Eight financial tips to help prepare you for the process of building or buying a log home.


Before you go to a lender to land a mortgage for your home, do a little financial house cleaning. Here are tips from the pros:

1. Square away your outstanding debts

Most Americans carry at least $6,000 in debt on their credit cards, according to a recent congressional report. Pay these off and use cash instead.

2. Ask for a raise

You might laugh, because it sounds so obvious. But the time to get a raise is before you apply for a loan to increase your purchasing power.

3. Check your credit rating

With identity theft on the rise, make sure your credit is still safe and strong.

4. Buy your home site:

You can use the equity as part of the loan down payment.

5. Pull the title on your existing home

Before you put your existing home on the market, pull the title to make sure it’s free of liens.

6. Before you sell

Inexpensive cosmetic upgrades, such as new paint and carpet, can make your home more valuable to buyers. Put everything but the essentials in storage. This will make your home seem larger to prospective home buyers.

7. Price strategically

Your asking price isn’t just the home’s actual market value—it also should include some negotiation room to counteract any real or imaginary objections by the buyer.

8. Arrange for a place to live while your home is being built

If you’re looking to cut costs, try staying with relatives or friends. If local authorities allow it, live in an RV at the job site. You can even keep tabs on how work is progressing on your new home.