Asheville,  Cabins

Picking the Perfect Lot to Build Your Asheville Cabin Home

Choosing the perfect lot to build your cabin home is a big decision and many variables are at play.

This selection sets the stage for your future home and dictates many factors ranging from the view from your windows to the practical aspects of construction.

The right lot is more than just a piece of land; it is the foundation on which you’ll create a home, establish roots, make memories, and make money (if this is a rental cabin).

Choosing a lot isn’t just about location – it’s about envisaging a lifestyle, understanding the terrain, and knowing how the sunlight will fall across your living room floor.

It’s about considering access to local amenities while ensuring peace and privacy.

The main point of this blog post is to step through some key considerations and to offer tips to help you make an informed decision.

Location Considerations

When it comes to selecting the perfect lot for your cabin home, location is paramount. You’ll want to consider the proximity to amenities, the surrounding views, and the accessibility of your potential homesite.

Proximity to Amenities and Attractions

Asheville is known for its vibrant arts scene, exceptional dining, and numerous outdoor activities. If you value easy access to these amenities, consider a lot close to downtown or in one of Asheville’s bustling neighborhoods. However, if peace and seclusion are more important to you, a lot on the city’s outskirts or nestled deeper into the mountains might be a better fit. Balance your desire for tranquility with the convenience of proximity to essential amenities like grocery stores, healthcare facilities, and schools.

Views and Natural Surroundings

Asheville is famous for its stunning natural beauty, with a backdrop of rolling mountains and lush forests. Consider what views are important to you. Do you want to wake up to a mountain panorama or prefer the tranquility of a woodland setting? Maybe a creekside lot sounds appealing? Your lot’s orientation will also affect the amount of sunlight your cabin gets, which can impact your home’s energy efficiency and overall ambience.

Accessibility and Ease of Travel

Consider how accessible your chosen lot is. Are the roads well maintained, especially in winter conditions common to Asheville’s mountainous regions? Is it easily reachable by emergency services? How far is the commute to work or popular city attractions? Examining these aspects can help ensure that your dream cabin is both a peaceful retreat and a practical living solution.

Choosing the right location involves considering these factors in harmony, ensuring the chosen lot aligns with your lifestyle needs and desires for your new cabin home.

Lot Size and Topography

Another crucial factor when picking the perfect lot for your Asheville cabin is the lot size and topography. These elements will significantly impact your cabin’s design, construction process, and your enjoyment of the property.

Ideal Lot Size for a Cabin Home

The ideal lot size for your cabin home depends on your personal preferences and needs. If you envision a spacious yard or plan to add outdoor features such as a garden, patio, or swimming pool, a larger lot might be suitable. Alternatively, a smaller lot could be easier and less expensive to maintain, providing a cozy setting that still offers privacy.

Slope and Terrain Considerations

The lot’s slope and terrain are crucial when building in Asheville’s mountainous regions. A flat lot might be easier to build on, but a sloped lot could provide better views and more interesting architectural possibilities. However, steeper slopes can present construction challenges and additional costs. Professional advice from a local builder or engineer is invaluable in understanding these factors.

Vegetation and Tree Coverage

The existing vegetation and tree coverage on a lot can greatly affect the character of your future home. Trees can provide privacy, shade, and a connection with nature, enhancing the cabin feel. However, tree removal might be necessary if they pose a risk to your cabin or obstruct views. Always check local regulations as some areas have restrictions on tree removal.

Understanding the interplay of lot size, topography, and vegetation will help you select a lot that suits your cabin home vision, while also ensuring a smooth building process.

Zoning and Building Codes

Before settling on a lot for your Asheville cabin, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with local zoning regulations and building codes. These rules dictate what you can build, where you can build it, and how it must be constructed.

Overview of Asheville Zoning Regulations

Zoning regulations in Asheville vary depending on the location of your lot. They may influence the type and size of structure you can build, how far it must be from the property lines (setbacks), and whether accessory structures like garages or sheds are allowed. In some cases, regulations may also address aesthetic aspects, like the exterior color or materials.

