4 Considerations When Choosing A Vacation Cabin

Posted on: 21 April 2021

Having your own cabin in the woods that you can retreat to for vacations is a great treat. But when choosing a cabin, you need to remember that you're still making a real estate investment as well as looking for a cabin that will be not only attractive but also functional. Here are some important considerations when choosing cabin real estate to buy.

1. Does the cabin have a functioning septic system?

Unlike a home in town, a cabin in the woods won't be connected to the city's sewer system. So you'll have to rely on an alternative wastewater system, which typically means a septic system of some type unless you want to really rough it on every vacation.

Septic systems can be very difficult to repair or install, so you'll want to ensure your cabin has a working one. This typically means you'll need to pay for an entire septic inspection since the septic dye test run during a home inspection is extremely basic and can miss a lot of septic problems.

2. Who owns the land near the cabin?

You don't want to invest heavily in a vacation cabin only to find that a large subdivision is going up next door. So, be sure to check who owns the land around your cabin. National forest lands can be a great neighbor since you know they're not going to have apartment buildings or subdivisions built there. 

3. Can you access the cabin?

The roads in forested and mountain areas are often winding, narrow roads and may even be unpaved. If the approach to your cabin is a steep muddy dirt road, consider that you may have difficulty accessing it during certain times of the year. 

If the access is poor, you may need to add a better driveway, use only a rugged off-roading vehicle to access the cabin, or both. These can both add expenses to the cost of owning the cabin, so the access is worth considering.

4. Does the cabin have backup electricity?

A cabin in the woods may have frequent power outages (if it's connected to the power grid at all). One reason for this is because of all the trees that could fall on the power lines and disconnect them. If your cabin is in a low-population area, outages there may also be lower on the priority list for repairs than outages in more populated areas.

So, you'll want to ensure your cabin has a backup power source, such as a large generator hardwired into its electrical system. 

These are just some of the important considerations to keep in mind when shopping for cabin real estate. As you can see, some of the considerations are different from those that might be top of mind when shopping for a typical home. An experienced real estate agent who specializes in cabins and other vacation properties can help you find the best cabin for your needs.