Home Selling in 12561>Question Details

Judy,  in New Paltz, NY

Why are log homes harder to sell?

Asked by Judy, New Paltz, NY Mon Jul 16, 2007

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Hi Judy, I have noticed this as well. They seem to appeal to a smaller group of people. In one instance I showed one to some clients and the wife loved it, the husband didn't. Many people just want a more traditional look. I think that is where Deborah's comment comes in to play. Is the environment or community one that would typically warrant a log home? It's a tough call, but that is also a reason why an excellent marketing strategy is needed. Direct the marketing towards the clientele that might look for one. I.E. Vacation home, Secluded Acreage..I don't know the details just throwing ideas. Maybe advertise in an out of city or state market that log homes sell quicker in. Just some thoughts. Good luck with it.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2007
Stephanie:
Interesting answer. I believe you opened up a door for me here. I'm about to buy some acreage, build a small model log home, sell homes including lots.....but here's my question:
If you're me, where would YOU go to find more knowledge about selling secluded log cabins to affluent, nearby city-dwellers, (doctors, lawyers, etc.) who just want a weekend getaway with no phones, no TV, etc.
Thanx,
Rob
Flag Wed Jan 22, 2014
When building a home, or buying a home, to ensure good resale you need to focus on the most common styles and features. The unusual does appeal to some people, but only about 1 out of 10. To get maximum resale having a style of home that is similar to others in your area, the same (or more) number of bedrooms and baths, a garage and a lot size that isn't too large and isn't too small are important.

Many people like to have their home as a showplace to entertain in and impress. Those people probably wouldn't go for a rustic log home.

Finding the right buyer won't be easy but will happen with time and exposure! With a listing like this it is so important to expose it to the maximum number of people!
Web Reference: http://www.ChrisTesch.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jul 17, 2007
Oh I hope not. Hubby & I are looking to buy our first house, & we are sick of "cookie cutter" houses.

For some reason, log houses seem to be more expensive than "traditional" houses, & price is a huge factor. There are people who build a log house for 100 grand, then turn around & want to sell it for a million dollars. It is nuts.
Flag Thu May 21, 2015
I could have sold mine several times but FHA and other mortgage lenders' requirements for comparables have made it impossible. One lender said if others in the area sell (which there are 4 within 1 mile of mine but none are up for sale), I would have a better chance. But if they won't loan on mine, why would they on anyone elses? I have been trying to sell for over 3 years now and this is making it boil down to cash only!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Apr 18, 2015
Hi Joanne Fogle and Patriciafrance14, I am one of the Authorized Manufacturer's Reps for Expedition Log Homes in the Midwest. We have alot of people that come to us to find Log Homes. Unfortunately we can't help people that want to buy an existing home but only those who want to build their own the way they want it. The financial problems we face selling home packages is that buyers are expecting a 2,000sqft log home (half-log or full-log) to be about the same price as a conventionally build home. Because we offer free customizing on all of our plans we can usually satisfy clients with their "must haves" instead of starting out with "I need 2,000sqft." Can I answer any questions you might have? David Aurbeck
Flag Thu Dec 17, 2015
I am looking to buy a log home in KS..........where is yours
Flag Wed Dec 2, 2015
I have had several contracts, great appraisals but my problem is the lenders. Only one Mortgage Co. (mine) will finance and has to be conventional. So my buyers aren't able to purchase due to not able to put 20% down.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Dec 25, 2014
Well you could just build a log home pretty easy rather than just going out and buying one. Besides you normally want it on a property somewhere to serve as a vacation cabin. http://www.harrisonloghomes.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Oct 11, 2013
I have always wondered the same question. A lot of times the location and price are the big factors when selling log homes. I would take a good look at the market and what other similar homes are selling for. More likely than not, you may have your home overpriced for the market.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Nov 16, 2012
I do not think that log homes are HARDER to sell, they are just more specific to a certain purchaser just like period stone homes or salt box homes. I myself love log homes. It feels like you are always on vacation so I think they make terrifc second homes.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 6, 2010
Site selection can certainly have much to do with saleability. Assuming that potential buyers are comfortable with having neighboring homes at least within eyeshot, similar builds and surroundings can add to the overall charm and appeal. For many vacation home buyers, not being totally isolated can be very important. Reasonable proximity to grocery stores, medical care and other basics can also make a significant difference, depending upon lifestyles.

