Sunday, August 04, 2013

Alaskan Log Dream Home

When we first got to Anchorage 35 years ago, log homes were the hot item.  Genuine Alaskan.   They had character and were the image of real Alaska.

 We have good friends who live in a beautiful log home he built long ago on the hillside.  There are a couple of acres of land.  These folks owned a commercial greenhouse for a while and the grounds are beautiful.  They were having moose problems - eating some of their special trees and plants - so they built an eight foot fence around the whole property!

Their kids moved south and grandma wants to spend more time near the grandchildren.  So they've put the house on the market.

You'd think a place like this would be snapped up, but it hasn't sold.
part of yard from garaage

My theory is this:  This is a unique house.  It's not the typical cookie cutter home with  granite counters in a neighborhood full similar homes right next door.  Instead it's a one of a kind home on a secluded piece of Alaska heaven right in town.

Well, it's about ten miles out of downtown.  And people might perceive it as way out of town.  But I biked there last week (mostly uphill from near the University) in 40 minutes on Lake Otis.  Driving back a couple of weeks before took 12 minutes (I was timing it.)  So it's not really that far out.

Kitchen behind books

Back to my theory.  It's a unique and wonderful house, but not for everyone.  It's priced higher than your average Anchorage home (they lowered it to somewhat over $500,000) and probably people looking at that price range want something more luxurious.  And younger people looking for a house like this might be looking in a lower price range.

But somewhere out there is someone for whom this is the perfect home.  Someone who can afford it and can appreciate and take care of it.  But that family just doesn't know it's there.  Maybe they aren't actively looking.

It's also a lot of land with beautiful flower beds and a lot of lawn.  What I really like is that while gardens are spectacular, they don't have that  artificial look that look like someone worked hard to copy some garden magazine look.  Rather it's a more an artist's love that created flower beds and lawn that blend easily into the natural Alaskan birch habitat.  It takes work to keep things up.  So it will take a family willing to do the work or able to hire someone to help out.  I know the present owners, who put a lot of love into this property, would be willing consultants to the folks that move in.

Back of the house


Along with the house comes the two car garage,

and another building that's a studio/office on its own  (no bathroom or running water in there.)

To the left is the studio/office.  The main house is on the right.  In the middle, in the distance, is another small log cabin out in the yard. 

I was standing above the garage when I took this shot.  It was about 9:00pm at the end of July.

Just off the living room

This is one of many flower beds with hardy perennials.

This rock wall is between the house and the large circular driveway that goes around the studio/office and to the remote control gate.

I'm not in the real estate business, and I don't put ads up here.  I think of this more as a public service - a way to help connect the right family to a piece of Anchorage that really should be preserved. 

Some of these pictures are mine.  The better shots, mostly ones with black borders (and both interiors), were taken by Dave M. Davis Photography for a realtor.

If anyone is interested, you can email me here and I'll pass it on.
[UPDATE October 11, 2014:  As of the end of September, this house has a new owner.]


  1. Ah, Steve. You hit me where it really hurts. After two years of horticulture study, gardening and a bit of design, I love the place!

    We'd only have to sell off our two small homes here in England and move back to Anchorage... and, oh.

    Back to seeing Out North in the throes of something like death and hopeful rebirth, where there are little legal protections for us as gay people against deeply-harboured prejudice, where our marriage isn't recognised, where there is no NHS, where light-cycles are extreme and temperature too.

    On the plus side? Loads of folks we know, really like and want to see again on a daily basis. A land we both love, snow! and mountains! even if it does kick us in the teeth culturally, politically, and just plain old SUV-drivin', gun-clenchin', craziness that makes many Alaskans, colourful reactionaries. Oh, to go back to an American colony!

    Oops. Went a bit negative on my plus-side, didn't I?

    Anyway, would love to buy the place; but it snuggles up to nightmares we woke from, to live here. It's sad that people who love a place are compelled to leave, but it's the story of the Americas, including its first peoples. We all left from somewhere else to become part of that new world. In fact, it's part of a larger pattern of our species.

    So in the neo-tradition of leaving what was home for a better life, log cabin vistas notwithstanding, maybe we could buy a summer cabin in the Yukon....

    Love to all back in the old country.


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