The Log Home Neighborhood

An online log home community for log home enthusiasts.

I am interested, since this forum covers a lot of geography, to see if and how the current financial market situation is affecting your planning and/or building process.

I am very interested in real world accounts instead of what I see on the news where drama rules. Please share your story if you are inclined and thanks ahead of time.

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My husband and i sold our beach investment rental home about a month ago and are now in the process of getting started on a log vacation home in the mountains. No, we are not putting anything off. We got a great deal on our package and are now looking for the builder.

Do you all know that interest rates are now 4.75% and 1 point (1% of loan amount).
I am based in NC, I turn key log homes or dry in the log package, Have you selected a floorplan and log supplier? Check out my website at www.jdinteriors.org to see my work. I have experience with South Land, Appalachian Log Structure, and Honest Abe Log Homes. We have a great track record of custom log homes and happy clients. If you have any questions drop me an email, JD
Do you have a favorite log kit supplier?
Gatorgene
Josh,

I'm lucky enough to chat with log-home enthusiasts every day, and it's all over the map regarding how the economy has impacted them. Some are forging ahead like Janis above. Some are holding off because their 401K accounts or other investment plans have been greatly impacted, and some are merely waiting for their homes to sell at a reasonable price so they can live the dream. One thing is pretty common: Few are giving up on the idea of building a custom log or timber home, and that's pretty gratifying.

Our March issue, which doesn't go to press until next week, showcases a story on the state of the log-home marketplace...mortgage lenders, log home companies, builders----the whole enchilata. Nope, it's a not a rah-rah piece telling everyone to run out and buy homes. We simply lay it all out and objectively show readers how the downturn has impacted the home-building industry...and how things aren't terrific, but they're certainly not as grim as some in the media would have you believe. Here's a sneak peek at one of the story's many sidebars, which is, granted, pretty optimistic. The issue hits the newsstands in early February; subscribers will get it in mid- to late January:

[sidebar]
5 Reasons to Buy Now

For consumers who possess the financial wherewithal—especially those who already own land—timing really doesn’t get any better than this. Here’s why:

1. Nice deals. Log-home companies are being extremely aggressive in the deals their giving customers right now. If you do your homework, you’re golden.

2. Builders galore. Two or three years ago, it was difficult to find builders. Now? They’re beating down your door for work—and offering more time and better services in relation to cost.

3. Low fuel costs. Not everyone finds a log provider right in his or her neck of the woods, and shipping those heavy materials certainly isn’t cheap. However, gas is now significantly off the all-time highs hit in the past 12 months, which correlates into direct cost cutting in transportation, making it cheaper to get the logs you really want.

4. Great interest rates. If you have a strong credit rating, you’re in good shape—and can find rates as low as 6 to 7 percent.

5. A better house. Craftsmanship has never gone out of style. That’s why you’re building a log home. But finding craftsmen to finish your house was tough. Not any longer, especially for masons, woodcarvers and furniture makers.

Take care,

Mike

Editor, Log Home Living
Mike, I see folks everyday in the Real Estate business wondering "what to do" I simply tell them if you want it you will find a way! No it is not all gloom and doom and the media will tell us after mid January how the economy is "looking up"!! It is all a cycle..in other words I don't buy shoes because i am told no one else is..the store goes broke...employees have to go...they have no $ so they can't buy that new stove so on and on it goes...i do feel sorry for those who have lost their jobs, but we need to move on and live our lives! So don't wait, interest rates will go up again, building materials will go up again, labor will go up again and then we will say "why did we wait" same ole story!
I have heard item 1 above from people outside the industry but since we have our home we missed that boat. Mike how about an article on how those who may have their budget reduced because of the current situation can still have the dream by going to smaller producers than those who advertise in your magazine or directly to log suppliers or is that in the category of do my homework?
Sure, I think we can do a story on ways to build a home with the new reality of your (reduced) pocketbook. We've been weaving some of that theme into the magazine for years, naturally, but we can be more specific and talk about the context of the current financial crunch.