Log homes can also vary in their overall "ageability" especially if owners aren't instucted in periodic maintenance needs....or if they simply build up lots of deferred maintenance projects. There are options in types of stain (and cost) and other preservative agents...which can also dramatically affect the overall look of the home itself. We had our cedar exterior restained last year with a premium product, and it regularly evokes the sort of "wow, what did you use on your home?" sorts of comments.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
As both a Builder and a Realtor that focuses on homes made from natural materials (like log, heavy timber & stone), I can say that log homes are no harder to sell than conventional homes. I agree with Ken's comment regarding the necessity to educate and inform your buyer. Yes there are a lot of poorly constructed log homes out there that tend to give log homes a bad reputation. However, if the home is constructed of good materials and is put together by a skilled carpenter, a log home can last for generations. So the question becomes, "How do you tell the difference between a good log home and a bad one"?. The answer to that question is determined by understanding the following:

1. Has the log home been constructed with tung & groove between the logs to keep a tight fit; and were some type of long screws and glue used to keep the connection between the log tight? If you can see daylight between the logs, the answer is no. If the logs fit tight, the answer is probably yes.

2. Was the roof system constructed well. Look for two things specifically. If heavy timbers were used as structural elements to hold up the roof, look for the hight of the soffit (thats the hight between the top of the roof line to the bottom of the board that sits right below the roof line. This depth will be an indication of how much insulation is in the roof system. A well insulated roof should have a soffit between 10" to 12". The second item you want to look for in the roof system is ventilation. Look for several round vents or a long vent that extends the width of roof line up under the eves as well as a ridge vent on top of the roof. A well constructed room system MUST have vents to prevent the roof system from sweating.

3. Was a good quality stain used that is designed to be used with natural wood. If they used cheep stain from the local hardware store rather than a premium brand intended for log homes, you may have issues. Cheep stains tend to last a year or two while good quality stains can last for 4, 6, 8 or even 10 years or more. Secondly, does the home need staining now. An old-timer once taught me how to tell if a log home needed staining. You take a glass of water and dip you fingers into the glass. Then fling the water drops onto the logs. If the water absorbed into the wood, you need to stain ASAP. If the water drips off the logs, you already have a good coating that doesn't need re-staining yet.

4. Was the foundation built to drive water AWAY from the foundation? Look for water stains in the basement or in the crawl space. Look for those corrugated black pipes that stick out a the low point on the lot. These are usually berried in gravel to collect the moisture and pipe it away from the foundation.

5. Do the windows and doors open and close smoothly? Log homes settle and a well constructed log home is engineered to allow for this settling without causing stress on the windows, doors or the interior walls that connect to log walls. If a window will not open or an interior wall is cracked or there is a large space in the corners or the top of the wall, the home was not engineered properly and you are going to have issues down the road.

There are about a dozen other things to look for on a log home to determine if it was constructed well and to anticipate the level of ongoing maintenance (or lack of in the case of a well constructed home). Consult a builder and/or a qualified inspector that knows log homes to assist you in the evaluation. I can't stress enough the importance of finding someone that REALLY KNOWS log homes to help you here. The average builder simply is not exposed to the unique aspects of log & heavy timber construction and can miss some important ares you are going to want to inspect.

If you are looking for a good Log Home Builder/Designer or a Realtor that KNOWS log homes we are available. Check us out on our web site or drop by our Design Center in Ellijay, GA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
We found a log home we love in illinoise, needs some work, but can the work be done by us. We can't afford the high cost of hiring someone. Who could tell us what we need. Some possible log rot. House has been on the market for 2 yrs, and not occupied.
Flag Tue Oct 21, 2014
There are many public misconceptions regarding log homes. Many people believe they aren't as well insulated, are prone to termites, have humidity problems and much more. If an agent directly addresses these issues as part of a well targeted marketing campaign, it can become significantly easier to sell. Turn the negatives into pluses-- natural insulation i.e. no formaldehyde. No expensive siding maintenance, natural inspect repellent for certain kinds of logs. Stronger structure than stick built. Creativity is the key here.
Web Reference: http://www.RealtorKenW.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Maintenance problems total organic structure they look great yet one does not know what environmental elements may be involved. How will this effect the house integrity

ILene

Trying to sell a multi the numbers don't work and a tenant with cats must be delt with/odor.
And if the net is about 16-17,000 and a new investor/buyer comes along loves it takes out a new loan
on list price $337,800 they are under may be 5,000 What should the list price be???
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 24, 2009
Judy: Log homes fall into one of four primary categories;

* A small cabin in the woods (frequently used as a rental or weekend get-away)
* A modest log home that suites the lifestyle of many aging Baby Boomer's
* A medium size log home that represents a place of sanctuary as a second home
* A show place with all the amenities common in a high end home

I point this out because the higher up the ladder of quality, functionality and design the home, the easier it is to sell. Affluent and retiring Baby Boomer's are finding log homes to be a place to unwind, relax and restore from the stress of their fast paced lives. I know all this, because I specialize in marketing homes made from natural materials (log homes, timber frame homes, homes made from stone and various combonations of each of these materials we call a hybrid home).

