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  • #16
    Originally posted by MoneyMoth View Post

    i understand that and i also understand that a 10% overage when building a home is almost expected

    what i didn’t appreciate was how the charges were sprung on me two months before anticipated completion

    we have been asking for budget updates continuously and were reassured continuously that everything was on budget

    and then out of the blue, we are short $200k with no signatures from us to authorize these increases in spending

    i guess that’s not actionable though?
    One possible explanation that we know from our own construction experience is that the builder gets materials on 90-day credit from the various supply companies and what they get quoted initially changes price by the time they actually order them a month or two later. So when they get the invoice another month later they have no choice but to pass it on to you. Our doors went from 10K to 14K within a couple of months.

    With shipping delays from China causing shortages and increased prices plus huge increase in lumber costs ( my hotel builder friend told me that commercial 2 x 4 went from $1.89 or so a year ago to $5.20 and wood framing and metal framing were approaching parity). I think it is a bargain f you truly went from $1.5 to only $1.7M in this climate. Try to start building the same house now and I bet it will cost you $2.5M. If you can find a builder who is available.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Kamban View Post

      One possible explanation that we know from our own construction experience is that the builder gets materials on 90-day credit from the various supply companies and what they get quoted initially changes price by the time they actually order them a month or two later. So when they get the invoice another month later they have no choice but to pass it on to you. Our doors went from 10K to 14K within a couple of months.

      With shipping delays from China causing shortages and increased prices plus huge increase in lumber costs ( my hotel builder friend told me that commercial 2 x 4 went from $1.89 or so a year ago to $5.20 and wood framing and metal framing were approaching parity). I think it is a bargain f you truly went from $1.5 to only $1.7M in this climate. Try to start building the same house now and I bet it will cost you $2.5M. If you can find a builder who is available.

      Yes that 90 day credit was new to us too. Still, while the initial quote can change, I still expected an overall ballpark number from our builder and he still has trouble coming up with that number (which is where I thought he was fudging #s and receipts to screw me)

      We had a budget meeting and the excel spreadsheets he provided me had pencil scrawlings on it. I couldn't tell if he was really that stupid or just playing me for a fool. "Uhh buddy, just because you scrawl -$5000 in the column doesn't mean the chart will update itself." You would think having a pissed off client and having 10 days to prepare, the builder would have been more professional than to hand me printed incomplete excel sheets with handwriting on it...

      We were also very clear at the start of the build that we would not be paying a dollar more over the estimate. While I know that is unrealistic and we have saved more than enough to cover for the overage, we would have thought an organized and professional builder (I mean, they are a 3 generation family of builders advertising that they build luxury homes) would have a strict following of a budget sheet and if costs started to change, we would be alerted in real time as opposed to letting us know for the first time 6 weeks from completion

      You are also correct, building the same house now would cost a lot more (assuming we could even find an available builder). But I'm still highly irritated (both at the whole process and at myself for agreeing to do this in the first place knowing how impatient and paranoid I am)

      I've talked myself off the ledge from pursuing legal action (sounds like I wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on anyway) but I still plan on turning around and selling the home given the bitter taste the experience has left in my mouth

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      • #18
        Originally posted by MoneyMoth View Post


        Yes that 90 day credit was new to us too. Still, while the initial quote can change, I still expected an overall ballpark number from our builder and he still has trouble coming up with that number (which is where I thought he was fudging #s and receipts to screw me)

        We had a budget meeting and the excel spreadsheets he provided me had pencil scrawlings on it. I couldn't tell if he was really that stupid or just playing me for a fool. "Uhh buddy, just because you scrawl -$5000 in the column doesn't mean the chart will update itself." You would think having a pissed off client and having 10 days to prepare, the builder would have been more professional than to hand me printed incomplete excel sheets with handwriting on it...