Re: saving money on logs. Be careful and, yes, do your homework. Questions to ask: Are your logs graded? If so, by whom, and is it a third-party company? Are there customers who've used your logs I can talk to, as well as tour their house? Do you belong to the Log Homes Council? The companies who advertise in log magazines aren't enormous conglomerates; they are often family-owned businesses that build anywhere from 10-700 homes a year. They are not Toll Brothers or other enormous stick-built companies...just food for thought. They've typically done the work on engineering a great log system, and they source terrific product (logs) from all over North America. Nope, not a shameless plug; it's just what I've learned by being in this position...the only folks who pay me are my publishers. Simple as that.

Remember, the cost of your logs accounts for less than 20-30% of what your home's final price tag will be. The REAL cost is what you choose to put IN the house: materials, such as granite counter tops or real stone hearths, flooring, windows, etc. I recommend using great materials in the places where you need it most: high-traffic spaces, etc. Another big-ticket item? LABOR. And here is where you can really negotiate, big time, these days...

Good luck!
Great I will look for it. Also, if you want real people on this site remember we don't know every business most articles I have read in the magazine have been on packages bought from an advertiser. As the gentleman above said he wants to hear from real people not media. I meant the whole package not just logs I agree with all your points. We bought from one of those local family owned companies and hired all local subs and were satisfied. Others can't afford what we paid and when I did the math on the 1700 sq ft farmhouse package I found paying retail and buying just the parts alone I could save 50% on our 90K package cost. Those are real numbers. I just intend to inform the same as you.
We've been forced to take some steps backwards because of the economy. Earlier this year we had hoped to sell our home, make a small profit, move to Show Low where are land is, rent small during the construction. Yet, with the housing market going down hill for us sellers we were just going to sit tight. Well, my husband lost his job with Ford in June here in Southern California. We panicked so we put our home up for sale, since Kevin was offered a job at the Ford dealership in Show Low, and of course we did not get any offers. Agents talking short sales etc. Kevin does have another job locally yet pay so much less. We've had to do huge adjustments, took the house of the market, and want to keep our credit in tact most of all so we can build our dream home. When? Not holding our breath. Maybe another two years. So we are still dreaming.
As most you you know, Julie and I are building our own log home and sub-contracting out what we do not feel comfortable doing ourselves. We have seen the effect of the economy in our neck of the woods also. Building permits have gone from the 90's in 1997 to the 30's in 1998. I believe it will even be less next year, but we are pressing on with our dream log home. It will be our retirement home and we are paying as we go. We did have to buy our windows on a 6 month 'same-as-cash' plan, but since my wife and I have fairly secure professions, we are pressing on. The one sure thing about our future is " We will have our 'Dream Home' despite the current economy. As Winston Churchill once said, "NEVER, NEVER, GIVE UP" Building our dream home is what keeps us feeling secure and happy. The only advice I can offer anybody, has already been said; 'Do your homework, and you will reap the rewards" Press on fellow log home lovers. Dave
We are still following our plan. What the future brings no one knows. We hope to have our property paid for and are getting two kids thru college so are 2-3 years out yet. Still looking at log home companies and floor plans but are leaning to Golden Eagle and Real log homes. Its not as bad here as other places in the country but still affected. I co own an rv store selling campers and it hasn't been very good last couple of years because of gas prices and lately the ability for people to get loans. There is still building going on here but there are also some empty buildings where stores have closed. Housing values haven't gone down much here if any and the homes for sale verses sold homes is pretty much the same for the last 3 years.
Hey Glenn, this is CJ from VA. My husband and I hopefully will see the log trucks delivering our home in May 2009 here in the mtns of Va. We actually live 3 1/2 hours away from our property and want to spend as much time as possible during the initial building. Well, long story short, paying for a hotel was out of the question for that length of time. SO, we just purchased last week a 1992 Jayco pop up camera, to place on the property and be there as much as possible during the summer of 2009. It will provide what we need. Well, nice talking to you and have a great day.

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