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Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-27-2013, 5:51 AM Reply   
I know it sounds like a weird question but my wife and I are at the point where spend the 3,000 dollars to buy the house plans we love and move forward with getting the land and the house plans appraised. Or take the down payment we've saved up and buy a house. I know its a buyers market but I've been looking for months and nothing really comes close to what we want. And buy the time we renovate it we would be at the same price as the house we could have built. Have any of you built a house and then later said my money would have been spent if I would have just bought a house instead. Its a big decision and we both keep flip flopping.
Old    Rob Foster (surfdoggy)      Join Date: Dec 2009       03-27-2013, 6:29 AM Reply   
Absolutely no regrets on building what we wanted. One of the most fun things we have done was watching the progress as the house we wanted came up out of the ground and became a reality. If you can't yet afford to build what you want, it might make sense to buy and renovate in the area. One would hope that we are at the bottom of the real estate market in most areas, and that you could make some money when you sell in a couple of years, or at least lock in with any increases in the local real estate. Two thoughts on buying plans - 1) you might meet with a couple builders in your area, show them the information on the plans you are contemplating buying, and ask them what they could do for you in terms of developing plans if you hired them to build it (most builders have someone they can use to generate plans, and it might save you some money; 2) don't know if you are looking at building on a lake, but many stock plans are heavily focused on the street side of the house. At a lake, you live on the opposite side of the house, so you want more windows, porches, details, etc on that side. Make sure the plans you buy fit the lot you are going to put them on, or that they can be modified easily to really work with the lot.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-27-2013, 6:39 AM Reply   
No lake maybe one day. Here are the plans of what we want to build, just remember in the pic they are using the highest end of materials. We already have a builder that we really trust but it seems he just wants us to buy the plans from where I found the house. What kills me is I draw on CAD 8 hours a day almost every day and looking at the floor plan it wouldn't take me any time to draw it but I draw furniture and don't know all the specs and codes to draw a house.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-27-2013, 7:19 AM Reply   
Forgot to add the link of the house!

http://www.architecturaldesigns.com/...an-15651ge.asp
Old    John Anderson (fly135)      Join Date: Jun 2004       03-27-2013, 8:14 AM Reply   
Awesome looking house. I built my house 25 years ago. It was on a pie shaped lakefront lot and not wide enough for the typical plan. So I drew up my own design, then my builder had them professionally redrawn. I worked as a draftsman on house plans in my teens but it was easier to just have them professionally drawn since you have to be up to date with the codes.
Old    Dave (bcrider)      Join Date: Apr 2006       03-27-2013, 8:56 AM Reply   
Before you buy the plans I would find the property you want to live on and then have a house built according to that land. Further to what Rob said. Where we have our summer house so many people just bought stock plans made for regular old neighborhoods and didn't take in to account where the winds come from, where the view is, where the sun tracks across, and so on. There are houses where the kitchen sink stares at a rock wall when behind them is a great view of the lake. Your floor plan needs to be set around the land and take it in to account. My buddy also designs custom log and timber frame homes. It's the number one mistake he says he see's all of the time. He designed my families home. www.streamlinedesign.ca
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-27-2013, 10:26 AM Reply   
We found four acres in a really good location and a price I could live with. Its beautiful land that's already been perked for a 4 bedroom house and It seems like it was made for this house with a rocky creek at the back of the property that the back deck could look over. I guess we are just gun shy of what it might appraise for in the final appraisal because we are putting all our money in to the construction loan I would hate to go into the last closing and the bank tell us we need another 15,000 that we would have. After the house was built.
Old    MCXSTAR (snork)      Join Date: Jun 2007       03-27-2013, 7:29 PM Reply   
its all about the location
Old    Nicolas Kohler (monkey_butt)      Join Date: Sep 2011       03-27-2013, 9:34 PM Reply   
you can get those plans/your own design drawn up by an architect for about the same amount. If you buy decent software and as you say you're familiar with CAD you can easily draw up plans by yourself as long as the lot you intend to build on is flat. I'm struggling with drawing up our house because the lot slopes down to the lake and I need a split level design) but the software does a pretty good job (google chief architect - various versions out there - I use home designer pro).

