Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

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dziuniek
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by dziuniek » Tue Apr 24, 2018 2:16 pm

Blah.

People and their attachment to things*- ugh.

md&pharmacist
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by md&pharmacist » Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:59 pm

We built our 7500 sq ft home on 1.7 acres of land in central Florida. We're in the middle of the size range for our community.

Our lot cost less than 10% of the total project cost. Something rubs me the wrong way when your lot cost is $600K and the majority of the neighboring homes are not that large. A lot at 50% of the total cost with a 3000 sq ft home doesn't feel right to me, and I don't think it's a good idea to build so much bigger than everyone else to justify the $600,000 lot.

Take the emotion out of it. The lot seems overpriced. There will be other opportunities either to build or to purchase an existing property with what you are looking for. Worst case scenario even if you don't find it, you're not unhappy in the house you are in.

I can tell you a whole lot about the pros and cons of building a mansion...and there are both, if you want to hear it. But it looks to me like your town can't really support it so if you do it, make sure you really want it and will enjoy it because, most likely, resale down the road will be a problem. Of course money is not the only consideration, you must keep the Mrs. happy, but she should know that the initial excitement of building and customizing dies down while the major cost both initially and ongoing stays with you. Our cost for just property taxes and homeowners insurance is about $22,000/year and we've been here 12 years - that's over $250,000 before even talking about what we spend on loan interest, house repairs, lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, furniture, house cleaning service, utilities, ac/heating...you get the point. Wouldn't be surprised if we spent over $500,000 additional over these 12 years to maintain, and as things start having problems more than $500,000 over the next 12 years.

I have, however, utilized the equity in this house to leverage a very prosperous business and profitable commercial real estate venture, hence some of the benefits in addition to tax breaks on my loans and property taxes.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best either way.

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lthenderson
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by lthenderson » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:35 am

Hogan773 wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:36 am
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 10:32 am
Hogan773 wrote:
Mon Apr 23, 2018 9:24 am
We live in a town with mostly small lots and have a very nice house (on a small lot).

Wife always dreams of having more land but wants to stay in the same town for variety of reasons (if we moved further out in the burbs we could get LOTS of land)

A large (for our town) lot has come on the market on a unique street where they had very large lots. The small old house on the lot is not something worthwhile so it is being marketed as a tear down.
Just throwing this out there based upon these statements. Have you priced out/thought about moving your existing house to the new lot? I'm guessing you could raze existing house on the new lot, prep the new lot for your house, move your house and prep old lot for sale for between $50 and $75k and end up with a very nice house that you already like on a very nice lot. I would guess this would be much less than you would pay to make the transition the way you are thinking about going about it.
I'm not an engineer but I don't see how that would work. My current home is on a foundation with finished basement. I don't know how one would pick up a home out of the ground and transport it to a new location and plop it back into a hole in the ground. I saw a house-like building being moved down a street once back in college and it seemed crazy...they had to take down the streetlights and everything to fit it down the road. I think it was some historic building owned by the college and they were trying to preserve it but also get it out of the way for a new building.
They do it all the time. Essentially what they do is poke holes in the basement walls to slide in long ibeams to support the house load and then separate the house from the top of your basement walls and lift. Once in the air, the put wheels on each end and move it perpendicular to the long ibeams until it clears the basement at which point they turn the wheels so that it tracks along with the ibeams. At the other site, they pour a new basement in the same size leaving cutouts for the ibeams, reverse the procedure until the house has been set on top, the beams are slid out, and the openings for them are either filled in or become window openings. It is actually much easier and less damaging to the house to move if it is sitting on a basement than a slab.

Moving houses across town can be a little more challenging and expensive because of the number of low hanging wires.

book lover
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by book lover » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:10 am

My wife and I used to watch a show on HGTV called Dream Home. In every show, the people went over budget by 50%. Great example of wants and needs getting mixed up.

