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peloncito 06-12-2007 09:01 AM

Move, build new, or renovate????
Ok, so I have to preface this question with the fact that I'm a total lay person when it comes to construction, renovation, home building, etc. We are a family of 5 (Me, wife, daughter 10, daughter 5, and newborn son). We live in a little ranch house that was built on a cinderblock foundation with a crawl space. It is probably about 60 years old. At some point, the original owners dug a small one room basement in the crawl space and converted the attic to a large room with a dormer and a 3/4 bath. The basement leaks and the upstairs is only suitable for a shared bedroom between my daughters. The ground floor doesn't really have sufficent space for the rest of us. It has very little closet space, a small "full" bath, and no real living room to speak of. The design is very simple.

On the plus side, it sits on just under an acre of beautiful treed property and is in the best school district in the state. We live in a community that has extremely low property taxes, limited residential development, and NO commercial development, all while being close to a major metro area. Also has a large detached garage that is only about 5 years old.

We are planning on living in the area for at least 3 more years and I wouldn't mind staying longer.

So, needing more space, I've mentally come up with several scenarios:

1: We move into something bigger, but risk losing GREAT neighbors and children having to change schools.
2: Tear down and replace with either a site built home or a modular/prefab home.
3: Jack up home, excavate a basement with living space, then later convert the "upstairs" into a real living space with a master suite and master bath. And eventually change the floor plan on the ground level.

Has anyone been in a similar situation, or any contractors out there want to weigh in on my situation?

Thanks in advance for any advice!

KUIPORNG 06-12-2007 03:25 PM

If you have the money... demolish and build a new one seems the best approach.

Sammy 06-12-2007 06:18 PM

You have just under an acre of lot that seems nice in an area you are comfortable with. And it sounds like you would like to stay in that area for a reasonable amount of time.

Consider this... By the time you sell the existing home and relocate to someplace you might not like as much, you'll probably spend 10-15K easily between realtor fees, moving expenses and incidentals.

By investing the 10-15K in renovations in the location you are already in even if it means hiring a contractor for everything would that make it where you would like it?

Also keep in mind that the 10-15K would add value to the current location so it wouldnt be money lost as in a move.

johnny331 06-12-2007 07:23 PM

To me it sounds like you personally want to remain on the plot.

How much money do you have to work with?

peloncito 06-12-2007 10:20 PM

We do like the location. Our situation is kind of different. My parents own the lot and home and we pay all the costs. I just graduated from medical school and we're staying in the area for residency (3 years). As far as money goes. I could probably qualify for about 200k in a loan. My parents would make me an owner on paper so that I will technically own the home with my parents. So right now we pay about 800/month in mortgage costs and could afford a second loan. Banks really like new physicians as we have a large earning potential.

I've been looking into the cost of a kit home (maple homes). I got a price list, but that only includes the cost of the building materials to give you your shell (all exterior walls, siding, exterior and interior doors, and interior walls framed). Another option is a modular prefab home. I like the idea of being able to pick a home and have it built, rather than paying someone to design it for me.

Ron6519 06-12-2007 11:07 PM

I wouldn't waste the money on a basement renovation. Ranches usually have a large footprint. Renovate the second floor. Move the bedrooms upstairs and reconfigure the first floor. You'll get more of a payback with the second floor redo.

KUIPORNG 06-13-2007 08:26 AM

now seems to me in your case, money is not an issue anymore... you should then compare the good/bads of renovation or rebuild a new house on the existing lot.... sometimes fixing will cost more then rebuilt if it is so much to fix ... I saw those TV show where builder do not hestiate to destruct a not so bad home to rebuild a new one.... as in computer industry I am... fixing someone's program is so difficult... I am rather rewriting a new one sometimes...

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