9 Cozy Cabins for $300,000 or Less

A cabin is the perfect space to get away from it all, unplug the electronics, and enjoy the great outdoors with friends and family. But if you thought a cabin with exposed wooden beams and neighbors nowhere in sight wasn’t possibly in your budget – think again!

Grab your flannel blanket and a cup of hot coffee, and peruse these 9 cozy cabins that will fit even a modest budget.

Adorable A-Frame by the lake

For sale: $234,900

This A-frame cabin in Gore, Oklahoma, has stellar views of crystal-clear Lake Tenkiller from the spacious back porch, and it’s just down the road from direct water access. After a long day out on the lake, you’ll enjoy the open-concept living and dining space, which has plenty of natural light from the French doors and the windows that stretch nearly up to the gable. Snuggle up with a book at the end of the day in one of the bedrooms or in the bonus sleeping loft upstairs.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Gore homes for sale.

A cedar-sided hideaway

For sale: $259,000

This storybook-like cabin in Clinton, Montana, is a stunner from the outside with cedar siding, a Juliet balcony, and a wraparound porch that’s perfect for looking out at the surrounding forest and that big Montana sky. Inside, the home has a spacious kitchen, 1 bedroom and space for another bed in a lofted area upstairs. The home is also equipped with a shop that has plenty of space to store winter toys.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Clinton homes for sale.

Spacious and secluded in Minnesota

For sale: $299,900

When you picture a quintessential cabin in the woods, you might picture this home in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Pine paneling, wood floors, a stone fireplace, and plenty of natural light coming through the floor-to-ceiling windows give this cabin a dazzling yet austere appearance. The cabin also has plenty of perks for outdoor enthusiasts, including a trail that leads directly to the lake, where you’ll find your own private dock as well as a fire-pit area.

See more Grand Marais homes for sale.

A modern A-Frame cabin

For sale: $200,000

This Instagram-worthy A-frame in Intervale, New Hampshire, is picture perfect on the outside, complete with cedar-shake siding and red-trimmed windows that give the home a pop of color against the surrounding greenery. Inside the charm continues, with wood-planked walls in the living space, a spacious master suite with a remodeled bath and an exposed wooden beam, and an upstairs loft to be used as an extra bedroom or a comfy reading nook.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Intervale homes for sale.

A rustic home in Heber City

For sale: $264,900

Located just a short drive from the amenities of Park City, and with private winter access to the Uinta National Forest for winter snowmobiling, this rustic cabin in Heber City, Utah, has everything you need for staying and playing in the great outdoors. Wooden planks adorn the walls and ceilings throughout the cozy space, which has a master bedroom downstairs and an open loft with a balcony upstairs.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Heber City homes for sale.

A Big Bear remodeled stunner

For sale: $299,900

You certainly won’t be roughing it when you’re inside this glamorous cabin in Big Bear City, California. The stylish and bold red front deck and wall of glass windows elegantly greet you from the road. And inside, the home has been completely remodeled, complete with granite countertops and new appliances in the kitchen, a large brick fireplace in the spacious living area, and wood-grain tile flooring throughout the home.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Big Bear City homes for sale.

A provincial Peshastin cabin

For sale: $225,000

The views don’t get much better than those from this adorable cabin in Peshastin, Washington. Between the stunning views of nearby Wedge Mountain and the dense surrounding forest, this home gets you up close and personal with nature. Beyond the scenery, this cabin provides a cozy retreat from nature, with an upstairs sleeping loft (in addition to its master bedroom), an outdoor shower that’s perfect after those steamy summer hikes, and plenty of space to store skis or snowboards in the two outdoor sheds.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Peshastin homes for sale.

Smoky Mountain views from every room

For sale: $289,000

You can definitely smell that fresh mountain air from this roomy Townsend, Tennessee, cabin, which has views of the Smoky Mountains from every room. With 3 beds and 2 baths, you can comfortably fit the whole family for a weekend of hiking, biking, or simply hanging out on the back porch with unbelievable mountain views. This home is perfect for relaxing, with a hot tub outside and a Jacuzzi tub inside.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Townsend homes for sale.

