spring cleaned out, etc. As it is open range the cattle try to tromp down anything in the way of little trees you try to plant. I finally have three aspen in the meadow that look like they are going to make it now that I built a corral around them. It is the most fun when we have the kids and grandkids there and I don't have to work. Going into it we didn't do it for the investment, but more a legacy to be passed to daughters and grandkids.
    "Talk low, talk slow and don't say too much." John Wayne

  2. #27

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    I'm a real estate appraiser in Boise. In my opinion, a cabin is not a wise income investment generally speaking.

    Buy a 3 bed/2 bath single level tract home. You can cash flow them $500+ a month right now in our area.

    But if you just want a cabin for vacation, then go for it! My best childhood memories are from our family cabin.

  3. #28

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    We use ours as a family a couple times a year for about 4-5 days at a time. I use it additionally a couple weeks for hunting. My buddy use it as a camp base for hunting and I trade him for any maintenance issues that come up when they are over there and basic upkeep needs.. We are 5 hrs away but in the in the next 5-6 years will be moving about a 2 hrs away and will be using it much more.

    Yes it costs me a few grand in taxes and insurance a year, and its in an area that will never appreciate big amounts, but also wont lose any money. Since I don't do bars, golf or other things away from my family on weekends, its really not that much if you add up what others spend on partying. I lease out my pastures and never have to pay for any motel or other items when hunting. All my quads and gear stay their so I can be hunting in an hour once I get there.

  4. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    interior Alaska
    Posts
    191

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowboy View Post
    Yep - X2
    Another consideration is it is difficult to get insurance for a cabin (at least in Alaska),
    so the risk of vandalism or loss due to wildfire should be factored in to the decision.

  5. #30

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    Just finished building a cabin in central Idaho, 3 hour drive. Made it so it's easy to winterize and low cost heating. Located on the Salmon River. Use it for hunting, elk, deer, bear, waterfowl, upland, and steelhead/salmon fishing. Took me a year to build and really satisfied. One of the best benefits is to get away from the wife for a week or so. It's helped our relationship :-). I'll spend from Sept. to December at least half time hunting there. Nice to just pack a few clothes and bring groceries. Here's a couple of pics. Did it all for $50K!Name:  Cabin river view 2017.jpg
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  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by elker View Post
    Just finished building a cabin in central Idaho, 3 hour drive. Made it so it's easy to winterize and low cost heating. Located on the Salmon River. Use it for hunting, elk, deer, bear, waterfowl, upland, and steelhead/salmon fishing. Took me a year to build and really satisfied. One of the best benefits is to get away from the wife for a week or so. It's helped our relationship :-). I'll spend from Sept. to December at least half time hunting there. Nice to just pack a few clothes and bring groceries. Here's a couple of pics. Did it all for $50K!Name:  Cabin river view 2017.jpg
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    That's an awesome place! Did the 50K include the property? Also, is that another camp behind you or a home?

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    I live in south Texas and bought property in southern Colorado, I'll break ground next year for our cabin. It will be a vacation home and base of operations for hunting until retirement then we'll be there for the summer half of the year and in Texas on the lake in the winter.......should be a steady temperature year round for us. We will do something like Air B&B during the time we aren't at the cabin, if it pays the taxes, insurance, etc. we're golden. Hopefully we'll be finished with it in 3 years but it is really looking like 5, too many variables between now and then. Since I will be building the cabin itself I will only have to pay to get the well, septic and block work for the sub floor done, otherwise it would be way too much $$ for us to justify. I have been building all my adult life in one form or another.

    For us it's an investment and it's been a dream of mine to have a place in the mountains since spending time at my uncle's place on Mt Lassen in northern California.....40 years later I am realizing my dream. I do have a supportive wife though, that helps a lot.

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    _edit_
    Last edited by BigEd13; 10-16-2017 at 02:58 PM. Reason: Duplicate

  9. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskaHunter View Post
    Another consideration is it is difficult to get insurance for a cabin (at least in Alaska),
    so the risk of vandalism or loss due to wildfire should be factored in to the decision.
    We bought property in a remote area but it has a HOA and a gate, they even have a volunteer fire department. All things considered the insurance won't be bad at all...