Building Codes and Permits Required for Cabin Homes

Building codes are designed to ensure the safety and durability of your cabin home. They set standards for various aspects of construction, including structural integrity, fire safety, plumbing, and electrical systems. Before construction can begin, you will typically need to apply for a building permit and have your plans approved by local authorities. You might also need additional permits for specific parts of the construction process, like grading the land or installing a septic system.

Importance of Researching Zoning and Building Codes Before Purchasing a Lot

Understanding zoning regulations and building codes is crucial before purchasing a lot. You don’t want to find out after purchasing that you can’t build the cabin home you envisioned. Consider consulting with a local builder, architect, or real estate attorney to help navigate these complexities. A professional will be able to guide you through the process and help identify any potential issues that could affect your building plans.

Taking the time to understand and comply with local zoning and building codes will ensure that your dream cabin home becomes a reality, and stays standing for years to come.

Utilities and Infrastructure

Equally important in your lot selection process is the availability of utilities and infrastructure. These services are essential for the functionality and comfort of your cabin home.

Availability of Water and Sewer Lines

In Asheville, urban areas usually have access to city water and sewer lines, but in more remote or rural settings, you may need to drill a well for water and install a septic system for wastewater. Understanding the costs and logistics of these services is crucial. Soil tests, for instance, can help determine whether your land is suitable for a septic system.

Electricity and Gas Availability

Similarly, availability of electricity and gas services will depend on your lot’s location. While most urban and suburban areas have easy access to these utilities, rural areas might require more planning and expense to extend these services to your lot. You may also want to explore renewable energy options, such as solar panels, particularly if you’re building in an area with limited infrastructure.

Internet and Cable Options

In today’s digital age, access to high-speed internet and cable services is almost as essential as water and electricity. This is especially important if you plan to work from home or enjoy streaming entertainment. Service availability can vary widely in Asheville, with rural areas sometimes having limited options. Be sure to research what services are available at your chosen location.

Investigating the availability of utilities and infrastructure on your prospective lot is a crucial step in ensuring that your new cabin home will be a comfortable and convenient place to live. It’s always best to consider these factors before making a purchase to avoid unexpected challenges and costs down the line.

Cost Considerations

One of the most important factors when choosing a lot for your cabin home is cost. It’s essential to understand not only the cost of the land but also the additional expenses you may encounter during site preparation and construction. Moreover, considering the potential resale value and investment potential of your property is a prudent long-term strategy.

Land Prices in Asheville and Surrounding Areas

Land prices in the Asheville area (and WNC in general) vary greatly depending on location, size, and amenities. Prime locations with stunning views or close proximity to downtown command higher prices.

Additional Costs for Site Preparation and Construction

Beyond the initial land purchase, additional costs for site preparation and construction can add up. These might include clearing vegetation, grading the land, extending utilities, or dealing with challenging soil conditions.

Also, the cost of building on a sloped site can be more than on flat land due to the complexities associated with construction and drainage. It’s a good idea to have a contingency budget for unexpected costs that can arise during the building process.

Additionally, local ordinances may be at play which restrict or constrain your development options. The cost of an engineer and architect should be factored into your budget.

Potential Resale Value and Investment Potential

While building your dream cabin home might be a long-term plan, it’s still wise to consider its potential resale value and investment potential. Factors like location, size, view, and proximity to amenities can all impact a property’s value. If chosen wisely, your cabin home in Asheville can be a sound investment that appreciates over time.

Understanding the full range of costs associated with building your cabin home and considering the potential for future return on investment will help ensure that your dream home remains a dream and doesn’t turn into a financial burden.

Choosing a Realtor

Having a reliable and knowledgeable realtor by your side can greatly simplify the process of picking the perfect lot for your Asheville cabin home. Here’s why you should consider working with a local realtor and some tips on how to choose the right one.

Benefits of Working with a Local Realtor

A local realtor offers several advantages. They possess an in-depth understanding of Asheville’s real estate market, including knowledge of zoning regulations, the value of different locations, and upcoming developments. A local realtor can also leverage their network of connections to find available lots that may not be publicly listed, offering you a wider range of options.

