I’ve always wanted a cabin up north to be able to go and get away from things. Coming from Michigan having a cabin up north near the shore was something many families had. A generational cabin that was passed down from father to son. It sounded nice. And easy to talk about, but hard to accomplish. Especially if you wanted to build it yourself.
First, I don’t live in Michigan anymore. I live in Colorado. So a cabin up north now means a cabin in the mountains. A place in a high elevation where the family can enjoy nature, fish, ski, and hike. Okay, most of those my family doesn’t want to do … yet.
Second, my wife isn’t the outdoor type. I don’t think she’d want to drive anyway to spend time that’s more than an hour from home (unless they had her favorite food). So getting some land in the middle of nowhere five hours away wasn’t going to work.
Third, money could be an issue. So this needs to be an investment. I need cheap land I could build on that other’s might want to rent on AirBnB or something like that. That means it’s not secluded somewhere in the woods. It’s near things people want to do and accessible by car.
All that said, I looked west on Zillow to see what land is no more than an hour down the I-70 from our house. You’d be surprised what you’d find for land. Crazy mining claims off places like Deadman’d Gulch with no road access or maybe only AWD accessible (They all say 4×4, but I assume they’re not talking about quads). Prices go up and down depending if you’re looking for a lot, or some acreage.
There’s also cool things to go do. Ski Resorts. Casinos. Fishing lakes. Water tubing or rafting. Mountain train rides. Hiking, climbing, and camping. And even a pretty big main street for the first mining town to strike it rich back in the day.
I might have focused farther down the I-70, but something lead me 10,000 feet above sea leave to St. Mary’s Glacier. And that was temperature. In the summer when it’s 95 degrees at my house, it’s 68 degrees in St. Marys. Which means it must be pretty cold and snowy there during the winter, but I’ll take it while it’s hot! It also has beautiful views, an all-year-around snowfield, stocked lakes, and hiking trails. But I’m not here to tell you on it.
So I did my research. Reviewed location in the planned subdivision verses the mining claims. Consider my options between more suburban areas, higher in the mountains, or closer to the lakes and trails. I’m not going to lie, it’s tough picking your piece of the pie. I drove up almost a dozen times looking at different areas, finding out what roads my car would not survive on, what land my family would not survive on, where it would be impossible to build on, and where would have easy access for outdoorsy things to do.
I finally settled on questionable pie shaped lot referred to as Lot 75 on Brooks Drive. Mis-priced on Zillow for $129,000 it was selling off the website for $12,900. Looking like a family trust bought it, or it was willed to, back in 2006, where it sat unused for the last 12 years. So I’ve put in an offer. We’ll see what happens next.