CommunityPam's House Blend

Tar Heel company markets log homes to gays

Does this make them Log Cabin Republicans? Just kidding. Businesses should take note; Log Homes for Us realizes pink dollars = green dough in the bank. All those homophobes that don’t want our money, fine. We’ll give our disposable income to companies that acknowledge us. This NC-based company won’t have trouble finding queer buyers in this area, I assure you. The other company in this story, Carefree Cove, has already sold out all the lots in its developed phase in the mountains near Asheville. That tolerant city is also known as A-SHE-ville because of its sizeable lesbian population. 🙂 (Advocate):

A month-old company based in Rocky Mount, N.C., hopes to find success in the very niche market of gay and lesbian buyers of log homes. Justin Porter, founder of Log Homes for Us, said he noticed a market to sell the homes to gays and lesbians while working for a larger company, of which his firm is now a division. At log home exhibitions, “I realized one out of every 10 to 15 couples was a gay or lesbian couple,” Porter said Friday. “And I realized there was no company catering to that demographic.”

He guessed–correctly, he says now–that the salespeople in the log home business, which he describes as “a very good ol’ boy industry,” lost interest when they learned they were dealing with gay couples.

Porter, who is gay, describes the response to the limited advertising placed by Log Homes for Us as “unbelievable.” “We’re just getting call after call,” he said.

Log Homes for Us is a division of the Original Log Cabin Homes Ltd., which began in 1973 and moved its headquarters to Interstate 95 in Rocky Mount in 1987. President Tom Vesce says he envisions Log Homes for Us selling 300 to 400 homes in its first year and accounting for as much as one sixth of overall sales. “We’ve had over the years many, many gay and lesbian customers,” Vesce said. “This is an opportunity to acknowledge them publicly and salute that segment in the marketplace.”

Carefree Cove‘s partners, Gina A. Razete, president, and Cathy L. Groene, vice-president, are working with Log Cabins for Us to build a gay community in the N.C. mountains, near Boone; one of the completed cabins.

Log Homes for Us has contracts for more than 75 homes, he said. And the company is working with the developers of Carefree Cove, a private community for gays being built in Zionville. All the homes in the community, located north of Boone, must have log or cedar siding. Developer Gina Razete said CJR, the company she owns with her partner, Cathy Groene, is building spec homes from Log Homes for Us kits. In addition, the developers will recommend Log Homes for Us to property owners. So far, CJR has sold 54 lots and plans to sell the last 30 or so lots this summer.

…Log Homes for Us markets itself with ads that are sleeker and more contemporary than those the parent company uses, said Porter, adding that gay and lesbian couples tend to buy larger homes than straight couples. Its Web site makes oblique references to why log homes should appeal to gays and lesbians, saying the Americans who settled the West “owned their own land and were free, both politically and economically.”

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Pam Spaulding

Pam Spaulding