The Log Home Neighborhood

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We are in the process of retiring and plan to move out of the area.  We have lived in our log home for 12 wonderful years.  It is a custom home built by Maple Island Log Homes.  We are having difficulty with realtors pricing it for the market due to their lack of experience with log homes and no comps.  They keep coming up with area comps of conventional homes.  Does anyone have some advice about how to address this problem?  We live just outside of Kalamazoo, MI.  Thanks!

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Hey Marcia:  Not only are comps on frame homes a disaster but add to it a log home and things get real interesting.  When you built your home 12 years ago, things were a lot different than they are today and people could more easily think outside the box.  With today's banking regulations, restrictions on appraisers, etc. it's no wonder folks are having problems.  I can recommend downloading the following publication from the Log Homes Council

http://www.loghomes.org/docs/New_AppraisingLogHomesbrochure.pdf

and giving it directly to the appraiser - if they will only take the time to read/understand it - they can come up with a bit better appraisal (but don't count on it).  The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has been on the war path regarding appraisals and the folks who provide them.  It's a big part of what is stopping the housing recovery.  In any case - the best of luck with selling your home.  Once listed, it probably won't be on the market long.  Donald

Thank you so much, Donald, for taking the time to reply to my post.  I appreciate your insight and will check out that website.  Thanks again!

Hi Marcia, I share your pain on getting comps for your log home.  I have been working with realtors and appraisers for nearly 3 months... I have a unique log home, orginally custom-built 20 years ago as a bed & breakfast with 10 bedrooms/10baths, 7500 sq ft, logs are 16-20 inch diameter.  The house symied both realtors and apprasers.  Three appraisers simply declined the job, one offered to appraise it at replacement value (that is not feasible, it would cost 3x market value to replace), two didn't have openings on their schedules for several months, and one seemed to only find traditional comps (non-log) or log-comps over 1 year old.  I would have guessed it much easier to comp a log home here in Colorado where we have LOTS of them, I think you'll be even more challenged in Michigan.  I finally chose a realtor who knows my area intimiately (St. Mary's Glacier/Idaho Springs) and is a big promoter of this location (she lives nearby)... she understands the wonder (and challenges) of living at 10,500 feet.  If I can suggest anything... try to find a realtor who knows your area and even better, try to find one who personally owns a log home.   That way they'll really understand and promote your listing.  It definitely takes a special buyer for a log home.  Good luck!  Jim

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