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Budgeting Your Log Home: Where Do You Start?
The Log home industry has matured these last many years, but there is still a lot of confusion about how much a log home costs. Naturally, everyone wants to know the cost of the log package; however, the budgeting only starts here. If you are shopping for a milled log package (as opposed to hand-crafted, which is a totally different category), the difference between one manufacturer's price and another is minimal when compared to the total cost of the structure. Here are some reasons why:
Other materials. The logs themselves only form a portion of the material costs of the home. Once the log walls are erected, you still have to worry about a floor, a roof, the windows, the doors, the plumbing, the kitchen... the list goes on and on. Some manufacturers quote a "weathered-in shell" which includes the logs, the windows and roof - all the elements that enclose the building (protecting the house against the weather). Other manufacturers only quote the log package, and leave it to the contractor to provide the other materials locally. When pricing a log package, make sure you are comparing "apples to apples".
From our experience, the price of the Logs only constituted approximately 1/5 of the total price of the finished structure. As for the rest... it's a high-end custom home, and like any custom home, your cost is limited by your imagination - and your budget. You decide whether to use hardwood floors or carpet, marble counters or formica, a metal roof or asphalt shingles. No log home company will offer these products to you. Unlike a Development contractor who offers you a limited selection, you choose everything yourself, from doorknobs to toilets. Once you start factoring in all these items, you will discover that there isn't a whole lot of difference between a log home any another home - except for the exterior walls.
Local price differences. We built our log home in New Jersey, which tends to be a lot more expensive overall than much of the rest of the country. The same house in Tennessee would cost considerably less in lumber and other materials. Also consider that labor costs vary wildly as well. A very big part of your budget will cover the labor, because this home will be built entirely by hand. Your contractor may not have to peel or notch the logs, but he will still be placing the logs one at at time, making sure the walls are plumb, drilling holes for the wiring, cutting settling gaps above the windows and doors, possibly fitting the roof frame one board at a time. Your builder is the most critical part of the project, and it's not necessarily a good idea to go with the cheapest quote. Do you really want him to cut corners to stay within a low quote?
Design features of the house. The most dramatic log homes have roof lines that point in all directions, dormers that grace the front, vaulted ceilings in the great rooms. But remember that every new angle you add to the roof adds exponentially to the cost of the project. If you need to keep costs down, think about a simple roof line with not too many angles.
Also, the old adage remains especially true with log homes: it's much cheaper to go up than go out. If you want a rambling one-story ranch house, you will have a bigger foundation cost, a bigger roof to consider, and lots more labor. If you build more stories and a smaller foundation, even though you will have to invest in a staircase the savings are considerable.
So what is the bottom line? A basic budgeting cost in the Northeast US would be $140-$150 per square foot for a milled log home; this is about the equivalent of a high-end custom stick-frame house. This does not include the land, the well, the septic, the driveway, etc. It does include the basement, the kitchen, the plumbing, etc. This is the turnkey budget for the house only. You can certainly do less if you give up a lot of amenities, but I wouldn't advise a starting budget of any less than $130 per sq. ft. You may find yourself running out of money way too soon, and that would be a terrible shame.
Mercedes Hayes is a Hiawatha Log Home dealer and also a Realtor in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. She designed her own log home which was featured in the 2004 Floor Plan Guide of Log Home Living magazine. You can learn more about log homes by visiting JerseyLogHomes.tk.
Advantages and Disadvantages to Selling a House on Your Own
As with any business transaction, there are pros and cons to selling your own home. Many people are intimidated by the whole process, but if you know what you are up against, and if you are aware of what needs to be done, you will be more effective at selling on your own, or you will be better at making sure your agent does what you prefer.
Selling Your House Fast!
The physical senses of buyers respond to a home's design, and buyer base their purchase decisions on what the see, hear, smell, touch, and even taste. But what do buyers actually want?All buyers what a home that most closely suits their needs and makes them feel a sense of happiness.
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One questions many "for sale by owner" sellers ask is "how can I determine if a potential buyer can afford to buy my house?" In the real estate industry this is referred to as "pre-qualifying" a buyer. You might think this is a complex process but in reality it is actually quite simple and only involves a little math.
