Hi everyone! Talk about throwing a wrench into things, listen to this! My husband and I are just about ready to start building a home when our realtor called about a property we just had to see. Here are the two scenarios, please let me know which you would choose.
Build your dream home, top to bottom exactly how you would like it on 2 to 3 wooded acres in a lovely housing development. Most lots in this area are a minimum 2.5 acres and go up to 6 I believe. The houses are all beautiful and it's only 15 minutes to work.
Buy an existing home that's 22 years old on 12 private, dreamy, wooded acres with a huge pond. The house is designed very well and has huge windows everywhere, it's beautiful, however, it needs work. I don't mean a roof, furnace, but if we purchased it, I'd want to have the entire inside painted and different floors put in. That is a must before moving in. There are alot of other things that need to be done and it's not that they're in deplorable condition, it's all a matter of taste. For instance, the master bath has a tiny, stand alone shower and the floors and half way up the walls is black and white block tile and cheap, black cabinetry. The entire master bath needs to be done as well as the spare bath because (barf) it has mint colored toilet, sink and tub/shower accented by a lovely (joking) peach vanity with horrible wallpaper. There are 3 fireplaces in the house which are all nice, but have dated tile so I'd have to replace that as well as it has the ugliest banister and spindles I've ever seen in a home, it looks more like something you would see on a porch! But besides that, lol, the house truly is beautiful and unique. It's large, has windows everywhere with a balcony off the bedroom and 2 other decks on the house. The outside of the house is beautiful. I could live with moving in with fresh paint and floors and the other projects would gradually have to be done one at a time. The property this house is on just never comes along like this in the area we like.
So, do we build our own house with everything we want on 2.5 wooded acres? Of course we would love it, but we would always wonder about the property that got away OR do we buy the house with the unbelievable dream property and do the upgrades gradually? We truly hate the thought of doing upgrades again, I can only imagine the cost of totally redoing the 2 bathrooms, but ugh, I keep coming back to that property!
I will attach some pics below on a new, added post as a reply. I'd appreciate your thoughts. Thank you!
I'm trying to post more than one pic, but I think I may have to do all separate replies sorry
living room looking down from stairs
family room. this is my fav room
this is my fav room, the family room, it's huge and love the windows
Another pic of family room
back of house
pulling onto the property
again, pulling up to the house
deck off living room
another view of living room, which is the first room you see when you walk in the front door
If we built, the house would be kind of like this, I couldn't find the exact house or property.
Wanted to also mention, in case anyone curious, to buy the house, it would cost us probably $60,000 less than building/buying the lot, however, I am guesstimating that doing 2 bathrooms, flooring and painting entire 3,500 sq ft house, redoing tile on 3 fireplaces and some upgrades to the kitchen and a central air unit will cost probably aruond $75 to $100K, does that sound about right?
I get so confused when I think of both. I love, love the thought of a brand new house with everything we've ever wanted, but my gosh, that property is almost a once in a lifetime property and with time, stress and money, could be everything we wanted inside.
Ok, now for the bad pics. As you will see, the bathroom needs a total redo, but it's clean and livable until we do. The kitchen, I don't know what they were thinking with that wall color with the rest of it. To start, I'd change the wall color and backsplash and eventually do the rest. The master bedroom needs that awful green tile changed out and the stairs, OMG, how can I give those a quick fix if we bought until they can be totally replaced!
It is always a choice for an individual, when it comes to building new and remodeling existing.
Your pluses on new are obvious as you are close to work, standard building practices for now (rather than 20 years ago) as far as insulation and furnace air conditioning efficiency, lovely lot and such. There are a few immediate expenses with new (like window coverings, that may be usable in existing/preowned homes). Builders only supply minimal towel racks in baths for example, but that is easy to remedy.
Are you the type who loves to deal with contractors on redoing all you plan for the older home? And for several years...if you do all the changes in stages. Not many of us like to live in a construction site (or live with contractor crews), and there are always surprises in the projects,,,not so many of them good.
So unless the location and price of the existing home is really attractive over the new, I would suggest leaning toward your new home building plans. Just an opinion based on information given.
Is this a joke?
THOSE are the "bad" pics?
I'd give anything for that bathroom (remember I am the black and white lady) and the other rooms have great potential -- yes, those that you hate. They simply need a little tweaking and change of paint etc. Kitchen needs an update is all.
The older house has charm, dignity, class and uniqueness.