Hogan773
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by Hogan773 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 11:15 am

md&pharmacist wrote:
Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:59 pm
We built our 7500 sq ft home on 1.7 acres of land in central Florida. We're in the middle of the size range for our community.

Our lot cost less than 10% of the total project cost. Something rubs me the wrong way when your lot cost is $600K and the majority of the neighboring homes are not that large. A lot at 50% of the total cost with a 3000 sq ft home doesn't feel right to me, and I don't think it's a good idea to build so much bigger than everyone else to justify the $600,000 lot.

Take the emotion out of it. The lot seems overpriced. There will be other opportunities either to build or to purchase an existing property with what you are looking for. Worst case scenario even if you don't find it, you're not unhappy in the house you are in.

I can tell you a whole lot about the pros and cons of building a mansion...and there are both, if you want to hear it. But it looks to me like your town can't really support it so if you do it, make sure you really want it and will enjoy it because, most likely, resale down the road will be a problem. Of course money is not the only consideration, you must keep the Mrs. happy, but she should know that the initial excitement of building and customizing dies down while the major cost both initially and ongoing stays with you. Our cost for just property taxes and homeowners insurance is about $22,000/year and we've been here 12 years - that's over $250,000 before even talking about what we spend on loan interest, house repairs, lawn maintenance, pool maintenance, furniture, house cleaning service, utilities, ac/heating...you get the point. Wouldn't be surprised if we spent over $500,000 additional over these 12 years to maintain, and as things start having problems more than $500,000 over the next 12 years.

I have, however, utilized the equity in this house to leverage a very prosperous business and profitable commercial real estate venture, hence some of the benefits in addition to tax breaks on my loans and property taxes.

Whatever you do, I wish you the best either way.
book lover wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:10 am
My wife and I used to watch a show on HGTV called Dream Home. In every show, the people went over budget by 50%. Great example of wants and needs getting mixed up.
Thanks and agreed

For a 3000 sf home the lot is way overpriced. Builders are buying old ranches for 200K or whatever and maxing those smaller lots out for $800-900K 3000 sf homes. Hence my initial warning bell that it wouldn't make sense to build the same 3000 sf home but spend $1.2m doing so (lot plus home). You will be 300-400K overspent and I think you would have trouble on resale because most people will be looking primarily at the home (sqft, # bedrooms etc) and wouldn't place that much value on the large yard. A little value, yes, but not 40% more.

Which is why I was thinking about building something that can take advantage of the lot, but still I think you are going to be cost basis pretty high for the submarket.

Would of course be "fun" to build a bespoke home and have full input on the look and layout, and would also be "fun" to have an even larger home, but as I thought about it dispassionately the reality is that with the exception of a few gripes from the wife like lack of a true walk-in closet, we love the layout of our current home and it has plenty of space for our needs. Never feel cramped. Probably needs a good cleanout as we have built up clutter in the corners etc. The new million dollar home would be awesome and we would have people over for dinner and get all the oohs and aaahs and the psychological stroking, and later there would be clutter in the corners and scuffs on the walls and the windows would need a good washing etc just like in our current home.

I also get the point about going over budget. Knowing how much cr&p costs in general, I could easily see the incremental choices to really get that "dream home" adding up. "If you're doing it, DO IT RIGHT, don't skimp on your DREAMS!" Fact is I still love my current kitchen with its nice mid-tier cherry wood cabinets and set of stainless steel KitchenAid appliances. If someone suggested that I should spend $30-40K right now to yank out all the appliances and replace with Wolf and Viking and Subzero or whatever is "the best" and replace all the cabinets with something that looks similar but was made by hand by an Amish craftsman, I would say they are crazy. But I could see if you are "already" spending so much on the new home that you might as well spend the extra $40K to get all that stuff vs "cheaping out"

I could rationalize spending some extra money to uptier our housing position in life but in the end it just feels like the benefit here of being able to look out on the "big" backyard will get lost quickly to the reality of a lot of money spent for little real gain.