So, You Wanna Buy Pre-Foreclosures?
So you wanna buy pre-foreclosures? or at the courthouse steps? So many people ask us about this. Here's our '30 second seminar' on it.
Real Estate Lease Option Danger
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Should You Accept A Full Purchase Offer For Your Note or Not?
You could be facing a dilemma when considering payout options on selling your mortgage note! To accept a full purchase offer or a partial purchase offer is not always an easy decision.Sure, to take the full purchase option is an easy decision to make if you're holding a second position note on a property that doesn't have any equity after you add the first and second mortgages, but what if that's not your situation? Full purchase payouts can be good if your primary concern is to just get out of the note and be done with it.
How to Show & Sell Your California Home
Seller's Showing Instructions1. When the agent arrives with the potential buyers, have the window coverings open to let in as much sunlight as possible.
Part 1: FAQ's From Media Interviews With Real Estate Author
Do you feel there is going to be a real estate bubble?Nash: No. Are some coastal and resort markets over-heated, yes.
If You are Hiring a Neighborhood Specialist to Sell Your Home, there are Some Things You Absolutely
My husband and I were eating breakfast at the Good Egg the other morning and couldn't help but over hear a fellow talking to his elderly parents about their home. It was fairly obvious that his father had a hard time hearing and the louder he talked the more I was tuning in to what he was saying.
Investment Property Part 2 of 2: What You Need to Know Before You Buy
Welcome to the second portion of a two-part series on investment property. In the first installment, "How Not to Become a Slumlord", we discussed a little of what it takes to own and operate a property as well as some of the do's and don'ts of the property management trade.
How To Negotiate A Higher Price For Your House
Negotiation is where many FSBO home sellers really have problems. The wrong attitude or a slip of the tongue could cost you thousands.
What is a Predatory Lender?
Several months ago, the 3,000-member California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB) created the first real definition to describe the abusive lending practices of predatory lenders. According to the CAMB, predatory lending was described as "placing consumers in loan products with significantly worse terms and/or higher costs than loans offered to similarly qualified consumers in the region for the primary purpose of enriching the originator and with little or no regard for the costs to the consumer.
Real Estate Investing In Mexico
Mexico is CHEAP! But its getting more expensive. As property values rise, especially in resort areas, investors wonder how they can profit from this.
Staging Homes for Top-Dollar Sales
Wouldn't it be nice to have Roger Hazard's design team from "Sell This House" come visit for a weekend?Many "redecorators" and designers offer "Staging Homes" services from $250 to $5,000. These services usually give good advice, some help with the actual work involved, and others even move in new furniture for you.
The Real Estate Bubble Fallacy
There has been a lot of talk lately about the "Real Estate Bubble", and a lot of folks are asking the question: "When it is going to burst"?They are saying that the market just can't sustain this level of growth and appreciation much longer, and I heat them say that it is inevitable that it must come crashing down soon. People are worried.
How to Eliminate Risk in Real Estate Investment
Avoid 12 Common Mistakes Made by Novice Investors and Ensure High Rates of Return!Real estate investment has provided many investors with positive cash flow, tax benefits and satisfaction of making an impact in others lives. Like any investment however, real estate has intricate nuances and market trends that when ignored can cause an investor tremendous heart ache.
Invest In Real Estate - But Where?
Where should you invest in real estate? If you know an area well, and have enough experience investing in real estate, you can make money almost anywhere. However, there are always places that are better or worse for real estate investments - places that have a better demand/supply ratio.
Are You Trying to Hit a Home Run With Your Prospects Without Asking Them on a Date?
Real Estate email marketingDo you remember the old School girl/boy game of "Around the World", or "Around the Bases"? If you got a kiss you got to First Base. A french Kiss was Second Base.
Secrets of Making Money from Real Estate - Part 5
Where to from here:One property is great, but It wont make you very wealthy. Below is the expansionary model of what I think a good real estate portfolio should look like.
First-time Home Buyers - 100% Home Loans
There is an increasing trend in South Africa that is seeing youths entering property market at a much earlier age. These youths are mostly first-time home buyers, applying for their first home loan, who have been renting for a short while and feel the need to invest in a property of their own.
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