Introduction: New member here, looking for a small lot in Adirondack area

Started by allanbrad, January 02, 2017, 09:24:22 PM

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Hello everybody and Happy New Year!  Was looking for a place to post a self introduction, all the main boards look too serious to squeeze in a "Hello" :)  Anyway, this thread seems to be right up  as I am researching how to find a vacant lot in Upstate  New York .  Started with Zillow and MLS, and now planning to drive through the areas of my primary interests and look out for what's available.  Ideal place would be something like Tupper Lake because we love fishing and skiing. I am  a handy man with a strong preference for DIY unless otherwise feasible,  planning for a cabin with a loft,  off the grid (generator+Batteries on 12v LED lighting circuit), wood stove, etc.  So, here we  are, a family of 5 (myself, 3 girls and my best half) looking to build  ourselves a year round destination in enchanting Adirondacks. Thanks to everyone who has posted their experiences, I have skimmed over your posts using search feature and feel much more in control of what to expect. Will update upon completion of our first field trip to survey area between Tupper Lake and Lake Placid.


Welcome to the forum!  My wife and I bought some land last year that was never listed on MLS.  It was listed through a realtor that does a phenomenal job providing detailed info on the web.  I suspect that the cost of a MLS listing isn't worth it for "low value" undeveloped land.

I suggest getting a feel for the areas you are interested in, then start looking outside the box for available land.  This might mean calling up realtors that specialize in land parcels, or even combing through county records and cold-calling a landowner that might be interested in selling but never took the initiative.  Many county assessors and recorder's office can be accessed online and you may stumble on a great opportunity to get the perfect lot.
My cabin build thread: Alaskan remote 16x28 1.5 story

Adam Roby


My land is about 1 1/2 hours north east from there in Clinton County. 
The Penny Saver and Free Trader had occasional deals listed, but I eventually found mine through the usmls (North County Realty) website. 

One thing you might consider is doing a search for the lowest taxes in the area you are interested in.  Sometimes just a few towns over you'll save a ton on tax.  Where I am we are subsidized because of the windmills, so on my 7.5 acre lot I am paying something like $75 for property tax and I believe it was $130 or so for the school tax.  No building yet, but already its pretty decent.

Definitely drive around the area and make sure you like what you see.  I am right on the border of Canada and a lot of times I get chased up my little dirt road by an over zealous border patrol agent.  Its kind of funny the first time but gets annoying after a while.  Also I bought this parcel because it has a nice creek running through the center of it... last summer it dried up.  Not sure if it was just a very dry winter or if someone upstream diverted the water flow... 


Hi Forum,

New member here... Kind of in the same boat as Allan. My situation is a little different. I'm NOT into the where as much as I am the WHAT I can do when I go to build.
My overall build "hopefully" is as follows.

#1 - A-Frame design - Currently planning on a 20' x 32' footprint. The A-Frame style will keep my load down.
#2 - Poured Concrete Footings. (House I'm currently in has a basement... Tired of getting water  >:( ) hence the reason for the footings.
#3 - Rain catchment, Solar, Composting Facilities.

The Rain Catchment is the reason for the A-Frame style. Collection on 640 sqft of roof should be adequate for 2 people.
This is also why I'm having difficulty in "Location".... Where do I get adequate rainfall? that also allows me the above mentioned build?

Decisions.. Decisions.. Decisions.

Any feedback would greatly be appreciated.


John Raabe

 w* Alan

Let me give you some thoughts on your topics or questions.

#1 - A frame design. I would suggest doing a lower pitch gable roof, lifting it 8' in the air, putting walls with windows and doors in it before lowering the roof down on it. (it will have the same load and drainage area as the A frame). This is also easier to build (as you build from the ground up).

#2 - Lots of info in this forum and the Countryplans website on pier and beam foundations - concrete or PT wood.

#3 - As you say Decisions  d* d* c*


None of us are as smart as all of us.


Having a cabin in the Tug Hill NY area we get long cold winters. I don't mean to knockdown your A-frame idea, but after talking to a friend that has one he dislikes it because an A-frame being open to the top his bedrooms get very hot to keep lower level descent temperature. He uses a wood stove. Just something to consider


Too warm or too hot an upstairs is an issue with many small cabins that do not have an air circulation system like a forced air system in a larger home. Something to think about in the panning stages.

Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn't mean it is good design.