Anyone ever have a house built?

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by Sarge, Mar 7, 2015.

  1. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Mar 7, 2015

    We have been thinking about moving. The town we want to move to doesn't really have a lot of houses that fit our needs - small, nice, not very expensive.

    There are quite a few vacant lots for sale in town - not in the country or in subdivision. Some of the lots are exactly where we might want to live.

    So we have been thinking about purchasing a lot and hiring a builder. We have financial means to do it. In other words, we can afford to finance the new property before we sell our current house.

    Of course, the big question is how does this compare to buying an existing home? Dollar for dollar, would it be more or less? As I said, we don't need (or want) anything big or fancy. In fact, a lot of the houses we like are little 1300 square foot bungalows.

    And finally, how does it work? Do we buy the lot then look for a builder? Or do we find a builder then look for a lot?

    I probably have way more questions, but this is all so foreign to me, that I most likely don't even know what they are.
     
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  3. Missy

    Missy Aficionado

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    Mar 7, 2015

    We found a builder and he helped us find a lot. We also told him what we wanted in a house, and he had blueprints drawn up and changes made when we disliked a few small things.

    The dollar for dollar is rough; people think you can have whatever you want in a new house, but really you can have wht you can afford. We wanted nice cabinets and flooring and windows, but knew we could upgrade lighting and bathroom features later.

    Be prepared for it to cost more and take longer than you expect.

    We love our house, and that we got so many choices.

    Good luck!
     
  4. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    We found a company that had architects and draftsmen, and they would serve as the general contractor. They drew the plan, then found the subs for everything. But the best part is the day you bid, they locked in the prices for every detail. So no matter what happened, we were paying a fixed amount for plumbing, electrical, etc. If we wanted to change something, they would bring us a price that it would cost to change, and we could either re-sign that specific area, or not do it. And, we could do whatever work we wanted on our own. We're fairly handy, so we did all of the flooring, painting, ran wires, and a few other things. By the time it was all said and done, we paid exactly what they told us it would cost, down to the penny.

    That part was nice, but for me it was hard thinking three-dimensional from a 2D print. I thought I knew where I wanted the half bath to be, but now that it is real, I realize that while you're sitting on the toilet, you look directly down the living room and out the front door. So you don't forget to shut the door lest the UPS man get a show. Little things like that. You might be able to find a simulator that will draw it up for you in 3D so you can see things like that, but in 2006 we didn't have that.

    Overall, I would definitely build again. In fact, I'd love to again because now I know what to look out for!
     
  5. janlee

    janlee Devotee

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    Had 4 houses built. Find a very reputable general contractor who will handle everything unless you are able to do the subbing out of jobs yourself. It's your house so you control what goes in it. Your lot often determines the best type of home to build so it is best to purchase the lot first. Have all of your files of ideas and pictures at the ready to show the contractor what you'd like. You'll get a price but expect it to be higher when you're done. Change orders can be costly. You can buy stock plans if you know what you want or some contractors can draw them for you.
     
  6. kcjo13

    kcjo13 Phenom

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    Yeah, I forgot to address the lot-we had an acreage purchased several years before we were able to build. We were lucky in that there was already a well and electric service to it, because it had housed cows before us. Those can be expensive-like really expensive.

    The next biggest cost before the house was our basement, but that probably isn't an issue in California!
     
  7. Hoot Owl

    Hoot Owl Aficionado

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    Mar 18, 2015

    Calculate how much a house in the area costs per square then find a contractor and ask him how much he'd charge to build your home per square foot. This way you're almost comparing apples to apples.
     
  8. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    The lots we're looking at all have city services. One is actually downtown.

    The only thing that could really complicate matters is that it is on the side of a steep hill.
     
  9. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Mar 19, 2015

    They might be able to level the hill out - depending on how steep it is, it'll cost more.

    My mom used to do CAD work, not house architecture, more A/V set ups and museum exhibits in CAD. Nowadays, there are some pretty good drafting programs that draftsmen use, and can show the home in a 3D type thing - one I used during high school was Google Sketchup - I believe it is just called SketchUp now, though. It's a pretty cool piece of software, but I know the professional stuff is even cooler.
     
  10. Mrs. K.

    Mrs. K. Enthusiast

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    Mar 19, 2015

    You can find home plans online that account for a sloping lot.
     
  11. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    We actually had a realtor who also was general contractor, so we went through houses that were for sale to design ours.. LOL!!!
     
  12. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Then it becomes a cliff.

    My guess is that the SF bay area has a lot of builders experienced in this kind of home.
     
  13. bros

    bros Phenom

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    Mar 20, 2015

    Yeah - I don't think you want a cliff.

    Unless you want to make an awesome waterfall.

    But I don't think neighbors would appreciate that.

    Your area probably has a lot of builders experienced in the environment of your area - it would only make sense.
     
  14. swansong1

    swansong1 Virtuoso

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    You could do some cliff jumping, or para sailing off the cliff :lol:
     
  15. DizneeTeachR

    DizneeTeachR Virtuoso

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    Mar 20, 2015

    Rock climbing wall to fund your house?!? :whistle:
     

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