  10. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by twsnow18 View Post
    I'm a real estate appraiser in Boise. In my opinion, a cabin is not a wise income investment generally speaking.

    Buy a 3 bed/2 bath single level tract home. You can cash flow them $500+ a month right now in our area.

    But if you just want a cabin for vacation, then go for it! My best childhood memories are from our family cabin.
    Timely resurrection of this thread.

    We're looking at doing something similar - find a spot that we can use as a VRBO when not in use, or tailor our time to the free moments. In this new day and age, if you have vacation property, you should be looking at creating revenue from them. The down side to the VRBO craze is that it creates livable housing shortages in some of the more popular communities. Bozeman is dealing with this issue now, and our banker has been clear that they are not interested in compounding the situation and as such, have been great advisers on what and what to purchase.
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  11. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by gutshootem View Post
    That's an awesome place! Did the 50K include the property? Also, is that another camp behind you or a home?
    Yes, included $50k included everything, lot, permits, water, sewer hookups. That's another house behind. Small lots, small community. A lot of sweat equity. Just got back from a couple of deer hunts, elk hunts coming up soon. Fall steelhead starting to show.

  12. #37
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    North Central, IN (the corn belt)
    Posts
    488

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    Here is my hunting cabin in southern, IL. It's a 35' x 55' pole building, 35' x 40' of which is a two bedroom finished cabin and the balance a 35'x15' garage. Did it very simple; sealed concrete floors, OSB walls and ceiling except for living room & kitchen which has pine car siding walls, just a couple windows for security, a single electric thru wall heat & AC unit, wood stove, etc. Decked out the kitchen pretty nice with good cabinets, counters and appliances and did a full bathroom with shower. Gravel all around so no lawn to maintain, just spray weeds.

    Got the whole thing built for just shy of $100K, and only bills are $25 per month water, $60 per month electric and a small annual tax payment. It sits on 20 acres of rough ground (huntable), just a couple miles down the road from our big hunting lease.

  13. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steiny View Post
    Here is my hunting cabin in southern, IL. It's a 35' x 55' pole building, 35' x 40' of which is a two bedroom finished cabin and the balance a 35'x15' garage. Did it very simple; sealed concrete floors, OSB walls and ceiling except for living room & kitchen which has pine car siding walls, just a couple windows for security, a single electric thru wall heat & AC unit, wood stove, etc. Decked out the kitchen pretty nice with good cabinets, counters and appliances and did a full bathroom with shower. Gravel all around so no lawn to maintain, just spray weeds.

    Got the whole thing built for just shy of $100K, and only bills are $25 per month water, $60 per month electric and a small annual tax payment. It sits on 20 acres of rough ground (huntable), just a couple miles down the road from our big hunting lease.
    How does the tax assessor appraise this, entirely as a pole barn or does the living quarters get taxed at a different rate than the barn?

  14. #39
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    North Central, IN (the corn belt)
    Posts
    488

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    Quote Originally Posted by buckbull View Post
    How does the tax assessor appraise this, entirely as a pole barn or does the living quarters get taxed at a different rate than the barn?
    I hope as a barn. They would have no way of knowing what is inside.
    Regardless, taxes are cheap there.

  15. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steiny View Post
    I hope as a barn. They would have no way of knowing what is inside.
    Regardless, taxes are cheap there.
    Cheap taxes and Illinois should never be used in the same sentence.

    Reason I asked, I've kicked around doing a similar thing on place in west-central IL.

  16. #41

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    This is a good thread. I'd love to hear more from folks who are VRBO'ing their vacation homes as to whether is creates enough cash flow to justify the hassle.

    My great grandfather had a house on Clear Lake but the 4 kids (my grandparent's generation) couldn't agree on what to do with it in 1981 and sold it.