A no brainer for me.This message has been edited. Last edited by: arepo,
LOVE the existing house .. charm and character, and don't forget "contingent upon home inspection."This message has been edited. Last edited by: real estate lady,
Darn it! My post disappeared.
Anyhoo, what I said was location, location, location! You can always make it your own and it's a beautiful house and doesn't appear to need that much work. I can imagine sitting on that deck at the pond feeding the ducks.
Buy the house!
arepo, I'm a contemporary with a touch of rustic kind of person. So no, I'm not kidding, to me that black and white bathroom is horrible, I hate it! That doesn't make me picky or a snob, etc., it's just a matter of taste. I feel like there should be a picture of a clown on the wall with a red tear drop on his face. I just couldn't live with it for long, it makes me nervous! I am a clean line, minimalist so that style makes me nuts. The bathrooms would have to be totally changed, the kitchen updated, fireplaces updated and paint for the walls and new flooring. Other than that, lol, the home is very unique and lovely and know we would love it.
Conrad, for some reason, I had a bit of a hard time following your message, but thank you for your input. Answering your questions, I don't think there would be constant construction going on in the house if we bought the large property one, we would have the paint and flooring done before we moved in and then the bathrooms and kitchen done one at a time. This 12 acre property is the same distance from work, it's very close to the property we would build on if we chose to do that. So, the distance to work is no issue.
I appreciate the input from everyone
arepo, this would be something I like in a bathroom.
It might just be me, but I see two completely different styles of homes--one more contemporary and modern, the other more traditional.
I think I'd go with the style that's more in keeping with the family preference and lifestyle.
I think the existing home is pretty contemporary with all the windows, etc. and certainly can be even moreso with updates! My preferred style is contemporary with some rustic touches. I have pretty eclectic taste though, as long as it speaks to me For instance I do love a rustic home of wood and stone like you might see in Colorado or a house that's shabby shic or cottage style. It just depends on the house. If building though and choosing everything myself, I go for contemporary.
I just LOVE the existing home and the property. That's the one I would go with. : )
I think I would choose to build my own house because I would love to have updated wiring, a solar energy system, a grey water system, an in-house vacuum, tankless water heaters, etc., etc. Most of those items are harder to retrofit into an existing house than to add to a new build.
On the existing house, some systems like the furnace and water heater may be reaching the end of their useful life and need to be replaced in the next five years or so. Also, I can't really tell the quality or maintenance of the construction, so I can't tell if the house has good quality windows with unbroken seals, any wood rot, roof in good shape, etc.
As always, I would have to lay out the pros and cons of each choice and weight them to help me make a decision. If the location of the existing house trumps having your custom dream house, then your choice is clear.
I never thought I would say this, but build.
Older homes need updating on efficiency ratings for all utilities. A new home can have all updated insulation (as Conrad discussed) and building so as to save energy. For years to come you will benefit from the savings.
A ready built older home to customize to your taste, endless contractors, work, disruption, etc. If you are not up for that... build! And build what you want so that once you are in, there is just settling in and then just put down your roots.
I know what you are saying, Mary Ruth (heavy sigh) I wish our realtor never even told us about this because now it has me nuts. She knows how much my husband wants to live on water, whether it be a large pond or a lake and that's so hard to find in our area and, when you do, boy is it pricey! He grew up on a farm and is use to and likes alot of land so, as soon as this came on the market, she called us.
It really is a tough choice. The house is not all that old and I know it has to be inspected, but it recenly had a new furnace and roof. What we're trying to do is look down the road, where we would be happy living, not the house. A house can always be changed to suit any taste, but the property it's built on cannot and that is our struggle. Will we kick ourselves down the road because we passed on the opportunity of living on our own little piece of paradise where we didn't hear the neighbors dog barking, etc. Keep in mind it's just my husband and me, we have no kids.
I'm just happy and grateful to have a home so maybe I'll roll the dice and let him decide because I know I'd be happy either way. In a perfect world, I could build a house on this property lol
I'm a bit confused about which style you prefer as the house you showed a pic of is quite traditional and yet you say your preferred style is contemporary/rustic which IMO the existing house is.
What I'd recommend you do is crunch the numbers taking everything into consideration. A 22 year old house may need more upgrades in the near future than you are currently planning on. It may need a new roof unless that has been replaced already and furnaces don't always last forever. Conversely you have not mentioned landscaping at all and the existing house has that done altho it will certainly need some work to keep it that way. The new build will have high landscaping costs to bring it up to the standards of the other one. One has a huge pond - how much personal value do you attach to that and the extra acreage? The existing house has lots of tall ceilings - do you know what the heating/cooling costs are?
