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Cabin Buyer Information

The following information is intended for Buyers to help them use the listing service, as well as, become more informed buyers. We recommend all potential buyers read the Recreation Residence Program Overview document below before proceeding.  Additional reference documents are provided below to assist both the cabin buyer and seller.

Can I communicate through this site to a seller?

No. Every listing provides the seller's contact information (email and/or phone number) to initiate contact.  In some cases, the seller provides their real estate agent's contact information as the preferred method of contact.

Is NFH paid a commission for this service?

No.  NFH is not a real estate agent or broker, has no affiliation with any brokers, and is not a party to any sale transaction that may result from using this site.  NFH provides this service as a benefit to our members and to help educate prospective buyers to the unique ownership responsibilities for a Recreation Residence cabin. 

Has NFH established any practices or standards sellers are required to follow?

No.  NFH provides no express or implied warranty regarding the seller, the seller's cabin, or viability of the buyer to obtain a special uses permit to occupy the National Forest land the cabin resides on.  NFH assumes no responsibility for any interaction between buyer and seller using this site.

Are cabins typically purchased with mortgage financing?

No.  Because cabin owners do not own the land and cabin use is subject to a USFS 20-year special use permit, most financial institutions will not extend financing, or if they do, typically will not extend terms beyond the remaining period of the current 20-year permit.  Cabin buyers often pursue alternatives such as seller financing, borrowing against other assets, or paying cash.

How much does it cost for the use of U.S. National Forest land?

The USFS special use permit is subject to an annual fee for the right to use the USFS land the cabin resides on.  In 2014, Congress passed a law to establish a new method for determining USFS recreation residence permit fees.  In 2016, every cabin lot under permit was permanently assigned to one of eleven fee tiers. Permit fees are subject to an annual inflationary adjustment, which is the only increase allowed under the new law.  A buyer can obtain from the seller the current fee for a specific cabin lot.  Please see the Permit Fees page for more information, including a table of current fee tiers.

Please refer to the following documents to learn more about the Recreation Residence Program.

Cabin Buyer/Seller Documents

Item Name Posted By Date Posted
Recreation Residence Program Overview PDF (489.26 KB) Administration 3/15/2019
Guidelines for Rec Res Cabin Seller PDF (136.02 KB) Administration 3/15/2019
FS Sample Rec Res Permit PDF (426.76 KB) Administration 3/15/2019
FS 2700-3a Rec Res Permit Request Form PDF (24.48 KB) Administration 3/16/2019
FS Rec Res Permit Reissuance PDF (124.68 KB) Administration 3/15/2019
FS Guide for Historic Rec Res PDF (7.8 MB) Administration 3/15/2019
RRP Compliance Manual PDF (400.14 KB)  more ] Administration 9/1/2019