The Tiny house Blog

How Much Should I Spend on a Cabin?

Updated on:
June 9, 2023
two-floor shed

Investing in a cabin can be the perfect way to ensure you have your own getaway spot whenever life becomes overwhelming. But how much should you factor into this purchase to fit your budget while granting all of your wishes? 

On average, a cabin costs $175 per square foot - meaning 500 sqft could total upwards of $87,500! When you add interior/exterior finishes plus furniture and appliances, the total cost can go up to $150,000 or more.

Many factors will influence the actual cost of a cabin, and the price can rise to $200,000 or more. These factors include the size of the cabin, its location, and amenities like plumbing, wiring, and other finishing touches.

Even if you purchase a cabin for a relatively low price, you'll need to budget for regular upkeep and utilities such as electricity, water, and gas.

In this article, we'll discuss the average price of cabins, the variables influencing their prices, the best time to purchase one, and whether or not a cabin is an ideal investment.

How much does a cabin cost?

Owning a cabin is an exciting and luxurious experience, but it requires careful consideration when selecting the right one. As expected, larger and more luxurious cabins will come with bigger price tags.

The seller may require a higher down payment if your credit score isn't as strong. Most down payments are at least 10% of the total price for those with a high credit score, but you may need to pay 20% or more if your score is low.

What is the average price of a cabin?

On average, 500-square-foot cabins go for $150,000. But depending on the location and amenities you desire, you may be looking at an even pricier property. 

And don't forget about down payments! For a typical $150k getaway home, buyers can expect up to 35% of the total cost as their initial payment –in this case, a whopping sum of over fifty thousand dollars.

Variables that affect a cabin’s price

Your budget is a key factor when it comes to purchasing a cabin. However, other variables can influence the price you’ll end up paying.

Let us look at some of the factors that may affect your cabin purchase:


Tiny house on a sunny beach
Tiny house on a sunny beach

Where is the cabin located? Is it in the city or rural area, close to amenities and desirable locations such as a beach, lake, or ski resort? You might need to pay a higher down payment if the cabin is located in a desirable area.

Most cabin buyers are looking for a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Consequently, cabins in rural areas tend to cost less than popular vacation spots.


The larger the cabin, the more you’ll have to pay. The cabin size may also determine how much you need to spend on furniture, appliances, and other extra amenities.

Furthermore, larger cabins require more time for maintenance and upkeep than smaller ones. This means you’ll need to factor in additional costs associated with maintenance.

Cabin type

Different cabins come with different features, and the price of these cabins vary. The most common types of cabins include:

Log cabins 

A log cabin has a rustic, natural look and feel. It's made from logs and other natural materials and typically costs more than other cabins.

Log cabins are popular among those looking for a unique, rustic escape. They are more time-consuming to build than other types of cabins and may cost up to $200 per square foot.

Timber frame cabins

These cabins boast more expensive lodgings' warmth, comfort, and energy efficiency without breaking the bank. Their timber frames are insulated with high-quality materials that protect from heat and cold for a perfect retreat all year round!

Timber frame cabins have become increasingly popular since they provide a cost-effective escape to nature. With prices ranging from $75 to $12 per square foot, you can select from various styles and features that allow for customizing the perfect cabin experience.

A-Frame cabins

With their characteristic triangle shape and superior insulation, these cabins make an excellent choice for any budget-conscious homeowner looking to stay warm in cold climates. Affordable but far from low quality, each square foot of cabin can cost anywhere between $50-$100.

A-Frame cabins offer the classic charm of a traditional cabin without breaking the budget, although their distinctive sloping walls may necessitate some creative interior design options.

Materials and labor

Building a cabin from the ground up requires serious planning, as it involves locating and purchasing materials and considering labor costs. You need to consider every construction detail to ensure you stay within your budget.

When constructing a cabin, the type of materials you use can determine your overall expenses. Logs and stones may be more costly than other options, such as metal or wood siding.

When constructing a tiny house, you need to budget for labor costs. Depending on the project type and complexity level, skilled tiny home builders may charge an hourly rate or flat fee.

Extra amenities

A cabin can offer a sense of home with the addition of thoughtful amenities. From furniture to fireplaces and hot tubs, these additions may come at an added cost - so consider your usage before splurging!

When crafting the perfect budget for your home's amenities, consider each item carefully – how often will you use them? Certain luxuries may come with a higher price tag than others, so research first. 

For larger items like hot tubs and fireplaces, getting professional installation services is recommended to ensure everything is done safely and correctly. Hiring such professionals can be pricey.

What to consider when buying a cabin?

Whether you’re buying a primary residence, cottage, vacation home, or investment property, there are several things to consider before making your purchase.

Here are some important things to consider when buying a cabin:

Property taxes

Property taxes vary from town to town and can affect the cost of owning a cabin. Researching local tax rules and regulations can help you make an informed decision about where to buy.

