If a log home is in your future, here are 10 steps to make it happen.
1. Buy your land. Where you choose to build influences subsequent decisions, especially the home’s design.
2. Pre-qualify for financing. Whatever the state of lending, you’ll almost certainly need to borrow. Better to learn where you stand now than later. Locate a lender who welcomes log-home buyers and see whether you’ll be able to borrow what you need or what to do to become loan-worthy.
3. Attend a log-home show. Familiarize yourself with the different styles of log homes and the different ways companies do business. No matter what size the show, every exhibitor can help you toward your goal, even if only to show you what you don’t want.
4. Calculate a realistic building budget. There’s so much more to a log home than the logs. Find out what else you’ll need and what it costs.
5. Read Sarah Susanka’s book, The Not-So-Big House. The author’s point isn’t to downsize your dream but to right-size it, using money you’d spend for superfluous square footage to upgrade the quality of your home’s materials.
6. Prioritize and compromise. List all the features you’d like your new home to have, then narrow them down to those you absolutely can’t or won’t live without. Then rank the remaining ones and determine how many you can afford or ways to make as many as possible affordable.
7. Stockpile furniture. Don’t wait until you break ground to start shopping for items. By taking your time, you’re likelier to find bargains; plus, already having some furnishings makes designing interior spaces easier.
8. Determine your involvement. Research the possibilities of being your own general contractor. If you desire a lesser or greater hands-on role, sharpen your skills by taking a class in, say, laying tile or landscaping.
9. Find a builder. Even in a down housing market, the best builders are still working. Locating, interviewing and scheduling a builder now will keep you from having to wait when you are ready to break ground.
10. Start sooner than later. Delaying teaches you only how to delay longer. Don’t let present uncertainty deny your dream of the future. If you lack the means to proceed now, figure out what you need and obtain it.