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Topic: OT: Building a house

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ATexasVol

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OT: Building a house
« on: July 21, 2020, 07:37:21 PM »
Anyone here ever build a house?  We're in the market, can't find what we want, and are beginning to toss around the idea of buying a lot and building.  Is it much more than buying a preowned home?  

awinatl

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2020, 07:41:43 PM »
You should be able to find a set of plans that you like rather easily. It’s non stop decision making though , door knobs, door styles, every light fixture and finish, every faucet, shower drain etc. You could probably find a builder that has fixture packages that can simplify the process though. 

Cincydawg

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2020, 07:43:32 PM »
We "built" one in 1987, using a builder.  My favorite part is when he asked us what tool we wanted to use to shape the cement between the bricks.

It is not more expensive I think than buying a spec home, but can be exhausting.  So many choices.

Cincydawg

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2020, 07:44:53 PM »
We had to visit the site daily.  We came one time and the downspouts had been dropped over the exterior electrical outlets.  The subs DO NOT CARE.  They just do what was asked of them, even if it makes zero sense.

fuzzynavol

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Wouldn't you be happier in an underground bunker?
« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2020, 07:59:45 PM »
I like the idea and would pursue it if feasible.  You could say we built our house in that we are the first and only occupants in the new house built in a planned community, but not what you're talking about.  We picked everything out from a limited menu of options, instead of having to do it all from scratch.  There are a few regrets and we wouldn't mind a do-over, but by-and-large we're happy with our selections.  I have a brother who's built several from scratch and I'd love to give it a try some day.  

Kingsvol

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2020, 08:15:18 PM »
We built our house three years ago.  It is a lot of decision making but it’s the only way you can get your home to look like you want in total.  It took me years to talk my wife into doing it. We looked at homes for years and I finally found a multi acre site not in a neighborhood. See I didn’t want to live with an hoa telling me what I could and could not do to my property.  Plus I plan and wanted the land for growing my own food If i feel the need arises. Looks like that was a good decision.

Anyway we wanted a one story home because I have since turned 50 and didn’t  want steps to go to the master bedroom if I broke a leg or some such.  It’s hard to find one story homes here that doesn’t need to be rebuilt anyway.  Plus I wanted a basement for those tornadoes that come along once a blue moon.

One thing I did since I knew a cad operator was found the plans I wanted and instead of paying a thousand or so for the plans I had him trace it into his system and he helped me design the house inside for any changes I wanted.  So we also researched all our products we used and found the best deals.  We ended up with a good amount of equity in our home. But it’s takes work.  If you just let the builder do it all and hire a designer then I don’t think you gain the equity I did.  In fact I had to have rock removed. It took a big Cat with a jack hammer four days to remove the rock just so I could have a basement. That’s was a huge extra cost. Even with that I came in under the amount i had budgeted that we did above and beyond landscaping and ended up buying all new furniture for the house. Even doing that (spending all the loan amount plus the 15% the bank makes you pay first before you take your first draw I had a a sizable equity amount in the house.

I don’t know about Texas costs and now that three years have past I don’t know if I could pull that off again.  However I would do it again because I didn’t find it as bad as people make it out to be.

One thing is you will always find things you would have done differently now that you lived through it.

But I strongly recommend, if the cost is in your favor, to build rather than buy. Because it truly is your home that way. 

Added to say when you get your bid from the contractor one way to gain equity is through sweat equity. Find the line item for clean up and tell them you will handle that. Of course still leave in the cost for the dumpster. But you can go and clean up every day and save that cost. From most houses being built they do a shoddy job of clean up. Also the final clean is a way you can save also. But that is a pretty big job. 
« Last Edit: July 21, 2020, 08:26:25 PM by Kingsvol »

fuzzynavol

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #6 on: July 21, 2020, 08:21:42 PM »
Plus I plan and wanted the land for growing my own food If i feel the need arises. Looks like that was a good decision.

DunkingDan

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #7 on: July 21, 2020, 08:59:44 PM »
We built our house three years ago.  It is a lot of decision making but it’s the only way you can get your home to look like you want in total.  It took me years to talk my wife into doing it. We looked at homes for years and I finally found a multi acre site not in a neighborhood. See I didn’t want to live with an hoa telling me what I could and could not do to my property.  Plus I plan and wanted the land for growing my own food If i feel the need arises. Looks like that was a good decision.

Anyway we wanted a one story home because I have since turned 50 and didn’t  want steps to go to the master bedroom if I broke a leg or some such.  It’s hard to find one story homes here that doesn’t need to be rebuilt anyway.  Plus I wanted a basement for those tornadoes that come along once a blue moon.

One thing I did since I knew a cad operator was found the plans I wanted and instead of paying a thousand or so for the plans I had him trace it into his system and he helped me design the house inside for any changes I wanted.  So we also researched all our products we used and found the best deals.  We ended up with a good amount of equity in our home. But it’s takes work.  If you just let the builder do it all and hire a designer then I don’t think you gain the equity I did.  In fact I had to have rock removed. It took a big Cat with a jack hammer four days to remove the rock just so I could have a basement. That’s was a huge extra cost. Even with that I came in under the amount i had budgeted that we did above and beyond landscaping and ended up buying all new furniture for the house. Even doing that (spending all the loan amount plus the 15% the bank makes you pay first before you take your first draw I had a a sizable equity amount in the house.

I don’t know about Texas costs and now that three years have past I don’t know if I could pull that off again.  However I would do it again because I didn’t find it as bad as people make it out to be.