A cathedral-like cabin

For sale: $230,000

It may not get cold in Texas very often, but you’ll have the urge to cuddle up around a fire by this cabin in Cleburne. With cathedral-style ceilings, a covered porch, and a modern, spacious kitchen, you’ll be set up to host friends and family throughout the year. Best of all, the home is located in a neighborhood known for its golf club, which is one of the best in Texas.

Photo from Zillow listing.

See more Cleburne homes for sale.

Top photo from Shutterstock.

Related:

3 Questions to Ask Before Buying a Cabin (and How to Find One!)

A cabin in the woods can be a fairy-tale retreat – a place to curl up with a good book or conquer the nearby skiing hot spots. While there are plenty of cabins you can rent for a weekend, owning one provides the flexibility to escape when the weather or mood is right.

Here are three questions to ask yourself before making an offer on your cozy hideaway.

1. What kind of cabin do you want?

The word “cabin” can refer to a variety of structures. Most people think of a small wooden house in a remote location, but that’s not always the case – you have options, and they’re worth exploring.

Log cabins

This traditional cabin type begs to be enjoyed with hot cocoa and a crackling fire. If a log cabin is calling your name, you’ll need to decide on the type of wood, the log shape and the corner styles.

Spruce logs are popular for their resistance to decay, and Scandinavian pine is often chosen for its density and tight grain.

A-frame cabins

With a simple, iconic design, these triangular charmers can accommodate a lofted sleeping area or vaulted ceilings, and the roof’s steep slant prevents snow or leaf buildup.

Thanks to minimalism and tiny living trends, A-frames are experiencing a comeback. They’re hip and affordable – this tiny A-frame cost only $700 to construct, using mostly found materials.

Mobile cabins

If you’re looking for mobility, a tiny cabin can be built on wheels for towing capability.

Gastineau Log Homes has a Log Cabins 2 Go line, featuring 400-square-foot structures that are factory-made and ready to roll on trailers. An even tinier option – the Stanley model from Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses, built on an 8-foot-by-2-foot trailer with a foldable front porch.

Prefabricated and modular cabins

Many companies offer catalogs of cost-effective cabin designs to choose from. The designs are typically customizable but simple enough to be factory-made and then transported to your site.

2. Where do you want to vacation?

Do you want to be on a lake or a river? Far from the summer crowds or near a bustling mountain town? To find your ideal spot, keep these three things in mind.

Travel time, family time

Consider how often you’d like to use your cabin and how far you’re willing to travel to do so. Factor in holiday traffic – will you make it there for a three-day weekend without wasting most of your time on the road?

And since vacation homes are often the place for families to gather, pick a location that’s convenient for everyone – and one that offers activities all family members can enjoy.

Scenery

Cabins afford an opportunity to embrace the outdoors, so the setting is important. The window and porch views are going to play a prominent role in your relaxation time, so make sure you like what you see.

If you’re building your cabin, you’ll want to plan your design and placement in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Log cabins are meant to look like they’re a part of nature – not a disruption to it.

Maintenance

Remember that you won’t always be around to shovel the driveway or mow the lawn. If offseason maintenance is a concern, make sure there’s someone you can hire to look after your property when you’re not there.

3. How much cabin can you afford?

Cabins might seem like a luxury, but with careful budgeting and lifestyle adjustments, you’ll find they can be an affordable way to acquire property and vacation time.

Budgeting for a cabin is just like budgeting for a home. The price tags vary widely, based on location, design, amenities and quality.

Consider how much value you’ll get for your money. If you’re going to use it frequently, you won’t need to rent vacation homes, which could save you money in the long run. And if you’re going to rent it out, it could even make you money.

