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Old 08-26-2014, 01:28 PM
 
77 posts, read 125,237 times
Reputation: 42

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i am struggling to find a house in the falls church and mclean areas for < 1 million that meet my requirements and i'm wondering if i should consider the tear down and build route.

if a neighborhood already has several of these, i'd feel safe in terms of resale, but what if there are only very of these in the area i'm targeting? would the market price when it comes time to sell x years from now suffer if only surrounded by original older, smaller homes?

Also, the sq foot price you guys are citing - does this apply to the entire home including a finished basement? i'd want around 3,500 sq ft total spanning the three floors - basement, 1st, 2nd.
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Old 08-26-2014, 03:36 PM
 
109 posts, read 125,823 times
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Never pay by the sq. ft. Put everything on its own line item, and let them give you a price for each line item. HUD has a form where everything to build a house is listed in 36 seperate line items. I'd start with that, it's part of their 203k package

The key is you want to see how much they are charging you for the framing, how much for the foundation work, etc etc. If you pay x amount of dollars per square foot you'll never know how much it cost them to install the anything!

Ask me how I know this lol...
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Old 08-28-2014, 02:37 PM
 
77 posts, read 125,237 times
Reputation: 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by paulbunyan View Post
Never pay by the sq. ft. Put everything on its own line item, and let them give you a price for each line item. HUD has a form where everything to build a house is listed in 36 seperate line items. I'd start with that, it's part of their 203k package

The key is you want to see how much they are charging you for the framing, how much for the foundation work, etc etc. If you pay x amount of dollars per square foot you'll never know how much it cost them to install the anything!

Ask me how I know this lol...
how do you know this?
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:51 PM
 
109 posts, read 125,823 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nytimes703 View Post
how do you know this?


I just had a custom home built. I picked my own contractor, had my own property, hired an architect, etc etc

AND

I interviewed enough contractors to KNOW the square foot pricing is bull****. I was raised in the home building business and watched my dad write up proposals, contracts, etc. I know most of their tricks.

How much did that bathroom cost if you doing square foot pricing? Huh? You have to know how much for demo, labor, materials.

If someone looks at my 100 foot bathroom and gives me a price of $10 per square foot for basic and $45 for mid level you better believe he has padded his fees to make a nice profit.

Line item pricing is better because you know how much they charging you for materials, etc and if you think its too much then let the negotiations begin. If they charge by the square foot it is damn near impossible to negotiate anything because they will say they already included their costs, etc in that sq foot price so it is NON NEGOTIABLE.
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Old 08-28-2014, 03:56 PM
 
109 posts, read 125,823 times
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You wont find any teardowns in the City of Falls Church/Mclean. They all are already gone or too expensive. In 22041, which is Falls Church, but not Falls Church city there are some teardowns. Also Lake Barcroft is pretty nice and appears to be in your range without buying a teardown.

I like the gentrifying areas myself. You can always find a teardown there, fix it up and live in it or sell it to some young couple. Most of the teardowns in 22041 have huge lots too (Over 1/2 acre) since they were built in the early 1900s before everything got subdivided smaller.
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Old 08-29-2014, 02:16 PM
 
23 posts, read 24,512 times
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Finding out what builders charge by the square foot is a very useful bit of information. That does not mean that you will negotiate the contract price by that standard, but it basically gives you a means of comparing approximately where you will come out with the final contract price. I will repeat - EVERYTHING IS NEGOTIABLE. Any company who tells me otherwise will cause me to look elsewhere. You can even negotiate Wal-Mart prices if you buy enough quantity of an item or want delivery charges taken off, etc.

After you do your line-by-line pricing for the contract, you will find that ranking companies by their actual contract price will come very close to the ranking by price per s.f. That is why, as an initial matter, it is useful to know s.ft. prices. It saves you time. But if you want to negotiate a line item contract with each of the companies separately, be my guest. I think the usual suspects will come out as we have indicated, ANV, NDI, Classic Homes, Stanley Martin Homes, Reel Homes, and there are others.

The reason I point out that individual home builders are letting themselves in for becoming General Contractors is because every tear-down/rebuild homeowner I know, was surprised by all the stuff they didn't know before they signed the contract. All of a sudden they were inundated by hard deadlines, bills from sub-contractors, utility companies, county offices, tax authorities, building permit people, you name it. That is the kind of stuff that general contractors do every day. But if you have only done this once or twice in your life, it is a harrowing experience. Trust me. That is why I say "prepare to be a general contractor." I also do not say that general contractors should not be paid. To the contrary. It's a very tough job, and in hindsight, I would have been happy to pay a reasonable fee. The problem is that you don't know the ongoing business relationships that have existed between the general contractors and the subs, such that subs charge homeowners varying fees, based upon what they have to pay that general contractor. You can call it a kick-back or whatever, but I know how the game is played. When I saw what was happening, I just said "that' ok, I will hire the subs myself." So I saved $10 - $15K, but I paid dearly in time and aggravation.

Listen people. It is very do-able. You can do it. And you should do it if you have the time and do your research carefully. I am now sitting on $600K in equity after just 3 short years of building. You need to think about the timing of the real estate market too. No one knows, but the market may peak in 2017/2018, like it did in 2007. The close-in Northern Virginia market is somewhat immune from the impact of having older, non-renovated houses nearby. Choose a good design with curb appeal, and a popular, wide-open, floor plan that is not not based solely on your particular predilections. Think about metro (subway) access and walkable communities popular with young people.

Best of luck to you!
--Epic100
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Old 08-29-2014, 05:24 PM
 
617 posts, read 1,152,296 times
Reputation: 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by nytimes703 View Post
i am struggling to find a house in the falls church and mclean areas for < 1 million that meet my requirements and i'm wondering if i should consider the tear down and build route.

if a neighborhood already has several of these, i'd feel safe in terms of resale, but what if there are only very of these in the area i'm targeting? would the market price when it comes time to sell x years from now suffer if only surrounded by original older, smaller homes?

Also, the sq foot price you guys are citing - does this apply to the entire home including a finished basement? i'd want around 3,500 sq ft total spanning the three floors - basement, 1st, 2nd.
My father lives in the Falls Church/McLean areas and what PaulBunyan says is only half true. There are plenty of older homes that you can tear down, though he is correct that they are expensive and I have no idea how many are actually for sale.

But if that's where you buy (I'm assuming the 22043 area code) then believe me, it won't matter if you're surrounded by rebuilds or if the whole neighborhood is still older homes. You'll have plenty of value either way.
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Old 09-10-2014, 10:02 PM
 
2 posts, read 4,718 times
Reputation: 10
Default Don't use Reel Homes

Quote:
Originally Posted by hp0519 View Post
I used Reel-Homes but if I could re-do it, I'd go with someone else. Seems I may not be the only one who had difficulties. Check out Better Business Bureau (owner, phone, website match): [URL="http://www.bbb.org/washington-dc-eastern-pa/business-reviews/home-builders/reel-homes-llc-in-south-riding-va-170301796/"]Reel Homes LLC Review - Home Builders in South Riding, VA - BBB Business Review - BBB serving Metro Washington, DC and Eastern Pennsylvania[/URL]
I agree - we were not happy with Reel Homes either. Nightmare experience.
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