you'll get pretty good drawings but I doubt that you could built a house from it w/o the help of an architect - main reason being that load calculations etc. aren't part of it. If the builder just wants to buy the plans - that's not necessarily a bad idea b/c he will get everything he needs from those as they are complete and you will be able to submit those for your permits etc.

but from your last statement I would go to the bank and really assess what you can qualify for based on the money you put up. Then I would literally deduct a chunk of money from the budget and equally from what you put up as down payment - so you have a rain weather fund. The reason I'm saying this is: I'm renovating an existing house and I'll try to pay as I go. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't - so I have a HELOC to get me over these bumps but I prefer not to use it. However the bumps do happen and instead of coming to a full stop I'm able to continue. Keeping a similar approach keeps you safe during and at the end of the process and you're able to sleep - you won't get much during the construction anyway and buy a few pair of boots to stomp around the site ...

but what Dave said is also very important: If you see the plans you have to be able to see yourself in it/walking thru it. If you can't then hope that the architect/builder does - otherwise you still stare at rocks because you won't recognize mistakes until it's built and you live in it. I'm remodeling and changing floor plans and I can envision it but my wife can't. Bad part is - I can't draw but at least we have the house already and I'm able to walk/show and mark walls what's going to happen so it becomes more tangible ...

Good luck - it will be an interesting and rewarding project regardless!
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       03-28-2013, 8:46 AM Reply   
A) Bank orders the appraisal based off the plans and builder estimates. Don't do it yourself or you will waist money. The bank cannot accept an outside appraisal. The construction loan appraisal and the final are one in the same. The plans and estimates get appraised "subject to completion" and once the home is complete, the appraiser goes back out and gives a completion certificate. Overruns on costs are what you have to look out for.
B) I clicked on the link and you can print those plans without paying for them. Your builder should be able to fill in the details if he knows what he is doing.
Old    David Langston (rdlangston13)      Join Date: Feb 2011       03-30-2013, 8:27 AM Reply   
We are doing the same thing, we looked all over the area and found a nice house for a decent price but it was what we wanted in terms of light fixtures, kitchen cabinets/ counter tops ect and it was backed up to a busy street with no backyard. So we decided to spend a little more as build on a lot that backs up to a bayou so we won't have the noise of the street and we are getting all the colors and light fixtures just how we want them and it comes out to about the same it would be if we bought the first house and made the changes ourself. Closed on the construction loan this week and the house appraised for about 10 grand more than we are paying to have it built.


Sent from my iPhone
Old    Boarder 42 (jhartt3)      Join Date: Jan 2012       03-30-2013, 8:53 AM Reply   
how much are they quoting to build that ... i like that house a lot
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       03-31-2013, 12:51 PM Reply   
We where quoted about 110 a square foot the some really nice updates on it. So about 320,000 built.
Old    Boarder 42 (jhartt3)      Join Date: Jan 2012       03-31-2013, 5:53 PM Reply   
and that includes a finished or unfinished basement??
Old    Brandon Underwood (bwood357)      Join Date: Mar 2013       03-31-2013, 7:52 PM Reply   
man you got to build that! that house would be way over 320K in my area!! i dont know anyone who regreted building. maybe just regrets on cutting stuff out to save a little and when it was done wishing they hadnt. buy the ones you live in, build the one youll die in....i could die in that house.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-01-2013, 6:19 AM Reply   
I forgot that's with out the basement to add the unfinished basement it would be 25,000 more.
Old    Paul (psudy)      Join Date: Dec 2003       04-01-2013, 7:15 AM Reply   
Spend the 25K. You can always finish it later.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-04-2013, 9:12 AM Reply   
We built and love it.. Will only build moving forward.

Add a third stall unless you will have out buildings.
Old    C.I.E..... Evan (guido)      Join Date: Jul 2002       04-04-2013, 10:03 PM Reply   
Win!!!! Build it.
Old    Danny Smylie (smylie)      Join Date: Jun 2002       04-05-2013, 10:00 AM Reply   
How is that house only $320,000? That's about a million dollar house up here in Wisconsin.
Old    Tim (srock)      Join Date: Mar 2002       04-09-2013, 10:56 AM Reply   
Your not going to buy and online set of plans and build it in Florida without both an Architect and Engineer. I would hire a local Architect or a builder to take care of the drawings. Use the free stuff you received as a starting point to communicate your desires. I hate to use square footage pricing blindly. It takes no site issues or upgraded finishes into account.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-09-2013, 1:34 PM Reply   
We had a builder look at the plans and give us an official quote and walk the land we where going to buy.

