THE STEPS TO GET THE RIGHT HOME FOR YOU.
Frequently Asked Questions
In the past, especially with handcrafted homes, that statement was true. Local banks and some national banks and mortgage companies now understand the product and its quality, and especially the equity in a log home, and financing is no different than a conventionally framed structure. We have found local banks to be faster, and do not sell the note as mortgage companies do, but most any financial institution can do these. Some do not have the right product. You are looking for a construction loan that converts to a conventional home loan.
Insurance companies are much more aware of the value of the log homes, and we see little difference in the insuring of a log home, with the exception of one thing. They recognize that a log home is worth a lot more, and they insure the home for what it is worth. This is a good thing. You make money when you build in equity. State farm has a nice policy that is reasonable and we have had good luck there.
Lazarus Log Homes is unlike other companies. We are wholesale to the public, low overhead, very efficient, offer only the highest quality material, have no dealers that don’t know your answers and require us to charge you to pay them (think about this, it is a biggie), and we custom design every home at no charge because we have an in-house architectural designer who is 3 times as fast as any designer or architect we have seen and has designed over 700 log homes, and we have a general contractor on staff who can answer any questions you throw at him, not dealers or architects/engineers who have never built a log home (especially using our modern methods and technology). If engineering is needed per code in your area, we can help with doing complete structural plans so costs are usually only .75 to $1. per square foot, and take less time. Our equipment and lathes have been modified to be faster and more efficient. Our logs and materials come a short distance, and are the driest, best material at a low cost, passed on to you.
We ship these homes by flatbed semi anywhere in the US and Canada, and anywhere on the high seas by container, to Europe, Asia etc. The cost is minimal, actual freight varies by distance, mainly. The average 90K home package to the US or Canada shipping is already figured into our turn key estimates we provide for you. Many come pick up as much material as they can with 5th wheels, etc. and we load them up for free. Our prices will be lower with shipping than any competitor, anywhere.
We have the scoop here in our construction guide, but basically it is no different than a conventionally framed wood structure, in fact, we have excellent results using our super dry wood, saturating it until it runs with an airless sprayer, with good stains with UV killer/mildewcide (and back-brushing after the thinners evaporate, before the runs dry). This preserves your wood in the hottest and wettest of the humid areas, with no rot or moisture issues, which cause you to re-treat every few years like our competitors’ logs. Your biggest enemy is gone (the moisture in logs that are kiln dried or dry standing or green, but not fully dry). Most finishes trap the resident moisture in your log, that is another reason to only use our dry logs – even insect issues are gone with our logs and methods. Most of our competitors’ logs are not fully checked, a biggie to their customers, no issue with ours.
Any model can be on a full basement, whether in the ground or a daylight type, and any model can be on a slab, and any model can be on a standard frostwall with footing. Materials needed to do that (windows and doors in the basement, beams and bearing walls, log stairsets with railing down, extended posts for the deck and porches to the new ground levels, treated lumber, and so on) are included when your home is designed and priced on a basement. That is why the price is a few thousand more, depending on the model. Models priced on a full basement will be less if you want them on a slab or frostwall. All models are priced with the materials needed for what the design calls for.
We supply the material, and help you with your construction by showing you how to do this project (have your home built) at the lowest price while getting the highest quality. There are local builders here who can travel to you and set up your log home. This typically is slightly more expensive than using local carpenters/laborers to build your home, and we advise you based on your needs what is best for your personal situation. Our homes set up with our plans and construction guide easily by anyone familiar at all with construction. Many homes have been built by customers with no homes under their belt, and they turn out great (we are different from the rest here). Glen or Ron will do a turn key estimate after talking with you (both have been a contractor) and estimate your entire project with your bid (our package) the water/sewer, road, appliances, electrical, plumbing, roofing, all labor, basically a complete owner estimate of your project so you see everything, and bases that on whether you will be using a general contractor, sub contracting the labor out, or doing some or all of the work yourself. The banks need that info if you finance, and you want it to budget even if you have cash. By cutting the fat out of the estimate and showing you where you really are with the project, you save tens of thousands with the subs, and sometimes hundreds of thousands with the generals on the larger projects. The contractors can’t snow you, and we act on your behalf to protect your interests. We basically will help you get it done the way you want.