As well as crunching the numbers make a list for each property of the pro's and con's. When you've done that it should be apparent which property is best for you.
You also have not said how far from work the existing house is which could be a factor.
Only you and your DH know whether a new build or an existing house needing upgrades is less stressful for you. Have you previously ever had a new house built for you? It can be so stressful that marriages have been known to end over such projects.
From your description I think you prefer the 2nd property with the existing house. Which one does your DH prefer?
"I have always had an aversion to the concepts of in style and out of style." ~Rose Tarlow
Inspirational pics: http://inspiration4u.shutterfly.com/
Joyluck, I'll try to remember and address your questions. As far as style, I'm not so concerned with the look of the outside of the house, I like both I've shown pictures of. When I say my style is more contemporary, I mean inside.
I did mention how far both properties are to work. They are quite close to each other and would take the same amount of time to get to and from work.
In a perfect world, we would build a new house on the existing 12 acre property but it's never that easy, is it?
As far as the lanscaping, that does factor in it. If we build new, everything would be done and in the pricing, but we'd have to landscape separate, which would be quite costly. We would want that done rather quickly because we do enjoy outdoor space. So, it seems that if we build, the additional costs would go into landscaping, if we buy the existing, the landscaping is done, the costs would go into the inside of the house.
As far as the stress of building, I've heard all about that, but thankfully, my husband and I are pretty much on the same page about what we like so that's a plus right there. Also, we've seen many of the homes the builde we would go with has done and talked to many people he has built for and he's a great, trustworth, meticulous guy. We've talked to him many times in the past, enjoy talking with him, etc. and really like him. I know there would be stress, but I don't think it would be that bad since we have already picked everything out we'd want in a new build.
As far as the high ceilings, if we build, the house has high ceilings, which I definately want, so that's a win win either way. I know about the heating costs, but you put a fan up high and that does help some. I love tall windows so that's something you have to accept if you want the large windows to give you a nice view.
I haven't read all the replies but would want to build that new house. How does the new home vs existing home layouts compare for you? Are you planning your own build design so that you can customize to your specs and needs?
OR would you be locked into the builder's contract with no changes from their standard(s).
Another deciding consideration would be the amount of maintenance required for the 2 styles of home. I would want the least exterior maintenance possible. good Luck on your decision!
~Like sands through the hourglass
~So are the days of our lives
Its a lovely home, but it screams maintenance. It appears to be cedar siding? If so, get a termite inspection or possibly do the sellers have one? If you are serious about this house, I would bring a contractor through and discuss what the costs could be to renovate. Chances are you will be well above 70K in your renovations. Are you and your husband handy?
The heating and cooling costs are definitely something to look into especially with high ceilings as joyluck suggests. Depending on what part of the country you are in, heating alone can run you thousands a year. Have you requested the cost of utilities from the sellers?
Its such a personal decision, but if you are up for a challenge and are financially secure with extra cushion, I say go for it!
I didn't mean to be so clip. I keep forgetting that without looking at someone's face and listening to their tone of voice, an innocent statment can come off rudely. So I do apologize.
When I look at your bathroom choice picture, strangely I find it much less in a modern vein than the black and white one which I find more minimalist than yours actually (a style I also happen to like very much myself -- less is more is my credo).
I hear you now and understand better what your taste looks like from your pictures, so I get why you wouldn't like the black and white.
It seems to me that you could convert that bathroom (and any other rooms you want) to suit your taste and still come off cheaper than building your own from scratch.
Things just seem to always go wrong with the original concept when you build your own (weather, lack of workers, equipment problems, time constraints, you name it), but of course it is always exciting and usually worth the extra bucks over what you thought it would be.
Being that you obviously can afford both, I think the bottom line is that you have to go with your heart.
Haven't read all the responses, but I, too, am confused about how the two homes you like are nearly polar opposites of each other, at least as far as architecture goes.
Location would be my primary concern. A house can be changed. Couldn't you just build a new home that replicates the look of the older house, with the updates you want. Just curious.
I can't imagine why you wouldn't want to build a house to your own specifications. Trust me, there are things in an existing house you haven't even thought of that will need to be repaired or replaced. When all is said and done, you may very well spend as much if not more to remedy things you don't like.
