The perfect property. Does such a thing exist?
In the past month we’ve considering no less than a dozen properties. This one was way over our budget, that one was too small, this one had strict covenants, that one was wetlands, this one had too far a commute, that one was too open and barren. Every parcel had something wrong with it, something that didn’t match our list. Ah, the list. The list started out looking a lot different. When we first sat down with our realtor we were looking for:
- 10+ acres
- waterfront, preferably lakefront
- mostly level
- partial woods
- all utilities in area
- within 1 hour commute to Anchorage
- no wetlands
- no hills
Yeah, I’m surprised our realtor didn’t laugh at us right then and there. That says a lot about her level of professionalism. (And she’s been amazing! If you need to buy/build, go see Heidi over at Kristan Cole Realty). Looking at that list, there’s a lot of specific items that simply aren’t possible for less than a quarter million. We thought, “It’s Alaska, there’s land everywhere!” Land, yes. Usable land? Not quite so much. Turns out that a lot of those big parcels were remote access only, or waaaaayyyyy down KGB road (which added another 30 minutes onto the commute). And lakefront access easily added $100,000 onto the base price. As for utilities, once you left city limits most properties had well, septic, and even oil instead of natural gas.
Yes, we still could have paid a pretty penny and gotten some amazing land. But then we started getting quotes on floor plans. Turns out that straight-forward simple farmhouse came with a not-so-pretty price tag. With the home costing $280,000-$300,000 there was no way we could spend another $100,000+ on the land, too. So something was going to have to give.
First off the list, waterfront. Next, we went from looking at 10 acre parcels to 2-5 acres. We found a nice 7 acre property that had been recently reduced. But it had been marked down because it was a bluff property, which meant there was about an acre of useable land up on the top of the bluff and the rest was down below, accessibly by the side road. Okay, that’s a mark against it but still doable. Then we drove out there and saw that there was a big fat power utility easement running straight through the middle of the property which meant only half of that acre was buildable. Second ding against it. Then we did some research and found that most of the bottom portion was in a floodplain thanks to the bordering Little Su River. Third ding. Oh, and did I mention that because of all that it could only be financed with cash? So poor Carney Road was taken off the list.
The next major contender is Wyoming Road. This lovely 5.5 acres is on the very edge of our radius, about 10 miles on the other side of Wasilla in an area known as Meadow Lakes. It ticks a lot of the right boxes and is level, with beautiful woods and birch trees, and even some mountain views. But it’s kind of marshy in that area and we’d have to have utilities run to the property, which can get pricy. Even so, it’s still on our list because you just can’t beat that $40K price tag ($25,000 below Carney Road, btw). And it’s low enough that even with development we would still have a lot left over for the house.
All along my husband has been eyeing an 80 acre parcel over on Misty Lake, but at $165,000 we’d end up living in a cabin. And while he would love that, I wouldn’t. And if mama aint’ happy, ain’t nobody happy.
We’re getting property updates every day and will keep on looking until the right spot comes along. In the meantime we really need to settle on a floorpan, which is easier said than done!