Finding the right piece of land for your future log home can be tricky if you have never done it before. Follow these 5 tips to help narrow the field.
1. Start with Your Interests
As you begin planning your log home, your hobbies should play a key role in where you build. Select a region close to the activities you like, whether it's skiing, fishing, hunting or hiking. With your favorite pastimes as your compass, seek out conducive pieces of land, whether they're perched atop a mountain, along the lake shore or deep within the forest.
2. Look at Regional Hot Spots
According to a 2018 Zillow survey, Texas, Tennessee, Colorado and North Carolina (all prime log home locations) rank in the top 10 hottest real estate markets. With loads of available and diverse terrain, plus proximity to national forests, large lakes, world-class fishing and golf courses, these areas are ideal for log home living. However, with a sizzling market can come higher price tags for property. Shop wisely.
3. Be Sensible
We don’t want to put a damper on your cabin-in-the-woods dream, but your perfect home has to be paired with some practical considerations, too. Proximity to medical care, fire/rescue facilities, schools and shopping, not to mention access to public utilities (unless your dream is to live off the grid), should all be evaluated when you’re making your selection.
4. Consider All the Possibilities
When it comes to the price of your perfect plot of land, it’s no secret that resort areas cost more (sometimes three to four times more) to build in than their less-developed counterparts. If the resort life is something you crave and can afford, go for it! They make fantastic and very convenient places to live. Just be prepared to pay a premium.
Building outside a resort can save you some serious cash, and by not having to subscribe to a planned community’s building guidelines (yes, most of them have them), you will have more options when it comes to the size and design of your log home.
Whether you build in a luxury resort or on a private tract, rarely is there such a thing as a completely “perfect” piece of land. But more often than not, there will be one plot that will speak to you in a way the others don’t. When you hear it call, that’s the one.
5. Figure in Site Specifics
The majority of log home buyers want to live in a remote mountain location, but steep lots and rough terrain can make building there a bit of a challenge and potentially drive up the cost of construction. Plus, from a design standpoint, your roof may have to be highly reinforced to handle snow loads. All of this adds time and cost to your project.
Waterfront properties bring a host of other issues. They often require custom-designed septic systems and special erosion-control measures. Building near the coast will require hurricane-proofing tactics in addition to flood protection. It’s also likely they all will mandate that you to secure speciality insurance coverage.
The region of the country you choose also can affect construction. Skilled-labor shortages persist in many pockets of the United States, impacting construction schedules and driving up labor costs. Be sure to shop around, not only for the best price, but also for the best craftsmanship.
At the end of the day, this is the place where your dreams will be fulfilled and memories will be made for years to come. Let these five tips steer you in the right direction, and from there, choose the one that speaks to your heart.