This is a trick question, as we need to find out a little about your property to qualify the answer, but as a good average across the US, figure one of 3 ways.
First, our average customer wants to have the home built by contractors (subs), so a concrete guy, a builder/carpenter for the log home package, an electrician, a plumber, a sheetrocker, a roofer, etc. are asked by you to bid and do the home using your plans. That scenario is typically about 3 times the price of the package, including the package (a 60K package @ 3 times is 180K) including all labor, stainless appliances, jetted tub, and mid-line type fixtures, not cheap stuff, but good quality at a lower price, like the appliances/lightling/cabinets you find at Home Depot/Lowe’s. You can do some work yourself if you like, and borrow less money, or pay yourself, but it does not move the multiplier that much at all. Most of our customers fall into this category. This gets you a home built for less than a 2×6 framed house, and it is worth from 50-100% more than a framed house. Banks love that, as well as anyone with a brain (our customers)! The true value is not the initial appraisal (based only on what you spend, not what it will be worth), but when the home is done, what would it sell for? Market value with our homes means huge equity beyond what you spent!
The second way is to hire a general contractor, whether local or distant, and he hires his friends/subs and basically makes all the calls to get labor and the other materials not provided, and you know what you pay, and you don’t want to participate much in the project, just get it done without the worry of cost, basically you have no time or don’t want the hassle. Figure 3.3- 3.5 times the package price, so a 100K package will be at least 330K turn keyed with a general. This can be a lot higher if you want, depending on your site, and personal tastes, but is typically what we see (they usually charge 10-15%, but hire their higher priced friends or trusted subcontractors, so not a competitive bid as a rule, but you get usually more speed and can get higher quality. Some banks require this so you might want to switch banks or especially mortgage companies if you don’t want a general contractor to build your home to save money. There is a little piece of mind here, but it is at a cost. This still will be slightly less than a conventional home, or the same, only with huge equity and you get the home you want when you have it all built for you.
The third way is to do most of the work yourself/with friends. This is still close to the 3 times figure, but we have seen this be right around 2 to 2.5 times, and especially if you just tie into existing water and sewer, do most everything yourself, etc. Be careful here, because of lot of folks think they can build for nothing, and we are wet behind the ears (it looks like a lot in our package and not much else to buy), but remember, you are building a home, and it still takes time, and there is concrete, cabinets, appliances, electrical, plumbing, etc. See this below for a sample turn key estimate using our first method.
We do plans for you, and when you are happy with them, we overnight a packet to you with your approval/appraisal set of full color plans, a complete bid on your log home kit, a sales agreement ready to go, a turn-key estimate that includes prices on everything, even the kitchen sink, and prices it all so you can get a good feel and budget (we will have tweaked this with you somewhat ahead of time to more accurately price things like water, power, roads to the site, etc. so it is close). This packet can be taken right into a bank or mortgage company, and makes it simple. If you don’t need financing, you will want all that anyway! When a signed agreement is returned with our half down payment, we finish the full scaled plans and within days we send you several sets of plans and our awesome construction guide so you can get started right away. We also help you in the locating of builders if you need. Our homes have similar construction methods, and anyone can build these. We can even talk to potential builders and send them information so they can bid fairly for you. Typically our homes are ready in about 2-4 months! You can take delivery when you want if you are not ready, or we can delay running the home until the timing is right for you. In high season, it might be 3-4 months, and we have done these in 4 weeks, even from the initial design stage (mid winter). Final payment is made on the last shipment of logs. We do stagger the delivery if requested to help with construction or tight sites. We are fast and thorough. We have helped countless folks get started, find general contractors for no sweat, or save bucks by subbing out the work to independent contractors or friends, and many do several things themselves, some most all of it. We help every step of the way. We have found that even when we had trained crews, they could not keep up with our sales (years out), so we have developed the most cost effective and best way to do your home, using localized help. Fast and efficiently, we strive to help you in the best way we know how. There are two crews who can travel if you can’t find local help.