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Bucket List: Is a Log Home on Yours?

bucket listMost of us don’t plan on skydiving or driving race cars in our golden years like Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson did in the movie “The Bucket List.” But if a new log or timber home is on your life’s to-do list, you may not want to wait any longer before living your dreams.

While there’s no doubt that the U.S. economic outlook is still cloudy, we’ve been searching for bright spots of sunshine. The first indication came from member companies that belong to the Log and Timber Homes Council. While the headlines this year conveyed a steady drum beat of gloom and doom, the log and timber home manufacturers that belong to the Log and Timber Homes Council report that buyers were climbing down off the fence and deciding on moving forward with their dream home.

You may want to jump in while there are still bargains to be had in land, mortgage rates and builders hungry for work. The good news is that each new home built creates an average of three jobs for a year and generates about $90,000 in taxes, according to the National Association of Home Builders.

New Loan Options
Right after the real estate bubble burst, lenders were extremely cautious about making loans, largely because new rules and regulations were being launched on a weekly basis. But now lenders are once again eager to make loans. In fact, as bankrate.com recently reported, there are now home loans that can be made with little money down. What’s more, there are new options for those buying in rural areas—perfect for log and timber homes.

So if you’re really serious about making your dream log and timber home a reality, you’re actually in a good position as a buyer right now. Land and labor prices have fallen substantially over the past year or so, which should give you lots of leverage to negotiate a favorable price. And since there’s no immediate sign of a dramatic turnaround in the market, it’s not as if you’ve got to rush into a deal either.

So don’t. Use this opportunity to do plenty of research in areas where you might consider buying. Contact the manufacturers that belong to the Log and Timber Homes Council. At the same time, you can start lining up your financing so you’ll be ready to move ahead should you find a design you like.

Bottom line: Without the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, no one can tell you when it’s the absolute best time to buy. But if you make a real effort to shop around and get a feel for the market, you can almost certainly increase your chances of getting a house at a price you can be happy with now and in the future.