List Categories | List All Articles | List Articles By Title
Budgeting Your Log Home - Creating a Checklist
If you've read my first article, BUDGETING YOUR LOG HOME: Where do you start?, you've got a very basic overview of the process. However, there are still a number of questions I'd like to address. Again, many of these questions will come up if you build any custom home, but I'd venture to guess the log home owners find themselves deeper in the decision-making process than someone dealing with a custom builder. After all, the differences become apparent immediately as the owners have to find their own manufacturer.
Unless you have a pocket full of cash, you're going to have to follow the construction loan mindset throughout the budgeting process. I plan to devote a whole article to the construction loan, but this pursuit will serve as a preliminary step before going to the bank.
The biggest part of your budget will be the purchase of the land. With today's new construction market - especially in New Jersey - the raw land constitutes 30%-40% of the total project (of course, in other states the land won't be so much but your overall costs will be less, too). It helps to purchase the land first so you know how much money you're going to have left over.
Then you need to figure out how much to set aside for your excavation, your driveway, and your septic system. Before you can get to this number, it helps to hire a civil engineer to draw up a survey and plot plan (you'll need the survey for the mortgage company anyway). This will cost you a few hundred dollars. The plot plan will diagram where the house will go (and footprint of the house), the length of the driveway, where the septic and well will go. With this document, you can go to the excavator for a quote.
Since most log homes tend to be built in rural areas, you will probably have to install your own septic and well. The excavator who does your driveway will most likely be the one who will dig your septic. The well driller will probably be a different company. These are both "wild cards", because the cost of the septic will depend on how well the land percs (short for percolate), and you don't know how deep your well will go.
Once again, the engineer will design a septic plan which will have to be approved by the county (in most states). The cost of your septic could range anywhere from $10,000 - $30,000. If you are setting the house way back from the road, you must budget for that extra-long driveway. And if your lot is heavily wooded, you will have to pay extra for tree removal; remember that you need to clear plenty of space to accommodate both the house and a large area around the house for the machinery to maneuver. You also have to consider a space to put the logs after delivery.
Once the location and footprint of the house is determined, you may need to use a different contractor for the foundation. Foundations are not provided by the log home manufacturer (with rare exceptions). There are several ways to go: you can build on a slab, a crawl space, or a full basement. You can use a block foundation, a precast foundation, a poured concrete foundation (these are the main choices). Poured concrete is the most expensive. These days, many people choose precast foundations for log homes, because they are so accurate and don't require a footer. If you go this route, you'll have to hire a mason to pour the floor after the precast foundation is erected. Remember that if you choose to build on a slab, you're going to have problems routing your wiring, because this is normally done from the basement.
Your log home manufacturer is going to give you a quote for the package. Many people want the manufacturer to quote on a "turnkey" house or at least a weathered-in shell, as a matter of convenience. However, this might not be the way to go if you live in a different state from the mill. Do you really want to pay shipping for plywood? In the end, having your contractor purchase lumber locally could save you thousands of dollars, even it it's a little less convenient to calculate it initially. Your local builder will gladly give you a quote as long as he has a good set of preliminary plans to work from.
I started with a simple check list to sort out my budget. Luckily, I found a contractor who was willing to take over the project and hire his own subs; his itemized quote helped me visualize all the elements that went into the project. Then I added subs that I hired separately (excavator, mason, landscaper, etc.). Here are some line items that went on the checklist: Air Conditioner, Appliances, Builder's Profit, Doors (interior), Doors (exterior), Driveway, Electrician, Fireplace, Flooring, Foundation, Furnace (or Boiler), HVAC Installation, Insulation, Interior Trim, Kitchen, Labor, Landscaping (Grass seed), Lift equipment, Lighting Fixtures, Logs, Lumber (plywood, joists, 2x6s), Mason, Permits, Plumbing, Plumbing Fixtures (sinks, bathtubs, toilets), Roof, Sanding and Staining, Septic, Staircase (if not included in log quote), Tiles (kitchen & bath), Utilities, Well, Windows.
Depending on your job site, you may have other expenses. If the flatbed truck carrying your logs cannot make it to the site, you'll have to make provisions to off-load the logs elsewhere and have them brought in. If you are set way back from the road, you may have to pay for telephone poles, or pay for the trenching. Also, your builder may require that you bring power to the site for his tools (most allow you a few days of generator power, but not for the whole job).
It took a while to fill in all the blanks on my check list, but once I started looking at each task individually, the project as a whole made sense. Actually, the log package was the easiest part to deal with. In our case, the manufacturer provided the logs only (and the design), which came out to less than 1/6 the total cost of the house (not counting the land work). For the rest, the costs are like any other custom home; then the question becomes "Who does what?". After all, a little sweat equity goes a long way.
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 http://www.JerseyLogHomes.com.
