As you look to buy a rural property to live on or use for recreation, thinking about a site visit in the winter might seem a bit daunting. But there isn’t any need to wait, as long as you plan ahead.
“If you want to be ready to start using your property this spring and summer, now is the time to make a buying decision,” said Kirstin Darry of Northwest Land & Lifestyle in St. Maries, Idaho, a member of the PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker Network. “With proper precautions, February and March are great times to get out and see properties so you can figure out what fits your needs, and see what it’s like in the winter.”
The key to a successful site visit, whether it’s in the winter or any time of year, is to work with an experienced land expert like Darry, who sells a wide range of properties each year in north and central Idaho. She works with land buyers to understand their personal goals and identify all the best options available, then makes sure that a site visit is done with a minimal amount of stress.
With that in mind, here are eight tips she gives to folks who are looking to make a winter site visit in a cold-weather state:
- Be clear on what properties you want to see. How far do you want to be from town and services? A focused, well-planned trip makes things easier on everyone, especially in the winter. Not all roads are county-maintained, so in Northern locations, be prepared with good tires and possibly snow chains if you plan to venture far off the pavement.
- Wear proper clothes and headgear. This might seem like a no-brainer, but weather can change quickly, so dress in layers and be prepared with good boots and potentially snowshoes.
- Carry extra batteries for your GPS unit, and bring a paper map as a backup. No one wants to be lost in the woods as it starts to get dark. Cell phone service can be sporadic, so make sure to download any maps or information before you leave cell service.
- Bring water and snacks. This makes sense in general, but is particularly important if your trip ends up taking longer than you planned for.
- Be sure you are with someone who knows the area and is experienced in the outdoors. Members of the PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker Network fit the bill.
- Do your homework beforehand. Look at photos and videos to see what the property looks like in other seasons. Ask the broker questions before the visit, so the visit can be focused on seeing the land’s characteristics first-hand.
- Think about what it would be like to own a property as you look it over. Think about access, quality of wildlife, water sources, proximity to activities – everything that makes a piece of property a fit for building or recreating.
- If you think you might want a cabin sooner or later, make sure the property works for that. Even if there’s snow on the ground, the broker will be able to show you where building sites are on a property.
If you’re looking to be out in the woods this summer with your friends and family, or if you want to lock down a good home base for hunting, now is a great time to buy. Contact one of the experts in the PotlatchDeltic Preferred Broker Network to get started.