One thing is you will always find things you would have done differently now that you lived through it.

But I strongly recommend, if the cost is in your favor, to build rather than buy. Because it truly is your home that way.

Added to say when you get your bid from the contractor one way to gain equity is through sweat equity. Find the line item for clean up and tell them you will handle that. Of course still leave in the cost for the dumpster. But you can go and clean up every day and save that cost. From most houses being built they do a shoddy job of clean up. Also the final clean is a way you can save also. But that is a pretty big job.
There has been a lot of years, except for a few items, if I did not grow it, shoot it or catch it, we did not eat it. 
President Harry S. Truman said: “The fundamental basis of this nation’s laws was given to Moses on the Mount.  The fundamental basis of our Bill of Rights comes from the teachings…  If we don't have the proper fundamental moral background, we will finally wind up with a totalitarian government which does not believe in rights for anybody except the state.”

harvestalvol

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #8 on: July 21, 2020, 09:20:18 PM »
We looked around a good bit and couldn’t find what we wanted. We built our current and only house in 1989. We wanted a wooded lot, which was difficult to find at our price point in the area. We first bought and cleared the lot ourselves. Our builder was easy to work with and built us a quality house (all brick) for $38 per sqft; obviously a long time ago.
He let us do the work that we wanted and deducted the cost. We did all the painting and landscaping and some of the electrical. We were able to get wood-mold brick and a real masonry fireplace. We were out doing work and checking on progress most every day while it was being built. It was hard work, stressful but rewarding.
After over 30 years, we are doing it again in the next year or so. We are building on the lake for retirement. I watched a video this morning from Dave Ramsey on building. It’s worth a few minutes. Interestingly, we owned a lake lot where we kept a boat, across from his vacation home for 20 years. We saw him most every weekend in the summer. Seemed like a nice guy. 



https://youtu.be/99vVvznj0P8

harvestalvol

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #9 on: July 21, 2020, 09:25:27 PM »
I also drew the plans and had them blueprinted. I had taken a drafting class freshman year, so how hard could it be? I really got really nervous when I went out to the site and saw the framers actually using my plans to figure where doors went, etc. I guess it worked out.

ATexasVol

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #10 on: July 21, 2020, 10:22:58 PM »
That's a good story to hear @Kingsvol .  We looked at a home this past weekend that had a lot of positives and a lot of negatives.   Location was fabulous, on a one-acre treed lot not far from a great town.  It backs up to a farm with beautiful rolling hills.   It needs all new flooring, painting, and a few repairs, which don't scare us because we have a good contractor and have the cash.  The price is right, but the death blow is the layout of the house - it is not good, at least for us.  

The other thing we've run into is that the real estate market in the DFW area is insane right now, at least in the price range we're looking at.  Everybody and their dog wants a backyard oasis because no one is traveling, and we all want a nice place for family and friends to gather. I almost put a contract on a home 2 weeks ago, but backed off when I found out what a feeding frenzy there was for the place.  

So that's why we're warming up to the idea of building. 



awinatl

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #11 on: July 21, 2020, 10:40:18 PM »
That's a good story to hear @Kingsvol .  We looked at a home this past weekend that had a lot of positives and a lot of negatives.  Location was fabulous, on a one-acre treed lot not far from a great town.  It backs up to a farm with beautiful rolling hills.  It needs all new flooring, painting, and a few repairs, which don't scare us because we have a good contractor and have the cash.  The price is right, but the death blow is the layout of the house - it is not good, at least for us. 

The other thing we've run into is that the real estate market in the DFW area is insane right now, at least in the price range we're looking at.  Everybody and their dog wants a backyard oasis because no one is traveling, and we all want a nice place for family and friends to gather. I almost put a contract on a home 2 weeks ago, but backed off when I found out what a feeding frenzy there was for the place. 

So that's why we're warming up to the idea of building.
Pre Covid I went to DFW about once a quarter ....... love the area just SW of ft worth 

Cincydawg

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2020, 07:42:28 AM »
If you have the time, I think it's a good idea, really.  I think we spent $3500 on the architect (through the builder) in 1987.  I had sketched out by hand what we wanted, and the guy made 3-4 modifications as we went, that part was fun.  There are a lot of details we don't think about of course.  The wife insisted on a steep roof pitch.  I went back and forth on a 3 car garage and the building suggested 2.4 in effect, that was one thing I wished we had done over to have a full 3, but that extra space was handy.

I'd suggest using very high grade subflooring.  I don't know what they use today.  Specify where the HVAC compressor is to go, they originally put ours right next to the patio, it wasn't on the plans.

gymvol

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Re: OT: Building a house
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2020, 09:38:13 AM »

It's a lot easier to build than to remodel on a larger scale sometimes cheaper because you never know what you might run into in older homes. Buying to remodel sometimes is nothing more than a money pit that you put more in than you can ever get out.

I've built a couple and remodel one after the remodel I said never again. It isn't all that simple as the people on HGTV make it look. Building from ground up you get to see what goes in it without all the headaches of what you might find.

My advise is this research any contractor you may want to hire for remodel or new to see how reliable they are and if they have many customer complaints.

I found the best contractors are the ones who use the same subcontractors job after job.

You could save a lot of money by subcontracting a new house yourself and get them lined up so they can schedule you when needed. It's like putting a puzzle together you can't put the roof on until it's framed and you can't drywall until the plumbing and electrical is done.

The biggest problem is getting codes out to inspect as you go along depending on your county or city requirements as to what and how often they have to inspect.
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