Ten Creative Financing Techniques
Do all the creative financing techniques you hear about really work? Yes, actually. They probably have all worked somewhere for someone at least once.
Mortgage Broker Training: How to Secure Loyalty From Realtors
So you've just returned to your office after delivering an Oscar worthy presentation to a real estate agent. They're impressed and ready to do business with you.
Home Inspection Checklist - Home Inspectors
Although architectural details, wall and floor coverings, modern conveniences and many other factors are important in the buying decision, the focus of this inspection is on the structural/mechanical/electrical condition of the property.The inspection is designed to give the real estate agent or prospective purchaser a system to detect some of the readily accessible major flaws or deficiencies in the significant components and systems of a home.
5 Factors of Selling a Home
There are five major factors to consider when selling a home. These factors will greatly influence not only the final price you will get for the property, but also how quickly it will sell and how much grief you will suffer through the sale.
How to Make Money from the California Real Estate Gold Rush
What do the Californians know that we don't?What is so special about California? Why is the average price of a house there five times higher than nationwide? Why on a salary of $100,000 per year, you can hardly afford to rent a decent apartment in the large cities there?It is true, Californians have a nice looking Pacific coastline. They also have a pleasant climate.
Finding the Right Buy to Let Mortgage for Your Investment Property
Finding the right buy to let mortgage is crucial to your success as a property investor. Unlike other forms of investment, a lot of the money you put into a buy-to-let property is likely to be borrowed.
Home Inspections or Home Warranty?
Homebuyers are a curious lot. They routinely ask thought-provoking questions.
Water, Water Everywhere on the Waterfront
Waterfront living is among the most desirable of locations in our area (Florida). The views and vistas are fantastic, not to mention the ability to walk out one's door to drop a line to fish or untie a line to enjoy boating.
Purchasing Florida Investment Property And Various Considerations
Purchasing Florida Investment PropertyConsidering researching the purchase of Florida Investment Property or properties for sale in central Florida? Do you find yourself wishing you didn't have that lawn to mow and the constant upkeep on a home? Purchasing Florida Investment Property can relieve you of all those household chores but purchasing a Florida Investment Property requires you do some homework. You need to know what you are looking for in a Florida Investment Property.
One Stop Shop for Buy to Let
As the buy to let market continues to go from strength to strength, a unique selling opportunity has been created for landlords looking to dispose of both residential and commercial buy to let property with the ability for transactions to take place directly between landlords.Set up by experienced property investors with an acute understanding of all aspects involved in buying and selling of investment property.
How to Use the Internet to Help Your Apartment or House Hunting
So you are looking for an apartment to rent or a house to purchase. One of the most important steps is researching the neighborhood to decide if you really like to live in that area.
10 Things You Shouldnt Do When Youre Buying a Home
Home Buying Don'tsYour home buying process is well underway. The sellers accepted your offer to purchase.
How to Buy Your Own Home
Buying Your First HomeBuying Your Own Home isn't nearly as complicated as some folks make it out to be. Your first step should probably be to contact a Mortgage Broker (check out the on-line Mortgage Companies on my Site -- they're a great way to quickly find out how much you qualify for, and they often have better rates than the standard Banks.
Finding Structural Problems During Escrow - Upscale Home Example
When buying and selling homes, the property purchase is often subject to a satisfactory home inspection being done. Now and then, a home inspection uncovers severe structural problems.
Preparing for a Showing
As soon as you decide to put your home on the market, all sorts of sprucing-up are in order. But let's assume you've already scrubbed to a fare-thee-well, touched up a bit of paint, cleared most of the stuff off your kitchen counters and straightened out your closets.
How To Find An Experienced Monticello Illinois Realtor
Finding a professional Monticello Realtor in Illinois is the best way to find the perfect property or home. A licensed realtor can assist you in locating the type of property you want in the price range you desire.
3 Tips to Help You Sell Your Timeshare - For More
The values of timeshares are constantly changing. There are numerous timeshare-selling companies arriving every day.
Should You Buy Real Estate Now
I have been seeing the market on fire for a long time and have started telling my friends, "don't buy now". No one can accurately determine exactly when it will happen, but it is definately on the way.
Dont Get Stuck Having To Deal With The Sellers Household Hazardous Wastes - After You Move In!
I have a confession to make!I was just outside with Frankie (my dog) and noticed I still had an old car battery sitting by the foundation, at the rear of my house.Yes, I'll admit it's not right, and quite environmentally insensitive for me to have it there.
Reinventing Real Estate, Part 1: Online and Empowered Consumers Are Taking Charge and Paying Less
For decades, the real estate world turned in a predictable manner. The roles of buyers, sellers and real estate professionals were fairly well defined and transactions followed a predictable path of yard signs, newspaper ads, open houses and miles of paperwork.
home | site map
All articles are copyright to their owners.
Note: this website lists articles, We do not Write Articles !