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Build vs Buy Existing House


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Well, some of you may remember that we have land in the mountains of NC that we plan(ed) on building our retirement home on. We already have a Morton Building with both storage for our RV as well as an efficiency on the side. With our move to SC we are now only a little over 3 hours form the property and find we spend ever second or third weekend there.

I have always figured that building would be at least $125 sq ft (low end) to who knows where on the high end. Both the wife & I have a condition which causes us to "make it bigger", like well we can add a few feet to the master bedroom, how about a bigger family room, we could put a gym over here..... I think you get the picture.

A friend has suggested looking at existing houses as prices are still way down in the mountains. The is a house about 1.5 miles from our property (same road/same creek) that looks interesting. Nice fit/finish - not custom, but upper end builder quality. The floorplan seems to work for us and I can't get over how much it appears we can save to buy existing.

If we bought it we would keep the existing property as both an offsite guest house and our own private campground on the creek. I have extended water & electric and have a nice drive so we can get the camper there.

So, what am I missing?

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Retirement? What is that?

That's when every day is Saturday.

That's not a good thing-I work most Saturdays. Maybe I need to move to North Carolina and buy a place to live in the Mountains. If I retire anytime soon and stay around here I will only be able to afford an "Out" house (and it would probably need to be renovated!).

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Buy existing and you can see what you'd get with the money still in your hands.

Build from scratch and you don't get to see it until your money is all spent.

My framing team in Atlanta once got a visit from the future homeowner of the house that we were half done framing up. After meeting with him, the boss came back all nervous saying the buyer was livid and complained about the differences between the house he bought and what we were building.

A blueprint has 2 dimensions, house has 3.

Marc

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Everyone brings their own ideas to every project, so it's impossible to speculate on which path is better for you. Some people can't visualize so they need to have something to start with. Others like a clean slate.

If I had the land, dough, and fortitude to put it all together, there's no way I'd be buying existing. I would pull all the amazing simple and accessible technology that my dollar would buy and build myself some variation of a styrofoam cooler sheathed in steel, all on one level, oriented to sunshine, radiant floor heat, real kitchen not designer conception of kitchen, etc., etc. Sorta Dwell ethic. If one's tastes tend toward traditional, I'd figure out a traditional look approach but with the same underlying design ethic.

That dream precludes the proclivity for making everything bigger, and therefore pricing oneself out of elegant design in favor of square footage.

Never understood the fever for square footage.

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If I had the land, dough, and fortitude to put it all together, there's no way I'd be buying existing. I would pull all the amazing simple and accessible technology that my dollar would buy and build myself some variation of a styrofoam cooler sheathed in steel, all on one level, oriented to sunshine, radiant floor heat, real kitchen not designer conception of kitchen, etc., etc. Sorta Dwell ethic. If one's tastes tend toward traditional, I'd figure out a traditional look approach but with the same underlying design ethic.

That dream precludes the proclivity for making everything bigger, and therefore pricing oneself out of elegant design in favor of square footage.

I'll bet you'd have hired Howard Roark.

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Property tax. You are missing the tax on this 3rd piece, when you buy it and every year after.

My dream home is smaller and warmer with a sunny exposure.

Maybe you could buy a nice house and have it moved to your property. That way you are not paying property tax on 3 locations.

I will post pics to illustrate.

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I stopped to see what was holding this house from rolling down the pretty steep driveway. Two big chains and two big trees.

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Well, as an update...

We went and looked at the house a second time and decided that it would fit our lifestyle nicely. It is nice that they constructed it like I wanted paying attention to things like no wood on exterior (all Hardi or PVC) or the whole house electrical transfer switch.

We made what I consider a low-ball, but not insulting offer. They must finally be ready to sell because they countered at only $5,000 above our offer.

The nice thing is that now I get another large shop[:-monkeyd

House

front.jpg

Family Room

family.jpg

Shop/detached garage

garage.jpg

Creek View

creek.jpg

I had to hustle to find an inspector, but found one and we went through the house a couple of days ago. The inspector kept looking at me funny as I was able to finish his sentences as he started to point out things he found. You all have taught me a lot.

The worst things found were no kick out flashings and the gutters are overflowing and keeping one wall of the crawlspace very wet.

Thanks for the education!!

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Gorgeous home!

TIJ has that effect on its members. Who knows...you might end up meeting that inspector again, this time as his competition.

Marc

Thanks

I can say as I followed him around I'm sure I don't want to get into this business. The level of knowledge needed is amazing and I take my hat off to all of you. As an example I had never heard of the Zurn Pex Plumbing Liability Litigation Settlement. The house was built during the correct time period for the faulty fittings but he could find no leaks at any visible fittings.

I'm not sure he figured I would follow him everywhere until we got to the attic and the crawlspace. I was right there with him, but I know I don;t want to do that every day[:-crazy]

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