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Old 07-28-2019, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Indiana
79 posts, read 69,517 times
Reputation: 64

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My husband and I have completely gutted and remodeled 6 homes over the years. It's almost like deciding to have more children- you forget how terrible it is and then you think it's a good idea to give it another go....

We've had our most recent one done for about a year and we've kept our eyes peeled since then for another house to gut. However, we just can't find one that has the not-so-changeable features we want (location, lot size, general square footage). I really like our house now except I like cars. We have a 3 car garage but that leaves our daily drivers in the driveway. My HOA won't allow a building. I can't find a home in Plainfield with the right lot with a house at the right price to do a major reno and not be upside down in equity. That has us considering building. I'd love to do a design with the flexibility of not having to work with an existing footprint.

HOWEVER- I don't want a contractor to do the part I enjoy most- the finishes. We're very handy and really enjoy tiling, installing hardwood, installing cabinets, and the whole nine yards. I don't want a contractor to do this and have limited options on what I can install. I want to pick out unique pieces.

Is there a builder in the Indy area that any of you has dealt with who will shell the home, finish the exterior, windows, drywall, millwork, and rough in plumbing? I'd like to do myself (or sub out in a pinch) all flooring, cabinets, countertops, paint, bath fixtures, closets, lighting.
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Old 07-28-2019, 08:43 PM
 
Location: Not the end of the Earth, but I can see it from here
4,399 posts, read 4,646,464 times
Reputation: 4574
Talk to your lender/mortgage broker. They will probably know of builders who act as the GC for the owners.

I've done this a number of times. It's tough to find a builder who will work with you, but when you do it's a heck of a way to get a far better house than you could afford or want, and it also ends up giving you instant equity.

RM
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Old 07-30-2019, 04:02 PM
 
Location: Central Indiana/Indy metro area
1,620 posts, read 2,573,748 times
Reputation: 1641
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebug_77 View Post
Is there a builder in the Indy area that any of you has dealt with who will shell the home, finish the exterior, windows, drywall, millwork, and rough in plumbing? I'd like to do myself (or sub out in a pinch) all flooring, cabinets, countertops, paint, bath fixtures, closets, lighting.
There are many, many custom builders in the metro area. All you have to do is tell them you'll be working as their sub for all the stuff you want to do. My guess is that the issue will be the contract and how funding will be set-up. If a building is to provide you with a "finished" home in a specified time, they are going to have to word a contract that basically spells out what they are responsible for and what you are responsible for.

That being said, you can always just work as your own general contractor. There are ways to find out who the good sub-contractors are for whatever job you want. For example, our basement and foundation was subbed out to Weber Concrete. That is who I wanted because when I was just out driving looking at newer homes, a lot of the top custom builders were using Weber for the foundations.

I think your hardest part would be funding if you acted as your own GC. Unless you have a business with solid proof of your home remodel/reconstruction work, some lenders likely won't loan to you because they won't know if you have the knowledge to really make a solid home that won't be falling apart in two years.

I'd try to find a builder who will understand what you want to do and just maybe ask them for specific quotes for x work and their fee. Then you'd sign off on the 75% completed house and then be responsible for finishing it out and obtaining an occupancy permit. In fact, whatever contract you sign will likely have a cause in there that the builder isn't responsible for the home not passing a county occupancy inspection.
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Old 07-31-2019, 12:15 AM
 
Location: SoCal, but itching to relocate
1,195 posts, read 547,976 times
Reputation: 1708
Quote:
Originally Posted by junebug_77 View Post
Is there a builder in the Indy area that any of you has dealt with who will shell the home, finish the exterior, windows, drywall, millwork, and rough in plumbing? I'd like to do myself (or sub out in a pinch) all flooring, cabinets, countertops, paint, bath fixtures, closets, lighting.
My husband and I are following this thread with great interest!

One thing that did occur to me after reading the above replies is whether you'd be able to find a builder as you described and just have them put in the cheapest, most basic, fewest finishes possible in order to pass muster. Even though you'd have to demo that stuff and replace with your own finishes, I could see where that might be cheaper and/or more convenient than jumping through all kinds of hoops with financing and permits on what could be considered an "incomplete" home.
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Old 07-31-2019, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Wyoming
9,728 posts, read 18,794,477 times
Reputation: 14691
I know nothing about Indy, but I did sell a new house to a guy years ago who did much of the work. After months of construction by the contractor and buyer, they hated each other and probably weren't too happy with me, the broker, either.

The topic you failed to mention, and nobody has asked about, is this a cash purchase? Close to it? Because a bank isn't usually going to be able to close on financing for an unfinished home. That was the major problem with the house I sold. The contractor wanted his money, i.e., he was in a hurry to close. Meanwhile, the buyer only had so much time to work on the house, as he had a 48-hour/week job.

I didn't know going into the closing whether we'd close the deal or not! We finally did, but only after a few hours of negotiations during the closing. Yeah, we closed on it, but I'd never have sold another house that way, I'm pretty sure the builder wouldn't have either, and I doubt the buyer would have ever gone through a purchase like that again.

We had two main problems with the deal. 1: Rather than going full steam ahead on the home until finished, the builder constantly had to pull a crew off of it and move them to another house while he waited for the buyer to do his part. 2: The purchaser had a full-time job that came first. Although he may have wanted to work on the house more, it just wasn't possible while he was working 12-hour days at his job.

There was one other major problem: the construction loan. Naturally the builder wanted to finish the house and get out from under the loan, but he couldn't do that until the buyer did his part. For me, it was an experiment that didn't go well, at least not well enough that I'd have ever repeated it. I'm sure there are ways to finance a construction loan that might be fine for both builder and buyer, but it's important enough to look into ahead of time. Mine worked out in the end, but it was touch and go right up to the last minute.
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Old 08-17-2019, 05:06 PM
 
Location: Indiana
79 posts, read 69,517 times
Reputation: 64
Good points on the financing. While we'd have the cash for over half of it, we'd still need to finance some. We'll have to do some research to see if there are some options around it.
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