Guide to Buying a Cabin in Flagstaff

Outside of 3464 Salt Creek Ovi Home in Flagstaff

Picture yourself here: a comfortable chair, a crackling fireplace, the smell of wood from the log cabin, nature, and hot chocolate in the air, located in the midst of Flagstaff’s beautiful ponderosa pines. Can it be a reality? Yes! Flagstaff’s real estate market has a lot to offer in terms of building types. You can find anything from a townhouse to a cabin in the woods. Flagstaff cabins for sale are not only interesting to permanent residents, but they also make it worth considering a second home. Whether it be escaping the desert during summertime or enjoying the snow in the winter, there is always a reason to visit Flagstaff.

This blog will answer all of your questions about buying a cabin in Flagstaff. We start by differentiating between cabins and cottages. The two-building types can easily be confused. Then, we guide you through Flagstaff’s real estate in terms of where to look and what you can expect. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in a cabin as well as touch on other relevant information you should know about buying a cabin in Flagstaff.

Log cabins vs. cottages: what’s the difference?

Log cabins and cottages often get confused because essentially both are considered to be small and a rather simple type of house. There are two distinct factors that help differentiate the two: location and building material. A log cabin, as the name says, is made out of wood and dates back to the Roman times. While the log structure can be round or rectangular, the most common wood used for cabins is Oak, Red Cedar, Cyprus, Douglas Fir, Hemlock and White, and Yellow Pine.

Compared to log cabins, you can find cottages made of a variety of materials, such as brick, stone, mud, or wood. In the United States, cottages are commonly located by the shoreline of a lake or sea. While log cabins are considered rustic, cottages are typically finished with painted or papered walls as well as offer the luxury of electricity and running water. Also, log cabins are more often used as a primary residence compared to cottages that typically serve well as a second residence. Just be aware that it may be harder to find a log cabin at a shoreline or in the center of a town, as they’re usually nestled in the midst of the great outdoors, typically somewhere in the woods.

Where can you buy a cabin in Flagstaff?

The areas log cabins can be found range from historic downtown Flagstaff, older suburbs, to the more rural countryside surrounding Flagstaff. The ages of Flagstaff log cabins vary greatly. Some date back as far as the founding of Flagstaff while others are modern and luxurious.

Depending on the type of cabin you’re looking for and whether you want to permanently live in it will greatly influence the prime location. If you’re interested in Flagstaff homes for sale outside of city limits but close enough to commute to work, Kachina Village has highly sought after. If you wish to be even further away from Flagstaff, take a closer look at Townsend Winona Valley, located 20-minutes East of Flagstaff. Other locations that are very charming, offer tranquility, and worth considering are Mountainaire, Mormon Lake, Pine Canyon, Highland Meadows, and Munds Park. Many of these neighborhoods back the national forest. Whether located off the beaten path, within Flagstaff city limits, or in a gated community, Best Flagstaff Homes Reality is just a phone call away to help you find the cabin of your dreams.

Different types of cabins in Flagstaff

Similar to other dwelling types, Flagstaff cabins for sale come in various different shapes and sizes. If you haven’t been in a modern cabin yet, you probably envision it being old school in terms of rusticality and comfortability. As mentioned previously, log cabins in Flagstaff have primarily two types of building structures: either a round log structure or a rectangular log structure. What does that mean and what’s the difference? Back in the day when early settlers were seeking shelter they typically opted to build round log cabins because they’re faster to build. The wood logs for a rectangular structure require shaping prior to the assembly, which is more time-consuming.

The main disadvantage of a round log structure cabin used to be the additional filling required to combat the imperfection of the logs and avoid insulation issues. Nowadays, thanks to modern techniques, such as metal flashing, proper insulation through additional fillings is not a major concern. Because there are no advantages or disadvantages to either type of cabin structure, it really comes down to what you prefer aesthetically.

Flagstaff cabins for sale range from simple to luxurious. If you’re in the market for a day-to-day dwelling you may seek a larger cabin with a second floor. If you’re looking to buy the Flagstaff log cabin as a second home or a vacation rental, a more simplistic but still comfortable cabin may be what your heart desires. In general, many Flagstaff log cabins feature a fireplace to keep you warm during the winter months. Other, more luxurious cabins have panorama windows that provide you with unobstructed views of Flagstaff’s beautiful nature. If you’re lucky, you may even get a glimpse into Flagstaff’s wildlife. Just imagine sitting on the porch in a rocking chair with barbecue smell in the air admiring the landscape. Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true?

Benefits of living in a cabin

Overall, living in a log cabin can have multiple benefits for your health and overall well-being. The proximity to nature can be considered an added bonus. The four main benefits we’re discussing today are better air quality, natural insulation, eco-friendliness, and mental health.

As you may know, wood has purifying qualities. Generally,  a log cabin has a better air circulation since the wood logs control humidity by storing and releasing moisture in a consistent manner. Don’t even worry about investing in humidifiers, air purifiers or air filters. You won’t need them. Research suggests that living in a log cabin on a day-to-day basis can actually improve one’s respiratory health, and reduce dust allergies.