But if your cabin could potentially sit there unused, collecting maintenance to-dos that you aren’t around to complete, it can be a major financial drain.

Speak with a financial adviser, and take plenty of time to assess pricing and location options before deciding if a second home is indeed within your budget.

How to start your search

It’s a little more of an art than a science, but there are a few tricks you can try to yield more relevant search results.

Start with location

Once you land on a location, search for it on Zillow. If you’re looking in a remote area outside city limits, try searching in the county or ZIP code.

You can also draw your own search boundaries on the map. If you’re getting fewer results than you’d like, try drawing a circle that’s bigger than the area you’re looking in. That way, you’ll see nearby listings too.

Narrow with filters

From here, it’s all about filters. Set your filters to show for-sale homes within your price range.

If your range is up to $300,000, try entering $350,000 to see homes where you might be able to negotiate the price. Consider Make Me Move listings, too, as these homeowners are motivated to sell, even though they haven’t yet pulled the trigger.

You can also set the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, but keep your options open when you’re getting started.

Under Home Type, consider checking Lots/Land. Some properties are categorized this way even though they have small structures on the property. And if you’re considering building your own cabin, this will be an especially good option for you.

Explore keywords

If you’re not seeing what you’re after, or if you’re getting pages upon pages of results, try playing around with Keywords under More. Try one keyword or phrase per search so you don’t narrow your search results too much.

Keep in mind that Zillow scans the entire listing for your keywords, so if you search “schools,” you’ll see tons of listings, because they all include nearby schools.

Most often, the keywords are pulled from the listing descriptions that real estate agents wrote to upsell the house. Think like they would – if you were selling a cabin in your locale, what features would you highlight?

Here are a few keywords to get you started: cabin, A-frame, getaway, cozy, woods, lakefront, river and rustic.

Happy cabin hunting!

Related:

Originally published October 25, 2017.

Quiz: What Does Your Dream Cabin Look Like?

 

Related:

How to Make the Most of 500 Square Feet: See How This City Renter Did It

When Lola Simmons and boyfriend Garrett Moore began looking for an apartment in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, they were hoping to spend around $1,400 on monthly rent. So when the pair found their dream spot for just over $1,000 a month in Seattle’s infamously difficult rental market, they knew they’d struck gold.

“I walked in, and after about two minutes, I said, ‘Yep, I’ll take it,'” says Simmons.

From there, the process was easy, and the couple experienced little surprise throughout their move-in – besides an out-of-commission antique freight elevator on move-in day.

We sat down with Simmons to discuss how she found the perfect rental and how she’s made the cozy 500-square-foot space into a home over the past three years – including turning the walk-in closet into a bedroom.

How did you find this place?
Garrett’s good friends lived here, and they were moving out. They were looking for someone to take over their lease.

So after the lease was up, you renewed? Did the price change?
Yeah. When we moved in, I think it was $1,050, and when we renewed the lease, it went up to $1,245. Now it’s $1,270.

And what about utilities?
They have a set rate included in the rent, which I thought was a unique way to do it. The only thing we pay for is electricity, which is about $40 every three months or so.

Other than it being a great deal, what else drew you to this place?
I’ve always wanted to live in this building, ever since I moved to Capitol Hill. Everyone’s lived in this building. It’s kind of special.

I think it’s so cool that every apartment in this building is different. Each one has its own character. Even if you go into another one with the same layout, it’s still totally different. Some flooring is different or the tile in the kitchen. It’s really interesting.

When the old building manager was here, he’d leave the doors unlocked for me so I could go into the empty apartments and look at the different layouts.

It can be easy for a rental to look basic, but you’ve totally personalized yours. How did you make your space unique?
I’m drawn to that ’70s palette that’s really saturated and drab, and also those really bright ’80s colors. I’ve acquired a lot of stuff. I think as much as I’d like to be a minimalist, I like to have stuff.

We’ve got a lot of plants, and I think tending to those is really fun. Learning about them, making it cozy for the cats – there’s really nowhere in here they can’t be.