        We were also very clear at the start of the build that we would not be paying a dollar more over the estimate. While I know that is unrealistic and we have saved more than enough to cover for the overage, we would have thought an organized and professional builder (I mean, they are a 3 generation family of builders advertising that they build luxury homes) would have a strict following of a budget sheet and if costs started to change, we would be alerted in real time as opposed to letting us know for the first time 6 weeks from completion

        You are also correct, building the same house now would cost a lot more (assuming we could even find an available builder). But I'm still highly irritated (both at the whole process and at myself for agreeing to do this in the first place knowing how impatient and paranoid I am)

        I've talked myself off the ledge from pursuing legal action (sounds like I wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on anyway) but I still plan on turning around and selling the home given the bitter taste the experience has left in my mouth
        If you had to do it over again, would you still go builder route with a better contract or just buy a house already on the market and then upgrade as you go along? Was this house always going to be a flip?

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        • #19
          Originally posted by MoneyMoth View Post


          I've talked myself off the ledge from pursuing legal action (sounds like I wouldn't have much of a leg to stand on anyway) but I still plan on turning around and selling the home given the bitter taste the experience has left in my mouth
          I agree with all you have said. Have a meeting and ask him who that -$5000 and + %5000 and all those numbers come up. If there is any issue, ask him to show invoices. But be prepared to meet half way and end amicably.

          Unless you are looking for a profit as the main motive, do not sell the house just because of all the bitter taste in the mouth. This occurs with almost all custom homes, including ours. We were so upset with the original builder not even returning my calls or texts. His last text was I am in a meeting and will call you back. We had so much delays after a rapid work of grading, footing and framing. Them it came to a crawl and stopped for two months. With the sub builder we could finally complete it.

          But now 11 months later we love it and feel it was well worth it. We have plenty of room. Great acreage. Well insulated. Every one comments on how nice it is.

          If you sell and try to buy a finished home you will always compare it to your custom home.So sell it only if the significant profit is the only motive.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by billy View Post

            If you had to do it over again, would you still go builder route with a better contract or just buy a house already on the market and then upgrade as you go along? Was this house always going to be a flip?
            If I could do it all over again, I would have put my foot down when my wife wanted to move

            We have a great (albeit modest) paid off home that is way bigger (3000 sq ft) than we need. Just because we could afford a nicer home doesn't mean a nicer home would make me happier. As I have learned the hard way, a nicer home has made me significantly unhappier and I'm trying to be more cognizant of not letting that unhappiness filter into work and at home.

            If I had to move, I would buy a house that was already on the market and live with it (I am fortunately not picky at all after hopping from grungy apartment to grungy apartment throughout training. I think I would find more happiness adapting my simple lifestyle into a pre-existing house rather than dealing with the headaches of custom building a home or renovating/upgrading a home)

            The house was meant to be our "forever" home and not a flip but since we have an offer for $4.3M (actually multiple, and the house is not complete yet), we plan to let it go (total cost is $1.7M now for the house, $1M for the land, and lord knows how many brain cells over the last 2 years)

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Kamban View Post

              I agree with all you have said. Have a meeting and ask him who that -$5000 and + %5000 and all those numbers come up. If there is any issue, ask him to show invoices. But be prepared to meet half way and end amicably.

              Unless you are looking for a profit as the main motive, do not sell the house just because of all the bitter taste in the mouth. This occurs with almost all custom homes, including ours. We were so upset with the original builder not even returning my calls or texts. His last text was I am in a meeting and will call you back. We had so much delays after a rapid work of grading, footing and framing. Them it came to a crawl and stopped for two months. With the sub builder we could finally complete it.

              But now 11 months later we love it and feel it was well worth it. We have plenty of room. Great acreage. Well insulated. Every one comments on how nice it is.

              If you sell and try to buy a finished home you will always compare it to your custom home.So sell it only if the significant profit is the only motive.
              Thank you again for the advice, that is good to hear

              I know my wife who has been upbeat and gungho throughout the whole process and only recently soured on the house will be glad to hear this. I do see her comparing any future home to this custom home that she has spent to much time designing.

              I think being able to sell for an unanticipated large profit will make it easier for her to let it go

              After shopping for new homes and then deciding to build a home, I have found happiness was where I was living all along

              I am glad to hear you are enjoying your new house!

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