Questions To Ask When You Want To Buy A Cabin In A Rural Area

Posted on: 27 January 2021

A cabin in the woods sounds like a nice retreat from the pressures of daily life, and buying one is a goal for many people. The purchase of a cabin isn't that much different from buying a suburban home in terms of procedures and paperwork. However, it does require asking some specific questions because of the difference in location and building materials. These questions may sound alarming at first, but they are necessary for ensuring you stay safe if the cabin is in a non-urban area

How Many Escape Routes Are There?

No one ever wants to think about having to evacuate, but if you want to buy a cabin in an isolated area, or even near a smaller town in a rural area, you have to look at the escape routes. This is especially urgent in the western U.S. where fires have been increasingly common. If the main route to the cabin were cut off, how would you get out of the area? How easy would it be to have a new road created? If you're looking for a cabin that is not in an area prone to fire, the question takes on a little less urgency, but it's still worth asking just so you have the information.

How Are Utility Services Handled?

You've got to be sure how electricity, gas, water, sewage, and trash are handled. Is this a cabin in a well-established mountain town with its own municipal services? That's quite different from one far away from any towns on a large parcel of empty land, where you may have a septic tank and may have to cart out your own trash to a disposal transfer station. Is this cabin off the grid entirely? If so, you need details on how the cabin gets drinking water, too. If you plan to be in the cabin only part-time, find out what to do about services when you're closing up the cabin for the season and reopening it for the next.

Is Moisture Control an Issue in the Area?

If the cabins you're looking at were built with typical house materials (drywall, etc.), you'll want to know about humidity levels in general so you can be on the lookout for mold and mildew like you would in any other house. However, cabins built from less common materials, like log cabins, may need more attention in terms of controlling moisture.

What Does Your Insurance Agent Think?

Your insurance agent isn't going to live in the cabin. But you want to be sure your insurance company will cover the cabin. It's a good idea to speak with your insurance agent about the cabins you're considering to find out if any of them would not be insurable. Avoid those, and choose your cabin from among the ones that your insurance company would agree to insure.

Your real estate agent can help you create a list of cabin-specific questions to ensure you find the best match. Cabin life is different, and you need to go into these purchases with your eyes open. Your cabin real estate agent is there to help you make a smart purchase.