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Realtor

When choosing a realtor, it’s essential to ask the right questions to ensure they’re a good fit for your needs. Some questions might include: How long have you been working in Asheville? Do you have experience with land transactions and cabin homes? Can you provide references from previous clients? Their answers will give you insight into their expertise and reputation.

Realtor’s Role in Helping You Find the Perfect Lot

A realtor plays a pivotal role in helping you find the perfect lot. They can save you time by pre-screening lots to ensure they match your criteria. They can also provide valuable advice on aspects like pricing, pros and cons of different locations, and potential challenges. Once you’ve chosen a lot, your realtor will negotiate on your behalf to get the best possible deal and guide you through the closing process.

Choosing the right realtor is a crucial step in finding the perfect lot for your Asheville cabin home. Their expertise and guidance can make the process much smoother and more successful.


What is the average cost of land in Asheville?

The cost of land in the Asheville area varies widely based on factors such as location, views, size, and amenities. For up-to-date information, send me a brief text with your preferred location/lot size at 828-412-0678.

How do I know if a lot is suitable for building a cabin home?

Consider factors such as size, topography, availability of utilities, access to roads, and zoning regulations. You’ll want to assemble a team consisting of at least an engineer and builder who can assess the lot’s suitability for construction.

What permits and approvals do I need to build a cabin home in Asheville?

You will need a building permit from local authorities, which requires approval of your building plans. Depending on the specifics of your project, you might also need additional permits for activities like grading the land or installing a septic system.

How long does it take to build a cabin home in Asheville?

The timeline for building a cabin home in Asheville can vary based on factors such as the complexity of the design, the conditions of the lot, and the workload of your builder. On average, you might expect the process to take anywhere from several months to over a year.

What are the most popular neighborhoods for cabin homes in Asheville?

There are a number of cabin home communities and areas in Western North Carolina. Some popular ones include Black Mountain, Fairview, and Weaverville. Always consider your personal preferences for amenities, natural surroundings, and community vibe when choosing a location.

What are the common challenges and risks of building on a lot in Asheville?

Potential challenges might include dealing with sloped terrain, extending utilities to remote areas, complying with zoning regulations, and managing construction costs. Thorough research and careful planning can help mitigate these risks.

How long does it take to find and buy a lot in Asheville?

The timeline can vary widely based on factors like market conditions, your specific requirements, and your decision-making process. Working with a local realtor can often streamline the process.

What are the most important things to look for when inspecting a lot?

Pay attention to the lot’s size, shape, topography, vegetation, views, and access to roads and utilities. It’s also important to consider how well it fits with your desired lifestyle and the type of home you want to build.

Do I need a permit or approval to build a cabin home on a lot in Asheville?

Yes, you will need to obtain a building permit and have your plans approved by local authorities before you can start construction.

How can I ensure that my cabin home fits well with the natural environment and community of Asheville?

Consider incorporating sustainable design principles, using natural materials, and choosing a design that complements the surrounding landscape. Also, respect local zoning regulations and community guidelines, which often aim to preserve the area’s unique character.


Choosing the perfect lot for your Asheville cabin home is a significant decision that requires thoughtful consideration. From understanding location attributes and evaluating lot size and topography to being well-versed in zoning and building codes, and ensuring the availability of utilities and infrastructure, each aspect plays a pivotal role in your ultimate satisfaction with your cabin home.

Remember to carefully consider the financial aspects, including not just the cost of the land but also the additional expenses of site preparation, construction, and future maintenance. Additionally, keep an eye on the potential resale value and investment potential of your property.

Working with a knowledgeable local realtor can greatly streamline this process. Their understanding of the Asheville real estate market, zoning laws, and building codes, coupled with their expertise in identifying suitable lots, can be invaluable in your journey to find the perfect lot.

In conclusion, finding the right lot for your dream cabin home in Asheville is a journey that requires time, patience, and plenty of research. But with careful planning and the right support, you’re well on your way to owning a beautiful piece of Asheville that perfectly suits your vision.

I'm Dylan Lennon, an Asheville local, the founder of this Asheville Real Estate website, and a Realtor in Asheville. Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. I appreciate your time spent on this site and am always open to suggestions and ideas from our readers. You can connect with me on Facebook, Instagram, or contact me through this website. I'd love to hear from you.

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