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Old 02-01-2015, 03:04 PM   #1
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


I have been slowly researching property in North Central Fl for our eventual move out on the lovely state of IL. I have been primarily looking at vacant riverfront property with the intention of building a nice steele garage/workshop and parking a small RV or tinyhouse there until I sell the current house and make the final move.

Yesterday, my wife shows me a listing for a partially built riverfront house with an existing 'guest house' attached, so its livable now.

I really like the location, and the style of the house (from the pics). It seems like it might end up being a major project for a DIYer, but I am trying to think through how I might make this work. My Idea would be to hire a contractor to finish the HVAC, rough plumbing, elec and drywall. Hopefully, that cost could be worked into financing. The rest of the work I am pretty confident I can handle. Especially if the guest qtrs is livable.

I am sure there is much more to this than I am currently imagining. Thats why i thought I would bounce this off the forum. Many here have built homes a-to-z and might see something in the pics that's either good or bad.

http://www.zillow.com/homes/for_sale...5_zm/?view=map

So take a look if you have a minute, and let me know what you think!

I know its a huge undertaking, so let me know if you see anything that looks like a huge deal breaker or anything specific to watch out for.

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Old 02-01-2015, 03:27 PM   #2
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


That's a lot of money to pay for a shell.

Really need more details on what is finished, permits and such.


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Old 02-01-2015, 04:07 PM   #3
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


I big part of that is for the riverfront property. I have been looking for a few days and decent river front in that area seems to be going for 40-70k/acre. So does not seem too far out of line. I am going to be in the area in a couple weeks and might take a drive by to look at it.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:27 PM   #4
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


first. find out if you can even get a loan on that place. otherwise, it looks like it would be a great place when finished.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:34 PM   #5
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


Can't go by pic's you need to see in person, what has to be done and talk to neighbors,of course you know why it's in piers.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:38 PM   #6
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first. find out if you can even get a loan on that place. otherwise, it looks like it would be a great place when finished.
..Loving the Blizzard conditions!! I guess you can understand why we are looking for property in FL.

Thats a great point. I figure it will be like getting a building loan. So probably lots of work to get all the plans, permits and stuff lined up. If I can get my IL house sold first, I would have a good amount of cash to throw into the pot.

I will check it out, but its probably a long shot since I am not local (yet).

I am also eager to get the 'story' on this property. Is it just an aborted DIY? or a builder that went Tango-Uniform. Looks like a lot of time/money has been invested already. kind of a shame to not get it done.
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:45 PM   #7
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


See if you can find the name of the architect and the builder---and then call them.

Also--call the building department--see if you can find out why the work was stopped--

Also--how long has it been sitting without proper insect and weather protection.

Interesting looking project-----Is flood insurance needed? What cost?
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Old 02-01-2015, 04:53 PM   #8
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


Kind of funny that all the Chicagoland folks are hanging out on the forums today. May have something to do with Heavy snow and 30mph winds.

It was 70 degrees and Sunny today in North Central FL.

Seems like all these properties on the Suwannee/Sante Fe River are built high up off the ground. From what I can tell, you have to make a choice between getting your river view and building way back behind the flood zone. Not too worried about that part of it.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:24 PM   #9
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


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..Loving the Blizzard conditions!!

I guess you can understand why we are looking for property in FL.
ummm, . but if i can get to work without to many problems. then i will have to deal with it at work
and they just said another 6". fun day tomorrow , but it does burn up the time.


yeah, no doubt. i WISH i could move.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:26 PM   #10
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


I see CMU piers. A lot of states (and the IRC and FEMA) have a bit to say about CMU piers and height limitations, particularly in flood zones. In my state if you have piers over certain height in a flood zone, they have be designed by a PE to bear lateral forces due to velocity flows or wave impacts. Make sure to chase down who designed it and who approved it. It would be terrible for you to buy the home and then find out the piers were inadequately designed, don't meet the BFE requirement, or you couldn't get a CO or flood insurance. You could be buying someone else's nightmare.

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Old 02-01-2015, 05:29 PM   #11
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


The first two items that come to mind is 1) possible financing problems, already mentioned and 2) being in florida, sink holes.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:41 PM   #12
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


Thanks for the link, was just what I was looking for. Lol. That was someone's dream house. Now they lost a bunch of money on it. I buy Detroit houses like that all the time. People get into real estate, buy a house, start dumping money into it, realize the number can never add up so they walk away. Happens all the time here. Sometimes the second and third buyers walk away as well.
It is worth a look for sure. You have to ask yourself, why take on a big move, then a big project together. Money? Availability?
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:54 PM   #13
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


I certainly love the look of the home! I think everybody has already covered anything I can think of that you need to cover prior to jumping at it. It looks like all of the rough electrical as well as rough plumbing and HVAC ductwork is already complete for the most part. My biggest concern would be how long it's been sitting exposed to the elements, fortunately it's got a roof on it but....
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Old 02-01-2015, 08:07 PM   #14
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


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... being in florida, sink holes.
..Ha, your much more likely to be killed by lightning in FL, than sink holes. They do happen, but its really not something to worry about. I have actually been looking for property with sinks/springs on it. I like to cave dive, and have spend a lot of time in this area.

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Thanks for the link, was just what I was looking for. Lol.
Go for it! Its probably a long shot for me. I would love to make it happen, and will follow up, but I am not 100% sure.

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..It is worth a look for sure. You have to ask yourself, why take on a big move, then a big project together. Money? Availability?
At least it appears to have a livable smaller guest quarters, so it might not be that bad.

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... My biggest concern would be how long it's been sitting exposed to the elements, fortunately it's got a roof on it but....
I thought the same thing. From the pics, its hard to say what the ext siding is. At first I thought it was exposed OSB, but I think it might just be stucco with an ugly paint/primer on it.

Those piers are deffinately worth checking out. Everything in FL will now require hurricane ratings. Maybe this owner/builder set it all on top of non-compliant piers. That would suck! In any case, lots to think on..
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Old 02-02-2015, 07:11 AM   #15
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Thoughts on buying a partially built house..


You might want to see if you can get insurance on the home, A lot of insurance companies will not insure a home while its being built

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