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chickadee
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by chickadee » Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:51 pm

1) Plant a square foot garden https://www.growveg.com/guides/planning ... le-garden/ Weeding in a real garden gets old fast.
2) Could you renovate to get a bigger closet? Downsize a bedroom that backs to the master?

My in laws bought a house with a big yard when they retired, so my FIL could have a nice sized garden and scratch his “farming” bug. Was probably a mistake, although the lot was pretty. When he passed, my MIL was loathe to move. So she had a huge lot w trees and their leaves to contend with. She was too frugal to pay someone to take care of it, so she was out there mowing and bagging leaves into her 80s with her arthritic hands, bad hip, and gimpy knee. Finally got her into a senior apartment at 83. What a relief.

Hogan773
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by Hogan773 » Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:33 pm

chickadee wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:51 pm
1) Plant a square foot garden https://www.growveg.com/guides/planning ... le-garden/ Weeding in a real garden gets old fast.
2) Could you renovate to get a bigger closet? Downsize a bedroom that backs to the master?

My in laws bought a house with a big yard when they retired, so my FIL could have a nice sized garden and scratch his “farming” bug. Was probably a mistake, although the lot was pretty. When he passed, my MIL was loathe to move. So she had a huge lot w trees and their leaves to contend with. She was too frugal to pay someone to take care of it, so she was out there mowing and bagging leaves into her 80s with her arthritic hands, bad hip, and gimpy knee. Finally got her into a senior apartment at 83. What a relief.

I will check out the thing re: gardening.

The closet thing is funny. This was the first house that our builder was doing on his own, and he pulled out all the stops which is one reason we liked the house. Hardwood floors everywhere, crown moldings and tray ceilings everywhere, two of the four bedrooms upstairs have big vaulted ceilings, steam shower, central vac, everything. They fully finished the basement and as an example they nicely tiled out the utility/furnace/sump pump room while many builders would have just left that piece of it as cement floor. We saw the original plans and in his zeal, he adjusted a few things. One of the things he adjusted was he added a third bath upstairs that opens to the hallway, and the original second bathroom up there that was supposed to open to the hallway now opens to one of the bedrooms (we also have our big master bathroom off of our room). The space for that third bathroom was supposed to be a walk in closet in the original plans.

Reality is we COULD spend a bunch of money ripping out that bathroom and closing it off to the hall in order to get a walk in closet for wifey, but that would eliminate a bathroom that is very much used by my two younger kids (the oldest uses the bathroom attached to his room) and my view is that would be a huge waste of money. We have a 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bathroom house right now and spending a lot of money to LOSE a bathroom seems silly. My wife has already co-opted some of the closet space in the other bedrooms as well, so at some point I just roll my eyes and say enough is enough. No way she really uses all these clothes so don't whine about a closet....cull your stuff that you never wear and you'll be fine!

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chickadee
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by chickadee » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:21 pm

Well, someday you will have to sell, and if the closet space is really a problem, it will be for other potential buyers as well.

mouses
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by mouses » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:28 pm

No, no, no, no, no. More nice neighborhoods than one can imagine have been ruined by people building out as close to the lot lines as possible. Build a normal sized house so you don't blight the neighborhood and ruin all your neighbors views by having them see a monster house out of proportion to everything.

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Pajamas
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by Pajamas » Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:40 pm

Hogan773 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:33 pm
Reality is we COULD spend a bunch of money ripping out that bathroom and closing it off to the hall in order to get a walk in closet for wifey, but that would eliminate a bathroom that is very much used by my two younger kids (the oldest uses the bathroom attached to his room) and my view is that would be a huge waste of money. We have a 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bathroom house right now and spending a lot of money to LOSE a bathroom seems silly.
Agreed.
My wife has already co-opted some of the closet space in the other bedrooms as well, so at some point I just roll my eyes and say enough is enough. No way she really uses all these clothes so don't whine about a closet....cull your stuff that you never wear and you'll be fine!
There's the problem right there. You need to better utilize the space you do have. Consider hiring an organization expert to help your wife declutter and possibly redo the shelving and storage in the closets if needed. Probably boils down to too many clothes.