    I have two friends who were able to build their dream homes that they retired to. One in McCall, and another here in CA. Neither rented them out. One stayed married and sold the family home , the other married a woman who had a couple real good years as a realtor.

    Another friend has a sidehill "ranch" and a couple trailers parked there as the dwellings. He and his father are there for at least a couple weekends a month together, The retired father sometimes during the week.

    I should do a side by side partial budget comparing an RV to a cabin. Depreciation on the RV is probably the biggest downside.

    I'm intrigued by the Multi family cooperative. I have cousins who inherited a river place that do the same. Not sure you could cash flow a purchase there though.

    Do any of you cabin owners do swaps with friends to change it up? you go to their place, etc?

    I'm more intrigued with the tract home rental property. $6k a year in income, is that after tax?

    My girlfriend will be moving this summer from the Northwest. Her home is a 3/2 and I'm guessing from Zillow values, she can clear $500 a month before maintenance. With a big backyard, would it be worth building a granny unit there to use as a weekend place? Perhaps a garage with an upstairs apartment?

  17. #42

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    Looking into a Colorado or Wyoming vacation home this winter
    " You know what Jim Bridger said about the Indians. Just when your not seeing any is about the time they are fixing to get the thickest!"

  18. #43
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    CO Springs.
    Posts
    1,038

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    If you are in CO, you are probably within 3 hours of this:

    https://www.campgroundoftherockies.com/

    GMU 49.
    A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise. Aldo Leopold.

  19. #44

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    I'll never financially be able to own a vacation property but Ill tell you what I see through my father-in-law vs his vacation house on Lake of the Ozarks, MO. The man loves his lake house and boating but after selling his condo and buying a house the man never stops working on it to enjoy it. This sounds completely different than other situations I've read with cabins. But he's always fixing his dock, his deck, cleaning his yard cleaning the house... ect. A vacation house is really another house and everything that comes with your current house. He live 3 hours away from it and spend lots of time going their just to check on it and do upkeep. Very little time sitting down and enjoying and taking the boat out. Personally I'm kinda board of traveling to the place, I would never tell him that but I'm about new scenery.

    From my stomping grounds WI people worry about their pipes freezing in their cabins because they are not there in the winter.

    It just makes me realize its just more headache than enjoyment. But thats just me and my onion.

  20. #45
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Gallatin Gateway, MT
    Posts
    2,655

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    This sounds completely different than other situations I've read with cabins.
    If that is what makes him happy, good for him.
    But my cabin is completely different in that there is no plumbing (I carry water), no electricity (a solar panel and a LED light), simple heating system (small wood stove), no phone (and no cell service), recreational access (snowshoe or ski in this month), and little maintenance. It allows us to enjoy it, but have the security and freedom to lock the door and go elsewhere to camp, hike, and hunt. However, no ski boat, no dock ... but the night skies are magnificent and you can hear the snowflakes fall in winter.

  21. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2rocky View Post
    This is a good thread. I'd love to hear more from folks who are VRBO'ing their vacation homes as to whether is creates enough cash flow to justify the hassle.
    We're just getting our property set up. Purchased a 3 bedroom, 1 bath home in Philipsburg and we're currently renovating/updating it. Our business plan has us breaking even with about 50% occupancy and making enough to reinvest about $12K back into the property at 80% occupancy. It's a gamble, but we're pretty confident based on the lack of hotels & rooms for rent in our area, and the growing use it's getting as a tourist destination. We'll have more data after the year is over and we've been up and running, but for now, we're pretty happy with our choice given how our stocks were performing and what appears to be coming this year in that realm.

    We're not really using this place as a vacation home, but more as an investment property, with the added benefit of using it a week here and there when we want to go play in Granite County, so we're more driven to rent it out as much as possible. YMMV.
    get over it commies..
    JWP58

  22. #47

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    For the past 5 years I was living in Europe and now because we are coming back to USA we decided to sell our property in Athens. It was a vacation villa for us where we used to go for 3-4 times per year. It was bringing additional income as well because we were renting it out to tourists when we were not staying there. So I can say that it worked for us really well.

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