Bottom line, if you are trying to sell a modest log home in an area saturated with similar homes, the task of selling that home will be a challenge. On the other hand, if the home is well designed and appeals to the mid to high end buyer, you have an great opportunity to sell that home to a growing number of retiring Baby Boomer's and affluent second home buyers.

We not only specialize in marketing log homes, we are also build log homes and are fortunate enough to have our own Design Department that works with these folks wanting to create that customized dream home show place.

The person that suggests that log homes are cheaper, less than, or somehow not as appealing as conventional homes, have not been in one of our log or timber frame homes. Check out some of these links with photos of some of the homes we are proud to have designed & built or watch the link to the YouTube clip below to see what a log home can offer:

Link to FaceBook Log home Photos:
http://www.facebook.com/friends/?ref=tn#/album.php?aid=20152…

YouTube Video Clip Of Log Homes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zsGMkP6eTzA

YouTube Vidoe Clip of Timber Frame Homes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX7lQU0uei8

Link To Log Home Listings (click on SEARCH/LOG HOME SEARCH)
http://mlsarealistings.com/moddernrusticliving

Joe Folsom
Modern Rustic Living
Helping Baby Boomer's Find Balance & Purpose In Life
With Log & Timber Frame Homes of Distinction
Office: (423) 443-4638
eMail: JoeFolsom@ModernRusticLiving.com
Web: http://www.ModernRusticLiving.com
Log Home Listings: http://mlsarealistings.com/moddernrusticliving
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 19, 2009
Like any other style, saleability of a log home depends upon location...and probably more so. We've sold a number of them, both new builds and existing log homes, and all are used primarily as vacation homes, and primarily in southeast Ohio's famous Hocking Hills Region (as well as Hide-A-Way Hills). Put a log home in a peaceful wooded setting, with relatively close proximity to state parks or other recreational amenities, and you should be in good shape. In our vacation home area, investors looking to join the cabin rental business are another type of potential buyer. There's also a lot of information about log homes that muddies the water...for example, try searching log home R-value; you'll find a variety of answers, including one in particular that seems to have spread itself across lots of sites (especially home inspectors). Building a log home is a very different experience, so who built the home becomes a very important question in the resale market. Doug & Karen Parker, Prudential Calhoon Company Realtors, http://ikarensell.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 27, 2009
I think it is a lot about what you are know and are comfortable selling. True, log homes appeal to a smaller percentage of prospective buyers, but there are plenty of buyers out there looking for and buying log homes. So much so, I have made it my specialty. I started building log homes, partnered with several developers and then got my Real Estate license in three states, just to market log homes. We sell more to out of town folks than locally, so that alone is much different than the average real estate transaction. I love it and plan to continue to market homes made from natural materials (log, heavy timber & stone). Check out my web site if you want to learn more about how we sell log homes.

Joe Folsom
"The Log Home Guy"
Office: (423) 443-4638
JoeFolsom@ModernRusticLiving.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Dec 5, 2008
Where the log home is located can influence the level of diffculty encountered when selling. A log home being marketed last year in this area went through 3 listing agents and 20% drop in price before it sold. Buyers found it novel and quaint, but because it was not in an area that other log homes were located, it didn't conform. Buyers comented that, "This would be wonderful 'If" it were located _______." At a lower price, it did become attractive enough for the right buyer and it did sell.

Whenever you market to a smaller pool of potential buyers, your showings will be fewer and your marketing time can take longer.

Contemporary homes do not sell quickly or easily in certain areas, yet in other areas they do. That results from the customary trend and preferences of the region (as opposed to the exact specific location.)

As it pertains to your property, 1) Is the buyer pool for log homes smaller or larger than it would be for other types of homes in your area; 2) Is the property located near ranches, splits, and colonials or in an area where other log homes might be found?; 3) Have you evaluated your pricing strategy for possible adjustment?

Good Luck.
Web Reference: http://PeninsulaFirst.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 16, 2007
Deborah Madey, Real Estate Pro in Brick, NJ
MVP'08
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