You might also consider hiring a landscape architect to redesign your yard with gardening in mind for your wife.

It's not how much space you have, but how you utilize it that's important. Your house is large, huge by most standards. You don't really need more space inside or outside. Besides, your children will eventually leave home and you can covert a bedroom into a closet and dressing room.

Hogan773
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by Hogan773 » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:53 am

Pajamas wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 5:40 pm
Hogan773 wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:33 pm
Reality is we COULD spend a bunch of money ripping out that bathroom and closing it off to the hall in order to get a walk in closet for wifey, but that would eliminate a bathroom that is very much used by my two younger kids (the oldest uses the bathroom attached to his room) and my view is that would be a huge waste of money. We have a 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bathroom house right now and spending a lot of money to LOSE a bathroom seems silly.
Agreed.
My wife has already co-opted some of the closet space in the other bedrooms as well, so at some point I just roll my eyes and say enough is enough. No way she really uses all these clothes so don't whine about a closet....cull your stuff that you never wear and you'll be fine!
There's the problem right there. You need to better utilize the space you do have. Consider hiring an organization expert to help your wife declutter and possibly redo the shelving and storage in the closets if needed. Probably boils down to too many clothes.

You might also consider hiring a landscape architect to redesign your yard with gardening in mind for your wife.

It's not how much space you have, but how you utilize it that's important. Your house is large, huge by most standards. You don't really need more space inside or outside. Besides, your children will eventually leave home and you can covert a bedroom into a closet and dressing room.
Agree Pajamas

I tell my wife this is really FWP (First World Problems) stuff. Boo hoo, you don't have a walk in "California Closet", you only have a normal closet with some Elfa shelving. Actually it is "walk in" because you can walk into it, but it isn't really "walk in" like its own room....

To be fair, I am implying that she complains all the time and she does not. We both are just aware that one of the few deficiencies in our house, in her mind, is the lack of a big walk in closet.

If I could get myself into a custom home on the larger lot and stay within bounds on cost I actually probably would spring for it. But that would mean the lot needs to be a couple hundred cheaper for what I would want to be "all in" on the house and that isn't likely to happen. I am always the guy looking for "THE DEAL" and when we bought our home, of the 10 we looked at, the one we chose was the nicest in term of fit-out (again the builder put a lot into it because it was his first solo home project) and was at the lowest end of a band of about $125K in prices so I didn't feel I was "overpaying". What I was wrestling with when this lot popped up was that feeling of "so what....live a little....overpay.....you'll earn it back in a few years and then so what....." Definitely has never been my style to overpay for anything, but when presented with the FOMO the mind can play tricks on you!

Nearly A Moose
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Re: Building a New Home (Talk me out of it!)

Post by Nearly A Moose » Thu Apr 26, 2018 11:59 am

chickadee wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 3:51 pm
1) Plant a square foot garden https://www.growveg.com/guides/planning ... le-garden/ Weeding in a real garden gets old fast.
2) Could you renovate to get a bigger closet? Downsize a bedroom that backs to the master?

My in laws bought a house with a big yard when they retired, so my FIL could have a nice sized garden and scratch his “farming” bug. Was probably a mistake, although the lot was pretty. When he passed, my MIL was loathe to move. So she had a huge lot w trees and their leaves to contend with. She was too frugal to pay someone to take care of it, so she was out there mowing and bagging leaves into her 80s with her arthritic hands, bad hip, and gimpy knee. Finally got her into a senior apartment at 83. What a relief.
Square foot gardens are actually really cool and relatively easy to maintain, especially compared to a designed flower garden or a row-crop style garden. There's an entire gardening sub-community devoted to this concept. I can attest that it works, even if you don't know what in the world you're doing. Similar concept works for potted gardens.
Pardon typos, I'm probably using my fat thumbs on a tiny phone.

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