You are approaching this with emotional feelings, not practical experience. You need someone to sit down with you and go over each line item to see what your actual costs are. They have nothing to do with emotion. If this is to be your forever house, then nothing you are saying is clear yet.
I agree with others, your reasons sound confusing, and money is a huge issue, if you can afford 'all features' of view and water front and exactly what you want, why not discuss a house being designed by an Architect instead of a builder? Then he/she can draw out what you want and explain that tall ceilings change the whole structure of the frame, more money, steel beams to support, water considerations for runoffs on the roof, the property drainage, city hookups and other site considerations if you were to build on that land or sell it or do not consider it any longer.
I would get out there and have some consultations and meetings to see your options on paper and line item costs. Sit down with husband and decide which line items you want and can make happen. Then go from there. STOP the realtor showings so as not to get emotional and confused then once all your ‘can’t live without’ list is done, THEN hand that to the realtor if you are willing to look and buy an existing house.
Decisions are not made for a new home or existing home by likes and dislikes, things happen because someone commits and signs on the dotted line and agrees to pay for the list of items that all together add up to a house that you will use as your home.
Sitting on the fence makes things harder, once we get off the fence in one direction, somehow it makes the 'other decision' look more clear. You can always change your mind if nothing is signed.
I think I remember you have no deadlines... no reason to have to move so weigh your options before looking so you can follow what you and your DH want, not what the realtor wants (who is trying to make a commission).This message has been edited. Last edited by: Mary Ruth,
If money isn't an issue, then build, get what you want. But I LOVE the existing house...even the ugly bathroom. The bedroom is another story tho....total gut.
Have you tried making a "pro's and con's" for each list?
Grandchildren are God's gift to you for not killing your own!
We don't stop playing because we grow old...we grow old because we stop playing
I'd go for the existing house on the fabulous lot. It's unique whereas your dream house looks like just another one of the millions. Building will be stressful, so will remodeling, but remodeling allows you time to make better decisions. Building requires decisions made at quickly and often don't turn out as planned.
Personally, I love unique vs. run of the mill and plenty of people that have built their dream homes realize in the end that it's not really as dreamy as it seemed.
I think since your mind keeps coming back to the existing house, you've already made your choice. It's just a matter of coming to terms with it. It's not so hideous really and you can put your personal touches on it over time. To me, carefully choosing the personal touches and turning something into your home is a lot more rewarding than buying something out-of-the-box or from a suggested plan.
Plus that, it sounds much more private and interesting as well as being green since you wouldn't be using a lot of natural resources to build something new.
Just some thoughts...
that bathroom is awful and the kitchen? not up to date at all. Once you start redoing there is no stopping. It will be continuous for years.
Even though there are upgrades needed/desired on the existing home I still think you could put your own signature on it. It's a beautiful floor plan IMHO. The land itself would make me want to buy it. Good Luck with your decision
Well, the decision was made last night, we are sticking with the original plan to build. I work hard, but my husband works really hard and is the breadwinner, so I was ok with him making the final decision because heck, I'd be happy with either and would have nothing to complain about either way.
I like what he had to say, he said he really wants something that is totally ours, what we built to our wants/needs, etc. He loved many aspects of the existing home and property, as did I, and it is very sad to let property like that go. He being a guy lol, say many more things to fix in the existing home than I did. A huge thing was central air. I don't know why, but I am extremely heat intolerant. Anything over 75 degrees and I'm miserable and get almost panic attacky. This house is really big and has huge windows everywhere so it is hot! It would have cost us a mint to put central air in there above doing both bathrooms completely, the kitchen, floors, paint. Honestly, I do enjoy projects (to a point lol) and I really enjoy seeing how beautiful you can make something from what it originally was.
My hubby works very hard and we did alot of our existing house. He said he is at a point in life where he wants to relax and have it done for him. He said he works with bozos all day (lol) that do construction (he does not) but he has to deal with them and their complaints, problems, etc and is over it. I get and respect that so building it is and I'm ok with that.