Having a lot of music and books and colors everywhere was really something that I was working toward, and I just really love the junk stores, so I go and buy a bunch of stuff. It scratches the itch, you know?

It’s hard for me to understand why people would spend a ridiculous amount of money on stuff. I like to mismatch stuff and make it work. It’s not as easy as buying straight from IKEA, but you’re not going to find the same stuff in someone else’s house. The thrill of the hunt is important to me.

Garrett has a lot of worldly things like instruments and things from his travels, and it definitely goes with my stuff, but it makes it feel more cultured.

Other than sourcing interesting items, what’s been your greatest challenge with your apartment?
There have been a lot.

The outlets. It’s an old building – it was built in the early 1900s, and you have all these gadgets today. From our living room outlet, we run a cord into the closet, which is also the bedroom, so we can charge our phones at night.

When we first moved in, the only outlet in the bathroom was the one attached to the light fixture. It was blown out when we first started living here, so I had to blow-dry my hair in the living room.

When we moved in, I had a queen-size bed, and basically it was sandwiched in there with the edges coming up on the sides against the walls. We ended up getting a full-size bed, and it fits perfectly – exactly. I mean, if the bed was a quarter of an inch bigger it wouldn’t fit.

And then storage is a huge challenge – making it look like it’s not just a bunch of stuff everywhere. We have a lot of under-the-bed storage. You have to get really creative.

So what do you want out of your next rental?
I really want a bathroom that has a huge clawfoot tub with a lot of natural light. An actual-sized bedroom, to be able to walk on either side of the bed, maybe have a nightstand. And I just want a really big kitchen.

Despite what it lacks in space and outlets, how do you feel about your apartment?
My childhood was all over the place, and we moved around a lot, and I never had that sense of “home.” We’re entertaining the idea of moving to California because of the seasons – it gets kind of hard when it gets cold and gray.

I’ll be really sad to leave this apartment. It’s honestly the first place I’ve lived that I’ve really, really loved.

Lola’s tips for small-space living on a budget

1. Live with a complementary partner

I think if you’re going to live in a small space, you have to really have a plan about responsibilities, because they pile up. And he pretty much lets me have my way when it comes to design, which is good.

2. Get creative with storage solutions

A lot of that isn’t stuff that comes to me right away, but I experiment by moving stuff around and asking if it’s functional – is it in my way? Does it serve the purpose I’m looking for?

It sometimes takes a long time. It’s a lot of measuring and returning things, and it’s not always easy, but I think it’s rewarding. I feel really accomplished when something fits perfectly.

3. Let your space evolve

I’m not very patient whatsoever, but something I’ve learned is that when you don’t have a large budget or you shop the way I do at secondhand stores, you have to be patient. You don’t know what they’re going to have.

You also have to cycle things out. Our free pile in this building is great – I’ve gotten so many cool things from that.

4. Look for unique ways of acquiring items

I got a table from the free pile, and the top was really worn down, so I was going to sand it and restain it. But once I sanded it, I realized it was particle board, so I returned all those supplies and got paint. I also added a shelf below it to put my blankets in.

I think repurposing things and making sure they fit with all your other stuff is the trick. There’s a bunch of other shelves in here I painted the same color with the rest of the paint. They were different colors, and it looked kind of weird, so I but painted them orange.

You work with what you have. I think it’s really fun, because I like DIY projects. Being able to think of what you want and then create it with a really small amount of money is really pleasing to me.

5. Measure the benefits against the costs

Our security deposit was only about $300, so if we did want to repaint at any point, I might consider taking that hit. You want your space to look the way you want, you know? It’s a lot of work, though, to paint a whole room, so I’d have to really think about it.

Photos by Callie Little.

Related:

This Remarkable Home Is Anything but Square

Welcome to the Bloomhouse, a place where art and architecture collide. Nestled on 2 1/2 acres of land in the hills of Texas, this home is only about 10 minutes from downtown Austin – but feels a world (or a universe) away.

