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Brian 's Forum Posts: 1

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By Brian in Honolulu, HI on 10/4/2006


So I just turned 26, about to graduate from college, and I want to invest in real estate.

The question is, should I just hire a general contractor and pay him 20%, or do it my self?  How much difference in money are we talking?

 This assumes that any of you know what a general costs.  If it only costs $16,000 (from labor cost of $80,000) for a general, thats not worth the drama to do it my self.  But that is the question, if I buy a prepackaged home for $30,000 (864 sq ft), how much am I looking at for labor?  I need to get the plans so I can bid out, but whats an estimate?

 


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Michael Penn's Forum Posts: 81
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By Michael Penn in Dripping Springs, TX on 10/7/2006


Obviously there's all kinds of variables that affect the ultimate answer to your question, but based on my research inc. on this site and the ownerbuilderbook, I think you can figure on about a 30% savings if you serve as your own general contractor.

One big variable that might affect that has to do with your using a package to build from.  Some of your potential savings going the ownerbuilder route might be absorbed in profit by the package seller--maybe, maybe not.


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By Keith in Tucson, AZ on 10/8/2006


Brian, to have the chance to do it all again, lucky you for starting out with the adventure of life.

I'd start out with the question - what do I want to do in my life?

Investing & building in real estate is a great choice. It can allow for the time and money to pursue other dreams as well. 

If your after a quick startup for gaining a one time cash project and have other careers in mind, then may hiring a GC is good for your direction.

If you want to learn about life early on, then be your own GC and take the plunge.  You'll learn life long skills and lessons, and if you choose to stay with it, maybe even become rich.

30% is a good incentive for learning, and cheaper than most educations.  Even if you don't stay a building  / investor, you may discover something even better along the way, with the people you meet and the experience you gain.

I say jump in feet first with your eyes wide open and your brain turned on to new learning curves.  Go for it, full steam ahead as your own project manager and hire the core structure subs (licensed with referrals) through the completion of the shell (pad, foundation, walls, and roof), then tackle the finish stuff as much as you can, or hire good local companies to help for each part (plumbing, electrical, cabinets), as you need them.  Follow this web site and use it for info.  You'll be fine and will enjoy your 1st home even more.  Who knows, you may even like doing it again, and again, and again, every 2 years for the best return on your investment and efforts.


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By Doug in Lawrence, KS on 10/14/2006


Congratulations on graduating form college.


Now use what you learned in college and RESEARCH the OB process.  You have the best resource sitting right in front of you with this website.  Buy the book, and spend the next 6 months determining if this is right for you.  If you are soft, or can't make a decision, or falter under pressure, hire a GC.  If you are entrepreneurial and fairly well organized, take what you learn here and apply it in the real world by building your own home.

On your first house, going small is a wise choice and I really wouldn't factor the dollar amount into the equation as heavily as the potential for experience earned. 

Best of luck,

Doug

 


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By Bill in Irving, TX on 11/14/2006


I have a somewhat different take on this question:

I am a do-it-yourselfer. I also have a full-time job unrelated to construction. I undertook building my home for the inherent DIY fulfillment AND to save money. Unless you are a do-it-yourselfer, who really enjoys projects, I do not believe the money savings alone is enough to justify the work and drama as you put it. You can spend your time and energies working in your chosen profession, which you presumably do enjoy, and likely reap better long-term returns.

You can read more about my project at "my construction website".

Good Luck!


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By Jay in Elkhart, IN on 11/14/2006


Brian

I think you have a good start as well.  As the other post stated there are a number of variables and questions that need to be thought out.  The home you are looking at, is it a build and sell, or are you holding it for a while?  If you are looking at building and selling then learning a efficient building process will be important for future projects, and if you have not been through the building process before, it can be a huge learning curve which can definely eat up your profits pretty quick. 

If you are looking to hold on to the house then maybe learning the building process is not that important to grasp right away.  It is good to jump in with both feet (one of the best ways to learn) but you may need someone to tell where and when to jump. 

What you might want to consider is to talk to some GC's about your wants and goals to see if they would be willing to work with you more on price and process.  Another avenue would be a consulting company that works with homeowners.  Many on this site probably would not agree, but again it really depends on confident levels and what you are trying to accomplish.  There are some that have a pretty good system you could learn from and apply to your own building process and business plan, you might also be able to save some of your profit margin along the way. Either way best advice is to continue to ask questions and be diligent in your research to find the best options FOR YOU.

 

Good luck.  Keep us posted.

Jay


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