Yes, I was stressed and under the gun when I wrote this original posting because we were just about set to start the build when this other house was thrown in the mix. I don't like decisions like this anymore and it really has me thrown for a loop, which I'm sure you would all understand. This is hopefully our forever home and I'd like to look back and have few regrets. We know there are always some
The building will begin soon so I'm sure I'll be back to chat with you my friends for helpful advice. I know Mary Ruth has been a wonderful gem and I love hearing from all of you
Oh, on a fun side note, which some of you won't get and will probably think I'm nuts or weird, but here goes. Some of us have fears and phobias like snakes, clowns, etc. For some reason I have always been absolutely terrified of frogs. I don't like reptiles in general, but frogs terrify me. I think it's because they jump and that unexpected activity just does something to me. If I see a frog, my body immediately freezes and then I get the heebee jeebies all over and feel like a wet noodle. I have to jump up and down to try and shake the feeling out of my body. I know, weird, but what can I say lol. Anyway, when we were standing at the pretty pond in the yard yesterday, I said "look at all the fish, there are tons of them!" But at the same time I said to myself "why arent' they swimming?" My husband and realtor both looked at each other and quietly shook their heads no (they both know my feelings on frogs) but then it hit me! OMG they were giant tadpoles! There were hundres of them in the pond! I was so freaked out, I thought I was going to die! I couldn't get them out of my head yesterday after that and somehow, it helped me give up that property. I know they could be taken out or we could get fish to eat the eggs, but man was I freaked out. Ugh! Yuk!
I am a city girl at heart who also loves trees and the woods, but never lived in it on a daily basis. LOL Just thought you might get a kick out of that. Funny the things some of us fear!
Congratulations on making your decision!
Now, part company with that real estate agent so this doesn't happen again!
Glad you have made a choice. Lots to be done with either decision. Hope you will keep us in the loop when you start building your house.
As they said, Location Location Location, and only 15 minutes to work is a big deal.
There are options in a house that I know won't be found in typical houses built today, so given the opportunity, I'd have a dream house built for me to my specs, and only 15 minutes to work would be the cream on top.
Good decision and a chance to custom build is a opportunity that you can't pass on-most people don't have the opportunity to do this. Good luck. Enjoyed your frog story- I unlike you, enjoy the frogs in our koi pond. Have a great time in the building process.
Glad you had your 'talk' and that you are making the decision for what is right for YOU! You could not visit me, we have frogs in our yard! At night sometimes we hear a tap on the window, and there is a frog hanging on the window! And they sleep all lined up on top of the windows on the exterior of the house! We see lots of the very little ones, and when I go to my herb garden they are in there and jump when I go to get some herbs. I leave a dish of water for them, and we put a few low voltage lights in the herb garden to attract bugs for the frogs to snack on!
A few months ago, DH told me he saw a frog sitting on the edge of the stove top! But it jumped and he couldn't find it before going off to work. He called me later and told me what he had seen. I was laughing because we had had the back door open for a bit while moving some furniture out for a CL sale. The frog must have come in (TG that is all that decided to come into the house!). Anyway, I went over to my stove when to turn the water on (had water in a quart pan), and there as you please was this frog (about 2" long) swimming in the water as if it were in a resort in the Bahamas! He was moving around in the water and just having a great time! So, I picked up the pan slowly and took it outside and poured out the water in the yard very slowly. The frog jumped on his way! Of course the 'tea' mood was gone and the pan went into the sink to be de-loused and then put into the dishwasher. A friend of mine told me to write a children's book called 'there is a frog in my tea'!
Mary Ruth - when we're in FL (Ft Myers area)for our 6 mo stay we have those frogs as well at our house. We always have called them tree frogs and are so cute. With the suction cup legs we hear them jumping on our windows and peering in on the shutters. they are so different from those that live in my koi pond in MI.
Wow, you are only a few hours drive away! The weather is nice now that the rain has stopped its constant downpour (not complaining, everything in the yard is green).
Aren't they the cutest thing! Before we moved in, we were outside in the yard just walking around the house talking of future plantings, our neighbors came out to meet us and told us not to be 'afraid' of those 'splat' noises at night on the windows! In one room they are always on the window at night, I turn the light on and see their underside against the glass, and a few geckos too. We are so used to them now. The yard has some baby geckos now, they are so cute!
I love that the yard is full of life! And we use no harsh chemicals in the yard so as not to harm those cute little critters. In the front yard we have an Aloe plant that has been in the yard for many years, it has spread to a 4' X 6' patch and the geckos have congregated there, we call it the 'gecko condos'! We water the plant frequently and do not disturb that community. We will make a few other habitats for those wonderful little creatures in the back yard too.
These geckos in our yard are not the curly tailed aggressive ones that seem to be taking over in the South Florida area, those are larger and have been wiping out the smaller geckos.
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