BUT

After looking at every think I think we are just going to buy a house right now for a couple reasons. Then try to buy some land and pay it off before we build that house.

reasons:

1. The down payment, most construction loan require 80% down which would be 70,000 that we don't have but we found away around that with a private investor that would front the money for the construction loan with only half down for the cost of the land which we do have 25,000. but that's all we have LOL. He gets 7% on the construction loan which adds back 21,000 on a 350,000 dollar house. So where really not putting down that much. We would really be relying on that final appraisal to have enough equity so we wouldn't have to put more money down that we don't have for the final loan.

2. We where already stretching or budget to build the one story version and I really wanted a unfinished basement and maybe an unfinished boat house

3. We don't need to be in our dream house right now. I just turned 31 and my wife is only 25. No need to really tie our self's down on that house yet we don't even have kids.

4. Just trying to be smart about it. We would really have to watch our money for the next year while its being built and it might put a strain on us as couple.

5. We've gone to some open house and realized some of these house are spectacular that I did think I would like at all. And I think I could get a hell of a deal on some of them.

We've talked and prayed about it and we just realized its in our best interest to buy.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       04-09-2013, 2:10 PM Reply   
1. The down payment, most construction loan require 80% down which would be 70,000 that we don't have but we found away around that with a private investor that would front the money for the construction loan with only half down for the cost of the land which we do have 25,000. but that's all we have LOL. He gets 7% on the construction loan which adds back 21,000 on a 350,000 dollar house. So where really not putting down that much. We would really be relying on that final appraisal to have enough equity so we wouldn't have to put more money down that we don't have for the final loan.



where did you find this person? I would luv to loan out the money with that return with that kind of collateral.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-09-2013, 6:18 PM Reply   
The builder is friends with a guy that does this all the time and he wins twic because in the contract the builder has to use his company to supply the lumber and what every else he sell (his is competitive with his prices and most biliulders around here use his company anyway so not that big of a deal). The old guy has more money than he can spend, I heard at one time his family was the largest land owners in NC.
Old    Adam (azeus17)      Join Date: Feb 2010       04-18-2013, 7:33 AM Reply   
Good choice on being finacial responsible. Although that house is awesome (my wife and I picked out the exact same one when we were looking at building), the novelty would wear off at some point and you would still be stuck with the large payment. When we bought our home on the lake, we were approved for much more, but decided the smaller, more modest home had everything we needed and got us on the lake. So happy we did not take on that extra debt. We can now pay an extra payment every year and save a ton of interest in the long run.
Old    J D (jeff_mn)      Join Date: Jul 2009       04-18-2013, 7:41 AM Reply   
Quote:
Originally Posted by jonblarc7 View Post
We had a builder look at the plans and give us an official quote and walk the land we where going to buy.

BUT

After looking at every think I think we are just going to buy a house right now for a couple reasons. Then try to buy some land and pay it off before we build that house.

reasons:

1. The down payment, most construction loan require 80% down which would be 70,000 that we don't have but we found away around that with a private investor that would front the money for the construction loan with only half down for the cost of the land which we do have 25,000. but that's all we have LOL. He gets 7% on the construction loan which adds back 21,000 on a 350,000 dollar house. So where really not putting down that much. We would really be relying on that final appraisal to have enough equity so we wouldn't have to put more money down that we don't have for the final loan.

2. We where already stretching or budget to build the one story version and I really wanted a unfinished basement and maybe an unfinished boat house

3. We don't need to be in our dream house right now. I just turned 31 and my wife is only 25. No need to really tie our self's down on that house yet we don't even have kids.

4. Just trying to be smart about it. We would really have to watch our money for the next year while its being built and it might put a strain on us as couple.

