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Best places to start a homestead in alaska  RSS feed

 
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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I'd love to hear from you felow alaskans about where you live and where you feel to be the best places to homestead in this state. I currently live in funny river which is about 15 miles outside of soldotna on the kenai peninsula. Some of the things I consider to be important on choosing a location are:

Low population yet having access to a modest sized town ie. Soldotna

Climate such as good Summers adequate rainfall and sunshine, and not too harsh of winters like those of the interior. The longer the growing season the better.

Cheap land

I'd also love to hear what you see as important in choosing a place to start a homestead or why you chose to live where your at.

Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Posts: 175
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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I live where I live sort of by accident and because of work and work contacts.  yet it would be my among my first choices if I could choose.  That said it would be hard to go out and get a situation such as I have.  Land between Homer and Soldotna is likely the best bet to meet your mentioned criteria.  There are also a rare few affordable lots in southeast if you look at the real estate websites.  What I consider most important in selecting a site:  affordability, road access,  access to your source of income, uplands (as opposed to wetlands which bring legal restrictions for use), available sunlight (if the lot to your south has tall trees you are stuck with deep shade much of the year!), aspect-- south facing slopes are vastly superior in this climate.  even east or west facing will be much warmer than north facing.   I can walk up a north facing hill here on many days of the year and be in the shade with frost on the frozen ground and nothing green, then go over the top of the hill and be in the sun, feeling 10 degrees warmer (i never actually measured)  soil warm to the touch, without frost, and green leaves.  that said, the north facing slopes do tend to catch up in terms of plant growth sometime in May, but they are far less pleasant to live on for most of the year.
Also important is current vegetation cover-- are you willing to cut down a lot of huge old trees to get the light you need for your passive solar design, solar panels, greenhouse, and gardens?  If properly planned you can meet all your water needs from roof catchment so water is not such a big issue.  You can easily meet all your heating needs for at least 7 months of the year, and a significant amount for the balance with passive solar design.  Grid electricity is nice here but with the right site (full winter sun) you can get by with solar year round. One more factor almost as important as aspect is exposure to prevailing winds.  I have stood shivering from cold in full sun in the summertime on the south face of a building located in a kind of landscape wind tunnel that funnels a day breeze increasing its velocity.  Also important is access to friends, family, and business contacts.   Don't discount burned or logged sites, they are preferable in some ways as you have a blank slate and no guilt about cutting down big spruce trees..
a couple of websites i have found useful are
www.homerrealestate.com
and
http://mapserver.borough.kenai.ak.us/kpbmapviewer/

the second one is the kenai peninsula borough parcel viewer with lots of good info about all the lots in the borough in map form


and plant lots of nut pines (where they won't eventually shade your house and gardens) right away- pinus koraiensis, pinus cembra, pinus sibirica, pinus albicaulis, pinus pumila, and likely others.... lawyers nursery is a good source for some of these.
good luck
 
Dylan Kirsch
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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I agree with all of that but the only issue I have with the area between soldotna and home is the oilfeild is really developing fast in that are and I don't want to have a rig on the next lot over in the future. It really is great and affordable land in that area. I have also considered the upper susitna valley due to the lack of heavy industry coupled with the affordability.and the trees are big there so it makes me think it might be good growable land. I know of at least 2 productive farms in that area anyway.  But that was a good point you made about friends and family Wich for me are mostly located around soldotna so in that sense the area you mentioned would be preferable, probably also in the sense of jobs too. I wouldn't be oposed to leaving the peninsula for the right lot and community because almost all of my family plans on leave Alaska in the next 5 or so years and I never had a real big friend circle anyway.
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 175
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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https://www.landsofalaska.com/Alaska/all-land/under-30000/over-1-acre/

another real estate website.   Just make sure you look into all details carefully!  there are a lot of cheap lots in caribou hills and other very remote areas which are only suitable for a full subsistence or vacation only lifestyle, unless you can work by internet.  some only accessible by plane or boat.  I set the search for under 30k and one acre or more, but you can set it however you like if you go to landsofalaska.com
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 175
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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also look out for covenants and wetlands (you need an army corps of engineer permit to do almost anything in designated wetlands, which will show up on the borough parcelviewer map i linked previously) generally covenants are a sign for budget permies to stay away.  Occasionally they are very lenient but usually have a minimum square footage for dwellings.
 
Dylan Kirsch
Posts: 47
Location: Funny river, Alaska
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Thanks for your insight. I will check out the sites you posted. By the way how far out kachemak bay are you I really like that area. Do you have a big lot and was it expensive for your property?
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 175
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
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I live in Halibut Cove.  After working here for 10 years I was lucky to be offered a .93 acre lot (just under 1 acre) by a neighbor who likes me for 50k, no electricity, boat access only.  Lots are typically nearly double that if available at all and houses go for 500k plus.  Seldovia has a larger community with roads and a regular ferry to Homer, last I checked there were 3 acre lots for around 20-30k but sunlight might be an issue as the whole area is up against the north face of a mountain (some spots do get good summer sun though).  Bear cove has more affordable land but its own boat access only and 10 miles from Homer.  North fork area between Homer and Anchor point is a good area, away from oil developments ( i think!) and some really good deals and beautiful views and not too far from Homer on decent roads. there are lots of wetlands there but i have seen some real gems on homerrealestate.com in that area.  we are around zone 6a to 6b here in halibut cove and seldovia, homer is 6a to 5b, north fork area is probably 5a, still pretty good.
 
Corey Schmidt
Posts: 175
Location: Kachemak Bay, Alaska (usda zone 6, ahs heat zone 1, lat 59 N, coastal, koppen Dfc)
6
 
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