By Claudia Johnson

Exciting. Warm. Comfortable. That’s how Richard and Linda Hespe describe their new Honest Abe log home nestled in the foothills of the Carolina Blue Ridge Mountains.

“We have built homes before, but this one is totally different,” Richard Hespe said.

Originally from the historic town of Elka Park, N.Y., the Hespes’ live in Nokomis, Fla., the Hespes knew exactly what they expected from their log home mountain retreat.

“We wanted a good view with a lot of windows,” Richard said. “We didn’t want a big house, but we wanted an open balcony to look out.’

After considering various locations, the couple chose Grandview Peaks Subdivision, Nebo, N.C., a place they’d only seen online but confess they fell in love with the moment they passed through the gates. They had already been researching and comparing log home companies but soon chose Honest Abe.

“I’m a preferred log home provider in the development,” explained Darlene Dawson, owner of Bear’s Den Log Homes, an Honest Abe independent dealership in Newton, N.C. “Richard and Linda requested information, and I sent a packet and followed up with a call. “

Darlene also shared lender information and introduced them to Steve Wallin of Custom Homes of Asheville, a builder who is also an Honest Abe independent dealer.

“We had considered another company, but we were more comfortable with Honest Abe Log Homes,” Richard said. “We were quick about it. We decided on our floor plans in six weeks and on a builder in six weeks.”

That builder was Steve Wallin.

Darlene said that she worked closely with Steve to help Linda and Richard design the house they envisioned. The Honest Abe Highlander plan was modified to incorporate the Hespes’ must-have features.

Construction was completed in less than five months. Situated on a one-acre lot, the resulting 1,600 square-foot, three-bedroom house features the perfect balcony and windows for enjoying a 25-mile view.

“We love it,” Richard said, also expressing their satisfaction with Darlene’s guidance throughout the process. “We’re very pleased, still pleased. She stayed with us right up to the end, helping with everything.”

Richard said his favorite space is the great room, while Linda favors the craft room, where she creates gifts for family and friends. They both love the big glass windows and the loft. They’ve enjoyed making decorating choices and even had Amish furniture custom crafted for the house. Richard offered advice for others dreaming of their own custom log home.

“Don’t worry about your original plan being perfect,” he said, adding, “Things change anyway. Just do it and get it done.”

With Tia Copias

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