5. We've gone to some open house and realized some of these house are spectacular that I did think I would like at all. And I think I could get a hell of a deal on some of them.

We've talked and prayed about it and we just realized its in our best interest to buy.

lol @ all of this mess.
Old    Eric (DenverRider)      Join Date: Feb 2013       04-18-2013, 8:00 AM Reply   
If it's not on a lake then save up (invest) and wait until you can afford to build or buy on a lake. Lake property that you can ride is rare here like most places and it always dumbfounds me when I hear about someone who has a million dollar house built on a property with nothing special around it when you can get a 450K property here with a private boating lake all day long. The house is the easy part and you can build it anywhere. The location is what gives that house real value that will last into the future. Just ask anyone who built a nice new house in what eventually became the ghetto or so far away from the center of town that gas prices caused those new houses' values to drop like a rock. If there is nothing special about your property then the value of your house is based solely on the number of buyers and the inventory of houses for sale. You don't want to rely on that.
Old    Adam Curtis (acurtis_ttu)      Join Date: May 2004       04-18-2013, 8:37 AM Reply   
^^^ I lost money ( aboout $40k) when I sold my lake house last year ( I bought in 2005).
Old    Terry Redfearn (TerryR)      Join Date: Aug 2010       04-21-2013, 7:03 AM Reply   
our local real estate has gone up about 20% this year.
Old    Jason Smith (snowslider76)      Join Date: Mar 2002       04-22-2013, 9:03 PM Reply   
So much wrong in this thread!!

First you can not get plans drawn up by an architect for the same price as you can buy them online. For one an actual architect charges based on a percentage of total building cost not square footage. These plans are priced about right typically a drafting firm will charge about a buck a square foot. However you are always better to work with a local firm rather then buy online. You can bring plans like this into a firm, they will sketch them up for review and then allow you to make some changes. They won't let you modify until the end of time but they will allow for some mods.

No way this house can be built for $110 a square foot, for sure not as pictured in the plans. Not sure what takeoff software this builder is using but the gable end room has 25k in windows and trim work alone, master bath is probably 50k too. I've never built anywhere besides MN, I know NC it's a little cheaper to build because of 2x4 framing, less code on R values on walls and windows and some other stuff but it really can't cut the price down that much.

The private investor thing sounds like a crock of bs from the builder, when I built houses I took $10k in escrow from the client for a show of good faith. I took out the construction loan myself, I was the builder this was one reason I was hired. What sense would it make to have my client set up construction draws with the bank they know nothing about. I know not all builders do it that way but as a consumer you should know that is part of what keeps them on schedule is paying interest on the hard money.

I think you might have dodged a bullet by not working with this builder.
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       04-23-2013, 12:02 PM Reply   
I agree with you just to many things were not adding up and that's way to much money to risk and it not come out the way we wanted it. Our plan now it to find a good deal on a house that is still real nice just not our dream house to turn around in 4 or 5 years. Also we are going ahead and buying some land in the next year where we want and pay it off then build our dream house.
Old    Rob (DealsGapCobra)      Join Date: May 2010       05-11-2013, 5:00 AM Reply   
Land first, then house plans. It really is nice having just what you want but I let my costs run away with upgrades...now
I am selling and will loose a ton of money. Turns out, most people don't want a large garage with a 9' door for a boat with a tower...what is wrong with the world?
Old    BLAIR BARHAM (jonblarc7)      Join Date: Jul 2006       05-13-2013, 7:04 AM Reply   
Just a-little update we found this house and the owners accepted our offer yesterday. I doesn't have all the land I wanted at .80 of an acre but it does have the location we wanted. We were able to get it well under the budget of the house were going to build. It came out to be something like 77$ sqft. with 4200 sqft. and we got them to add in closing, two nice refrigerators (it has a second kitchen in the basement) and the lot that was adjacent to theirs that they owned. We both love this house and said if we are able to, we will still try to build one day but if this is our for ever house that would be just fine.

P.S. The garage door closest to the camera is 9 ft. wide by 8 ft. and its deep enough for two cars. So my 24V probable won't fit but a new smaller boat might . For now it will go behind the house where there is a parking spot that is slightly under the deck.
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