The Bloomhouse’s story began in the 1970s, when University of Texas architecture students Dalton Bloom and Charles Harker obtained a sprawling piece of land and set out to build a home that strayed from conventional design.

This sparked an 11-year artistic endeavor (complete with hippie communes and Mongolian yurts) that resulted in one remaining masterpiece: the Bloomhouse.

So, how exactly did this unique blend of organic form and texture become a home?

First, builders used rebar to erect a cage on a concrete-slab foundation. Then they welded the cage’s steel bars, added plastic sheets, and covered it in two-part polyurethane foam to create a giant shell. Finally, they blanketed it with a layer of concrete stucco, inside and out.

It took 11 years to complete the Bloomhouse, and for good reason – every square inch required incredible attention to detail. You won’t find a single straight line in the whole home. In fact, Harker actually used a pruning saw to handcarve the shape of the home into a free-flowing curve.

Since he designed the Bloomhouse as a place for people to come together, Harker also sculpted plenty of seating areas to encourage conversation around every bend.

Over the years, the Bloomhouse has experienced its share of both owners and time in the limelight. Recently, the Weird Homes Tour featured the Bloomhouse’s weird and wonderful design – Dave Neff, the company’s CEO, is a huge fan of the home’s story.

“[I] love that … the right owner came along to bring a work of art back from the brink,” Neff says.  

That “right owner” has a name, and it’s Dave Claunch. About a year and a half ago, Claunch purchased the Bloomhouse. Because the home sits on a lucrative 2 1/2 acres of land, Claunch was worried that someone would buy the property, tear it down and build something new instead.  

“Preserving it as a piece of art was my primary motivation,” Claunch says. “I was drawn to it as an artistic piece of living sculpture.”

Claunch has spent the past year and a half renovating the Bloomhouse. Since the space is so unusual, he’s served as his own general contractor.

From structural updates (like replacing the plumbing and moving the mechanical systems) to cosmetic updates (like installing LED lights and a wireless sound system throughout the home), it’s been a lengthy process with an admirable long-term goal: to maintain the home for another 40-50 years.

“It’s cool, it’s unique,” Claunch says. “There’s nothing like it in the world.”

Recently at a party, Claunch pulled up pictures of his newly renovated Bloomhouse. And in a twist of fate as unusual as the home’s structure itself, another guest had some surprising news – she had once owned the Bloomhouse too.

Although its story spans decades, the Bloomhouse’s mission has always remained the same: to unite people in a celebration of the unusual, to encourage a rare kinship with a physical space and to shed the conventions of everyday life, if only for a little while.

This home is currently available as a short-term rental.  

Related:

 

A Farmhouse-Style Prefab That’ll Make You Want to Ditch the Big City

Whether you’re the world’s biggest Joanna Gaines fan or you just love clean, simple lines and no-fuss color schemes, it’s pretty clear that the popularity of the farmhouse look won’t be on the decline anytime soon.

The Lulamae prefab home by Clayton Homes is a celebration of all things farmhouse style, all housed within a tidy 1,832 square feet.

Inside, the home features all of the modern farmhouse hallmarks, including shiplap, a white and bright open concept living area, open shelving in the kitchen and distressed hardwood floors throughout.

Pendant lights frame the spacious kitchen island that offers a sizable work space, and a wooden beam floats across the living room, giving the space a down-home, provincial feel.

Other notable farm-style features include a sliding barn door that separates the master bedroom from the living space, as well as a deep free-standing tub in the master bath that gives you a view into the pasture (or maybe just the backyard) from a pair of sliding glass doors.

A large walk-in shower is half-framed with glass and features a large tile pattern that’s reminiscent of shiplap – perfect for relaxing after all those long walks out on your acreage (or jaunts around the neighborhood).

 

The Lulamae is customizable and starts at a base price of $116,000.

Related: