Boomers focus on changing lifestyle |

Boomers focus on changing lifestyle

ARA Content

(ARA) – Entering the world in such great numbers and professional beyond their wildest dreams, baby-boomers have matured into a ready-made market for luxury housing.

Their desire for an upscale lifestyle has grown entire product lines and industries that simply didn’t exist. Look in the direction of the log home industry.

You wouldn’t figure that David and Stephanie Robinson were born to be in the log home business. The couple met during Desert Storm when they were both in the Navy. David was a pilot and Stephanie was in Support. Starting out in Florida, the professional couple survived a fast-paced airlines existence for years.

Then the Robinsons decided to pursue their ‘dream’ lifestyle. The couple wanted a log home. And the idea of building their business in prime vacation area provided the lucrative lure.

In 1979 David helped his parents build their log home. Stephanie’s sister also lived in a log home and was a log home dealer. So they had a good idea of what they needed to build their future on.

The couple selected Wisconsin Log Homes, who pioneered Thermal-Log, a hybrid energy efficient building system, which allows home buyers the use of drywall or log interiors.

“We knew people who built solid log houses who weren’t totally satisfied,” says Stephanie. “One problem is the way cold air finds its way through the stacked-log walls,” adding “a host of concerns were eliminated by selecting the right company.”

After consulting with Tom Steber, of Wisconsin Log Homes, Stephanie located a small commercial lot in the heart of Centuria, Wisc. The site is about an hour drive from Minneapolis, where Dave works as pilot for Northwest Airlines.

“Their log home team helped us to better understand our target market,” says Stephanie. “We sold three homes while our model was still under construction.”

The couple now owns their own general contracting business and Stephanie is a licensed Realtor. While the Robinsons have built exclusive log retreats, in excess of a million dollars, the average client will invest approximately $200,000 for their lakefront log home.

“When we got into the business we were building our dream,” explains Stephanie. “Now we’re helping other people realize theirs.” As David puts it, “residing on a lake and working with log homes; we’re living on vacation.”

Because baby boomers are lifestyle oriented and are focused on how they want to live rather than where they want to live, vacation homes are the answer to their needs; for recreation, retreat, renewal, and reunion.

With adult children scattered about the country, a vacation home often becomes the reunion place where family can gather and get in some skiing and fly fishing as a bonus.

In addition, more and more successful Americans are planning to work during retirement. Today’s technology allows them do so, and to begin the transition earlier in life.

That’s how it was for 72 year-old Rolf Funk, a builder/dealer for Wisconsin Log Homes, who had long dreamed about building a satisfying retirement lifestyle.

Hidden behind three mountain ranges, just 35 miles from Jackson Hole, lies Alpine, Wyo. and Rolf’s beautiful log home.

His custom-designed 3,200 square-foot home has 8-inch saddle notch logs over the insulated 6-inch thick core wall.

“Once the home is done it’s draft-free,” says Funk. “This energy smart building system gives us the comfort we’re looking for out here.” Nestled in the rugged valley the home is at one with nature.

Abundant wildlife, including a thousand elk that winter in a refuge south of town, wanders through the forest.

“We have 150 miles of groomed snowmobile trails surrounding Alpine,” says Rolf, who’s love for downhill ski racing led him to snow covered mountains several years ago.

“I’ve guarded my reputation by doing the best quality work I can,” says Funk, who has been selling and building these insulated log homes for 12 years.

“Without a good reputation, you’re not going to have a business.” And when the client is paying upwards of a million dollars for their home, “you need a trusted log building system.” Funk says. “I offer home buyers the best of both worlds with Thermal-Log.”

In the coming decade, waves of baby boomers — the same group that has buoyed the housing market in general — will reach vacation-home prime time.

Steber says, “Plenty of opportunities exist for quality contractors who have a passion to build dream homes,” adding that what we really know about baby boomers is that “they don’t want what their parents wanted.”

For more information about designing and building log homes, call (800) 678-9107 or log on at

Courtesy of ARA Content

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