Besides the improved air quality within the cabin, you can also expect the temperature to maintain at a comfortable level. Not many people are aware that wood stores heat and can keep the interior of the cabin at a consistent temperature no matter how cold it may get outside. If the temperature within the log cabin remains stable it helps to balance out the body temperature of those who live in the cabin. This, in turn, has a positive effect on a person’s overall well-being.

Nowadays, living eco-friendly and energy efficient is becoming a priority for many people. Since the great outdoors play such an important role for many Flagstaff residents, living environmentally friendly is a lifestyle here and it’s possible in a log home even with conventional air conditioning and heating in place. Compared to stone/brick houses, wood logs are renewable, and thus, have a less negative impact on our surrounding environment during the construction phase.

Living in a log cabin can also benefit your mental as well as physical health. Firstly, the serenity that is offered in a calm environment, surrounded by ponderosa pines, helps to relieve the stress from a busy life. Especially people who suffer from anxiety or other stress-related illnesses benefit from the tranquility a log cabin can offer.

Mountain Biking in Flagstaff

Drawbacks of living in a cabin

Living in a log cabin in Flagstaff is not for everyone. Some people enjoy the peace and quiet that comes with living in an isolated or rural area. Others can’t live without constant noise or interpersonal connections. Luckily, buying a cabin in Flagstaff doesn’t mean you have to choose between solitude and being part of the Flagstaff community. As mentioned earlier, Flagstaff cabins for sale are located in different areas that vary in characteristics. Through Best Flagstaff Homes Reality, your REALTOR® can assist you in narrowing down the cabin search based on your living preferences.

Even though we perceive energy efficiency and eco-friendliness as a benefit of living in a log cabin, people may argue that wood logging is not environmentally friendly. Depending on your personal views this aspect may be a drawback of living in a cabin in Flagstaff. Furthermore, depending on how far out the cabin is located, the extra gas used to get to and from work or grocery shopping shifts the balance of the overall eco-friendliness of your cabin.

As far as other disadvantages go, you should be aware that wood has many natural enemies. Because wood is such an organic material, it may draw insects or other small animals closer. If you decide to buy a log cabin, Woodpeckers will be your greatest enemy, as they can do significant damage to the exterior of your cabin within a short period of time. Nevertheless, the damage that can be done by termites that work their way into the wood should not be underestimated.

Besides the animals that make themselves at home in your home, the weather also affects the wood of your log cabin. In Flagstaff, the weather can change drastically from beautiful sunshine to a snowstorm. Extreme sunlight has a tendency to make the logs fade and become brittle over time. Also, while the natural level of moisture maintained within the wood has benefits we mentioned above, too much moisture can lead to fungus, mold, or algae build-up. This, however, is not unique to log cabins, as every building type can grow mold. As long as you properly care for your log cabin in Flagstaff, we don’t necessarily consider this being a major drawback of living in a cabin.

What you should know about buying a cabin in Flagstaff

If you’re interested in buying a log Cabin in Flagstaff, you should be aware of current real estate trends. Flagstaff real estate is currently considered to be a seller’s market as demand for Flagstaff homes for sale is very high relative to availability. Especially if you’re looking to buy a cabin in an up-and-coming neighborhood or overall desirable location, you will have to act fast. Homes tend to sell fast here in Flagstaff. That doesn’t mean that it’ll be impossible to find you the right cabin. There are always homes for sale in Flagstaff: yet, it just may take some time. Through theBest Flagstaff Homes Reality, your REALTOR® can set up a customized MLS email alert when new Flagstaff log cabins for sale hit the market. The general peak season of Flagstaff real estate is during the summer months when kids are out of school and Northern Arizona University is on summer break.

The key to finding the right cabin for you is to clearly reflect on your intentions with the cabin. Are you seeking to live in it permanently? Will it be your second home? Are you planning to transform it into a vacation rental? No matter which direction you’re heading, the cabin utilization often influences the attributes and characteristics buyers are looking for when searching for a log cabin.

In general, it is a good time to invest in Flagstaff real estate. Property values have been consistently on the rise and are expected to follow that trend. Buying a log cabin in Flagstaff is a long-term investment. If a log cabin is well cared for, located in a desirable location and structurally well-built, it will hold its value. However, it may be a little more difficult to sell a log cabin. As we mentioned earlier, living in a log cabin is not for everyone.


Living in a log cabin in Flagstaff has many advantages as well as some disadvantages. Whether as a day-to-day dwelling or a second home, searching for a log cabin in Flagstaff that fits your preferences can take some time despite the abundance of cabin options and locations. Especially if you’re not familiar with the area, it can become difficult and frustrating. Best Flagstaff Homes Reality is happy to support you every step of the way. Text or call us at (928) 714-0001 and get a little closer to owning your dream cabin today.

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120 N Beaver St. | Suite 100
Flagstaff, AZ 86001
(928) 714-0001
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