Land Ho!

5 savvy strate­gies for choos­ing the per­fect log home site.

Log Home Living - - 2018 ANNUAL BUYER'S GUIDE -


Stick with Your Pas­sion

As you be­gin plan­ning your log home, never cut those pas­times short. Ac­cord­ing to John Rick­et­son with Hearth­stone Homes, your in­ter­ests should dic­tate 90 per­cent of your de­ci­sion. Se­lect a re­gion close to the ac­tiv­i­ties you like, whether it’s ski­ing, fish­ing, hunt­ing or hik­ing. With your hob­bies as your com­pass, seek out con­ducive pieces of land in the moun­tains, at the lake or deep in the for­est.


Check Out Hot Spots

When it comes to sought- af­ter prop­erty, the South­east is still top­ping the charts, ac­cord­ing to U. S. Cen­sus data. With loads of avail­able and di­verse land and prox­im­ity to na­tional forests, large lakes world- class fish­ing and golf cour­ses, North Carolina, Ge­or­gia and Ten­nessee are still the places to be.

These lo­ca­tions, along with the ev­er­pop­u­lar Catskills in New York and the Colorado Rock­ies have an­other ad­van­tage go­ing for them: They are close to metropoli­tan ar­eas, of­fer­ing a dose of ur­ban life when you want it.


Be Prac­ti­cal

Not 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.


Weigh All Op­tions

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. This is a clas­sic case of sup­ply and de­mand: A big de­mand for a small amount of land equals sky-high price tags. If the re­sort life is some­thing you crave and can af­ford, go for it! They make fan­tas­tic and very con­ve­nient places to live.

How­ever, build­ing out­side a re­sort can save you some se­ri­ous cash, and by not hav­ing to sub­scribe to the com­pound’s build­ing guide­lines (and yes, most of them have them), you likely will have more op­tions when it comes to the size and de­sign of your log home out­side of a planned com­mu­nity or re­sort area.

Whether you build in a lux­ury re­sort or on a pri­vate tract, rarely is there such a thing as 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.


Fig­ure in Site Specifics

While liv­ing in a re­mote moun­tain lo­cale may be re­ally de­sir­able, steep lots and rough ter­rain can make build­ing there a bit of a chal­lenge and po­ten­tially drive up the cost of con­struc­tion, es­pe­cially

if build­ing ma­te­ri­als need to be trans­ferred to smaller trucks to make the jour­ney up the moun­tain­side to the site. Also, 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.

And last but not least, the re­gion of the coun­try you choose will al­ways in­flu­ence your bud­get. The North­east, West and Rock­ies lead the pack in ma­te­rial and la­bor costs. There are still bar­gains to be had in the South­east and Mid­west. Skilled-la­bor short­ages per­sist in many pock­ets of the coun­try, im­pact­ing con­struc­tion sched­ules and cost. 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 your brain in the right di­rec­tion, and from there, choose the one that speaks to your heart.

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