Why Now Is the Time to Build a Log Cabin

Low interest rates and high inventories are good news for buyers.

Despite the jittery economy, experts say that now is a great time to consider building a cabin. Interest rates are at a four-year low, builders are eager to work, and material suppliers have inventories they need to move.

“Many log home companies are working very hard to keep their pricing steady and in line with the current economy,” Mark Munzert of The Original Lincoln Logs, Chesterton, New York. “This, plus the savings that can be gained because building contractors are competitively looking for work, makes this a great time to build.” Translate that to mean the construction industry is ready to tackle work now and you may be able to pay best-dollar rates.

“The majority of vacation log homes and cabins are second homes and have been planned for many years,” Munzert says. “They often have the land already purchased and do not have to sell a home to move forward.”

A slowing economy has affected all segments of the construction and home sales market, but the vacation home arena seems least immune from lasting damage.

“The increase in oil costs have hurt every industry and the economy has slowed things down, but Baby Boomers are not the same as first time home buyers and are now positioned to build for their retirement or vacation home,” Munzert says.

Log homes continue to attract second home buyers and have an intrinsic value that separates them from the primary home market. Certain parts of the country have actually experienced an increase in sales and have passed on their good fortune on to the customer.

Savvy cabin buyers can usually find deals on kits from producers with a bit of comparison shopping. To spur sales, producers sometimes hold two-week or one-month discounts that range from 5-15% on packages. The key is to watch web sites and e-mails to find the best deal.

Even at full price, however, cabin kits are great deals. “Due to the volume of custom log homes we have produced, we have been able to achieve significant economies of scale and savings from suppliers, which we have in turn passed along to our customers,” says Seth Chernoff, CEO Spirit Cabins, Boulder, Colorado. “Our prices have continued to remain affordable and attractive.”

Factors that may hinder your ability to get your cabin built: Your ability to get a loan from skittish post-meltdown financial institutions, and your ability to find buildable land.