You should also find out if there are any additional fees or assessments you’ll need to pay after buying your cabin. These may include HOA (Homeowners Association) fees, utility bills, and other costs.

Where you want to live

You should consider the local amenities and community when buying a primary residence. Are there schools nearby? Is it close to work or other vital locations?

The climate and weather in the area you’re looking at can also play a role in the type of cabin you choose. You or those you live with may have certain medical needs that require specific safety features or climate considerations.

Interior size of the cabin

Harvest tiny house in Atlanta
Check out the Harvest tiny house in Atlanta, Georgia

The interior size of the cabin can be a make-or-break factor for many homeowners. Think about how much space you need for you and your family to be comfortable.

Also, consider the number of people living in the cabin and any potential guests. This can help determine how many beds, baths, and other amenities you’ll need.

Primary residence or vacation home?

Are you in the market for a home away from home? Choosing the right cabin style can make all the difference, whether it becomes your primary residence or serve as an amazing vacation home.

Evaluate how much time you want to spend at this getaway and think about what features are essential, nearby amenities, and special touches that help create lasting memories.

Security and privacy

Investing in a cottage can be an exciting endeavor, but you need to consider your chosen location's safety and privacy requirements. If it’s for personal living, look into a tiny house community that offers full amenities and community guidelines and regulations. 

If you are renting out your cottage as a vacation home, you need secure locks and an understanding of any rules or restrictions surrounding rental agreements within the area's neighborhood.

Rental income potential

Depending on the cottage's location, you can generate rental income by renting it out as a vacation home. Research rental rates in the area to see what potential revenue you can generate from your cottage.

Consider hiring a rental management company to help you manage the cottage. This can save you time and stress and ensure your cottage is properly maintained and secure.

How much should I invest in a cabin?

The amount you should invest in a cabin will depend on your budget and what type of property you’re buying. For a vacation home, you may only need to put down a small amount for the down payment, whereas for an investment property, you may need to invest more.

Generally, a vacation home costs more than a primary residence. Depending on the location and features, you will likely invest up to $200,000 or more in a cabin if you plan to use it as a vacation home.

An investment property may require more money upfront. When calculating your budget, you will need to factor in the cost of renovations, repairs, and ongoing maintenance costs.

No matter what type of cabin you’re buying, you should take your time and do the research before taking the plunge. Knowing all the details about a vacation home or investment property before buying can help ensure it’s the right fit for you.

Is buying a cabin a good investment?

Buying a cabin can be a brilliant investment. Researching and understanding the taxes, mortgage insurance, and ongoing mortgage payments associated with owning a cabin is important.

You can also generate rental income from your property, which helps offset the cost of owning the property. However, you should also ensure you understand the local regulations and restrictions associated with renting your property.

When is the best time to buy a cabin?

Most people look for a cottage in spring or summer when the weather is nice, and they can take advantage of outdoor activities. However, winter is usually the best time to buy if you want to get a good deal on a property.

There are typically fewer buyers and more listings available during this time, meaning you can get a property for a lower price. Property taxes are typically lower in winter, giving you more bang for your buck.

Is owning a cabin as a vacation home expensive?

Owning a cabin as a vacation home can be expensive unless it's a vacation rental. In this case, the monthly mortgage payment is typically lower and can be offset by rental income generated.

The cost of owning a cottage as a primary residence will depend on where you live and how much income minus expenses you can afford. 

You may pay more for cottage ownership than a traditional home, but the memories and experiences can be worth the extra cost.

Takeaway: Find out how much you should spend to own a cabin

Cottage ownership can be an excellent investment. However, it’s important to research and understand the costs of owning a cottage.

Consider rental income potential, local regulations, and the best time to buy when looking for a cottage. Also, ensure you understand your budget and how much income minus expenses you can afford.

For more information about tiny home ownership, visit the Tiny House website for all the details. We can help you find the perfect tiny home to fit your needs.

Did you enjoy this post and find value in it? Share it with your friends with the links below!

Need more info? Get

By submitting your email, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Terms

Subscribe to get the latest news

This is a new way to communicate faster than any communication platforms

Thank you!
Your submission has been received! Check your inbox for an email from with more info!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or email us at Thanks!
Want all the latest tiny house inspo and news?

Get free resources, updates, tips & tricks, and special offers by joining the Tiny House Plan Newsletter.

No items found.

Frequently Asked Questions

Find answers — straight from the author — for the most common questions about this article.

Don't see your question here? Contact us!
No items found.

Join The Tiny House Community

Occasionally: Community Events, DIY Tips and Tricks, Tiny House Guides
Never: Junk or Spam and we don't sell or misuse your email.
Welcome to the fam! We're excited to have you join the community.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again or use the form below.